Get Back to Fishing: Replace Your Colorado License Today

Colorado is home to over 9,000 miles of fishable streams and more than 2,000 lakes and reservoirs, offering world-class fishing opportunities across the state. Whether you’re an avid angler or just getting started, you’ll need a valid Colorado fishing license to partake legally. But what if your license gets lost or damaged along the way? Don’t let that keep you off the water. Here’s everything you need to know about replacing your Colorado fishing license quickly and easily.

Where to Get Your Colorado Fishing License

Before exploring the replacement process, it’s helpful to understand where you can obtain a Colorado fishing license in the first place. There are three main methods offered by Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW):

  • Online through the CPW website. This is often the fastest and most convenient option.
  • By phone at 1-800-244-5613. Call to speak with a sales agent who can process your order over the phone.
  • In person at any CPW office, park, or from authorized license sales agents such as sporting goods stores. Visit a sales agent to make a purchase in person.

Colorado Fishing License Fees

License fees vary based on residency, age, duration, and other determining factors. The most common options include:

  • Resident Annual: $39.71
  • Non-Resident Annual: $113.03
  • Senior Annual: $9.93
  • 1-Day: $16.94
  • Additional Day: $16.94
  • Youth Annual: $11.94

Review the full breakdown of fees on the CPW website to choose the appropriate license type for your needs.

What To Do If Your Colorado Fishing License is Lost or Damaged

Despite your best efforts, fishing licenses can occasionally get lost amid other items in your tackle box or backpack. They can also become weathered, faded, or damaged after repeated use under variable conditions. If this occurs, you’ll need to purchase a replacement license through CPW’s systems.

Don’t worry, CPW has implemented a straightforward process to get your Colorado fishing license replaced quickly:

Visit the CPW Website To Purchase a Duplicate

The easiest route is to visit the CPW website and login to your online account. From there, select the option to purchase a duplicate license. You will need to fill out key details like your name, customer ID, date of birth, etc. There is a $5 duplicate license fee that will be charged.

Once submitted, you can choose to have your replacement fishing license delivered electronically to your email address on file or via standard mail. Expect 1-2 days for electronic delivery or 5-7 days for standard mail.

Call the CPW Licensing Line

As an alternative, you can call the CPW Licensing Line at 1-800-244-5613. Explain to the sales agent that you need to purchase a duplicate fishing license. Be prepared to provide identifying details so they can look up your account and process the transaction. This will also incur the standard $5 duplicate license fee.

Visit an Authorized License Agent In Person

Your third option is to visit any CPW office, park, or authorized license agent in person. Let them know you need to replace a lost or damaged fishing license. They will be able to assist you through the process on-site, including collecting the $5 duplicate fee and printing out a new license immediately.

What To Do If Pulled Over Without Your License

Ideally you’ll have your physical license card with you anytime you’re fishing. However, if it’s lost in transit while the replacement is being processed, here are some tips:

  • Keep valid photo ID and proof of your license purchase with you while fishing. This could include a printed receipt, bank/credit card statement, or confirmation email showing you have an active license.
  • If asked by a game warden, be upfront that your license was recently lost/damaged and a replacement is being processed. Provide the documentation you have.
  • In most cases, they will allow you to continue fishing if there are no other violations. But it’s always best to replace the license ASAP to avoid complications!

You might wonder if you can hold off on replacing your fishing license right away. While not having it in your possession is usually not punishable if other documentation is shown, there are some risks to avoid:

  • Without a valid fishing license card, you are still technically fishing illegally per Colorado regulations. Replacing it promptly reduces this liability.
  • Waiting until your next scheduled trip also means going longer without a physical license card to show proof if questioned.
  • As time passes, the small details surrounding your license (like specific issue/expiration dates) can fade. This makes on-the-spot verification more difficult.
  • For frequent or annual license holders, an old license could show incorrect personal details like an outdated address if you’ve recently moved.

In summary, it’s smartest to replace lost or damaged fishing licenses through CPW as soon as possible. The online, phone, and in-person replacement process is quick and affordable. Doing so keeps you legally covered and avoids any hassles down the road!

Colorado Residency and Eligibility

When applying for a Colorado fishing license, an important factor that determines your eligibility and fees is official state residency. So what constitutes a legal Colorado resident?

