Guide to Walmart Fishing License

Kristian Ole



Walmart Fishing License: Fishing is perhaps one of the most popular outdoor activities in the US, and many Americans enjoy the soothing and relaxing feeling that they experience when fishing.

Saltwater, freshwater, and fly fishing are extremely popular hobbies that aficionados take very seriously. You will meet many anglers boasting and talking about their fishing experiences and the best fishing spots they have visited.

In case you are a fishing enthusiast, you should know the importance of fishing license as without one you will be unable to indulge in your favorite hobby.

What is a Fishing License?

You may feel that you can take your fishing rod and tackle box and head out to a river, stream, or pond to catch fish. However, that is not the case. You require a fishing license, which is nothing but permission given to you by the government that you can catch a specific species of fish.

The license also stipulates the number of fish you can catch and retain in a day, or you may have to catch and release the fish, depending on the law governing that particular water body. You need to adhere to the terms of the license or else you can lose it, and that will stop you from enjoying an exciting day of fishing.

You may wonder why you need a fishing license. Actually, it is more important than you think. Due to overharvesting, several species of fish have significantly reduced. So, by limiting the number of fish that one fisherman or angler can catch in a day, the government is doing its bit to protect fish and ensure no species is caught to the brink of extinction.

It is possible to report a person if they catch more fish than the catch limit mentioned in the license. It prevents poachers and illegal fishermen from over-fishing and the fishing license is a way to create checks and balances that fishing enthusiasts have to adhere to.

It is prudent to remember that fishing license is affordably priced and when you utilize one to fish, you needn’t worry as you will not be subject to high fines that illegal fishing attracts. Also, the money that you use to buy the license is used to protect and conserve the different water bodies in the state and educate people about the importance of protecting delicate water habitats and ecosystems.

That is why you should not think twice about buying a fishing license, especially if it is a legal requirement in your state.

Walmart Fishing License Online

Now that you know what is a fishing license and why you need one, let’s take a look at getting Walmart fishing license online.

Previously, to purchase a fishing license, you would have to go to a fishing store and stand in line to get the license. That is time-consuming and tiring. After Walmart signed agreements with different state governments, it is now possible to get a fishing license from Walmart.

Of course, you may feel that you would have to go to the nearest Walmart in your neighborhood to get the license. Walmart stores have a Sports and Outdoor Department that is responsible for issuing fishing licenses to anglers provided they have a photo ID and proof residency.

In the times of COVID-19 pandemic, things have changed and Walmart now issues a Walmart fishing license online. To get the license online, you need to log on to the Walmart website and provide a valid photo identity and proof of residency. Make sure that you also have your credit or debit card handy to pay for the license.

When filling out the online form, you have to provide the following details:

  • The kind of water you want to fish in – river, stream, lake, ocean or pond
  • Your age (and the price of the license is less for anyone under 16 years or a senior citizen)
  • Duration of the license – options are daily, monthly, seasonally, yearly, and lifetime
  • How many licenses do you require? If you are in a group, every person fishing needs their own license. If a person does not have a license, they cannot fish

With the coronavirus pandemic, Walmart is encouraging customers to shop online even though the stores are open and people can walk in to buy the license. However, social distancing has become the norm, and buying the fishing license online has become the mantra. So, you need not drive down to a neighborhood Walmart in your city to get the license.

Of course, this was not the case earlier and anglers had to go physically to the store to get their fishing license. The pandemic has made it easier and more convenient, and getting a Walmart fishing license online is not that difficult. It is a quick and simple process. Once you get the reference number, you can immediately begin fishing without waiting for the actual license.

Walmart allows you to apply for fishing licenses of different durations. It is prudent to remember that by default, all annual fishing licenses expire on 31 December, and hence, if you want to enjoy uninterrupted fishing, you have the responsibility to renew the license.

Why Buy a Fishing License?

In case you live in a state where a fishing license is mandatory, there is no question about skirting the law. The Division of Fish and Wildlife is very stringent about enforcing the law and if you are caught fishing without a license or infringing the terms of the license, the fine can be severe, and in some cases, you may also face imprisonment. An officer from the department can come and inspect, and ask you to show the license. While you may not have the license with you, knowing that you can always give the officer a reference or confirmation number gives you peace of mind.

