Understanding Our New License Fee Changes
LDWF is implementing a new fee structure for hunting and fishing licenses and boat registrations. The new fee structure streamlines the old process, reducing the number of licenses required for hunters and anglers. These changes will provide the agency with a more stable source of revenue, which is crucial to our ability to provide programs and services to the people of Louisiana.
Details of the new fee structure, which was approved during the 2021 legislative session, are below.
Digital Hunting and Fishing Licenses Coming This Year to LA Wallet!
Recreational Fishing and Hunting
Changes go into effect June 1, 2022.
Recreational licenses purchased on or after June 1, 2022, will be valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. These licenses will no longer follow the July 1-June 30 year.
Details regarding recreational license changes.
Recreational Fishing Licenses
- Basic Freshwater License includes all legal means/gear for catching freshwater species (e.g. hoop nets, seines, slat traps, trammel nets, cast nets with a radius in excess of 8’, 6”, wire nets, pipes, buckets, drums, tires, cans, crawfish traps, crawfish nets)
- Saltwater License includes all legal means/gear for catching saltwater species (e.g. crab traps [up to 10], shrimp trawl up 25 feet, oyster tong)
- $7.50 from every Saltwater License continues to fund LA Creel.
- Hook and Line License allows an individual to use a pole, hook and line, without a reel or artificial bait, dip nets, landing nets, minnow traps, crab nets, or crab lines.
- “String and net” crabbing now requires a fishing license.
- Any person who is a retired member of the United States Armed Forces, including the Louisiana Army National Guard or the Louisiana Air National Guard, and was either born in Louisiana or is a bona fide resident of Louisiana, may obtain any license at the cost of a senior license. This will be $5.00 until June 1,2027 when it will go up to $20.00
- Disabled/Special Circumstances License – The following individuals will qualify for this license at no cost to the customer. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation will cover the $4 fee for this license.
- A veteran of the United States Armed Forces, including the Louisiana Army National Guard or the Louisiana Air National Guard, having a permanent service connected disability classification of 50% or more. The new rules allow for non-residents (as well as residents) to take advantage of this special price.
- Any resident of Louisiana who is the surviving spouse of a member of the United States Armed Forces, including the Louisiana Army National Guard or the Louisiana Air National Guard, who was killed in action while in a combat zone.
- A resident who is blind; paraplegic; is a single or multiple amputee; or is required to use one or more artificial limbs or permanent braces for mobility as a result of a permanent and total disability.
- A resident who is totally and permanently disabled and receiving a disability benefit from the federal social security system or a disability retirement income from a retirement system whose members are exempt from federal social security, either pursuant to the Railroad Retirement Insurance Act, 45 U.S.C. 231, or because they are employees of a state or a political subdivision of the state that has not voluntarily agreed to participate in federal social security under 42 U.S.C. 418
- Each individual who purchases a fishing or hunting license will have an opportunity to make a donation to help provide disabled veterans with hunting and fishing licenses.
- Lifetime licenses are NOT going away.
- The new lifetime licenses include recreational hunting, fishing, and gear privileges. After June 1, 2022, a lifetime license will cost $500 for any individual, except seniors 65 and older.
- The current individual lifetime licenses (e.g. Resident Lifetime Fishing Only [$300] and Resident Lifetime Hunting Only [$300]) that are available through the current license structure will no longer be offered after May 31, 2022.
- If you currently hold a Resident Lifetime Fishing License, you will keep your existing privileges and gain the gear privileges associated with the Recreational Freshwater License and the Recreational Saltwater License in the new structure. However, your license will not be converted into a Hunting/Fishing Combo License.
- If you currently hold a Resident Lifetime Hunting License, you will keep your existing privileges. But your license will not be converted into a Hunting/Fishing Combo License.
- If you currently hold a Resident Lifetime Hunting/Fishing Combo License, on June 1, 2022 you will keep your exiting privileges and gain the gear fees and privileges of legal harvest associated with the Recreational Freshwater License and the Recreational Saltwater License in the new structure.