Proof of Colorado Residency

To qualify for resident license rates, you must provide documentation clearly proving your official residency status. This includes:

  • A valid Colorado-issued driver’s license or identification card showing your current Colorado address. A driver’s license or state ID card is the most universal proof.
  • Documentation showing 6 months of continued residency like mortgage statements, utility bills, tax records, etc.

Applicants under the age of 18 can provide a parent/guardian’s Colorado driver’s license and documentation showing 6 months residency instead.

Non-residents who cannot provide proof of residency will still be eligible, but must pay the higher non-resident license rates.

Establishing New Residency

If you are new to Colorado and do not yet meet the 6 month residency requirement, you still have options to qualify for resident rates:

  • Active military personnel and dependents stationed in Colorado can provide current military orders showing relocation to the state.
  • Full-time students can provide proof of enrollment and attendance for the current semester along with corroborating documentation (lease, bills, etc).

In both cases, applicants will sign an affidavit confirming they plan to officially establish Colorado residency. Once the 6 month threshold is met, a Colorado driver’s license/ID would need to be acquired before the next license renewal.

College Students and Residency

Determining residency can be tricky for college students. Even if you are living in Colorado temporarily while enrolled, out-of-state and international students are still classified as non-residents since their permanent address has not officially changed.

There are some qualifying exceptions – like Colorado high school graduates attending college in-state while still claiming their parent’s address. But in most cases, college students will need a non-resident license.

The key factor is whether you’ve taken formal steps to become a legal Colorado resident, like getting an in-state driver’s license and registering your vehicle locally. Simply attending college for a period of time is not sufficient for residency status.

Purchasing Your License As a Non-Resident

If you do not meet the requirements for Colorado residency, no problem! You can still enjoy world-class fishing – you’ll just need to purchase a non-resident fishing license. Here’s what to know:

Eligibility Requirements

A non-resident fishing license can be purchased by anyone who does not permanently reside in Colorado, including:

  • Out-of-state visitors
  • International travelers
  • College students from other states/countries

You’ll need to show valid ID like an out-of-state driver’s license or passport when asked by an officer.

Applicable Fees

As highlighted earlier, non-resident license fees are higher since they help fund wildlife conservation efforts benefiting both residents and visitors:

  • Non-Resident Annual License – $113.03
  • Non-Resident 1-Day License – $16.94
  • Non-Resident Additional Day License – $16.94

Review all non-resident fishing license options and fees. Consider getting an annual license if you’ll be visiting Colorado frequently to fish throughout the year.

Where To Get a Non-Resident License

Non-residents can purchase a Colorado fishing license through the same onlinephone, or in-person options outlined earlier for residents. You’ll check the non-resident box during the application process and submit payment.

Key Reminders When Fishing in Colorado

Whether you’re a longtime resident or just visiting, be sure to follow all guidelines and regulations to safely enjoy Colorado’s top-notch fishing while protecting the diverse aquatic ecosystems.

Have Your License on You at All Times

Keep your valid Colorado fishing license in your possession anytime you are fishing or transporting your catch. Expect to be asked to show proof by wildlife officers patrolling the areas. An annual license is valid from April 1 to March 31 of the following year.

Know Your Limits

There are specific possession limits set for popular game fish like trout and bass. Be sure to verify the latest limits in the annual Colorado Fishing Brochure and adhere to these caps to avoid citations. Limits help conserve healthy fish populations and aquatic habitats.

Practice Responsible Fishing

While tempting, never fish in any waters marked as “closed” by signage. Be mindful of seasonal access restrictions protecting spawning fish. Only keep what you plan to eat and release all other catches gently. And be vigilant about picking up any litter to preserve Colorado’s natural beauty. Doing your small part makes a meaningful difference!

Replace Your License Promptly

As the famous quote goes: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” We hope this guide has taught you how to replace your Colorado fishing license promptly so you can get back out on the water for a lifetime of memorable fishing adventures!

Remember, if your license gets lost, damaged or destroyed:

  • Visit the CPW website to purchase a duplicate license for $5
  • Call 1-800-244-5613 to order a replacement over the phone
  • See any CPW office, park, or license agent in person

Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be hooking your next trophy catch again in no time. So grab your gear and go make some new fishing tales to tell! The fish are waiting for you.

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