So, if you are wondering why you should buy a fishing license, remember that it is in your interest. With the help of a fishing license, you will be able to fish without being worried or scared.

Also, you will be doing your bit to protect different fish species. The license clearly states the size and the species that you can catch. If you catch a smaller size, you have to release it back into the water, thereby preserving that species from disappearing from the local waters.

Furthermore, if the fish size is small, it indicates that it is immature and hence, you need to wait until the fish attains a bigger size on maturity. This helps to keep the number of fish of every catchable species high and ensure that you do not interfere in the natural breeding process of the fish. That is why you should not think twice about buying a fishing license.

If you truly enjoy fishing, you should not hesitate to contribute to the protection of the different fish species and water bodies. In doing so, you will ensure you can enjoy years or even decades of enjoyable and memorable fishing experiences.

How Much Does Fishing License Cost at Walmart?

The price of a fishing license at Walmart varies from state to state, and based on many factors. Some of these include the following:

  • Age of the person buying the fishing license
  • Duration of the license
  • State that the person lives in
  • Whether the person is a resident of the state where they are requesting the license
  • Whether the person wants to fish in freshwater or saltwater, or both types of water
  • Whether the license is a duplicate or original one

Also, you should be aware that Walmart charges a small fee to process the fishing license. Here is a cost estimate of a fishing license from Walmart:

  • For a single person who is a resident of the state and aged between 16 and 65 – $19
  • For a person, who is a resident of the state and aged 66 years and more – $10
  • A single day fishing license for a person who is a resident or non-resident – $11
  • Yearly fishing license for a non-resident – $40
  • Three-day fishing license for a tourist – $19
  • Issuance of duplicate license if the original license is lost, misplaced or stolen – $4

As you can see, the fishing license cost at Walmart is not that expensive, and it is best to buy the fishing license online even though it can a couple of hours rather than get fined (or worse imprisoned) for fishing without a license.

You should also read about license exemptions as in certain circumstances, some people do not have to get a license. These can include senior citizens, people with disabilities, children under the age of 16, and veterans. If you fall into one of these categories, you may not have to pay the nominal fee for a fishing license. Of course, this is true only if you fish in the state you reside in. In case you visit another state, you may be eligible for a discount once you furnish the necessary proof but will have to get a fishing license.

How Do I Get a Fishing License at Walmart?

There are many different ways to get a fishing license at Walmart. In fact, getting your license from Walmart is extremely convenient and hassle-free. Here are some of the ways you can get your fishing license:

  • In-person: Visit the nearest Walmart and make sure you carry a photo ID and residency proof. The license form is available at the Sports and Outdoor department of the store. Fill out the form, answer the necessary question, pay for the license, and you are done.
  • Online: In case you cannot visit the store, you can apply for your fishing license online. Remember, the license will be issued only after Walmart verifies the documents that you submit with the license application. You need a debit or credit card to pay for the license. Once your license gets approved, you can print it out.
  • By Phone: In some states, Walmart allows fishing enthusiasts to apply phone. If you use this method, you will have to furnish your personal details and bank information over the phone. Once you do this, the license will be issued. You can print it out or collect it from the store.
  • By Snail Mail: The good news is that if you cannot get your fishing license by visiting the store, applying online, or via the phone, you can use this method. While this takes time but for some people, it can be a convenient way to get the license, especially if your fishing trip is a few months away.

Can You Get a Fishing License at Walmart Anytime?

The answer to this question is a big yes. You can get a fishing license at Walmart anytime. If you intend to visit a store to get the license, remember to check the timings as a local Walmart will accept applications and issue licenses only during regular business hours. The same is true for applying a license over the phone.

On the other hand, if you are planning to get a fishing license by snail mail or online, you can submit your application anytime, without any issues. That is one of the main reasons that most fishing aficionados apply online at Walmart for their license. While it can take a couple of hours to get the license, it is one of the most convenient ways to apply.

States with Walmart Fishing License

All states in the US have laws pertaining to fishing and some or the other laws governing fishing licenses. Hence, you should be aware of these laws as the issuance and cost of the license is based on these laws and several other factors that have already been covered in this guide. Remember that a majority of states are conscious that they need to prevent illegal fishing and poaching if they want to sustain underwater life.

