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How to Renew Your Lifetime License

Information: (916) 928-5805

Invest in the future of hunting and fishing by purchasing a lifetime license.

The lifetime license renewal process changed in 2011. You can now renew your license (at no cost of course) at CDFW License Agent, CDFW license sales office or online.

  • If you renew your license at a license agent of CDFW office, having your previous license with you will speed the transaction, as the clerk can scan your license to retrieve your customer record and renew you license very quickly.
  • If you renew your license online, log in using your last name, date of birth and GO ID (from your fishing or hunting license). Select "Purchase Licenses" from the menu near the top. Select your lifetime license and any other privileges you wish to renew (or purchase). After you have made all your selections, click on "Check Out" and complete the transaction. The transaction is not complete until you select "Submit Payment". After this you will receive a notice that the transaction is complete and your license will be mailed to you. At this time, you have the option to print a temporary license that is valid for 15 days. You can use your temporary license until your permanent license arrives in the mail.

What is a Lifetime License?

There are two types of lifetime licenses: the Lifetime Fishing License and the Lifetime Hunting License. The Lifetime Fishing License entitles the angler to a sport fishing license each year for the remainder of his or her life. The Lifetime Hunting License entitles the hunter to a hunting license each year for the remainder of his or her life.

The lifetime license program works by depositing the money from your purchase into a dedicated account called the Lifetime License Trust Account. Each year, the money in that trust account earns interest and the Department receives an allocation equal to one license fee for every person holding a lifetime fishing or hunting license. Over the course of your lifetime, the money taken from the trust account is offset by interest earned on the principal.

Lifetime license fees are based on your age at the time of purchase. For fees, refer to the Lifetime License Application (PDF Form).

You can also purchase one or more "additional privilege packages" that include several stamps, harvest report cards and tags. By purchasing one of these privilege packages you receive the included privileges each year for the remainder of your life.

The Additional Sport Fishing Privileges include a Second-Rod Stamp, Ocean Enhancement Stamp, Klamath-Trinity Salmon Report Card, and Steelhead Report Card.

The Additional Bird Hunting Privileges include a California Duck Stamp and an Upland Game Bird Stamp.

The Additional Big Game Hunting Privileges include a First-Deer Tag Application and five Resident Wild Pig Tags. The deer tag application may be used to apply for a deer tag in our annual automated drawing or to pick up an over-the-counter tag.

Lifetime licenses enable California's dedicated sportsmen and women to have a license entitling them to fish or hunt for the rest of their lives and save money by avoiding future price increases. Better yet, lifetime license fees provide a dedicated source of funds for protection and conservation of future fish and wildlife populations.

If you'd like to order your lifetime license, download an Lifetime License Application (PDF Form) and return it to CDFW. You need to provide proof of your age (such as a copy of your birth certificate, passport, or driver's license) and proof that you've passed a hunter education course if you're buying a lifetime hunting license. If you have questions about the lifetime license program, please contact the CDFW at (916) 928-5805 or LRB@wildlife.ca.gov.


Lifetime Fishing Licenses

License Category Fee Description
Ages 0-9 $518.25 Available to residents of California. Lifetime fishing licensees receive an annual sport fishing license each year for life.
Ages 10-39 $846.75
Ages 40-61 $763.00
Ages 62+ $518.25
Lifetime Fishing Privilege Package $350.75 Lifetime licensees who purchase the Fishing Privilege Package receive a Second-Rod Stamp, an Ocean Enhancement Stamp, a North Coast Salmon Report Card and a Steelhead Report Card.

Lifetime Hunting Licenses

License Category Fee Description
Ages 0-9 $518.25 Available to any resident of California showing proof of completion of hunter education training. Lifetime hunting licensees receive an annual hunting license each year for life.
Ages 10-39 $846.75
Ages 40-61 $763.00
Ages 62+ $518.25
Lifetime Bird Hunting Privilege Package $301.50 Lifetime licensees who purchase the Lifetime Bird Hunting Privilege Package receive Upland Game Bird and California Duck Validations each year for life.
Lifetime Big Game Hunting Privilege Package $630.25 Lifetime licensees who purchase the Big Game Hunting Privilege Package receive a One-Deer Tag Application and five Wild Pig Tags each year for life.

Questions? E-mail LRB@wildlife.ca.gov

Where can I purchase a lifetime license?

 You can buy a lifetime license from any CDFW License sales office. You can also purchase a lifetime license from CDFW's License and Revenue Branch by fax or through the mail. Mail applications to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, License and Revenue Branch, 1740 N. Market Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95834. Fax your application to (916) 419-7585.

How will I receive my license every year?

Each year, 45 days before the new license year, you will be able to pick up a new license at no cost from a CDFW license agent or from the CDFW Online License Sales site.

What if I lose my license? What is the procedure for getting a duplicate?

You can go to any License Agent or CDFW License Sales Office and purchase a duplicate sport fishing license, or you can purchase a duplicate through the Online License Service. A small fee is charged for each duplicate validation.

Do validations, report cards and tags, such as the Second-Rod Validation, Steelhead Report Card, or California Duck Validation, cost extra?

You are still required to purchase any needed additional validations, report cards and tags. You can buy individual items anywhere licenses are sold. Conversely, you can purchase one or more of the additional lifetime privileges packages from a CDFW license sales office. If you purchase an additional lifetime privilege package, you receive the included privileges each year for the remainder of your life.

  • The Additional Sport Fishing Privilege Package includes a Second-Rod Validation, Ocean Enhancement validation, Klamath-Trinity Salmon Report Card, and Steelhead Report Card.
  • The Additional Bird Hunting Privilege Package includes a California Duck Validation and an Upland Game Bird Validation.
  • The Additional Big Game Hunting Privilege Package includes a First-Deer Tag Application and five Wild Pig Tags each year. The deer tag application may be used to apply for a deer tag in our annual big game drawing, or to pick up an over-the-counter deer tag.

What documentation do I need to present when purchasing a lifetime license?

You must submit a copy of your birth certificate or driver's license.

Do I need to provide proof of hunter education when purchasing a lifetime hunting license?

You do no need to provide proof of hunter education at the time of purchase, but you must provide proof of hunter education before you can receive your lifetime hunting license.

Is the license valid if I move out of state, either temporarily or permanently?

You must be a resident to purchase the license, but after it is purchased, it will be valid for use in California for the rest of your life, regardless of where you reside.

How do I purchase a lifetime license as a gift?

You can purchase lifetime fishing and hunting licenses as gifts, but you must provide a copy of the recipient's driver's license or birth certificate at the time of purchase. On the application, be sure to complete the section labeled “Part 5 – If Purchasing a Lifetime License as a Gift”.

Where can I get an application?

You can print an application from the CDFW's web site at Lifetime License Application (PDF).

If I purchase a lifetime license, can I add a privilege package later?

Yes. However, the fee may be higher if you purchase it later.

If a new validation, harvest report card, or tag is required in the future, will it be included with my additional privilege package?

No. The fee charged for additional privilege packages is based on validations, harvest report cards, and tags in effect at the time of purchase. If new validations, harvest report cards, or tags are required in the future, you may have to purchase them annually.


License and Revenue Branch
Main Office: 1740 N. Market Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95834 | Sales Offices
(916) 928-5805 | LRB@wildlife.ca.gov