How to Get an Indiana Fishing License: Step-by-Step

Last Updated on June 2, 2023

You can always find a good place to fish in Indiana. Whether you go fishing in one of Indiana’s many lakes, ponds, streams, or rivers, you will likely have a successful day of fishing. 

You’ve got steelheads in St. Joseph River, Chinook in Lake Michigan, and my favorite – largemouth in Patoka Lake. 

When I fished in Indiana for the first time, I didn’t realize people under 18 can fish without a license whether they’re a resident or not. I found that to be pretty interesting. 

Anyway, the rest of you will need an Indiana fishing license. Here’s how you get one. 

Who Needs a Fishing License in Indiana

A fishing license in Indiana is required for individuals over the age of 18. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources also specifies that individuals born before April 1, 1943, do not need to purchase a fishing license. 

Anyone born before that date should carry their driver’s license or ID with them when fishing to verify their age. Indiana residents and non-residents under the age of 18 can fish in public waters without having a license. 

They are exempt from purchasing a fishing license, a game bird habitat stamp, and a state migratory waterfowl stamp.

What Age Do You Need a Fishing License in Indiana

The Indiana fishing license age is 18 years old, which is the same as the age of an Indiana hunting license and trapping license.

Both residents and non-residents of Indiana need a fishing license to fish in Indiana public waters and boundary waters.


All Indiana residents over 18 years of age must purchase an Indiana fishing license to fish in the various ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams within the state. 

An Indiana resident is a person who has established a permanent residence in the state for at least sixty consecutive days before purchasing the license.

Hoosiers must not claim residency in a different state for fishing, hunting, or trapping.


A non-resident must purchase an out-of-state fishing license in Indiana.

A non-resident is considered an individual who does not claim residency in the state of Indiana, or they have claimed residency in a different state for fishing, hunting, or trapping. 

Non-residents over the age of 18 years old can purchase a non-resident fishing license in the state of Indiana.

How to Buy an Indiana Fishing License 

Indiana fishing lake

There are three ways you can purchase a resident and non-resident Indiana fishing license.


The simplest way to purchase an Indiana DNR fishing license for residents and non-residents is online.

To purchase your fishing license online, you must create an account or log in to your Access Indiana account with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. 

You must complete the form, including information regarding your name, phone number, residency, and which type of fishing license you wish to purchase.

Once the form has been completed, you can pay for the Indiana fishing license online using a credit or debit card and you can print your fishing license out at home. 

Local Retailers

Residents of Indiana can purchase their Indiana fishing license in person, as there are multiple local retailers, Indiana DNR properties, and county clerks across the state available to help you get your fishing license.

Non-residents can purchase their Indiana fishing license at the DNR customer service center in Indianapolis or at other DNR properties. 

Some local retailers that can help both residents and non-residents obtain their fishing license include Indiana and Ohio Firearm LLC, Walmart, Briggs Hardware, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Meijer Stores, and Adams Outdoors Bait, Tackle, and More. 

By Mail

Another way you can get your Indiana fishing license is by mail. This method takes the longest compared to online and local retailers. 

To get your license by mail, you must send your order in, including your name, date of birth, address, phone number, social security number, type of license you wish to purchase, height, weight, hair color, eye color, and form of payment. 

You can send in a credit card number, check, or money order as a form of payment. It should take about two weeks for your fishing license to be delivered.

How Much Is a Fishing License in Indiana

Fishing License TypeResident License FeeNon-Resident License Fee
Annual Fishing License$23.00$60.00
One Day Fishing (Includes Salmon and Trout)$10.00$15.00
Seven Day FishingN/A$35.00
Senior Fish for Life$23.00N/A
Senior Annual Fishing$3.00N/A
Trout and Salmon Stamp Privilege$11.00$11.00
Fishing and Hunting$32.00N/A
Disabled American Veteran Hunting/Fishing License (No Deer or Turkey)$27.50N/A

There are various types of fishing licenses available for residents and non-residents of Indiana. However, there are some licenses that are only available to residents or non-residents specifically.

The seven-day fishing license is available for non-residents and not residents. 

The senior fish for life, senior annual fishing, fishing and hunting combo license, and disabled American veteran fishing/hunting combo licenses are only available for Indiana residents. 

Both residents and non-residents of Indiana can enjoy the annual fishing license, one-day fishing license, and trout and salmon stamp privilege.

What Is a Trout and Salmon Stamp Privilege?

A trout/salmon stamp is $11.00 per stamp for both residents and non-residents in Indiana.

To legally fish for or harvest trout and salmon in Indiana, you must have a valid trout and salmon stamp in addition to your valid fishing license. 

What Happens If You Lose Your Indiana Fishing License?

If you have lost your Indiana fishing license, you must order a replacement license.

You can get your replacement license online or you can call Indiana Department of Natural Resources customer service. A replacement license costs $3.00. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is exempt from fishing licenses in Indiana?

Indiana offers an exemption from a fishing license for certain circumstances. These circumstances include:

– Residents and non-residents under the age of 18
– Indiana residents born before April 1st, 1943
– Legally blind residents (proof is not required)
– Residents or lessees of Indiana farmland
– Residents with permission from a property owner of a pond
– Active duty military personnel or residents on an approved military leave
– Residents of an Indiana-licensed healthcare facility who are supervising a fishing activity sponsored by the facility
– Individuals who reside in a state-owned mental rehabilitation facility in Indiana

How much is a non-resident fishing license for Indiana?

A non-resident annual fishing license in Indiana is $60.00.

There are other non-resident fishing licenses available for purchase, such as the One Day Fishing for $15.00, Seven Day Fishing for $35.00, and the Trout and Salmon Stamp Privilege for $11.00. 

How do you get a fishing license in Indiana?

There are three ways to get your fishing license in Indiana. The easiest way to get your license is by completing a form online and printing out your license at home. 

You can also visit a local retailer, Indiana DNR property, or county clerk to get your license.

If you would rather not leave your home purchase your Indiana fishing license, you can mail in your form and receive your license in about two weeks.

What is the cost of a 1-day fishing license in Indiana?

A one-day fishing license costs $10.00 for Indiana residents and $15.00 for non-residents to fish for various types of fish, including salmon, trout, and largemouth bass.

Do you need a fishing license in Indiana to catch and release?

An Indiana fishing license is required if you plan to fish in public streams, lakes, rivers, or boundary waters within the state of Indiana.

Even if you plan to catch and release the fish, residents and non-residents ages 18 and above need a fishing license to fish.

Final Thoughts

Getting your Indiana fishing license is simple, whether you do it online, in person, or by mail.

There are many types of fishing licenses to choose from for both residents and non-residents of the state, and anyone under the age of 18 does not need a license to fish. 

It is essential to follow Indiana’s fishing regulations, especially regarding trout and salmon. 

As anglers, it is our responsibility to help protect the waters where we fish, starting with helping fund the organizations that make that happen. 

Purchasing a fishing license helps to manage, protect, conserve, and preserve the fish & wildlife population in Indiana. To find some of the best bass in Indiana when fishing, check out our interactive bass fishing map!