How Much Is a Fishing License in Alabama?

Fishing is a popular recreational activity in Alabama, with abundant freshwater lakes, rivers, and streams as well as coastal saltwater fishing opportunities. For most anglers over the age of 16, a fishing license is required to fish legally in public waters within the state. Here is a comprehensive overview of acquiring an Alabama fishing license, including key information on license requirements, costs, exemptions, and how to purchase.

Who Needs a Fishing License in Alabama

While there are some exceptions, most people need a valid Alabama fishing license to fish recreationally in public waters within the state.

Alabama residents ages 16–64 require a fishing license to fish recreationally in public freshwaters and saltwaters in the state. This includes non-tidal public lakes, rivers, streams, some private waters, and coastal waters within the territorial jurisdiction of Alabama.

Additionally, all non-residents 16 years and older need an Alabama fishing license if fishing recreationally within public freshwaters or saltwaters, regardless of their age.

There are exemptions for Alabama residents 65 years of age and older, as well as younger children under 16. Disabled residents may also qualify for exemptions or discounts. Additionally, Alabama residents can fish from the bank, with a hook and line, in the county of their legal residence without needing a fishing license. However, they must provide proof of residency upon request while fishing.

So in summary, most anglers over 16 years old need a license, with certain exemptions applying for seniors and young children, as well as special provisions for disabled residents and county residents fishing within their home county.

Types of Alabama Fishing Licenses

There are different types of recreational fishing licenses in Alabama, depending on whether you are fishing in freshwater or saltwater. They include:

Freshwater Fishing

  • Annual Freshwater Fishing License
  • Trip Freshwater Fishing License
  • 7-Day Trip Freshwater Fishing License

Saltwater Fishing

For saltwater anglers, additional endorsements may be needed, such as the Gulf Reef Fish Endorsement or Spearfishing Endorsement. There are also specialized licenses available just for fishing from piers or shorelines. Lifetime freshwater and saltwater licenses are available for purchase as well.

So depending on the type of fishing you plan to do and whether you are targeting freshwater or saltwater species, make sure you get the appropriate fishing license and any necessary endorsements.

What does an Alabama fishing license cost?

Fishing license fees vary depending on residency as well as whether you need freshwater or saltwater licenses. A summary of basic license costs is included below:


  • Annual Resident: $15.05
  • Annual Non-resident: $58.15


  • Annual Resident: $24.35
  • Annual Non-resident: $52.20

There are also trip licenses valid for certain numbers of consecutive days, as well as combination licenses that cover both freshwater and saltwater. Specialty licenses, like pier fishing licenses, have different fees as well. Lifetime licenses are available but involve a higher upfront cost.

Many anglers choose annual licenses for convenience and lower cost over buying shorter-term trip licenses repeatedly. The fees help support fisheries conservation programs and inland waterway management efforts.

How to Get an Alabama Fishing License

There are several ways Alabama fishing licenses can be purchased:


Licenses may be purchased online through the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) website. Online purchases can be made instantly, 24/7, and printed from home.

In Person

Licenses can also be bought in person at various retail locations including:

  • Local probate offices
  • License commissioners
  • Select bait and tackle shops
  • DCNR district offices
  • Montgomery office


Fishing licenses may also be purchased over the phone by calling 1-888-848-6887 during regular office hours.

When applying for an Alabama fishing license, residents need to provide either an Alabama driver’s license or a non-driver ID card. Non-residents will need to provide an official out-of-state driver’s license or non-driver ID.


Fishing is a fun way to spend time outdoors in Alabama, with plentiful freshwater and saltwater fishing opportunities. Before casting your line, make sure you have the appropriate fishing license for the species you are targeting by following the guidelines above. Understanding the license requirements, fees, and purchasing process ahead of time makes things easier.

The fees from fishing licenses help support important conservation and management programs that sustain healthy fisheries and water resources for the future. So make sure to do your part by purchasing a license and enjoying the great fishing that Alabama has to offer!

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