Does Walmart Sell Fishing Licenses?

Many anglers, myself included, shop at Walmart for fishing gear. Are you wondering, “Does Walmart sell fishing licenses?”

I’m here to tell you: They do!

“But do I need a license?” you’re asking yourself. “What types of fishing licenses are available?”

Great questions. Read ahead for our answers.

Does Walmart Sell Fishing Licenses? (And Why Do I Need to Obtain a Fishing License In the First Place?)

They do, and you should (for so many reasons).

If you’re new to the fishing scene, you might be asking yourself, “Why do I need a fishing license?” It’s a common question, especially among beginners, and it’s one that’s easy to answer.

Why You Need One Part 1: It’s Required

You’re legally required to have a license. (In most places–check your local jurisdiction.)

Simple as that. The penalties for illegal fishing adventures can be severe, from hefty fines to potential bans from future fishing activities.

And while the subject of fishing licenses and their impact on society is an interesting topic, it’s not one that’s up for debate: the vast majority of states require them.

Why You Need One Part 2: Preservation

The fees you pay for your fishing permits go towards funding initiatives by state agencies to manage, protect, and enhance aquatic life. So, yes, if you get a Walmart fishing license, you will be helping sustain our fishing activities for generations to come.

Types of Licenses

The type of license you’ll need depends on a few things, like whether you are a resident or non-resident. Resident fishing licenses may be cheaper, which encourages locals fish. Non-residents will have to pay a little more.

Overall, the nature of your fishing plans–specifically, whether you plan to go saltwater or freshwater fishing–determines the type of license you should buy.

Saltwater licenses are required for coastal and offshore fishing; freshwater licenses apply to inland waters like lakes, rivers, and streams. I have and use both!

(For more information about bass fishing, read our article “Largemouth Vs Smallmouth Bass”.)

The Different Fishing Licenses Sold at Walmart

There are a few types of licenses available at Walmart. They sell both freshwater and saltwater fishing licenses.

And they may also sell (most do) licenses that cater to the duration you intend to fish, like a day pass for the occasional angler right up to an annual license for those of us who want to go as much as possible.

It’s a good idea to call your local store, because the types of available licenses vary from one Walmart location to another.

(And if you’re looking for a good fishing kayak, we think you should check out the Lifetime Teton Angler 100–it’s a great budget option.)

Obtaining a Fishing License at Walmart

Believe me, this is not a sponsored post–it just happens to be extremely convenient for a lot of people. Getting a fishing license from a Walmart near you is super easy. (That’s why I prefer it!)

does walmart sell fishing licenses

In Store

So, how do you buy a fishing license at Walmart? Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Visit your local store. Bring your ID.
  2. Locate the Sports & Outdoor department. If you can’t find it, ask around–the staff at Walmart is known to be friendly and helpful. (At least mine are!)
  3. Ask for the appropriate fishing license.
  4. Fill out any forms they require and provide necessary information, including age and type of license.
  5. Pay the fee.

That’s it! Now you have a license to fish.

Walmart isn’t just a place to get a license for anglers, though–many fishing enthusiasts I know are actually fishing and hunting enthusiasts, and they cater to this demographic as well, selling both hunting and fishing supplies year-round.

You can also get hunting licenses there.


I bought my licenses this way the last time I needed them. Walmart may offer the option to purchase your fishing license online through their website, depending on state regulations.

This option provides even more convenience as you can get your license without leaving your home.

The Price of a Fishing License at Walmart

“How much are they going to ding me for?” That’s what you’re wondering, right? I get it!

This is a common question when pondering the option of purchasing a fishing license at Walmart. Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer, because the cost can vary depending on the state.

It’s based on what fish you plan to catch, where you intend to cast your line (saltwater or freshwater), the duration of the license (daily, annual, or lifetime), and whether you’re a state resident or non-resident.

