Getting an Illinois Fishing License: A Simple Guide

Studying Time: 6 minutes

Illinois is called the “Prairie State,” however huge stretches of grasslands aren’t the one form of pure habitat right here. There are many freshwater fisheries, full of Salmon, Walleye, Trout, Steelhead, Bass, and extra. Earlier than you attain on your rod, although, you’ll must get your arms on an Illinois fishing license.

On this information, we’ll begin with a common overview of who wants a fishing license in Illinois. After, we’ll delve into the distinction between resident and non-resident licenses, prices, reductions and particular circumstances, and the place you should buy your license.

Understand that Illinois is only a freshwater fishing state, with no saltwater fisheries. So after we speak about getting a state fishing license, that is what we’re referring to!

Who wants a fishing license in Illinois?

Any angler over the age of 16 wants to hold a sound license when fishing, whether or not fishing alone or on a constitution. This is applicable to each residents and non-residents. Nonetheless, the price of your license differs relying on whether or not or not you’re a resident. There are additionally a number of conditions the place Illinois residents can fish license-free.

Earlier than we delve into the specifics, it’s essential to know there’s one group that may fish license-free in Illinois no matter residency. In case you’re a veteran who’s no less than 10% disabled or in receipt of a complete incapacity pension, simply deliver alongside your veteran’s incapacity card from the Secretary of State. No extra incapacity allow or license is required.

Data for Residents

An Illinois resident is somebody who has lived in Illinois for no less than 30 days previous to their license utility. Additionally they don’t declare residency or preserve a everlasting abode in another state.

Have your driver’s license or ID card on you when making use of for a license. This manner, you possibly can show your residency. In case you’re underneath the age of 21, it’s a must to be the kid of an Illinois resident who matches into the above class.

The next teams can fish license-free:

  • Illinois residents who’ve a incapacity. You have to be in possession of a State disabled particular person I.D card that exhibits a Class 2 or Class 2A incapacity.
  • Individuals on lively obligation within the Armed Forces. In case you entered the service from Illinois and are an Illinois resident, chances are you’ll fish with no license when on depart.
  • Illinois residents who’re taking a toddler underneath the age of 16 fishing. In case you’re not fishing, then no license is required. In case you’ll be serving to out, nonetheless, you’ll must buy a full-cost license.
  • Illinois residents who’re homeowners or tenants of a property the place waters circulation on or over it may well fish license-free. This rule doesn’t apply to residents who reside in a subdivision with a lake. On this case, you’ll must buy a license.

The next teams are eligible for reduced-price fishing licenses:

  • Illinois residents aged 65 and over are eligible for a reduced-price senior fishing license.
  • Illinois residents aged 75 or older are eligible for a reduced-price tremendous senior fishing license. This prices solely $1 plus a .50 dealing with payment.
  • Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces who’re Illinois residents are eligible for half-price licenses after getting back from service or mobilization. To buy this license, contact the Springfield workplace on 217-782-6302.

Prices for Residents

There’s a very good number of fishing licenses to select from in case you’re an Illinois resident. Whether or not you need to fish for a day or go for a lifetime of angling, there are alternatives for everybody. Costs depend upon the size and sort of license you need to buy.

Resident License Kind Price
Resident Fishing License (24 Hour) $5.50
Resident Fishing License (Annual) $15.00
Resident Fishing License (Lifetime) $435.00
Resident Mixture Searching/Fishing License (Annual) $765.00
Resident Senior Fishing License (Annual) $7.75
Resident Senior Mixture Searching/Fishing License (Annual) $13.50
Resident Tremendous Senior Fishing License (Annual) $1.50
Resident Tremendous Senior Combo Searching and Fishing License (Annual) $2.75
Resident Veteran Fishing License (Annual) $7.75
Resident Veteran Mixture Searching/Fishing License (Annual) $13.50

Data for Non-Residents

In case you’re merely visiting Illinois, chances are high you’ll must pay on your license until you’re underneath the age of 16. The one exception to this rule is in case you’re a veteran with a incapacity.

