Exploring Washington’s Fishing License Requirements for Senior Citizens: All You Need to Know

Do Senior Citizens Need a Fishing License in Washington?


If you are a senior citizen living in the beautiful state of Washington, you may be wondering whether or not you need to obtain a fishing license. Fishing is not only an enjoyable activity but can also provide various health benefits for seniors, such as relaxation and physical exercise. In this blog post, we will explore the regulations surrounding fishing licenses for senior citizens in Washington.

Fishing License Requirements in Washington

Washington State requires anglers to possess a valid fishing license while engaging in recreational fishing activities. However, there are certain exceptions and special considerations made for senior citizens.

Fishing License Exemptions for Senior Citizens

Senior citizens aged 70 years or older who have been residents of Washington State for at least 90 consecutive days before applying are eligible for several exemptions when it comes to obtaining a fishing license. These exemptions include:

No-Cost Lifetime Fishing License

Upon meeting the residency requirements mentioned above, senior citizens can apply for a no-cost lifetime fishing license from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). This allows them to fish without needing to renew their license annually and is applicable throughout their lifetime.

Reduced-Fee Combination Licenses

In addition to the no-cost lifetime option, senior citizens aged 70 years or older also have the choice of purchasing reduced-fee combination licenses. These licenses include both freshwater and saltwater endorsements at discounted rates compared to standard fees charged to non-senior anglers.

Disabled Veterans Benefit

Qualified disabled veterans residing within Washington State are eligible for free hunting and fishing licenses with endorsement privileges regardless of age or residency duration.

Purchasing Options

To acquire either the no-cost lifetime fishing license or reduced-fee combination licenses, senior citizens have several purchasing options available to them:


Senior citizens can conveniently apply for a fishing license online through the official website of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. This option allows for quick processing and delivers the license directly to your email.


For those who prefer a more personal touch or require assistance with their application, fishing licenses can be purchased in-person at authorized WDFW license dealers or regional offices throughout Washington State.

Renewal and Additional Information

Once you have obtained your no-cost lifetime fishing license or reduced-fee combination licenses as a senior citizen in Washington, it is important to keep track of renewal dates. Fishing licenses generally expire on March 31 each year, requiring anglers to renew before this date annually.

To stay informed about any changes or additional information regarding fishing regulations, including licensing requirements specific to seniors, it is advisable to visit the official website of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife regularly.


In summary, while recreational fishing in Washington State typically requires individuals to possess a valid fishing license, there are exemptions specifically designed for senior citizens aged 70 years or older. Senior anglers have access to both no-cost lifetime licenses and discounted combination licenses if they meet certain residency requirements. Whether applying online or in-person at authorized locations across the state, obtaining these special permits enables seniors within Washington to continue enjoying their favorite pastime without financial burden while exploring breathtaking natural beauty that abounds within its waters.