Virginia Saltwater Fishing License

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Anglers ages 16 to 64 need a license to fish* in our local waters. If you are 65 and over you do not need a license but you must enroll in the Virginia Fisherman Identification Program (FIP) FishLittleCatch(read more on FIP here).

The cost for a resident to purchase a license is $17.50.

The cost for license a boat (valid for all anglers on the boat) is $48.00.

There are lifetime passes and short-term licenses, and more details can be found here.

You do NOT need a license if you:

  • Are fishing from your private property/pier (including your guests)
  • Have a reciprocal fishing license from Maryland
  • Are on a private boat with a boat licenseFishing Pier at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel
  • Are fishing from a licensed headboat, charterboat or public pier

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Where to purchase a license

Apply online through the Virginia.gov website here.

Call 1-866-721-6911 (available Monday – Friday)

In person at a local, licensed agent, listed in the following chart.

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*the license is for recreational, non-commercial use of a rod-and-reel (hook and line), handline, spear or gig, cast net, or up to two eel pot in Virginia’s tidal saltwater areas including the Atlantic Ocean out to the three mile limit.

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