Complete Guide to Buying Your North Carolina Fishing License Online

Complete Guide to Buying Your North Carolina Fishing License Online

Are you eager to cast your line into the abundant waters of North Carolina? Before you embark on your fishing adventure, ensure you’re properly licensed. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the process of buying your North Carolina fishing license online, making it a breeze to comply with regulations and support conservation efforts.

Why You Need a Fishing License in North Carolina

A fishing license is more than just a legal requirement—it’s an investment in the future of North Carolina’s fisheries. Your license fees directly support conservation, habitat restoration, and fish stocking programs. By purchasing a license, you’re helping to ensure that North Carolina’s waters remain healthy and well-stocked for generations to come.

Types of North Carolina Fishing Licenses

North Carolina offers a variety of fishing licenses to cater to different angling preferences and durations. Here are the main categories:

Short-Term Licenses

  • 10-Day Inland Fishing License
  • 10-Day Coastal Fishing License

These licenses are perfect for visitors or occasional anglers who only plan to fish for a short period.

Annual Licenses

  • 12-Month Inland Fishing License
  • 12-Month Coastal Fishing License
  • 12-Month Unified Inland/Coastal Fishing License

Annual licenses provide year-round fishing opportunities, ideal for avid anglers who want to explore both inland and coastal waters.

Lifetime Licenses

  • Infant Lifetime Fishing License (under 1 year old)
  • Youth Lifetime Fishing License (ages 1-11)
  • Adult Lifetime Fishing License (ages 12 and older)

Invest in a lifetime license and enjoy the freedom to fish in North Carolina for the rest of your life, without the need for annual renewals.

Special Licenses

North Carolina offers discounted licenses for disabled individuals and seniors, making fishing accessible to everyone.

How Much Does a North Carolina Fishing License Cost in 2024?

The cost of a fishing license varies depending on the type of license, residency status, and age. Here’s a breakdown of the fees for 2024:

Resident License Fees

  • Annual Inland Fishing License: $25
  • Annual Coastal Fishing License: $15
  • Unified Inland/Coastal Fishing License: $40
  • Senior Lifetime Fishing License: $15

Non-Resident License Fees

  • 10-Day Inland Fishing License: $20
  • 10-Day Coastal Fishing License: $10
  • Annual Inland Fishing License: $45
  • Annual Coastal Fishing License: $30

It’s important to note that license fees are subject to change, so always check the official North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website for the most up-to-date information.

Fishing Regulations in North Carolina 2024

To ensure the sustainability of North Carolina’s fisheries, anglers must adhere to various regulations. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

General Statewide Regulations

  • Daily creel limits and size restrictions apply to many fish species.
  • Anglers must have a valid fishing license in their possession while fishing.
  • Fishing is allowed from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset, unless otherwise specified.

Inland Fishing Regulations

  • Inland waters include all public waters except coastal and joint waters.
  • Specific regulations apply to trout fishing, including catch limits and bait restrictions.

Coastal Fishing Regulations

  • Coastal waters include the Atlantic Ocean and its tributaries up to the dividing line between coastal and inland waters.
  • Size and catch limits vary by species and season.

What Happens If You Fish Without a License in NC?

Fishing without a valid license in North Carolina is a misdemeanor offense. If caught, you may face fines, court costs, and the loss of your fishing privileges. It’s simply not worth the risk—always buy your license before casting your line!

How to Buy Your North Carolina Fishing License Online

Purchasing your fishing license online is quick, convenient, and secure. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Visit the official North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website at
  2. Click on the “Purchase a License” button on the homepage.
  3. Select the type of license you need (e.g., inland, coastal, short-term, annual).
  4. Provide your personal information, including name, address, and date of birth.
  5. Pay the license fee using a credit card or electronic check.
  6. Print your license or save it on your mobile device.

Congratulations! You’re now ready to legally fish in North Carolina’s waters.


Buying your North Carolina fishing license online is a simple process that grants you access to some of the best fishing opportunities in the country. By purchasing a license, you’re not only ensuring compliance with regulations but also contributing to the conservation and enhancement of North Carolina’s fisheries.

So, gear up, buy your license, and get ready to create unforgettable fishing memories in the Tar Heel State!

For more information on fishing in North Carolina, visit the official North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission website at

Happy fishing!

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