COVID-19 Fishing Frenzy: Can You Get Your License at Walmart?

If you’re a fishing enthusiast, you’re well aware that a fishing license is a non-negotiable prerequisite before you can cast your line into any body of water. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic imposing limitations on in-person government services, you might be pondering if obtaining your license is still feasible. The silver lining is that numerous Walmart stores across the United States provide fishing license services. But, there are a few things you should be aware of before you make a beeline for your local store.

Walmart: An Angler’s One-Stop-Shop

Walmart, a retail giant, has a presence in nearly every state across the country. Besides offering fishing gear, many Walmart stores also house a licensing center that can issue fishing licenses to customers. This makes it a handy option for anglers who need to secure a license in a jiffy.

However, bear in mind that this service isn’t available at all Walmart locations, so it’s prudent to verify with your local store beforehand. You can also visit the Walmart website and search for “fishing license” to see if your local store is on the list of locations that provide this service.

Who Needs A Fishing License?

In the majority of states, anyone above the age of 16 is mandated to have a valid fishing license before they can fish. But, there are a few exceptions to this rule. For instance, some states offer exemptions for military veterans or seniors. Additionally, some states have “Free Fishing Days” where no license is needed for anyone to fish, irrespective of age or residency.

It’s crucial to check with your state’s fish and wildlife department to ascertain if you need a license and if there are any exemptions available. This information is typically available online or can be obtained by contacting the department directly.

Special Events And Exemptions

There are also certain special events or circumstances that may offer exemptions to the fishing license requirement. For example, some states offer a “Mentored Youth Fishing Day” where adults can take children under the age of 16 fishing without a license. Additionally, some states have designated “Free Fishing Areas” where anyone can fish without a license.

Remember, these exemptions are usually only valid for a limited period and in specific locations. Be sure to check with your state’s fish and wildlife department to see if any of these exemptions apply to you.

Fishing Safely During The Pandemic

As always, it’s vital to adhere to safe social distancing measures while fishing during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from others, wearing a mask when around others, and steering clear of crowded areas.

If you need to visit a Walmart store to get your fishing license, ensure to follow the store’s safety guidelines, such as wearing a mask and practicing social distancing while inside.


While the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench in many aspects of daily life, obtaining a fishing license doesn’t have to be one of them. Numerous Walmart stores across the country offer fishing license services, making it a handy option for anglers. Just ensure to verify with your local store beforehand to confirm availability and adhere to all safety guidelines while obtaining your license. And don’t forget to check with your state’s fish and wildlife department to determine if you need a license and if any exemptions apply. Happy fishing!


Can I still get my fishing license at Walmart during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Yes, Walmart stores in most states are still selling fishing licenses during the pandemic. However, it is recommended that you call ahead or check the store’s website to confirm availability, as some stores may have limited hours or services.

Do I need to wear a mask when getting my fishing license at Walmart?

It depends on the state and local guidelines. Some states may require masks to be worn in public places, while others may not. It is recommended to wear a mask and practice social distancing when in public settings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Can I purchase a fishing license online instead of going to Walmart in-person?

Yes, many states offer the option to purchase fishing licenses online. Check with your state’s fish and wildlife department or visit their website to see if this option is available to you. This may be a convenient and safe option during the pandemic.

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