Recreational Licenses Expire August 31 Annually
For information on license prices and application, please click on:
- FRESHWATER FISHING
- SALTWATER FISHING
- OTHER HUNTING AND FRESHWATER FISHING COMMERCIAL / NONCOMMERCIAL PERMITS AND LICENSES
Pick up a copy of the Hunting & Fishing Digest, available at Conservation District Offices, county probate and license commissioner offices, and license agents for the latest information on license, season and bag limits, and new information on hunting and freshwater fishing in Alabama. Questions regarding laws, regulations, license requirements or programs should be directed to:
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries District Offices for hunting or freshwater fishing
- Marine Resources offices in Gulf Shores or Dauphin Island for saltwater fishing
Residents 64 years of age purchase special licenses for the price of an annual license.
Residents 65 years of age and over are exempt from purchasing the following licenses (MUST have Alabama driver's license or proof of permanent residence and age. Does not include non-resident landowners.):
- Freshwater Fishing
- Saltwater Fishing
- State Duck Stamp
- Wildlife Management Area
Residents age 65 and older can continue their support of DCNR programs and habitat with the purchase of a special group of licenses, allowing donation to appropriate fund.
Change to valid period dates for recreational licenses beginning with license year 2008!
§9-11-32, Code of Alabama 1975 -- Unless specifically provided otherwise by law, all annual wildlife heritage, hunting, and fishing licenses issued pursuant to this chapter shall be dated when issued and shall authorize the person named on the license to participate in the licensed activities from September 1 or the date of issuance to the next August 31, and then only within the regulations and restrictions provided by law.
Harvest Information Program (HIP)
All licensed hunters who hunt doves, woodcock, rails, snipe, coots, ducks, or geese in Alabama are required by Federal Law to obtain a HIP permit prior to hunting. HIP permits are free and are available here at and all hunting license vendors.
Hunter Exempt License Privilege (H.E.L.P.)
Required of all license exempt hunters to report their deer and turkey harvest in the Game Check System.
Antlered Buck and Turkey Harvest Record
A mandatory hunter harvest record is in effect. It is illegal for a hunter to field dress or move an antlered buck or turkey before dating a hunter harvest record.
If someone other than the hunter is transporting a harvested antlered buck or turkey, the individual transporting the antlered buck or turkey MUST have in their possession written documentation including name, address, license number (if applicable), telephone number, date of harvest and signature of the person who harvested the antlered buck or turkey, until it is processed and stored in a cooler or freezer at one’s residence or delivered to a commercial processing plant.
Hunters are encouraged to report their deer and turkey harvests through the Game Check system. For more information, click here.
There are two ways to obtain your hunter education class; an in person class, also called a traditional class, or an all online internet option. Either option fulfills the hunter education requirement needed to purchase your hunting license.
The online courses feature the best hunting safety videos available, along with interactive learning exercises and games, and comprehensive hunter education content to provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to become a safe and responsible hunter. The internet course providers do charge a fee for the online option.
The traditional hunter education course is a minimum 8 hours of instruction plus a written examination. The course is taught by Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries personnel and volunteer instructors to participants 10 years of age and older and is offered free. More information about hunter education.
The course includes hunter responsibility, wildlife laws, wildlife management and identification, firearms safety, archery, muzzleloading, basic survival and first aid. Goals of the hunter education program include increasing awareness of the importance of hunter-landowner relations, hunter behavior, reducing accident rates and increasing knowledge of basic wildlife management concepts and wildlife laws.
Successfully completing an approved hunter education course is mandatory for all non-supervised hunting license buyers born on or after August 1, 1977, except APOST certified law enforcement officers employed in the state, active duty U.S. Military personnel and Alabama residents who are active members of the AL National Guard. Alabama is one of 49 states which has a mandatory hunter education program.
Hunting license buyers also have the option to hunt under the “supervision required” status in lieu of passing the hunter education course. Hunters under supervision MUST be under normal voice control, not to exceed 30 feet away from a properly licensed hunter 21 years of age or older. Under no circumstance shall the supervising person be the holder of a “supervision required” license.
Social Security Number Requirement
Section 30-3-194(a) Code of Alabama 1975 provides: "[A]ny agency charged with the administration of any law concerning the issuance or renewal of a license, certificate, permit, or other authorization to drive a private or commercial motor vehicle or to engage in a profession, occupation, or recreational, sporting, or commercial activity shall require all applicants for issuance or renewal of the license, certificate, permit, or other authorization to provide the applicant"s Social Security number to the agency, which agency shall record the Social Security number on the application and related records maintained by the agency."
This law was passed in response to 42 U.S.C.A. § 666(a)(13)(2003) which states that the social security number of “any applicant for a professional license, driver’s license, occupational license, recreational license, or marriage license be recorded on the application.”
This is a mandatory requirement due to State and Federal law. A license may not be issued without the social security number being recorded as stated above.
Notes to Nonresidents
Applicants holding a nonresident driver license will be considered a nonresident for the purposes of purchasing a hunting or fishing license even if they are able to produce other evidence of residency, including nonresident landowners (with the exception of active duty military).
Special fishing license fees apply to residents of Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi due to reciprocal license costs.
Game fish cannot be caught by any method other than ordinary hook and line, fly, troll, or spinner. The sale of game fish taken from public water is prohibited by law in Alabama. Only one day's limit may be in possession.
It is a violation of state law to willfully or knowingly make a false statement when purchasing an Alabama resident license.
Alabama law requires license agents first ask to see the applicant’s driver license.
Nonresident licensed drivers (including college students) making application will be considered nonresidents for the purpose of purchasing hunting and fishing license even if they are able to produce other evidence of residency (except military personnel).
Resident licensed drivers applying for hunting and fishing license must:
- Present a valid Alabama Driver’s License (except active duty military, spouse, dependents).
- Reside continuously in Alabama for 90 days.
Resident NONDRIVERS (persons not holding a valid drivers license)
- Must present a State of Alabama issued ID Card or
- Go to the Probate or License Commissioner and present at least two of the following documents:
- Copy of school registration (required for school age children 5-16 years old).
- Copy of previous year tax return (mailing address only).
- Voter registration card.
- Certificate of employment, if containing proof of permanent residency.
- Copy of home property tax.
- Health insurance forms with address (Medicare) etc.
- The last three months of a utility bill with mailing address.
- Other legal documents that may establish residency after approval by the Conservation Department.
Minors without these documents Parent or guardian may produce proof of their residency and confirm that the minor has resided with them for at least 90 days.
License officials may require more than two of these items in order to prove bona fide residency.
In no instance will a resident of another state (except military personnel) be issued an Alabama resident license even if the person is able to produce these items.
Military personnel, including spouse and dependents living with them
- Receive resident license privileges with copy of orders assigning them to Alabama and a military ID card.
- Are not required to present Alabama Driver’s License.
- Must present a valid U.S. driver’s license; otherwise, the license must be purchased at a Probate or License Commissioner’s office.
- If assigned to another state (GA, FL, etc.) but living in Alabama, may apply for resident privileges after 90 days and using the same evidence of residency as a nondriver.
Resident FUR CATCHER, SEAFOOD AND COMMERCIAL FISHING.
- Reside continuously in Alabama for the following period:
- Fur Catchers – 90 days
- Seafood – 12 months
- Commercial Fishing – 12 months