A Step-by-Step Guide to Obtaining a Non-Resident Fishing License in West Virginia

How to Get a Non-Resident Fishing License in West Virginia


If you’re planning a fishing trip to the picturesque state of West Virginia, it’s important to ensure that you have all the necessary permits. To legally fish as a non-resident in this beautiful state, you will need to obtain a non-resident fishing license. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the simple steps required to acquire your non-resident fishing license in West Virginia.

Determine Your Eligibility

Before applying for a non-resident fishing license in West Virginia, make sure that you meet the eligibility criteria. This permit is specifically designed for individuals who are not residents of West Virginia and wish to engage in recreational fishing within its boundaries.

Age Requirements

There are no age restrictions for obtaining a non-resident fishing license; however, individuals under 15 years old do not require one if accompanied by an adult possessing the appropriate licenses.

Choose Your License Type

West Virginia offers various types of non-resident fishing licenses depending on your preferences and duration of stay. Here are some common options:

Annual License

Ideal for those planning multiple trips throughout the year or extended stays, an annual license is valid from January 1st through December 31st and grants permission to fish statewide.

Six-Day License

Perfect for tourists visiting just once or twice during their trip, this short-term option provides access to all public waters within West Virginia’s borders for six consecutive days.

Five-Day Bonus Stamp Option

For avid anglers eager to catch trout using natural bait or live minnows during their visit between March 1st and April 30th, adding this bonus stamp allows five extra days of trout fishing for a nominal fee.

Application Process

Acquiring your non-resident fishing license in West Virginia is a straightforward process. You can choose from three convenient methods:

Online Application

Visit the official website of the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and navigate to the licensing section. Follow the instructions provided to complete your application, make the necessary payment, and print out your license.

Phone Application

Contact the toll-free number provided by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources during regular business hours. Provide all required information over the phone and receive your license via email.

In-Person Application

If you prefer face-to-face interaction, visit one of many authorized retailers or regional offices across West Virginia. Fill out an application form, pay applicable fees, and receive your physical copy immediately.

Fees and Payment Options

Non-resident fishing licenses in West Virginia are available at reasonable prices considering their flexibility and duration. The fees depend on which type of license you select:

– Annual License: $48
– Six-Day License: $32
– Five-Day Bonus Stamp Option: Additional $10

Accepted payment methods include credit/debit cards for online or phone applications, as well as cash or check at in-person locations.

Tips for Fishing Success

Now that you have obtained your non-resident fishing license in West Virginia, it’s time to make the most out of your angling adventure! Here are some helpful tips to enhance your experience:

1. Familiarize yourself with local regulations regarding bag limits, size restrictions, and specific water bodies where fishing may be prohibited.
2. Research popular fishing spots within West Virginia based on species preferences.
3. Check weather conditions before heading out on any excursion.
4. Invest in appropriate gear such as rods, reels, and bait for the targeted fish species.
5. Practice catch-and-release techniques to preserve fish populations for future generations.


Obtaining a non-resident fishing license in West Virginia is a simple process that allows you to explore and enjoy the state’s abundant fishing opportunities. Follow the steps outlined in this blog post, select your desired license type, complete the application, pay applicable fees, and get ready for an unforgettable angling experience amidst West Virginia’s stunning landscapes. Happy fishing!