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Q: Is a fishing license required if you are from out of state?

Added Details:

We would most likely be fishing from the Pier if that is possible. We have never been to VA Beach. We have 3 children also.

Asked by: Mia U.


Hi Mia,

One of the most important items any person needs before they go fishing in Virginia is their fishing license.

The state of Virginia requires both residents AND non-residents to obtain a fishing license. Virginia offers daily, short-term, annual or lifetime licenses.


The only exceptions to this are:

  • Resident or nonresident landowners, their spouses, their children and grandchildren and the spouses of such children and grandchildren, or the landowner’s parents, resident or non – resident, do not need a license to hunt, trap, or fish within the boundaries of their own lands and inland waters.
  • Residents under 16 years of age (also do not need a trout license).
  • Resident, active-duty members of the armed forces while on official leave— must have copy of leave papers in their possession.
  • Tenants, on the land they rent and occupy, are not required to have a license, but must have the written permission of the landowner.
  • Guests fishing in individually owned private ponds.
  • Nonresident children under 12 (except in designated stocked trout waters) when accompanied by a properly licensed adult. When fishing designated stocked trout waters, a nonresident child under 12 will need a nonresident freshwater fishing license and a nonresident trout license.
  • Legally blind persons.
  • Any Indian who “habitually” resides on an Indian reservation or a member of the Virginia recognized tribes who resides in the Commonwealth is not required to have a freshwater license; however, such Indian must have on his person an identification card or paper signed by the chief of his tribe, a valid tribal identification card, written confirmation through a central tribal registry, or certification from a tribal office. However, a saltwater fishing license is required.
  • Stockholders owning 50 percent or more of the stock of any domestic corporation owning land in Virginia, his or her spouse and children and minor grandchildren, resident or nonresident, to hunt, trap and fish within the boundaries of lands and inland waters owned by the domestic corporation.
  • Persons 65 years of age or older do not need a saltwater license but must comply with the Virginia Fisherman Identification Program (FIP) requirements.
  • Any person not fishing but aiding a disabled license holder.

More information regarding Virginia fishing licenses can be seen here… Virginia Fishing License Requirements

Where to Buy Locally:

If you are planning on fishing in Virginia Beach, your fishing licenses can be easily purchased online or locally here in Virginia Beach.  Here are some local places to purchase your fishing license:

  • Walmart
  • Kmart, and
  • Best Value Hardware store (located at  600 Virginia Beach Blvd)

Best Value Hardware

Other Considerations:

When you are ready to purchase a VA fishing license, you will need to think about whether you will be fishing freshwater for species like smallmouth bass, trout and sunfish or if you prefer to buy a saltwater fishing license to fish for ocean sport fish species like cobia, flounder and redfish. Once you have purchased a license, check the regulations for seasons, size limits and bag limits.

Virginia Fishing Rules and Regulations:

Since fishing regulations help protect and preserve fish and our state fish populations, it is important that every angler check the current set of regulations before each fishing trip.


Virginia Beach, VA
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