Lifetime Sporting Licenses
The following licenses are available to New York State residents only.
Applicants must prove NYS residency for one year prior to application
(review the accepted proofs of residency)
Lifetime Licenses and Fees
|License Name||Resident Fee
& (Age Group)
|Combined privileges of small game, big game, and fishing (freshwater) licenses and a turkey permit. This DOES NOT include hunting big game (i.e., deer or bear) with a bow or muzzleloader during the bow or muzzleloading seasons.
See Note below for hunters under age 18.
|Small & Big Game||$535
|Hunt small game species with gun or bow during appropriate seasons;
Hunt big game (deer and bear) with a firearm (gun or muzzleloader) or bow during the regular firearms season
or hunt with shotgun or muzzleloader during special January deer season on Long Island. (view regular hunting seasons and/or Long Island hunting information)
Note: To hunt deer or bear with a bow during the regular firearms season you must have a bow hunting education certificate.
See Note below for hunters under age 18.
|Hunt deer and bear with bow only during bowhunting season|
|Set traps for species during their appropriate season|
|Hunt deer and bear with a muzzleloading firearm during muzzleloading season|
|Catch freshwater fish species during appropriate seasons|
The following are privileges for Lifetime Big & Small and Lifetime Sportsman license holders who are under age 18, with appropriate safety education certification:
- Ages 12-13: Hunt small game species with gun or bow during appropriate seasons when accompanied* by a parent, legal guardian, or person 21 or over with written permission from parent/guardian.
- Ages 14-15: Hunt small game species with gun or bow (with appropriate bowhunting eligibility) when accompanied* by a parent, legal guardian, or person 18 or over with written permission from parent/guardian. Hunt big game species when accompanied* by a parent, legal guardian or 'youth mentor' 21 years or older designated in writing.
- Ages 16-18: If hunting big game for the first time, must be accompanied by parent or legal guardian, or a person over 18 with at least one year's experience in hunting bear or deer, for the entire season and a current year license for hunting big game.
*Accompanying parent, legal guardian, or permissible persons must have a current year's hunting license.
Lifetime License Terms and Conditions
Lifetime License Transfers
- Lifetime sporting licenses may be transferred to a qualifying relative who is a resident of New York State if the lifetime license holder passes away within one year of purchase of the license or if the license holder passes away while in active United States military duty during a time of war. A qualifying relative can be a parent, sibling, child or spouse of the license holder. The lifetime licenses must have been issued on or after January 15, 2008. For more information on requests and copies of supporting documents for applying for Lifetime License Transfer call DEC's License Sales Unit at 518-402-8843.
- Lifetime licenses for adults (ages 16 and older) can be purchased by phone at 1-86-NY-DECALS (1-866-933-2257) or in person at any license issuing outlet in New York State (e.g. most town clerks' offices and many sporting good stores). Lifetime licenses cannot be purchased online.
- Lifetime licenses for children under 16 years old can only be purchased at a license issuing outlet.
- Lifetime license purchased by phone take at least two weeks for processing. Please take this into consideration when purchasing one during peak hunting and fishing seasons, for holidays and for special occasion gifts (birthdays, graduations, etc.).
- After the original purchase, appropriate tags and any special applications will be mailed annually to lifetime licensees.
- Refunds for lifetime license fees will not be made under any conditions.
- The purchase of a lifetime license goes forever into New York State's Fish and Game Trust Fund. Only the interest from this fund goes into the State's Conservation Fund which is overseen by the Conservation Fund Advisory Board (CFAB) and is dedicated to the support and promotion of fishing, hunting and trapping.
- Lifetime license fees may increase when annual license fees increase and such increases will not affect sportsmen and sportswomen who have previously purchased a lifetime license.
- LOST lifetime licenses and tags can be replaced for a fee of $5.
- Lifetime licenses are available only to residents of New York State who have been residents for at least one year immediately prior to the application date (proof required). Lifetime license applicants must present the same proofs of residency, eligibility and age as annual license applicants. With the original lifetime license purchase, the customer will receive appropriate tags for the season and license type at the time of purchase.
- When purchasing a lifetime license as a gift for an adult, you must include all required proofs of residency at the time of application.
- Lifetime license privileges are equal to those of annual license buyers. Lifetime licensees must still purchase separate privileges, such as turkey permits (except for lifetime sportsman license holders) and deer management permits.
- Lifetime licenses will remain valid for privileges purchased in New York State regardless of a change in residency.
- When purchasing a lifetime license for a child, the purchaser must bring proof of the child's age with either a birth certificate or passport and a copy of the parent's residency proof.
- When the child becomes age 12 and wishes to receive his/her tags, s/he must first take the appropriate hunter safety training course. A copy of the certificate must then be sent to the DEC License Sales Unit, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4790 before their tags can be fulfilled. Young hunters should take the appropriate training course well in advance of the season to allow adequate time for their tags to be mailed. Tags cannot be obtained by contacting your local license issuing agent.
For additional information or clarification on Lifetime Licenses, contact the License Sales Unit, Division of Fish, Wildlife and Marine Resources, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4790 or call 518-402-8843.