To give you a general idea, a one-day fishing license for residents typically ranges from $10 to $15, while annual licenses cost somewhere between $15 to $50. For non-residents, the price usually hikes up, annual licenses ranging from $25 to $150. Again, these prices are estimates and vary from state to state.

So you can see that the fishing license cost is quite different in a place like California, where an annual non-resident pays $140, and in South Carolina, where they’re charged $35.

And if you’re planning on using designated fishing piers or going kayak fishing, you may need to pay additional fees.

Does Every Single Walmart Sell Fishing Licenses?

The Walmart near me sells licenses; I’ve heard most of them do. 

But the availability does vary by location, and it’s not an absolute guarantee that every Walmart store will have the ability to issue licenses.

Before heading to your nearest Walmart outdoors section to obtain your fishing license, check with your local store first. You can call the store’s customer service line or check the “Services” section on the Walmart website for your specific location.

Regulations (Study These Before You Go Fishing)

I always tell beginners this: you have to study local regulations before you hit the water.

In other words: planning a fishing trip involves more than buying a license and choosing a good spot. As a responsible angler, you must understand and abide by the fishing regulations of the state in which you plan to fish.

These regulations are put in place by local fish and wildlife authorities to help sustain fish populations for future generations.

The regulations typically specify seasons when fishing is allowed, size and catch limits, and what kind of bait is permissible. They vary depending on whether you’re freshwater fishing or saltwater fishing, as each ecosystem has its own needs and considerations.

Once you have a valid fishing license from Walmart and a clear understanding of the rules, you can start preparing for your trip. Pack your fishing gear—rods, reels, line, hooks, and bait, all of which you can buy from Walmart’s outdoors section.

Being ready for a fishing trip isn’t just about having the right equipment or a valid license; it’s also about understanding and respecting the environment you’ll be fishing in. Walmart is a convenient option for purchasing a fishing license and gear, but it’s up to each of us to make sure we fish responsibly, respecting the regulations in place and guaranteeing the longevity of this enjoyable pastime.


It should be obvious by now: obtaining a valid fishing license is easy, essential, and inexpensive.

Just head down to your local Walmart to pick one up.

Don’t forget to call first!


Where can I buy a fishing license near me?

You can go to any number of sporting and outdoor stores. Also, you can buy a fishing license near you at Walmart. They offer fishing licenses to customers at many of their locations.

How can I get a Walmart fishing license?

Visit your local Walmart and go to the department that sells them (Sports & Outdoor). You may also have the option to purchase a license online through Walmart’s website.

How much is a fishing license at Walmart?

This varies depending on your state and the type of license you need. 

Is Walmart a good place to get my fishing license?

Absolutely, Walmart is an excellent place for people to obtain their fishing licenses. Walmart also sells fishing gear and equipment, which makes it a one-stop-shop when it comes to fishing.

Do all Walmart locations offer fishing licenses?

Most do, but it’s a good idea to find a Walmart location near you and verify whether they sell licenses before you head over there.

Do I need a fishing license to fish?

Yes, you need a fishing license to legally fish. The requirements are different in every state, so it is important to consult the regulations in your specific location.

Can I buy a fishing license online?

Sure! You can buy a fishing license online depending on your state’s regulations. Walmart may have an online platform where you can buy fishing licenses, but it is recommended to check with your local Walmart store or visit their website for more information.

Is it easier to get a fishing license at a Walmart than at other places?

Yes, you can get a fishing license at a Walmart and yes it is easy, but not easier than any other retailer–they all pretty much follow the same protocol. 

Is there a separate license for saltwater fishing and freshwater fishing?

Yes, states require a separate license for saltwater and freshwater fishing. Make sure to specify the type when purchasing your license.

Image Credits
Photo 1 by Mike Mozart
Photo 2 by Florida Fish and Wildlife
Photo 3 by UpstateNYer
Photo 4 by Léonard Cotte
Photo 5 by Etienne Boulanger

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