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Get A Fishing License
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Get a Michigan Fishing License

Learn how to get your Michigan fishing license!



In Michigan, individuals aged 17 or older are required to have a fishing license to fish. It is mandatory to carry the license and the identification used for its purchase and present both upon request. Additionally, a fishing license is needed when targeting amphibians, crustaceans, and reptiles in public waters within the state.

While minors under the age of 17 are not required to have a fishing license, they must still comply with all fishing rules and regulations. If an adult assists a minor without a license, the adult must possess a fishing license. However, certain activities do not require the adult to have a license, including:

  • Assisting in landing a fish using a net or hands
  • Assisting in unhooking a fish
  • Setting up the fishing rod with gear
  • Baiting the hook
  • Casting the line for young anglers, as long as the young angler actively participates while the adult provides assistance


There are a couple of exceptions to the fishing license requirements in Michigan. Developmentally disabled individuals or residents of a licensed home for the aged under the Public Health Code may obtain a permit from the Department of Natural Resources to fish without a license if they are part of a group accompanied by one or more adults who hold a valid fishing license.

Residents and nonresidents can also fish without paying license fees on Michigan's free fishing weekends, which occur twice a year.


Michigan offers various types of fishing licenses, and the fees may change each year. It is advisable to visit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website for the most up-to-date rates. The license fees support the department's efforts to protect and enhance Michigan's aquatic life and habitats for the benefit of present and future generations.

For 2021, the license types and fees are as follows:


  • Daily Michigan Fishing License: $10
  • Annual Michigan Fishing License: $26 (valid from March 1 of the current year through March 31 of the following year)
  • Annual Senior Michigan Fishing License: $11
  • Annual Legally Blind Michigan Fishing License: $11
  • Annual Youth Michigan Fishing License (voluntary): $2
  • Combination Michigan Hunt/Fish License (base, annual fishing, 2 deer): $76
  • Combination Michigan Hunt/Fish License Senior: $43


  • Daily Michigan Fishing License: $10
  • Annual Michigan Fishing License: $76
  • Annual Youth Michigan Fishing License (voluntary): $2
  • Combination Michigan Hunt/Fish License: $266

A $1 surcharge is included in the combination licenses, resident annual licenses, nonresident annual licenses, and senior annual fishing licenses. This surcharge aims to educate the public about the benefits of hunting, fishing, and trapping in Michigan and their impact on the conservation, preservation, and management of the state's natural resources.

Full-time, federal, active-duty U.S. military personnel who have maintained resident status are exempt from license fees.


The easiest way to obtain a Michigan fishing license is online through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources website. The website allows you to purchase a license and provides other services such as reprinting a lost license.

You can also purchase a license from authorized license agents across the state. A list of agents is available on Another option is to buy a license at a Department of Natural Resources Customer Service Center near you.

To purchase a license, you will need one of the following:

  • A valid Michigan driver's license or Michigan ID card
  • A valid driver's license from your state of residency
  • A DNR Sport card

When purchasing a license online, you have the option to automatically renew it for the following year.