Purchase New York State freshwater fishing licenses directly at license issuing agents such as town and county offices, many major sporting goods stores and tackle shops, some discount store chains, and online or by telephone through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Saltwater fishing licenses are not required; however, if anglers are fishing coastal waters and tributaries for migratory species, including striped bass, river herring and hickory shad, then they must register and get free permits.
Purchasers of resident fishing licenses must have valid New York State non-driver IDs, learner's permits or drivers licenses to use the online system. Out-of-state license purchases must be done by phone or at one of the certified license issuing agents in-person.
Anglers who purchase their licenses online through the DECAL system must print the licenses after purchase. Telephone purchasers receive confirmation numbers that work as valid fishing licenses until their hard copies arrive within 14 days after purchase.
New York State residents have the option of purchasing lifetime fishing licenses that vary in pricing depending upon their ages. Lifetime license holders can have emblems added to their driver's licenses that work as fishing licenses. The emblems are automatically added upon subsequent renewals of the licenses, or users can purchase new driver's licenses or non-driver IDs with the emblems included.