This site is privately owned and is neither affiliated with, nor endorsed by, nor operated by a government agency.
Maine Fishing Licenses

Maine fishing licenses are required for residents and non residents to legally fish in state waters. To get a license in Maine, you must be at least 16 years of age or older and complete the fishing license application process through the state’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW). Failure to have a recreational fishing license on your person may result in hefty fines, as well as the revocation of your fishing license privileges. Learn the details about the Maine fishing license application process to ensure you apply for the proper credential. Before applying for fishing licenses in Maine, your first step consists of gathering the required materials. The IFW differentiates between residential and nonresidential licenses, with a significant difference in pricing. Residents receive a reduced rate on fishing permits, so ensure that you have proof of your residency status when applying. Several choices for Maine fishing licenses and combination licenses are available, depending on whether you would like to fish only or conduct other wildlife sports as well. For example, the Maine IFW offers combination fishing and hunting licenses. Buying fishing licenses in Maine can be completed online or in person. To buy a fishing license, visit a local IFW office or apply online through the Maine Online Sportsman Electronic System (MOSES). Online applications are processed immediately, and thereafter applicants may print their license using a home computer. The Maine IFW separates licensing requirements based upon the following types:

  • Freshwater fishing licenses
  • Saltwater fishing licenses


Maine Freshwater Fishing Licenses

Maine freshwater fishing licenses are required for inland fishing in the state. Before getting a freshwater fishing license in Maine, decide which type of freshwater fishing permit you would like to get. Maine’s IFW has the standard annual resident and nonresident fishing licenses, with the resident fishing license available for purchase at a reduced rate, compared to the nonresident document. Options for 15-day, seven-day, three-day and one-day fishing licenses are also available.

For the avid sportsman, Maine’s IFW also offers combination packages. The combination hunting and fishing license is available to residents and nonresidents who are 16 years of age or older, along with the combination fishing and archery license. Interested state residents have the option to purchade the superpack license, which gives the license holder permission to engage in any of the following activities:

  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Archery
  • Muzzleloading
  • Crossbow

Standard recreational fishing licenses are good for a year and expire on December 31 of each year. Explore availability of lifetime freshwater licenses in ME as well. Anglers who have lost their fishing credentials can purchase a duplicate license from the IFW for a small fee. Active-duty military members can also buy a fishing license at a significantly reduced rate.

To get a fishing license in Maine, visit a local IFW office or the MOSES website portal to submit your fishing license application digitally. Be sure to have a valid, approved credit card on hand for payment of the applicable license fee.

Maine Saltwater Fishing Licenses

Maine freshwater fishing licenses are the default license issued by the state’s IFW. However, to fish off the coast, you must get a saltwater fishing permit. Saltwater fishing regulations are handled by the Department of Marine Resources (DMR). As a result, applicants must register with the DMR’s saltwater registry in order to fish off the coast of Maine.

Prior to getting a license to saltwater fish, first purchase a freshwater permit. After obtaining your permit, contact the DMR and inquire about signing up for the Saltwater Registry. Though there is no fee to register for saltwater fishing licenses in Maine, small agent fee may apply. To sign up for the Saltwater Registry, visit the MOSES website and submit your application as you would for an ME freshwater fishing license.

Once you have submitted your name to the DMR Saltwater Registry, you have the right to fish recreationally for all legal marine species off the coast. However, saltwater fishing licenses are only valid for one year, even if you have a lifetime freshwater fishing license. To renew your Saltwater Registration, visit the MOSES website and complete the renewal application each year.

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.