Outer Banks

When Do You Need a Saltwater Fishing License in Florida, USA? (2023 Guide)

Planning a saltwater fishing trip in Florida? Before you cast your line, make sure you have the necessary permits. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss when you need a saltwater fishing license in Florida and provide helpful tips and information. Let’s Fishing Now!

Who Needs a Saltwater Fishing License in Florida?

In Florida, both residents and non-residents are required to have a saltwater fishing license, unless they meet certain exemptions. Some exemptions include:

  • Florida residents aged 65 or older
  • Florida resident disabled veterans and active military members
  • Children under the age of 16

For a full list of exemptions, visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website.

How to Obtain a Florida Saltwater Fishing License

You can purchase a Florida saltwater fishing license through various channels:

  1. Online at the FWC website
  2. By phone: Call 1-888-FISH-FLORIDA (1-888-347-4356)
  3. In person: At authorized license agents, such as sporting goods stores, tackle shops, and tax collector offices

For more information on obtaining a fishing license in other states, visit our Fishing License Requirements by State page.

Types of Florida Saltwater Fishing Licenses

In Florida, you can get different types of saltwater fishing licenses based on where you live, how long you want to fish, and what you want to catch. Here’s a breakdown of the different types:

Resident Licenses

  • Annual Saltwater Fishing License: This license is good for a year from the date it was bought and costs a fair amount for Florida residents.
  • Five-Year Saltwater Fishing License: Offers long-term savings and convenience for Florida residents planning to fish frequently over several years.
  • Combination Licenses: If you plan to fish in both freshwater and saltwater, you can purchase a combination license that covers both activities.

Non-Resident Licenses

  • Three-Day Saltwater Fishing License: This license is good for three days straight and is great for short fishing trips.
  • Seven-Day Saltwater Fishing License: A great option for week-long vacations, this license covers seven consecutive days of fishing.
  • Annual Non-Resident Saltwater Fishing License: For non-residents who plan to fish multiple times throughout the year, this 12-month license is a cost-effective choice.

Special Licenses and Permits

Some activities and species require additional permits. These include:

  • Snook Permit: If you plan to target snook, you’ll need this permit in addition to your saltwater fishing license.
  • Spiny Lobster Permit: For those interested in catching spiny lobster during the lobster season, this permit is required.
  • Tags for tarpon: Anyone who wants to catch or keep a tarpon must buy a tag for each one.

Important Rules and Regulations

To ensure a sustainable and enjoyable fishing experience, follow Florida’s saltwater fishing regulations, including:

  • Adhering to size limits and bag limits for various species
  • Respecting closed seasons and protected areas
  • Practicing proper catch and release techniques when necessary

For detailed regulations and updates, visit the FWC website.


Who needs a saltwater fishing license in Florida?

In general, anyone who wishes to fish in saltwater in Florida needs a saltwater fishing license, with a few exceptions. This includes both residents and non-residents, and applies to both recreational and commercial fishing.

When do I need a saltwater fishing license in Florida?

You need a saltwater fishing license in Florida whenever you are fishing in saltwater, including from shore, a pier, a bridge, a boat, or any other structure that extends into the water. There are some exemptions for certain groups, such as children under the age of 16 and Florida residents who are fishing from land and have a valid Florida Driver’s License or ID card.

How can I obtain a saltwater fishing license in Florida?

You can obtain a saltwater fishing license in Florida online, by phone, or in person at a participating retail store or county tax collector’s office. The cost of the license varies depending on the length of the license and whether you are a resident or non-resident. Additionally, some groups may be eligible for discounted or free licenses.


Most anglers in Florida need a saltwater fishing license to fish legally and have a good time on the water. Before you leave, make sure you know the latest rules and exemptions, and don’t forget to bring your license and any other permits you need. Now that you’re prepared, it’s time to cast your line and enjoy Florida’s abundant saltwater fishing opportunities! For more information on fishing licenses across the United States, explore our Fishing Licence USA resources.

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