Buy Your West Virginia Fishing License

Purchasing your West Virginia Fishing License

If you are planning to legally fish in the state of West Virginia, you will need to have a valid fishing license.

According to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources website, there are several ways residents can purchase their fishing license:

  • Licenses can be purchases at one of approximately 180 retail license agents around the state. A $3 issuing fee is charged for the first purchase and $1 for subsequent purchases.
  • Through the official WV DNR website (a $2 processing fee will be added to the purchase)
  • Licenses can also be purchased directly from the Hunting and Fishing License Unit by via phone at (304) 558-2758. (A $2 issuing fee will be applied to the purchase)

Why should you purchase a fishing license?

It is illegal to fish public waters in the state of West Virginia without a fishing license unless you meet one of the following conditions:

  • You are a West Virginia resident who is totally blind
  • You are a resident who turned 65 years of age before January 1, 2012. If so, you will still be required to carry a valid WV driver’s license or photo ID card issued by the DMV while fishing.
  • Residents and non-residents of West Virginia who are fifteen years of age or younger.
  • You are a resident on active duty in the U.S. armed forces while on military leave. Your leave papers must be carried while fishing.
  • Resident landowners or their resident children, resident parents, or bona fide resident tenants of such land may fish on their own land during open seasons in accordance with the laws and regulations applying to such fishing.
  • Developmentally disabled residents. A DDFL card issued by the DNR must be carried while fishing.

West Virginia also does not require a license for residents who have been prisoners of wars or disabled veterans who have been honorably discharged.

For the rest of us, however:

In addition to avoid legal issues, the funds received from the purchase of fishing licenses helps support wildlife and conservation efforts. By purchasing your fishing license, you are helping to ensure that there will be places to fish in the future.

Where can I purchase my West Virginia fishing license?

Most marinas and bait shops throughout the state of West Virginia will allow you to purchase a license on-site.

You can also purchase a license online at the West Virginia DNR website.