Recreational fishing licences are required in NSW, even if you only fish occasionally. Short term and long term licences are available and if an authorised officer requests it, you must be able to show your licence fee receipt.

If you're aged 18 or older, and you're engaged in any of the following activities in NSW waters, freshwater or saltwater, you need a recreational fishing licence: 

  • spearfishing
  • hand lining or hand gathering
  • trapping
  • bait collecting
  • prawn netting
  • being on or near NSW waters and having fishing gear with you.

If you're eligible for a fishing licence exemption, you'll need to carry the necessary proof when you're fishing, in case you're called upon to show it.


You're exempt from paying the NSW recreational fishing fee if you're:

  • aged under 18
  • an adult assisting a person under the age of 18 to take:
    • a fish with a single rod, or
    • prawns with a single dip or scoop net
  • fishing in a private dam less than 2 hectares in surface area. 
  • an Aboriginal person
  • the holder of one of the following:
    • current pensioner concession card issued by Services Australia or Department of Veterans' Affairs (DVA)
    • current DVA Veteran Gold Card marked 'TPI' or 'EDA'
    • letter or statement from the DVA stating the person receives a Disability Compensation payment at more than 70% or is eligible for a Special Rate Disability Pension.

For further information, visit Recreational fishing fee exemptions.

What you need

  • your personal details
  • your mailing address
  • the date you want your licence to start
  • how long you need a licence for
  • your payment.

How to apply

  1. Select the 'Apply online' button.
  2. Complete the online application form.

Note: If you're unable to apply online, call 1300 369 365 and pay your fishing fee over the phone. The number is available 24/7, and payment with MasterCard or Visa is accepted.


The Privacy Collection Notice explains how the NSW Department of Primary Industries will handle your personal information.

Last updated: 11 December 2023