CyberAngler: Fishing in Florida

Florida Saltwater Fishing License

Florida Saltwater Fishing Licenses are sold at all county tax collectors' offices and at many bait-and-tackle shops. The cost for Florida Saltwater Fishing Licenses differs for residents and nonresidents.

The law says anyone who takes, attempts to take, or possesses marine fish for noncommercial purposes must have a Florida Saltwater Fishing License.

Florida Residents

When applying for a saltwater fishing license, you are considered to be a Florida resident if you:
  • Have lived continuously in Florida for six months or have established legal residence in Florida. 
  • Are a member of the United States Armed Forces stationed in Florida.
  • Are a student enrolled at a college or university in Florida.
Florida residents may buy a lifetime saltwater fishing license, or a lifetime sportsman license. Holders of lifetime saltwater fishing licenses may fish in saltwater as long as they live and will pay no additional fees. The license fee includes the taking of snook or crawfish - which would otherwise require a separate fee. A lifetime sportsman license allows holders to fish in fresh water or salt water and to hunt in Florida. Both of these licenses require holders to obey fishing or hunting laws in effect at any given time. Costs for the four types of licenses:
    Florida Resident Licenses*
    One-Year License       $ 17.00
    Five-Year License**    $ 79.00
    **purchases only at county tax collectors office

    Lifetime Saltwater Fishing License*
    Age: 0-4                       $ 126.50
    Age: 5-12                     $ 226.50
    Age: 13-64                   $ 301.50
    Age: 65 or older           Free

    Lifetime Sportsman License*
    Age: 0-4                       $ 401.50
    Age: 5-12                     $ 701.50
    Age: 13-64                   $ 1001.50
    Age: 65 or older           Free

    Non-Resident Licenses*
    Three-Day License       $ 17.00
    Seven-Day License      $ 30.00
    One-Year License         $ 47.00
    *Service charge and Snook and Crawfish permits not included

Tax collectors and the bait-and-tackle shops that act as their agents will assess an additional service charge of $1.50 or $2.00 per license.

You Do Not Need a License If You Are: 

  • A Florida resident fishing from land or a structure fixed to the land - a pier, bridge, dock, floating dock, jetty or similar structure - but not from a boat. 
  • A Florida resident who is 65 years old or older. 
  • A Florida resident who is a member of the U. 5. Armed Forces stationed outside of Florida and home on leave for 30 days or less. (You must submit your orders as proof.) 
  • A Florida resident who is fishing for mullet in fresh water - with a valid Florida fresh water fishing license. 
  • A Florida resident fishing for saltwater fish in fresh water from land or from a structure fixed to the land. 
  • Under 16 years of age. 
  • Fishing from a boat that has a valid recreational vessel saltwater fishing license. 
  • A nonresident fishing from a pier that has a valid pier saltwater fishing license.  
  • A holder of a valid commercial saltwater products license - other than the owner, operator, or custodian of a vessel for which a saltwater fishing license is required. (Only one person fishing under a vessel saltwater products license may claim the exemption at any time). 
  • Accepted by the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative services (HRS) for developmental service or are assigned by a court to an HRS rehabilitation program that involves training in Florida aquatic resources. 
A Florida resident who is certified permanently and totally disabled may obtain a saltwater fishing license at no charge from a county tax collector.

Other Saltwater Fishing Fees

Vessel licenses are required for all vessels that charge a fee to take passengers out to catch marine fish.
    Eleven or more customers     $ 800.00
    Five to ten customers             $ 400.00
    Four or fewer customers        $ 200.00
Optional fees include the annual Recreational Vessel fee ($2,000.00) for not-for-hire pleasure craft and the annual Pier license, ($500.00) for piers that charge an access fee.
    Additional Privilege Permit
    Snook Permit                              $ 2.00
    Crawfish Permit                          $ 2.00
If you are not required to buy a license, you are not required to buy permits.

The money collected from saltwater fishing licenses is used to improve and restore fish habitat, and for marine fisheries research, law enforcement and public education on marine resources.

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