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Maryland to Issue 365-Day Recreational Fishing Licenses

New legislation offers anglers more value and flexibility

Governor Hogan is joined by SFAC Vice Chairman Dave Sikorski (directly behind Governor) ans Larry Jennings (in grey).

SFAC Vice Chairman Dave Sikorski (directly behind Governor Hogan) & Larry Jennings (in grey) attend the bill signing.

Today, Governor Larry Hogan signed into law a bill that authorizes the Department of Natural Resources to issue recreational fishing licenses for 365 days from the date of purchase, rather than for the calendar year. Created by Senate Bill 666/House Bill 785, the new law takes effect October 1.

“By giving anglers the added value and flexibility of choosing their annual license’s start date we expect they’ll spend more days on the water, which will benefit Maryland businesses associated with the sport fishing community, such as tackle shops and charter boats, as well as the food service, fuel and hotel industries,” said DNR Secretary Mark Belton.

Currently, recreational fishing licenses are good for a calendar year. As a result, Marylanders who purchase fishing licenses late in the year often buy short-term three- or seven-day licenses, which cost less, but limit their options for going out. The new law will encourage these anglers to buy annual licenses ─ a better value.

Sport Fishing Advisory Commission Vice Chairman David Sikorski, who championed the legislation, said, “This is a win for the recreational fishing community. Maryland now joins a handful of states leading the movement to offer the increased value and flexibility of a 365-day license.”

The new law covers recreational tidal and nontidal fishing licenses, including the popular Chesapeake Bay and Coastal Sport Boat License.

Anglers will be able to purchase these licenses through the online COMPASS license system,

  • icetrout

    good deal ! …

  • Tommy

    Good job ….now can we work on lowering the cost for freshwater its outrageous…..thanks

  • Lesg Adams

    So my license I bought early in the year ,I only can use this calendar year.

    • kking13

      Hi Lesg,
      If you purchased your license before Oct.1, it expires Dec. 31 at midnight.

  • Claude

    Just purchased mine and after giving it some thought – and considering its intent, it’s a good deal for all.

  • Bridget Williams

    My husband went to get the sticker for the 365 Coastal Fishing Boat and the Recreational Crabbing boat. I remember last year they gave us the sticker right there. The lady told him that they will mail it this year, Is that something new?

    • kking13

      Hi Bridget,

      Yes, it’s new.

      Since each license is now good for 365 days from date of purchase, expiration dates vary. Therefore, they must be printed with the expiration date and mailed.