Your Complete Guide to Obtaining a Resident Fishing License in North Carolina

How to Get a Resident Fishing License in North Carolina

Fishing in North Carolina: A Great Outdoor Adventure

Fishing is a popular pastime for many residents of North Carolina. With its diverse range of water bodies, from serene lakes to rushing rivers and beautiful coastal areas, the state offers ample opportunities for anglers to indulge in their favorite hobby. Whether you’re an experienced angler or just starting out, obtaining a resident fishing license is essential before you cast your line.

The Importance of Obtaining a Resident Fishing License

Before we delve into the process of acquiring a resident fishing license in North Carolina, let’s understand why it’s important to have one. The state requires all individuals aged 16 and above to possess a valid fishing license when engaging in recreational fishing activities. By obtaining this license, not only do you comply with legal regulations but also contribute towards conserving and managing fish populations for future generations.

Gather Your Documentation

To apply for a resident fishing license, ensure that you have the following documents ready:

1. Proof of residency: You must establish your residency within the state by providing suitable proof such as driver’s license or identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), utility bills, lease agreement, etc.
2. Social Security number: It is mandatory to provide your Social Security number during the application process.

Navigate through NCWRC Website

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) website serves as your primary resource when applying for a resident fishing license online. Follow these steps:

1. Visit
2. Navigate to “License/Permits” section

Create an Account or Login:

If you are new user on NCWRC website then create an account using your email address and a secure password. If you already have an account, simply log in.

Select the License Type:

Choose the “Resident Fishing License” option from the available license types.

Complete the Application Process

Once you have selected “Resident Fishing License,” follow these steps to complete your application:

1. Confirm Personal Information: Review your personal information displayed on the screen and make any necessary edits or updates.
2. Select Duration: Choose between annual or 10-day fishing licenses based on your preference and intended usage.
3. Optional Add-Ons: Explore additional options like trout stamp, coastal recreational fishing license (CRFL), or other specialized permits if applicable to enhance your fishing experience.
4. Submit Payment: Provide credit/debit card details for payment of fees associated with obtaining a resident fishing license.

Print Your Fishing License

After completing the application process and making payment, you will be redirected to a confirmation page where you can print a temporary copy of your resident fishing license immediately. The permanent version of your license will be mailed to you within 15 days.

Fishing Regulations & Best Practices

While enjoying North Carolina’s abundant waters as an angler, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with state fishing regulations and best practices for responsible angling. Always stay updated on bag limits, size restrictions, specific water body regulations, catch-and-release guidelines, and any seasonal closures that may apply.


Obtaining a resident fishing license in North Carolina is a simple process that ensures compliance with legal requirements while allowing individuals to enjoy their favorite outdoor activity responsibly. By following the outlined steps above through NCWRC’s website, anglers can obtain their licenses efficiently and embark on memorable fishing adventures across this beautiful state!