So, without much ado, here is a list of all the states in alphabetical order that permit Walmart fishing licenses:

28New HampshireNH
29New JerseyNJ
30New MexicoNM
31New YorkNY
32North CarolinaNC
33North DakotaND
38Rhode IslandRI
39South CarolinaSC
40South DakotaSD
47West VirginiaWV

As you can see that practically all the states in the US accept a Walmart fishing license. That is because Walmart has an agreement with the state governments to issue a valid license to anglers and fishermen. So, if you get a license through Walmart, it is valid and you will not be penalized for it.

It is also best to remember that if you are taking a child for fishing, you still need to get a license for them. Many people are under the misconception that children do not require a fishing license.

They do and you can get your child a fishing license from Walmart as well. Of course, the cost of this fishing license will be lower. Also, if you are over 65 and a resident of the state, many states do not require you to get a fishing license. You would have to prove your age and residency to get away with paying for the license. In case you are 65 and a non-resident, you will get a discount on the Walmart fishing license.

Get a Fishing License Online

It does not matter which state you reside in, if you want to fish, you will need some type of license. It is best to get your fishing license online as it is convenient. However, before you apply for a fishing license online, you should know the types of licenses you can get. Here are some of the different types of licenses that you can apply for:

One-Day Fishing License:

In case you are visiting a state and want to experience the joys of fishing, this is the perfect license. You can opt for a day fishing license for freshwater or saltwater. The fees will vary for freshwater and saltwater so that is something you should consider when applying for this license.

When applying for one day fishing license, check the state agency where you intend to fish. Remember, license exemptions vary from state to state and can also change without notice. You may be exempt from a fishing license if you fall under the following categories:

  • You are a person with disabilities
  • You are a veteran
  • You are an active military personnel
  • You are a child under a particular age

Many states designate certain days as free fishing days, where anglers and fishermen can fish without getting a license. These dates are released each year and you can enjoy a day’s fishing without paying for a license.

You can purchase a one-day fishing license at Walmart and you can do this online. It could be just the fishing license you need if you are looking to test fishing spots before buying an annual license. You may want to check the rules in the state you buy the one-day fishing license as some states give you a discount if you buy an annual fishing license in the same year as the one day license.

Freshwater Fishing License:

All states in the US have freshwater bodies where you can go fishing. These spots can be either accessed by boat or you can fish from the shore. Most people go to these spots with friends and family and spend a day or a few days to fish.

When you buy a freshwater fishing license, you are making your contribution to conserve the aquatic resources in that state. The money is used to educate anglers, host water conservation workshops, and also fund outreach programs.

You can easily purchase a freshwater fishing license from Walmart. It is an easy and convenient process. As stated earlier, you will need a photo ID and residency proof to get the license. Usually, as soon as you get a reference number, it is possible to start fishing, without having to wait for the actual license.

It is possible to buy a freshwater fishing license online, by phone, visiting a Walmart store, or walking into the county tax collector’s office. Buying it online from Walmart is perhaps the best option as you can do it while sitting in the comfort of your home.

You will find the requirements online on the Walmart website and you will be able to finalize the purchase using your credit or debit card. The price of the license will vary based on the state, whether you are a resident or non-resident, and the duration of the license. Many states offer discounts to veterans, senior citizens, and people with disabilities.

In case you intend to regularly visit the freshwater fishing spot to enjoy a day or two of fishing, it is advisable to opt for a long-term license, such as an annual license or a lifetime license. This license is more cost-effective, and with a lifetime license, you never have to worry about renewing it at the end of each calendar year.

Saltwater Fishing License:

The US has miles of coastline, which is perfect for saltwater fishing. You can enjoy catching redfish in Florida, go trolling off the Californian coast or fish in the back bays of New Jersey. You will always be able to find a stunning saltwater fishing spot but you will require a saltwater fishing license to be able to boast your catch.

You can purchase a saltwater fishing license from Walmart and this you can do online, by phone, walking into the nearest store, or even by mail.

Related article: Fishing near me

You can pay for the license using your credit or debit card and once you get the confirmation number, you can fish without a problem.

