FREE Fishing License for the Disabled [Detailed Guide]

FREE Fishing License for the Disabled

Everyone loves fishing, and everyone needs a fishing license too. The most expensive category is of course for non-residents.

There are many special license categories, including children, seniors, veterans, and similar. One of those categories is disabled.

Free fishing license for the disabled anglers is available in almost all states, however, in some cases there is a small fee to pay, or additional tags or permits for specific fish species. Holders of free licenses still have to obey the law and respect legal limits, closed season, and equipment allowed.

To obtain a license for disabled, you have to apply and prove your disability. This is necessary to prevent others to misuse it.

Unless stated differently by the state for specific circumstances, license is required for all people participating in fishing even if they are not the ones catching fish. So, if you are accompanying a disabled person, you also need it.

Here I will tell you more about licenses for disabled, tell you how to get them, and list a few states with various rules.



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Is Fishing License for Disabled Always FREE?

Reduced fees always apply, however, fishing license for disabled is not always completely free. Some states even have different disability categories.

Here is one example. In Georgia, disabled anglers have to pay $3 for a year license, plus a $3 transaction fee. It is a reasonable price, especially when compared with a full-fare price for non-residents which costs $50 for one year.

The same state offers lifetime honorary license for totally blind anglers with no extra charge, which means that not all disabilities are treated the same when it comes to licenses.

To be safe, check the up-to-date info on official state websites. Info stated here may change in the future, and you are responsible for knowing valid information.

Of course, every state has different rules.

How to Apply for a FREE Disabled Fishing License?

So, how to apply for a disabled fishing license and what do you need?

Again, this depends on a state itself, but some things are always necessary. Disabled anglers must have a valid identification document (drivers license, ID card, or a passport), same as any other angler.

In addition to that, you need a proof that you are disabled. Licensed physician can issue the required document.

Application can be done online, or in offices of a regulatory body (fish and wildlife services), depending on a state and license required. If you are applying for a lifetime license, you will most definitely be asked to show up in person.

All official websites have phone numbers or emails published to assist disabled anglers who wish to obtain a license.

For example, in Iowa, you can download a form, fill it, and give it to your doctor to add his/her credentials and confirmation that you are disabled. Fulfilled form can then be sent to the relevant authorities.

Every state has a bit different application process, but every single detail is provided on official websites.

Can you Get FREE Lifetime Fishing License for Disabled?

Lifetime fishing license for disabled anglers is available in some states, and for certain disabilities. I already mentioned Georgia and blind anglers.

Colorado is another state that provides free lifetime licenses for disabled. This is only valid for permanently and totally disabled, no matter the disability. To obtain it, you have to options. One is to download a form, enter your info, and send it via email. Another is to it in person. Of course, you must provide proof of disability.

In Arkansas, disabled military veterans can “buy” lifetime fishing license for $1.5.

As you can see, disabled anglers are eligible for lifetime licenses in many states, and those licenses are either free or sold for an incredibly low price.

Do Disabled Veterans Get FREE Fishing License?

Disabled veteran fishing license is available in some states as a special category. I already mentioned Arkansas.

If this category is not available, then you can either get a veteran license or a disabled license that is free or sold at an extremely low price.

States that distinguish disabled veterans from other disabled anglers at least when it comes to fishing, define disabled veterans as those who are disabled between 50/60 (depending on a state) and 100%. Texas offers such license for free if you are more than 50% disabeled. In California, you will have to pay a small fee.

Listing all states and specific license requirements would take too much, and I’m writing these basic comparisons so that you can see what to expect. As I already said, you need to check up to date inform yourself.

Can you Fish Without a License if you are Disabled?

Free fishing license for the disabled is not the same as “no license required”.

Fees from licenses go towards conservation, but that is not their sole purpose. By issuing licenses, authorities can know how many people are fishing in the area and learn how it affects the ecosystem. In addition to that, every license holder is obligated to obey the law and make sure that all rules and regulations are followed.

Some anglers, like small children, do not need a license at all, but other anglers do. It is safe to assume that everyone needs it at any time, unless specified otherwise by the authorities.

There are rare examples where you don’t need it. Mississippi allows you to fish without a license (but you have to obey rules in the same way as those who do have it). When doing so, you must have your ID and a proof of disability with you so that you can show it to the authorities on request.

In some cases, mentally disabled anglers can fish without a license if they are accompanied by a person who holds a valid license, or they are fishing in an organized therapy group.

All these rules are a subject to change of course.

FREE Fishing License for the Disabled - Apply

How Much is a Fishing License for Disabled in ...

Fishing license for disabled is very affordable, but not always free. Here is a short list that will show you these small price variations in different states.

Fishing License for Disabled in California

Free fishing license for disabled in California is not available. Even totally disabled anglers must pay a fee, which is small, but higher than in some states I mentioned before.

There are two categories. Disabled veteran license costs $8.24, and Mobility Impaired, Blind or Developmentally Disabled Individuals license is free.

Fishing License for Disabled in Florida

In Florida, disabled anglers can get a free license for fishing, that does not include tags for certain species, like tarpon. These licenses are available for residents and are issued for 2 or 5 years, depending on proof of disability.

Fishing License for Disabled in Georgia

I already mentioned Georgia, but here is a short recap. Disabled anglers can get a license for a $3 transaction fee and a license fee that is $3 for one year, or $9 for three-year license. Blind anglers can get lifetime free license.

Fishing License for Disabled in Washington

Only those with permanent disability are eligible for a special category of license. To get the license, you must download a form, provide your details, attach a proof of disability, and email it to the relevant authorities. When your application gets approved, you are eligible for a fee reduction. The cost of a discounted yearly license is $11.

Fishing License for Disabled in Texas

In Texas, license is not required for those with intellectual disability who are fishing with a family member who is a valid license holder, or as a part of a therapy fishing group. Disabled veterans need a license but can get it for free. Otherwise, disability licenses at reduce rate are not available.

Fishing License for Disabled in Kentucky

Kentucky offers disabled veterans to buy disabled sportsman or senior license that comes at a reduced fee. Although there is no veteran category, there is a discount for them.

Both veterans and others with disability must have valid ID and proof of disability. Cost of the license is $5.

Fishing License for Disabled in Oklahoma

Disability licenses are available for residents who have valid proof of disability. There are two categories. One is disabled anglers who can get a five-year license for $10. Other is disable veterans lifetime combo license that can be purchased for $25.

Fishing License for Disabled in Oregon

In Oregon, residents who are disabled veterans (25% disability or more), can get a free fishing and hunting license. This excludes some special tags that can be bought at a reduced fee. Other anglers with disabilities can get a free fishing permit. However, permit is not the same thing as a license. Permit allows fishing from an anchored boat, and from certain docs. For other locations, you will have to get a license. The permit is valid for 5 years.

Fishing License for Disabled in Ohio

And lastly, Ohio. Disabled veterans can apply for a free license if they can provide valid proof of disability. Mobility impaired or legally blind anglers can get free lifetime licenses.

You know how I said that those who participate in fishing in any way need a license? Well, in Ohio, if a blind or intellectually disabled person has someone to assist, that person doesn’t need a license as long as both persons use just one fishing line.

FREE Fishing License for the Disabled - Lifetime


Obtaining a free fishing license for the disabled is a fairly simple process, if such license is available. Otherwise, disabled anglers have to pay a small fee.

There is a good thing in some states, and that is a free lifetime license for disabled, but it is not always available for all kinds of disabilities.

To get any of these you have to provide proof of disability issued by a licensed physician. It is important not to confuse free license with no license required. Always check up to date info a fish responsibly!

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