- If you currently hold either a Lifetime Fishing License or a Lifetime Hunting License, and want to convert it into a combination license after June 1, 2022, you will not be allowed to pay $200 to convert your license into a combination license. You will need to purchase the Louisiana Sportsman’s Paradise license ($500) in order to get lifetime combination license.
- A person born before June 1, 1940 = License not required
- A person born between June 1, 1940 and May 31, 1962 = Annual License fee remains $5
- A person who is age 65+ after June 1, 2027 (not available until June 1, 2027) = Annual License fee is $20
- Currently (and until June 1, 2022), a resident 60 and older can purchase a Lifetime Hunting/Fishing Combo License for $50.
- “Youth” will be considered age 17 and under (raised from age 15 and under) for all hunting and fishing activities that require a license.
- Youth are ONLY required to purchase the Youth Hunting License if applicable. No other licenses are required.
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- For deer and turkey hunting ONLY, hunters age 17 and under will need to purchase a $5 Youth Hunting License to obtain Deer and Turkey Tags. The purpose of this license is to allow LDWF to count each youth hunter and receive federal funding ($35 for each hunter).
- Youth who are hold Lifetime Hunting License or a Lifetime Combo License are not required to purchase the $5 annual license mentioned above to obtain deer and turkey tags mentioned above. They are, however, still required to use deer and turkey tags.
- Youth who hold Lifetime Hunting License or a Lifetime Combo License are not required to pay the fee associated with a Youth Lottery.
WMA Camping Permits
- A fee will now be required to camp on Wildlife Management Areas. While the legislative bill established a camping fee, the department still has to promulgate the specifics rules through its Commission prior to implementing them. This will be a public process and will allow for public comment.
- Single and 3-day Recreational Fishing Licenses will be replaced by a 5-day license.
- A 3-day Charter License will still be available for saltwater and freshwater.
- A new Non-resident Native 10-day License will be available for most licenses. These licenses are intended for those who were born in Louisiana but have since moved out of state.
- LDWF will have licenses included in LA Wallet this year. Meanwhile, a digital copy of your license will be considered acceptable proof of your license – with the exception of deer tags, which must be printed.
- Paper Tags – LDWF is recommending the use of a zip-top bag and a zip tie to secure the tag to harvested game.
- LDWF is currently working to establish electronic tags that we hope will be available for 2022’s hunting season.
Changes will be phased in over the next 3 years, beginning November 15, 2021.
Details regarding upcoming commercial license changes
- Freshwater Charter Boat Captains will now be required to have a license to operate. The license is similar to the Saltwater Charter Boat Fishing Guide License.
- A Saltwater Charter Boat License can only be obtained after showing proof of current insurance and a valid captain's license from the United States Coast Guard.
- Resident and non-resident anglers will now be able to purchase a 3-day Charter Freshwater License in lieu of a yearly Basic Fishing License if they plan to only fish with a Licensed Freshwater Charter Captain. The similar saltwater 3-day Saltwater Charter Passenger License will also remain available.
Hunting Guide Licenses
- A hunting guide must possess a valid hunting guide license, proof of liability insurance, and a valid
State Recreational Hunting License that grants hunting privileges appropriate for his clients’ guided hunting activity.
- Any person acting as a hunting guide who is in charge of the operation of a vessel shall also have a valid captain's license issued by the United States Coast Guard.
Wild Louisiana Guide Licenses
- Anyone who operates a Non-consumptive commercial guide business will now be required to have a Wild Louisiana Guide License. (swamp tours)
- Businesses selling seafood from a vehicle will be required to purchase a Seafood Wholesale/Retail Dealer License.
- Any Individual can now be added to a fresh products license at any time for $5.00. The request to add this individual MUST come from the original license holder.
Changes go into effect November 15, 2021.
Details regarding boat registration changes
- Boat registrations will be good for 3 years.
- 100% of boat registration revenue will go into the Aquatic Plant Control Fund with a yearly cap of $5 million; any overage will go to the Conservation Fund.
- Paddle craft will NOT require registration.