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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added a link to a translation service developed by Microsoft Inc., entitled Bing Translator, as a convenience to visitors to the DEC website who speak languages other than English.

Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

Free/Reduced Fee Sporting Licenses

This page identifies who qualifies for a free or reduced free sporting license/privileges and how to get them. For more information, please contact DEC's License Sales at fw.information@dec.ny.gov

Use the links below to find information on qualifications for a free/reduced fee sporting license:

Active-Duty Military Members

"Active Service" means full-time or part-time status in one of the branches of New York/U.S. Military Forces.

Qualification What You Can Get
Resident military members of NYS Organized Militia or U.S. Reserve Forces Free fishing, hunting and trapping licenses
Resident active military members of U.S. Armed Forces stationed outside New York who are home on leave for 30 days or less
(Note: if you are a New York resident stationed in New York, regular license fees apply)
Nonresident military members stationed in New York (>30 days) Resident prices for fishing, hunting or trapping licenses

How To Get Your Free/Reduced Fee License

  • Required documents/proof:
    • Military ID Card
    • Completed Certificate of Active Military Affidavit (PDF) (23 KB) Note: this form is not necessary to complete for online transactions; however, you will be required to enter the same information.
    • For resident U.S. Armed Forces: Authorized leave/furlough orders showing you are stationed outside of NY and on leave/furlough for 30 days or less.
    • For hunting licenses/privileges or trapping license: an appropriate sportsman education certificate or previous license/privilege.
  • Where/how to get your licenses/privileges: Visit a license issuing agent location. NYS resident military members can also make transactions through the online license issuing system (link leaves DEC website).

Military Veterans (residents only)

Qualification What You Can Get
Military veterans with 40% or more service-related disability who are residents of New York State $5 fishing, hunting or trapping license. If you purchase one license, you get the other two free. For example, if a fishing license is purchased for $5, the hunting & trapping licenses are free.
Free bowhunting & muzzleloading privileges (base hunting license is required)
Preference on Deer Management Permit selection

How To Get Your Free/Reduced Fee License

  • Required documents/proof:
    • Annual disability: Each year you must provide a letter from the Veteran's Administration (VA), dated in the current year, with your annual case number and your disability percentage.
    • Permanent disability: If you are claiming permanent disabled status, the VA letter must clearly state your service-related disability is 'permanent'.
    • For hunting licenses/privileges or trapping license: an appropriate sportsman education certificate or previous license/privilege.
    • Proof of NYS residency
  • Where/how to get your licenses/privileges:

Juniors (15 & Under)

Qualification What You Can Get
Juniors 12-15 years old
(resident & nonresident)
$5 hunting license
$4 bowhunting privilege
($5 base hunting license is required)
Juniors 15 and younger
(resident & nonresident)
$5 Trapping license

Note: Fishing licenses are not required for children 15 and younger.

How To Get Your Free/Reduced Fee License

Seniors (70+)

Qualification What You Can Get
Senior citizens 70 years
and older who are New York
State residents
$5 each fishing, hunting and trapping licenses
Free bowhunting & muzzeloading privileges ($5 base hunting license is required)

How To Get Your Free/Reduced Fee License

Persons with Disability

Qualification What You Can Get
Citizens who are legally blind and
residents of New York State
Free fishing license

Note: Information for military veterans with 40% or greater service-related disability is at the top of this page

How To Get Your Free/Reduced Fee License

  • Required documents/proof:
    • Signed letter dated in the current year from your doctor, which states your condition.
    • Proof of NYS residency
  • Where/how to get your license: Visit a license issuing agent location or send a copy of your proof to DEC's License Sales Unit by e-mail or fax 518-473-2105.

Permits for Hunters with Disability

Special permits are required for hunters who need to use special equipment to discharge a bow or use a motorized vehicle to discharge a firearm due to their disability. For details on how to apply, visit the Permits for Hunters with Disability page.

Native American Members

Qualification What You Can Get
Resident Native American members
of Shinnecock and Poospatuck tribes
or the Six Nations who are hunting or
trapping off of reservation land
Free hunting & trapping licenses
Free muzzleloading & bowhunting privileges

Note: When fishing off of reservation land, a community card may serve as a fishing license. No licenses are required if fishing, hunting or trapping on reservation land.

How To Get Your Free/Reduced Fee License

  • Required documents/proof:
    • Native American ID
    • Proof of NYS residency
    • Certification of residency on reservation from your Tribal Chief or Council
    • An appropriate sportsman education certificate or previous license/privilege (for hunting or trapping licenses/privileges purchase only).
  • Where/how to get your licenses/privileges:
    • Directly through your Reservation Tribal Office, or send copies of the required documents listed above to DEC's License Sales Unit by e-mail or fax 518-473-2105.

Full-Time Nonresident Students

Qualification What You Can Get
Nonresident students attending a
New York State college or
university full-time
Resident prices for fishing, hunting and trapping licenses

How To Get Your Free/Reduced Fee License

  • Required documents/proof:
    • Signed letter from your College/University registrar that states your enrollment in the current year.
    • For hunting licenses/privileges or trapping license: an appropriate sportsman education certificate or previous license/privilege.
  • Where/how to get your license: Visit a license issuing agent location or send a copy of your proof to DEC's License Sales Unit by e-mail or fax 518-473-2105.

More about Free/Reduced Fee Sporting Licenses:

  • Sporting Licenses Under the Patriot Plan - NYS Residents who are active service members of either the New York State Organized Militia, U.S. Reserve Forces, or certain members of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible for free sporting licenses.
  • PDF Help
  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 518-402-8845.
  • Contact for this Page
  • NYSDEC
    Fish, Wildlife & Marine Resources
    625 Broadway
    Albany, NY 12233-4750
    518-402-8845
    Send us an email
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