A Step-by-Step Guide on Obtaining a Resident Fishing License in Tennessee

How to Get a Resident Fishing License in Tennessee

The Importance of a Fishing License

Fishing is not only an enjoyable outdoor activity but also a great way to relax and connect with nature. However, it’s essential to obtain the necessary permits before casting your line, as fishing without a license can result in hefty fines or other legal consequences. In Tennessee, residents are required to have a valid fishing license before engaging in any angling pursuits.

Determining Residency Status

If you reside in Tennessee and plan on fishing within the state’s waters, first determine your residency status. To qualify for a resident fishing license, you must meet specific criteria:

  • You possess a valid driver’s license issued by the State of Tennessee
  • You are registered to vote in Tennessee
  • Your federal income tax return lists your primary residence as Tennessee (if applicable)
  • Tennessee is listed on military orders if you are an active-duty military member stationed outside of the state but claim residency there
  • You possess proof of enrollment at a college or university located within Tennessee (full-time students only)

Gathering Required Documents and Information

To apply for your resident fishing license in Tennessee, make sure you have the following documents and information readily available:

  • A valid identification document such as driver’s license or ID card issued by the Department of Safety & Homeland Security
    < li > Proof confirming residency status (e.g., voter registration card or utility bills with your name and address)
    < li > Social security number
    < li > Date of birth

    Choosing the Right License

    Tennessee offers various fishing licenses to cater to different angler needs. Select the option that best suits your requirements:

    Annual Fishing License

    If you plan on fishing throughout the year, it’s recommended to opt for an annual fishing license. This license covers a full calendar year and is valid from March 1st until the last day of February of the following year.

    One-Day Fishing License

    If you’re only planning a single day of fishing or want to try out angling before committing to a longer-term permit, consider purchasing a one-day fishing license. This allows you to fish in Tennessee waters for one specific date.

    Purchasing Your License

    Once you’ve determined your residency status and chosen the appropriate license type, it’s time to purchase your resident fishing license in Tennessee. There are several convenient ways to do this:

    In-Person Purchase

    You can visit one of many authorized retailers across Tennessee that sell hunting and fishing licenses. These include sporting goods stores, outdoor equipment shops, bait shops, and even Walmart locations.

    Online Purchase

    To save time and effort, consider purchasing your resident fishing license online through the official Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) website. The online system provides a user-friendly interface where you can complete your application quickly and securely.

    The Cost of Resident Fishing Licenses

    • An Annual Resident Fishing License costs $34 (plus applicable processing fees)
    • A One-Day Resident Fishing License costs $6 (plus applicable processing fees)
    • Note: Prices may be subject to change; therefore, it’s always advisable to check the official TWRA website for the most up-to-date information.

    Additional Fishing Regulations and Guidelines

    While obtaining a resident fishing license is crucial, it’s equally important to familiarize yourself with Tennessee’s fishing regulations and guidelines. This ensures that you comply with all legal requirements and helps protect fish populations and their habitats.

    Fishing Seasons and Limits

    Tennessee has specific seasons for different fish species, along with size limits, creel limits (the number of fish you can keep), and special regulations for certain bodies of water. Make sure to review these guidelines before heading out on your fishing adventure.

    Catch-and-Release Practices

    To promote sustainable fishing practices, consider adopting catch-and-release techniques whenever possible. By releasing undersized or excess catches back into the water carefully, you contribute to preserving fisheries for future generations.


    A resident fishing license in Tennessee is an essential requirement for residents who wish to enjoy angling within state waters legally. By following these steps outlined above – determining residency status, gathering necessary documents, selecting the right license type, making a purchase through authorized retailers or online platforms – you’ll be well-prepared to embark on memorable fishing adventures while staying compliant with Tennessee’s regulations. Don’t forget to stay informed about any updates or changes by regularly checking the official TWRA website!