Gone Outdoors

How to Get an Ohio Fishing License for Life

by Andrea Cordle

When purchasing a fishing license in the state of Ohio, you are helping to protect and preserve the sport of fishing. License fees help state agencies pay for fishery and hatchery management and habitat protection. The fees also fund endangered species programs, and fishing and conservation education. The state does not offer a lifetime fishing license. In most cases, the license has to be renewed each year. There is a general adult license for those aged 18 to 65. The state also offers a youth license for those under the age of 18 and a reduced-cost license for those over 66. The cost of an adult license is $19. Seniors pay $10. The state offers a one-day fishing pass for $11. Those born before Dec. 31 1937 can obtain a free fishing license. Disabled veterans and prisoners of war are also eligible for a free license. Obtaining a license is easy. Those interested can apply online or call for an application. There are also vendors where one can purchase a license.

Call for license

Call 1-800-WILDLIFE (1-800-945-3543) or 614-265-6300.

Request a mail order license application form.

Wait for application to arrive via standard mail.

Fill out application and return. A fishing license is required to take fish, frogs, or turtles from Ohio waterways. You are not required to have a license to fish in a privately-owned pond, lake or reservoir. A license is required to take frogs or turtles from private waters.


Go to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website at www.ohiodnr.com and click on wildlife.

Click on hunting and fishing regulations.

Click the purchase online icon. You will be asked for your credit or debit card number. The website is a government site. The information you provide will be safe and secure.

Wait for a confirmation code. You can then print out the license or you can have the state mail one to you.

Find a vendor

Find a vendor. There are license vendors in every county in Ohio.

Go to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website at www.ohiodnr.com and click on wildlife.

Click on hunting and fishing regulations.

Toggle down to find a vendor in your area.

Type in the requested information and the state will provide you with a list of vendors in your area. Go to that location and requests a fishing license.

Items you will need
  • Computer
  • Internet access
  • Telephone


  • Review all fishing guidelines before going fishing in Ohio. Rules and regulations can be found on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website, www.ohiodnr.com.

About the Author

Andrea Cordle has been a journalist since 2002. She started out as a reporter for the "Columbus Messenger" in Columbus, Ohio, eventually becoming an editor. Cordle received her Bachelor of Arts in communication arts from Ohio Dominican University in 2002.

Photo Credits

  • Dry fish on a dish in the form of a fish image by terex from Fotolia.com