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General Sporting License Information

Address Changes

Address changes can be made online (link leaves DEC website), by phone at 1-866-933-2257 (Beginning Aug. 10, the DEC Call Center is accessible from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays through Oct. 1. Regular call center weekday hours will resume on Oct. 2), at a license issuing agent location, or by sending us an email. If requesting an address change by e-mail, please include your full name, date of birth, Customer ID number (if known), new address, and telephone number.

Replacing Lost License Cards/Tags

Licenses/tags can be replaced at a license issuing agent location. Replacement fees are listed in the table below.

Replacement Fees
Items Fees
Annual and lifetime licenses for fishing, hunting or trapping $5 (per transaction)
Recreational marine fishing registration card No fee
Carcass tag sets for deer, bear or turkey $10 (per set)
Back tags for hunting No fee

Lifetime License Holders

Holders of lifetime licenses that include hunting, bowhunting or muzzleloading privileges should receive their license, tags and back tag in the mail between August 1, 2020 and August 31, 2020, provided the license holder has met the age and sportsmen education requirements and has kept their license profile up-to-date. If the lifetime license mailing is not received by August 31, 2020, lifetime holders have until November 1 to have the license set replaced for free at any agent location. Replacements after November 1 will be subject to the standard replacement fees.

For customers who purchase a new lifetime license (not included in the initial lifetime mailing mentioned above) or annual license online or through the call center, you will need to allow for 14 business days from your date of purchase to receive the license and tags in the mail. If after 14 business days you do not receive your license and tags, you will have 60 days from the date of purchase to have the license and tags replaced by either a license issuing agent or through the License Sales office (M-F, 8am-4pm). Replacements made after the 60 days will be subject to replacement fees.

Residency Qualifications

To qualify for a resident sporting license, you must have permanent residency in New York State for more than 30 days. Residency is a place where you maintain a fixed, permanent home, and to which you always intend to return.

Nonresident Military Members & College Students
You can purchase licenses and privileges for a resident fee if you are active members of the United States Armed Forces stationed in New York State (LES or military orders required as proof), or if you are a full-time college student attending a New York State College or University (student ID card required as proof).

Lifetime Licenses
When purchasing a lifetime license, you must show proof of residency for one full year.

Proof of Residency

You will need one of the following documents as proof of residency when purchasing your license:

  • NYS driver license from DMV showing a valid NYS address
  • NYS non-driver identification from DMV showing a valid NYS address
  • Current NYS vehicle registration showing a valid NYS address
  • IT-201 OR W-2 income tax form from the previous year
  • Current voter registration card
  • Current student ID card from a New York State College or University
  • Military Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) OR military orders
  • Current pay stub OR note on letterhead from a current employer. Either must verify your legal NYS address.

Licenses as Gifts

Only lifetime licenses for children under 16 can be purchased as gifts.

Required documents for gift purchases

To purchase a lifetime license as a gift, you will need the following documents:

  • Proof of age (one of the following)
    • Birth certificate
    • Passport
    • Driver's license
  • Proof of residency (parent/legal guardian proof of residency qualifies for children 16 & under)

Where to purchase lifetime licenses as gifts

Lifetime license gift purchases can be purchased at a license issuing agent location.

License Holder Responsibilities

  • Have your license on hand: You must have your license on hand while conducting any sporting activity permitted by the license.
  • Display your license as requested: You must display your license(s) on demand to any police officer, peace office, or the owner, lessee, or other person in control of the lands or waters while on their property.
  • Do not access private property without permission: A license to hunt, trap or fish does not give the holder any right to go on private property without permission of the landowner.
  • Ensure your license has all the correct information: Carefully check it immediately after purchase or as soon as delivered in the mail. If you discover an error, have it corrected as soon as possible. Errors render a hunting or fishing license invalid.
  • Do not let others use your license: A license, permit, tag or stamp (except Deer Management Permits or Lifetime Licenses) is not transferrable and may be used only by the person to whom it was issued. It is not legal to possess another person's license, permit or stamp (except a transferred Deer Management Permit), unless accompanied by the person to whom it is issued.
  • Abide by harvest limits and sporting regulations: You are responsible for checking and following regulations for harvest limits and seasons before going fishing, hunting or trapping.

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