The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission offers various types of licenses and permits that differ with regard to the activities they authorize. This site provides information about the licenses and permits available, the privileges they authorize and the associated fees. All licenses are nontransferable.
There are many ways to purchase a license. Please note that a $5 transaction fee, as mandated by NCGS 113-270.1, may apply at time of license purchase.
What kind of license do I need?
This depends on the type of activity that you plan to do and also if you live in the state of North Carolina.
These are some of the questions that may help determine which license is best suited for you. For example, if you live outside of North Carolina and plan to make only one fishing trip to the state, then a non-resident, short-term license may be your best option. If you are resident and plan to hunt, fish and use the public Game Lands, then a resident Sportsman license may be your best option. Please review License Information | eRegulations to determine the license that meets your needs.
At what age is a licensed required?
What is a privilege?
Annual and short-term licenses may have additional requirements called "privileges" that authorize particular hunting activities (example: hunting for big game). These privileges must be purchased in addition to the appropriate annual or short-term license. To determine which privileges are required in addition to the license, select Privilege Licenses.
All licensed hunters hunting migratory game birds (dove, rails, woodcock, snipe, or waterfowl) in North Carolina are required to have certification in the Federal Harvest Information Program (HIP). Certification can be obtained free of charge from any Wildlife Service Agent* when you purchase a hunting license.
What is "HIP"?
Lifetime license-holders may also obtain HIP certification by going online, or by calling 833-950-0575, or by visiting a Wildlife Service Agent*. Persons exempt by law from the hunting license requirement are not required to obtain the HIP certification.
*When issued at a Wildlife Service Agent, a $5 transaction fee may be applied to your total order.
Please visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website and learn more about HIP!
Do I need a license for saltwater fishing?
Yes. As of January 1, 2007, any individuals 16 years or older who want to recreationally finfish in any water designated as coastal or joint waters of North Carolina must purchase a NC Coastal Recreational Fishing License (CRFL). All license holders who purchased a NCWRC Lifetime Sportsman or Lifetime Comprehensive fishing license prior to January 1, 2006, are exempted from purchasing the CRFL.
Who is eligible for a volunteer firefighter, rescue and emergency medical services squad lifetime license?
Any volunteer firefighter who appears as a volunteer on the certified roster of eligible firefighters submitted to the NC State Firefighters’ Association for five consecutive fiscal years including the last fiscal year. Any volunteer rescue or emergency medical services squad members appearing on the certified roster of eligible rescue or emergency medical services squad members submitted to the North Carolina Association of Rescue and Emergency Medical Services, Inc for five consecutive fiscal years including the last fiscal year. The state fiscal year runs from July 1st to June 30th. Volunteer Firefighter, Rescue Squad and EMS Squad Lifetime License Frequently Asked Questions
How do I apply to become a Wildlife Service Agent?
Those interested in becoming a Wildlife Service Agent (WSA) must be operating from a fixed location in NC and shall have a minimum of one year’s experience operating the business for which the application is made or other equivalent business experience or training. Applicants shall review the WSA requirements and complete the application.