However, it is best to remember that every state mandates that a person follows the rules for getting a license. So, it is best to check these before you start fishing. Some states only allow catch and release, wherein once you catch and weigh the fish, you have to release it back into the water. Other states may allow you to take your catch home and enjoy eating it.

If you decide to experience saltwater fishing at the last minute, buying the license online at Walmart is the best option. It will ensure that you get the license without wasting time and you will be able to enjoy saltwater fishing without worries.

The cost of the license at Walmart depends on whether you are a resident or non-resident, the duration of the license, and your age. In several states, senior citizens, people with disabilities, veterans, active military personnel, and kids under the age of 16 (in some states under the age of 14) get discounts or do not require a license.

So, make sure you check the rules and regulations before you apply for a Walmart fishing license online. Once you do this, you can decide whether you want a short-term or long-term fishing license.

It goes without saying that the long-term license is more cost-effective. However, be mindful that an annual saltwater fishing license will expire on December 31st. So, if you want to continue fishing, you would need to renew it. That is why a lifetime fishing license offer value for money as in the long run you save money and you also do not have to worry about the license expiring.

These are the three most popular fishing licenses you will find in the US and you can purchase all three licenses from Walmart. Just log on to the website to finalize your purchase, and you will be able to enjoy a memorable fishing trip with family and friends.

Things to Note When Buying a Walmart Fishing License Online

Here are a few things that you should be aware of before you buy a Walmart fishing license online or offline:

  • In case you intend to fish in a group, every member of the group should have their no own fishing license. If a person does not have a license, they cannot fish.
  • If the person is caught fishing without a license, it attracts a hefty fine and/or imprisonment. It is just not worth taking the risk, considering that fishing license in the US is quite affordable.
  • You can choose from a number of fishing licenses based on your requirements.
  • The cost of the license varies based on the type of water body you intend to fish in.
  • If a fishing spot is not defined as a river, ocean, stream, or pond, it will attract a hefty license fee.
  • Walmart does not mandate that people applying for a fishing license undertake a test at the time of application. However, you will get a booklet that highlights the dos and don’ts, and you are expected to read and follow the instructions without deviation.
  • Make sure that the spot you select for fishing permits it. Otherwise, you can be fined even if you have a fishing license.
  • When you go fishing, be it at a saltwater or freshwater body, you cannot litter, urinate, or pollute the water in any way. It can adversely affect the delicate ecosystem that the fish live in and it could attract a fine.
  • You are responsible for taking safety precautions while fishing, especially if you are fishing in the ocean or river. You should ensure you have the necessary safety gear while you are fishing.
  • In some cases, when the weather is bad, you are prohibited from fishing. So, before you head out to your favorite fishing spot, check the weather forecast so that you do not put yourself in danger.
  • A fishing license is not permission to fish endangered species or fish in areas where fishing is not permitted. It could attract fines and/or imprisonment. Also, Walmart and the government authorities could impose a lifetime ban and prevent you from fishing at all anywhere.
  • While several anglers enjoy fishing alone as it is a relaxing and soothing experience, they should realize that fishing can result in injuries. That is why you should use the right gear for fishing and also carry a first aid box so that if you get injured, you can give yourself first aid before heading to the nearest ER. Being safe from injuries becomes more important when you take kids along.
  • Make sure you wear a lifejacket while fishing if you do not know how to swim. It could save your life if you fall into the water. This is true for oceans, streams, and other water bodies.
  • You do not have to apply for a fishing license if you are fishing in a water body that is in your property.

The Bottom Line

Now you know everything about buying and getting a Walmart fishing license. Make sure you always follow the rules and understand the steps to procure a license. Once you do this, you will find that it is not that difficult to get a license from Walmart, especially if you apply for it online.

Also, when you opt for a license, you know that you are helping the local government protect the marine environment so that the fish and other species living in it can thrive. That way, you will always be able to fish and ensure you enjoy a fun and memorable time without getting on the wrong side of the law.

What do you think about getting a fishing license at Walmart? Have you tried to get one and what was your experience? We would love to hear from you and about your experiences.


About Kristian Ole

Kristian Ole Rørbye, a marine biologist and seasoned angler, shares his fishing adventures and expertise on FishingKris. Join him as he explores the world's waters, one cast at a time.

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