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Arizona Fishing Licenses

Arizona fishing licenses are required by the AZ Game and Fish Department to partake in recreational fishing in the state. Additionally, Arizona commercial fishing licenses are required for anglers who would like to make a living fishing or conducting fishing-related activities. For instance, enthusiastic anglers who enjoy showing others the many different aspects of fishing in Arizona waters can apply for commercial fishing guide credentials, as opposed to another commercial fishing license, such as the Aquatic Stocking License. Regardless of whether you would like to fish for sport or business, the Arizona Game and Fish Department requires anglers to apply for the appropriate fishing license through the department prior to engaging in any fishing activities. A number of recreational and commercial Arizona fishing permit options are available to choose from, depending on factors such as the applicant’s residency status, age, whether they would like to combine fishing privileges with hunting privileges and the desired length of the license’s validity period. Prior to submitting a fishing license application, anglers should peruse their options and decide exactly which fishing license is appropriate for their purposes. Applicants should also decide how long they plan to fish into the future. Once you have determined these details, apply for the appropriate fishing license through one of the available purchase methods provided by the AZ Game and Fish Department. For more information on how to get fishing licenses in Arizona for recreational or commercial use, read through the sections outlined below:

  • Arizona new fishing licenses
  • Arizona commercial fishing licenses


Arizona New Fishing Licenses

Getting a new Arizona fishing license is required for all anglers who plan to head out on state waters for a fishing trip. To apply for an Arizona recreational fishing license, complete a fishing license application either online through the state’s Game and Fish Department website or in person from one of over 300 state-authorized license dealers.

Recreational fishing license fees differ based on the category of license. The AZ Game and Fish Department differentiates between fishing licenses based on a number of factors including the length of the license’s validity, the applicant’s residency status, the additional stamps that may be required to add additional fishing privileges and whether or not the applicant would like a combination fishing and hunting license. For example, fees for Arizona resident fishing licenses are less than non resident fishing permits due to the discount afforded to residents. Likewise, fees for annual fishing credentials are higher than single day fishing stamps. Keep in mind that applicants must submit proof of residency when applying for a residential permit to fish. To be considered a resident, applicants must have lived within the state of Arizona for at least six consecutive months prior to submitting the Game and Fish Department’s fishing permit application.

Note: Another option to consider when getting fishing license credentials is the community permit. This special license allows you to fish in 15 special stocked communities within the state.

Arizona Commercial Fishing Licenses

Anglers who would like to use their fishing expertise to gain profit must apply for an Arizona commercial fishing license. The Arizona Game and Fish Department offers commercial fishing licenses in the form of fishing guide licenses, which can be used to launch a personal fishing guide business. However, before applying to get a fishing guide license, make sure you know what the position of a fishing guide entails in the state of Arizona.

Arizona fishing guides are individuals who receive payment for fishing-related guiding services. These can include showing clients the best places to fish in Arizona, instructing a group of individuals how to properly handle a fishing rod and other related services. However, in order to get a commercial fishing license in Arizona through the Game and Fish Department, applicants must first submit a commercial fishing license application and take the necessary fishing guide exam. Applicants must pass the test with a score of 80 percent or higher before they will be allowed to buy commercial fishing licenses. Once the test is passed, applicants must provide proof of identification in the form of their Arizona driver’s license or similar document. Additionally, commercial fishing license holders must submit reports and renewal forms to the Game and Fish Department. In order to maintain good standing, commercial fishing licenses must be renewed regularly. Prior to completing these renewals though, fishing guides must submit proper fishing guide reports on a regular basis in order to facilitate a seamless fishing license renewal process.

Fishing Frequently Asked Questions

Oftentimes you can buy a fishing license through your state’s fishing department website. You will most likely need to create an account on the webpage and have a printer nearby to finalize your transaction. Make sure to also have a valid credit card on hand, as no other form of payment is accepted by state departments online. Take note that, as proof of your residency, you may be required to enter your driver’s license number.
In a general sense, a good number of states offer the following types of fishing licenses: a regular fishing license and a commercial fishing license. Depending on where you reside, you may also have the option to get a saltwater license to fish, if you are by coastal waters. In addition to these permits, you may be required to buy a fishing stamp, depending on the specific type of fish species you intend to catch.
A regular fishing permit is often valid for the period of a full year. However, you may also have the option to obtain a license to fish that is good for 24 hours or 72 hours, for example. In some instances, a weekly fishing license or a lifetime license may also be available. Lifetime licenses to fish are the most suitable option for those anglers who intend to fish for the duration of their lives. Keep in mind that if you would like to continue fishing after the expiration date of your current licensure, you will be required to get a new permit to fish.
The fees related to a state fishing license may vary, depending on a few factors. But senior residents and military veterans can usually get a fishing license that is free of charge, as long as they can present official documentation that supports their residency or military service. Resident licenses to fish are often more affordable than nonresident licenses. The most costly licenses are for those who would like to get lifetime credentials.
In the event that you have lost your fishing license or it was stolen, the most common way to obtain a duplicate is through your state’s fishing department. You may be required to make an in-person visit to a nearby office or to contact a licensed agent directly. Depending on where you reside, you may also have the option to order a fishing permit replacement online. But, to be sure, it is important that you double check with your state department first, as you may also need to bring in certain documentation, such as your driver’s license or ID card.
This site is privately owned and is neither affiliated with, nor endorsed by, nor operated by a government agency.