Georgia Fishing License Duration: How Long Does It Last?

In Georgia, most annual recreational fishing licenses are valid for 365 days from the purchase date printed on the license. This includes the basic resident and non-resident licenses, as well as specialty licenses like trout and saltwater.

Senior resident licenses lasting one year cost only $4 annually. Notably, Georgia seniors born before July 1, 1952 qualify for a free lifetime sportsman’s license granting fishing and hunting privileges.

Youth under 16 can optionally purchase an annual $10 fishing license valid until their 17th birthday. It includes mountain trout fishing privileges.

Beyond annual licenses, Georgia offers short-term licenses ranging from 1-day to 10-days. One-day non-resident licenses cost $10, with additional days at $3.50 each. Specialty short-term trout and saltwater stamps can also be purchased.

Commercial licenses for residents cost $20 annually, while the non-resident commercial license runs $200 per year. Applications have added requirements.

In contrast to the above, Saltwater Information Program (SIP) permits linked to fishing licenses expire 365 days from the exact date of issue each year for both residents and non-residents.

Key License Purchase Information

Before heading out to fish, be sure you have the necessary Georgia fishing license and stamps. These can be obtained:

  • Online anytime.
  • By calling 1-800-366-2661 M-F 8am-6pm, Sa-Su 9am-5pm.
  • Through local agents across Georgia.
  • At regional DNR offices in person.

When buying online, you can access previously purchased licenses using your driver’s license, DNR customer ID, or Social Security Number. Email reminders help prevent unexpected expiration.

Be sure any necessary trout or saltwater stamps are linked to your license. The free annual SIP permit application for saltwater fishing has a different process requiring submission by mail.

Key Resident Fishing License Options

Basic Resident Fishing License

  • $15 annually
  • Covers freshwater and saltwater
  • Add SIP permit for saltwater
  • Add trout license for trout fishing

Senior Resident Fishing License

  • $4 annually
  • Cheaper option for seniors 65+

Free Lifetime Sportsman’s License

  • Totally free
  • For seniors born before July 1, 1952
  • Includes hunting and fishing privileges

Optional Youth License

  • $10 annually
  • Good until 17th birthday
  • Includes trout privileges

Non-Resident and Commercial Licenses

For non-residents 16 and older, a basic annual fishing license costs $50 and covers fresh and saltwater fishing. The $25 annual trout license must be added to fish for trout.

Those wishing to fish recreationally in Georgia for shorter periods can buy a 1-day non-resident license for $10, with additional days costing $3.50 each.

Commercial fishing has added requirements beyond the licensing fees below:

  • Resident commercial license: $20 annually
  • Non-resident commercial license: $200 annually

Applications for commercial licenses must be submitted by mail or in person with required proof of residency.

Key License Expiration Dates

  • Most recreational licenses expire December 31st the year after purchase
  • Some shorter-term licenses expire earlier
  • SIP permits for saltwater fishing expire 365 days from exact issue date, regardless of fishing license duration

Be sure to renew early to prevent unexpected expiration, since licenses expire at the end of the last date printed. Renewing extends the access period by a full 365 days.

Purchasing a Georgia Fishing License

With diverse freshwater fishing opportunities across the state and an Atlantic coastline ripe for saltwater angling, Georgia is a top fishing destination in the American South.

To legally fish these waters, all anglers 16 and older normally need a fishing license, with additional permits required for trout and saltwater fishing. Understanding Georgia’s recreational fishing license options ensures you have the necessary credentials before hitting the water.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) offers both annual and short-term licenses to accommodate different fishing needs. Buying online through the Go Outdoors Georgia portal provides 24/7 access, while calling 1-800-366-2661 connects you with local DNR representatives during business hours. In-person purchases can also be made across the state through approved license agents such as bait-and-tackle shops, major retailers like Walmart, and DNR regional offices.

Key Steps When Buying Your License

When purchasing online, you can conveniently access previously bought licenses by providing your driver’s license number, DNR customer ID, or Social Security Number along with your date of birth. This allows license reprints if needed while updating any changed personal information. Providing your email address also triggers handy reminders as your license nears expiration.

If buying a saltwater fishing license, be sure to add the required annual Saltwater Information Program (SIP) permit for free. The SIP permit application has a different submission process requiring applicants to fill out and mail in a form.

Those wishing to fish for mountain trout must similarly add a paid trout license to their annual resident or non-resident fishing license. Bundled “sportsman’s” license packages are also available covering both hunting and fishing privileges, including trout.

Key License Duration & Expiration Details

Once purchased, annual Georgia fishing licenses are valid for a full 365 days from the printed date, with the expiration typically falling on December 31st the following year. This duration applies to basic resident and non-resident licenses, trout stamps, and certain specialty permits.

Saltwater Information Program permits are a notable exception, expiring 365 days from the exact date of issue instead of aligning with the fishing license expiration. So be sure to track SIP expiration separately if saltwater fishing.

For the best value, consider renewing your fishing license early to add another 365 days while there is still time on your current credential. This “stacking” means you stay covered for the full subsequent duration rather than losing days paying late. Many anglers stack licenses to maintain fishing access for multiple years.

Key Exceptions & Discounts

While those 16 and older normally need a paid Georgia fishing license, certain exceptions and discounts apply:

  • Youth under 16 can get an optional $10 annual license good until their 17th birthday. It includes mountain trout privileges.
  • Senior resident licenses lasting one year cost only $4 annually for anglers 65 and over.
  • Georgia residents born before July 1, 1952 benefit from a free lifetime sportsman’s license covering fishing and hunting.
  • Military veterans who served on qualifying active duty may receive a free annual honorary fishing license.

In addition, residents who are permanently disabled may apply for discounted disability fishing licenses issued at $3 annually or $9 for three years.

Understanding Georgia’s recreational fishing license options allows you to purchase the necessary credentials for legal access to the state’s world-class freshwater fisheries and Atlantic coastline. Be sure to confirm requirements for trout and saltwater fishing, watch expiration dates closely, and consider discounts or license bundles to maximize your time on the water.

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