The principle distinction between resident and non-resident choices is that non-residents should not eligible for lifetime Illinois fishing licenses. You additionally can not buy mixture fishing and looking licenses. It’s essential to purchase these individually in case you want to partake in each actions.

Prices for Non-Residents

Costs for non-residents additionally differ relying on the size and sort of license you’d like to purchase:

Non-Resident License Kind Price
Non-Resident Fishing License (24 Hour) $10.50
Non-Resident Fishing License (3 Day) $13.50
Non-Resident Fishing License (Annual) $31.50

Extra Necessities

We’re virtually carried out, we promise! By now, you in all probability have a good suggestion of the kind of Illinois fishing license that’s good for you. Relying on the place you select to fish, you may additionally must buy stamps as a way to goal sure species. This rule applies to each residents and non-residents, with the costs remaining the identical.

Individuals who don’t want to purchase fishing licenses additionally don’t want to purchase a stamp, e.g. in case you’re an individual with a incapacity. In case you’re eligible for the tremendous senior license, you’ll be paying much less for the stamps, too. Right here’s a breakdown of the totally different stamps, in addition to the prices:

Kind of Stamp Price
Inland Trout Stamp $6.50
Lake Michigan Salmon Stamp $6.50
Resident Tremendous Senior Inland Trout Stamp $0.50
Resident Tremendous Senior Inland Trout Stamp $0.50
Resident Tremendous Senior Lake Michigan Salmon Stamp $0.50

The place to Purchase Your Illinois Fishing License

24-Hour, Multi-Day, and Annual Licenses

There’s a wide range of methods for each residents and non-residents to purchase an Illinois fishing license, whether or not you like to do it in particular person or on-line. Merely use one of many choices under and prepare to move out onto the water:

  • On-line. Buy your license from the consolation of your individual house inside minutes. Ensure you have your related paperwork (normally your passport or ID card) handy, and also you’re good to go! You may both print out your license or save a duplicate to your cellphone.
  • In particular person. There’s an enormous number of locations that promote Illinois fishing licenses, together with Walmart and bait and sort out retailers. To search out the closest authorized vendor to you, merely go to the License and Allow Distributors part of the Illinois DNR web site and choose your county or metropolis. 

Lifetime Licenses

Need to buy a lifetime fishing or mixture license? It’s important to print and fill out a kind from Illinois’s DNR web site. That is relevant for Illinois residents solely.

Return your accomplished kind, in addition to a examine made out to the Illinois Division of Pure Sources and a duplicate of your driver’s license, to the next tackle:

Illinois DNR Lifetime License

One Pure Sources Means 

P.O. Field 19458 

Springfield, Illinois 62794-9458

It may take as much as 90 days for the Workplace of Regulation Enforcement to evaluate and settle for your utility. So ensure you issue on this time when making use of on your license!

What occurs if I lose my license?

In case you’re fearful about shedding your license, your greatest guess is to buy it on-line. This manner, you don’t have to hold the bodily license with you. An digital copy downloaded in your cellphone will do the job.

And in case you do lose your license? Don’t fear. Getting a substitute is fairly stress-free. In case you bought your license on-line, you possibly can reprint it at no extra price right here. You can even reprint your license on-line in case you bought it from a vendor. The transaction will incur a small payment.

In case you purchased your license from a vendor and need to exchange it in particular person, you’ll must pay $3 per merchandise (the license itself and any extra stamps). There’s additionally a small transaction payment.

Do I’ve to resume my license?

In a phrase: sure! It’s because each Illinois fishing license expires on March 31 annually, even lifetime licenses. You may renew your license from March 1 annually. For instance, if you are going to buy your license on or after March 1, 2021, it’ll be legitimate till March 31, 2022.


We’ve tried to cowl the whole lot, however in case you nonetheless have questions on getting your fishing license in Illinois, it’s greatest to get in contact together with your native DNR workplace. You can even depart us a remark under. Now it’s time to seize your license, rods, and reels, discover a information close to you, and begin fishing!

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