How to Get a Fishing License in Ohio

Ohio has more than 93 lakes, parks and preserves for your fishing pleasure. A fishing license is required and easy to get. You can apply for one online or stop at one of hundreds of DNR approved outlets.

Get a fishing license if you are over 16 years old and are fishing in a public pond, lake, stream or river. You do not need a license if you are fishing in a private pond, you are assisting a disabled fisherman or can prove you're an active member of the military.

Show proof of residency (a drivers license or a photo ID card) when you apply for a license. You must have been a resident of the state for at least 6 months.

Apply for a non-resident license if you are not an Ohio resident. These licenses are about double the cost of the resident license, but low-cost, three day tourist licenses are also available.

Get a copy of the state regulations as there are free, no license required fishing days for Ohio residents at certain times of the year. Take advantage of these free days if you do not want to purchase a license.

Use Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher, or Netscape 6.0 or higher (Firefox 2 will also work) if you apply for a license online. You will also need a printer to print out your license and sales receipt. You must sign your license and carry it along with your photo ID whenever you go fishing.


  • You are only allowed one reprint of your license. If you need an additional copy, you will need to pay for a duplicate license.
  • It is illegal to carry someone else's license.


  • You will pay a transaction fee of 3 percent of the subtotal of your license cost if you purchase online.

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