California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Free and Reduced-Fee Sport Fishing Licenses

To qualify for a for Free or Reduced-Fee Sport Fishing License, anglers must meet the criteria described below.

2014 Reduced-Fee Fishing License

2014 Reduced-Fee Fishing Licenses - Fee $6.95

Fish and Game Code, Section 7150, authorizes CDFW to issue Reduced-Fee Sport Fishing Licenses to anglers who meet specific criteria. Additional validations or cards are required for certain species and areas and must be purchased at the regular fee.

  1. Any person 65 years of age or older who is a resident of California and whose total monthly income from all sources does not exceed the income levels below. Income Verification from your Social Security office is required annually.
    1. $866.40 for single persons, or
    2. $1,462.20 for married persons (combined income).
  2. Any honorably-discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces with a service-connected disability rating of 50% or more. Proof of eligibility from the United States Veterans Administration is required. Disabled veterans who were issued this license through ALDS may renew their licenses at CDFW License Agent, CDFW license sales office or online.
  3. Any recovering service member. A recovering service member is defined as a member of the armed forces, including a member of the National Guard or a Reserve, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation Any recovering service member. A recovering service member is defined as a member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or a Reserve, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy and is in an outpatient status while recovering from a serious injury or illness related to the member's military service. Submit a letter from your commanding officer or from a military medical doctor verifying your eligibility as a recovering service member. Please have your commanding officer or military medical doctor include the expected recovery date in your verification letter. This will allow the CDFW to enter this date into our licensing system and allow you to renew your license without submitting another letter from your commanding officer or doctor.

    Recovering Service Member Reduced-Fee Sport Fishing Licenses must be purchased from a CDFW License Sales Office.

Print Reduced-Fee Sport Fishing License Application (PDF)

2014 Free Fishing Licenses

Fish and Game Code, Section 7151, authorizes the CDFW to issue Free Sport Fishing Licenses to anglers who meet specific criteria. Additional validations or cards are required for certain species and areas and must be purchased at the regular fee.

Free Sport Fishing Licenses are available for anglers who meet the criteria below:

  1. Any person, with central vision acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the aid of the best possible correcting glasses, or central vision acuity better than 20/200 if the widest diameter of the remaining visual field is no greater than 20 degrees. Certification of blindness by an optometrist or an ophthalmologist is required. Any person who was issued this license under this criteria through ALDS may renew their licenses at any CDFW License Agent, CDFW license sales office or online.
  2. Any person who is a resident of the State and who is so severely physically disabled as to be permanently unable to move from place to place without the aid of a wheelchair, walker, forearm crutches or a comparable mobility-related device. Verification by a licensed physician or a copy of the previous year's free fishing license is required. Any person who was issued this license under this criteria through ALDS may renew their licenses at any CDFW License Agent, CDFW license sales office or online.
  3. Any developmentally disabled person. Certification by a licensed physician or the director of a State regional center is required. Any person who was issued this license under this criteria through ALDS may renew their licenses at any CDFW License Agent, CDFW license sales office or online.
  4. Any American Indian or lineal descendant who is a resident of the State and whose total annual income does not exceed $11,490 for the head of the household, plus $4,020 for each additional family member living with them. Certification by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (B.I.A.) or proof of being on a tribal registry is required. Verification of income is required annually.

Print Free Sport Fishing License Application (for Blind, Mobility Impaired or Developmentally Disabled Applicants) (PDF)

Print Free Sport Fishing License Application (for Low Income Native Americans) (PDF)

How to Apply

Free and Reduced-Fee Sport Fishing Licenses that require income verification must be renewed each year at CDFW License Sales Office (in person or by mail).

Anglers must purchase their first free or reduced fee sport fishing license from a CDFW license sales office, where their eligibility requirements will be verified. After their first purchase, anglers who qualify for the license based on disability may renew their license from any CDFW License Agent, CDFW License Sales Office or online. Low-income American Indians and low-income senior citizens must apply for their sport fishing licenses at a CDFW license sales office where their income will be verified annually.