Hi, How Can We Help You?

North Carolina Fishing License: How to Get One in 2024

North Carolina Fishing License: How to Get One in 2024

If you are an avid fisherman who enjoys nature and the great outdoors, then you will be glad to know that the state of North Carolina offers a number of fishing licenses for you to use year round. In addition to freshwater (inland) licenses and saltwater (coastal) licenses, you can obtain a lifetime license to fish or a senior license as well, as long as you meet a set list of criteria. The type of fishing credential you should consider purchasing will depend on the activity you want to partake in, and which state waters you would like to fish in. Keep in mind that different fees will also come into play, and these will vary according to the permit to fish that you hold. North Carolina makes it easy to purchase your license in several ways. Whether you choose to get yours online, in person or by phone is ultimately up to you. Nonetheless, it is important that you have the correct form of payment on hand, as well as any necessary documentation that may be asked of you. To learn more about where and how to get a fishing license in NC, read the sections featured within these pages.

North Carolina Freshwater Fishing License

Freshwater fishing licenses in North Carolina are offered to both residents and nonresidents. This particular permit to fish is also available on a short-term basis or for the duration of your lifetime, depending on which one is more suitable to you. However, in order to get a fishing license in the state, you must first fulfill the necessary requirements, as mandated by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

One of the fishing credentials you can obtain in North Carolina is the freshwater fishing license – also known as the inland fishing license – which is offered to both residents and nonresidents. This particular permit to fish is also available on a short-term basis or for the duration of your lifetime, depending on which one is more suitable to you. However, in order to get a fishing license in the state, you must first fulfill the necessary requirements, as mandated by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

North Carolina Resident Freshwater Fishing License

There is a slew of resident freshwater (inland) licenses that are available to purchase in North Carolina. Some of the most common freshwater permits include the following: a 10-day inland license, an annual license, a lifetime license, a privilege license, a senior license and a disabled license. Regardless of which one you would like to obtain, you can begin the process of applying online, by phone or in person. If you intend to buy freshwater fishing licenses in person, you will need to visit a North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission agent in your local vicinity.

North Carolina Nonresident Freshwater Fishing License

The steps to get an NC non resident fishing license are almost identical to those associated with getting a resident fishing license for inland waters. You will need to complete the process through the state’s Wildlife Resources Commission, either online, in person or over the phone. Along with a short-term inland license to fish, both annual licenses and lifetime licenses are also available. However, take note that if you are interested in getting a disabled, youth or infant lifetime license, you will need to visit a WRC agent. That is because these licenses cannot be purchased online.

Renew North Carolina Freshwater Fishing License

Depending on the validity period of your North Carolina fishing license, it will typically be good for a period of 10 days or a year. Lifetime licenses are also available for purchase. If you have a 10-day freshwater fishing license or an annual freshwater license, you will need to apply for a new one after the expiration date, if you would like to continue partaking in this outdoor sport. The state of NC does not provide an application for fishing license renewal. In most cases, you can simply apply for a new license online, by phone or in person. In order to properly complete your transaction in person, visit a wildlife service representative in your area.

Replace North Carolina Freshwater Fishing License

If your freshwater (inland) license is lost or stolen, you will need to fill out a new application in order to request a fishing permit replacement. This application can be obtained on the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website. Once you have properly filled out all the blank spaces on the form with your personal information and license number, then all you have to do is submit it to the NC WRC via mail with payment for the $7 fee.

Send it to the address listed here:

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
License Section
1701 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1707

North Carolina Freshwater Fishing License Fees

There are select fees associated with various fishing licenses in the state of North Carolina. Your payment amount will be based on the license you wish to obtain. See below for a list of the most basic inland freshwater license fees:

  • 10-day freshwater fishing license – $7
  • Annual freshwater inland fishing license – $20
  • Comprehensive annual freshwater fishing license – $25
  • Comprehensive lifetime freshwater credential – $250
  • Comprehensive senior freshwater credential – $15
  • Disabled veteran freshwater credential – $10

North Carolina Saltwater Fishing License

The North Carolina De partment of Environmental Quality’s Division of Marine Fisheries issues both coastal (saltwater) and inland (freshwater) fishing licenses to residents and nonresidents of the state. To learn how to get a coastal fishing license in North Carolina, you must go through the application process through the Division of Marine Fisheries. Your residential status is very important when purchasing a coastal fishing license, as it determines whether or not you will pay the significantly higher non-residential coastal fishing permit fee. For more information on coastal fishing documents, read the information below.

North Carolina Resident Saltwater Fishing License

Purchasing a coastal saltwater fishing license for residents in North Carolina allows you to catch wildlife on the coast of the state. To establish residency, you must have been residing in North Carolina for at least 12 months. Having residency status affords you the option of paying the residential fee after completing the coastal fishing license application. Students from out of state who are attending a university or college in North Carolina are considered residents for the purposes of coastal fishing credentials. You may be asked for proof of residency when applying, in the form of official mail, court documents, tax records or voter registration. For more information on resident fishing licenses, visit the Division of Marine Fisheries website. To learn more, check out the “How to Become a Licensed Fisherman eBook.”

North Carolina Nonresident Saltwater Fishing License

Though the resident option is the best value when applying to get a fishing license, nonresidents of North Carolina also have various choices for coastal licenses as well. Choose between the 10-day, annual or lifetime non resident fishing licenses and get the same privileges as residents with the same class of license. Unfortunately, the difference between the license classes is a significantly higher fee for nonresidents. However, should you gain residency status by the end of your nonresident fishing validation period, you can reapply for a lower cost resident license.

Renew North Carolina Saltwater Fishing License

Depending on which type you purchase, most coastal saltwater fishing permits in North Carolina expire within either 10 days or one year. Once your fishing credential has expired, you will need to get a new one through the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Fishing license renewals are treated as new license applications; therefore, you must apply for your renewed license using the same method that you used to get your initial license. To get a coastal license renewal, visit the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s website and click on the licensing section. If you are an existing customer, you can expedite the process by entering your Wildlife Resources Commission customer number when applying.

Replace North Carolina Saltwater Fishing License

Replacing a license to fish in North Carolina is a fairly simple process that can be completed for a small fee. To get a fishing permit replacement, visit the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website and download the Replacement Hunting/Fishing License Application form. Print and complete the form and mail it, along with the $7 fee, to the following address:

N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission
License Section
1707 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1707

North Carolina Saltwater Fishing License Fees

The fee to buy coastal fishing permits in North Carolina varies based on your residency status. Fees are set by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission as follows:

  • 10 day (basic) coastal resident fishing license: $5
  • 10 day (basic) nonresident coastal fishing license: $10
  • Annual resident coastal license: $15
  • Annual coastal non resident fishing license: $30
  • Lifetime resident adult coastal license: $250
  • Lifetime nonresident adult coastal license: $500