Get Hooked: Where to Get Your Fishing License in Virginia

Planning a fishing trip to Virginia? Before you pack your gear and head out, it’s crucial to obtain the proper fishing license. Virginia requires fishing licenses for all freshwater and saltwater activities, including crabbing and clamming. This guide will explain where and how to get your fishing license in Virginia, and the types of licenses available.

Types Of Fishing Licenses

Resident Licenses

If you’re a resident of Virginia, you can purchase a Resident Freshwater Fishing License for $23 annually. This license allows you to fish in all freshwater bodies in the state, including lakes, rivers, and streams. For saltwater fishing, you’ll need an additional Saltwater Fishing License for $17 annually.

Non-Resident Licenses

Non-residents can purchase a Non-Resident Freshwater Fishing License for $47 annually. This license allows you to fish in all freshwater bodies in Virginia. For saltwater fishing, you’ll need to purchase an additional Non-Resident Saltwater Fishing License for $31 annually.

Special Licenses And Permits

Virginia offers several special licenses and permits:

  • Trout License: Required for anyone fishing in designated trout waters in Virginia. This license can be added to your Resident or Non-Resident Fishing License for an additional $18 annually.
  • Combination License: If you plan to fish in both freshwater and saltwater, you can purchase a Combination License for $39 annually as a Virginia resident or $75 annually as a non-resident.
  • Disability License: Virginia offers discounted fishing licenses for residents with disabilities. You must provide proof of disability to qualify for this license.

How To Obtain A Fishing License In Virginia


The quickest way to obtain a fishing license in Virginia is to purchase one online at the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources website. You’ll need to create an account and provide your personal information, including your name, date of birth, and social security number. You can print your license immediately after completing your purchase.


You can also purchase a fishing license in person at various retailers throughout Virginia. These retailers include sporting goods stores, bait and tackle shops, and Walmart stores. You’ll need to provide your personal information and pay with cash or credit card.

General Regulations

Before you start fishing in Virginia, it’s important to be aware of the general regulations set by the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. These regulations include:

  • Size and creel limits: Virginia has specific size and creel limits for different fish species. Make sure to check the regulations before you start fishing.
  • Catch-and-release: Virginia has several catch-and-release areas and regulations in place. Follow these regulations to preserve the fish population.
  • Fishing gear: Virginia has specific regulations regarding fishing gear, including the use of barbless hooks in certain areas.

By obtaining the proper fishing license and following the general regulations, you can enjoy a safe and successful fishing trip in Virginia. Remember, fishing isn’t just about the catch; it’s about respecting the environment and preserving our natural resources for future generations.

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