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Recreational Licenses in Florida

Many different recreational activities exist in Florida, and some of these activities require a license. Different licenses are issued for different activities, such as a hunting license, freshwater fishing license, and saltwater fishing license. These licenses permit residents and visitors of Florida to hunt a certain amount of game or fish, as well as dictate what types are available to hunt. Anything other than being a passive bystander with a camera is considered participating in the activity of fishing or hunting and requires a license. There are several stipulations governing the issuance of a license to those under the age of 21, as well as special requirements for those who wish to hunt or fish particular managed species of fish or wildlife.

Licenses can be obtained from many different places. In addition, a seasonal license or a lifetime license can be obtained by visitors as well as residents, so be sure to specify which type you need when filling out an application. Learn about who needs a recreational license, who is exempt and the basic rules governing their use in Florida.

Who needs a recreational fishing or hunting license in Florida?

Visitors and residents of Florida need a freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing, or hunting license unless the resident is a member of an exempted group. The license card is required to be with the resident or visitor when he or she is engaged in the licensed activity. Fishing licenses are required for those who are age 16 to 65, and would like to catch or harvest fish in the state. Whether an angler casts a line, catches nothing, catches and releases or catches to keep, if he or she is not a member of an exempted group, then a license is required. A saltwater fishing license is necessary to attempt to take a nonnative or native marine organism, such as a lobster, crab or marine plants. Licenses and permits are necessary for anyone who is assisting in catching or taking freshwater or marine organisms. Even anyone passively participating, such as baiting hooks, setting decoys or calling birds, must have a license.

There are different types of fishing licenses, as well as hunting licenses in Florida. For those who wish to fish in both freshwater and saltwater environments, there is a combination license available. A combination license is also available for those who want to hunt as well as fish in saltwater and freshwater. Visitors to the state can purchase temporary fishing licenses, but those who are fishing from a licensed charter boat are not required to do so. Additional hunting stamps and permits are available in addition to the regular hunting license for those hunters who wish to hunt specialized and managed game species.

Who does not need a recreational fishing or hunting license in Florida?

Children younger than 16 years of age and resident seniors older than 65 are not required to purchase most of the recreational licenses in Florida. However, an officer has the right to ask an exempt child or senior for proof of identification and age. Seniors should be prepared to show a proof of residency, too. Nonresident seniors must hold a Florida hunting license and permit or recreational fishing license and permit unless he or she is fishing with a charter captain, from a charter vessel or an otherwise licensed vessel or licensed pier.

Who is exempt from a recreational fishing or hunting license in FL?

Individuals who hunt or freshwater fish on property they own, property their children own, or their spouse owns in the county of their residence are exempt from the requirements of purchasing a recreational hunting or fishing license. In addition, minors hunting or freshwater fishing on the homestead of their parents are exempt from licensing requirements. Most military personnel are exempt within certain limitations.

Who is defined as a Florida resident, and what are acceptable proofs of residency?

Residents are defined as anyone who has declared Florida as his or her only state of residence with a valid Florida driver’s license or identification card with an in-state address and residency verified by FL Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. In addition, members of the United States Armed Forces stationed in Florida, including dependent children and a spouse residing in the household, are considered residents. An acceptable proof of residency includes a Florida driver’s license or identification card, or Florida Military Orders. Alternative proofs of identification for individuals who do not have a Florida driver’s license or identification card include a current Florida voter information card, Florida homestead exemption and Declaration of Domicile. For children below the age of 18, a student identification card from a Florida school or a parent’s proof of residency will suffice.

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