How to get a fishing license in Tennessee

Published: Apr. 7, 2020 at 5:29 PM EDT
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While Governor Bill Lee has issued a stay at home order to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, Tennesseans can still go out boating and fishing.

If you'd like to fish, you need a license to do so in Tennessee.

What are the fishing license requirements?

TWRA says:

You need a valid Tennessee driver's license for a license in most cases.

Out-of-state drivers are only accepted for military personnel or students.

If you do not have a license, you must have lived in Tennessee for 90 days and prove residency by valid Tennessee voter registration card, current rental/mortgage contract or receipt, current Tennessee vehicle title, form I-94 issued by the US Citizenship & Immigration Service.

TWRA said a Social Security Number is required to purchase a hunting or fishing license.


to purchase a license online.

There are exceptions to needing a license:

- You are under 13 years of age (resident or nonresident).

- Landowners, their spouses and children, who fish on their farmland which is owned by an individual or a family

- Tenants, their spouses and dependent children who fish on farmland owned by an individual or a family with permission from the landowner

- Resident grandchildren (under 16) and resident great-grandchildren (under 16) who fish on farmland which is owned by their resident grandparents or great-grandparents

- First cousins who own farmland jointly or in common may fish on the farmland. Their children may fish as well

- You are on military leave, carrying a copy of your leave orders. A pass does not meet this requirement

- You are a resident who was born before March 1, 1926. (To qualify for this exemption, you must carry proof of your age and residency to show to a wildlife officer, if requested.)

- It's Free Fishing Day

- It's Free Fishing Week! Children all ages 15 and younger can fish free during free fishing week.

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