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Exemptions and Exceptions



Delaware state law and Delaware’s fishing and hunting regulations provide several exemptions and exceptions to the state’s fishing and hunting licensing requirements.

The following are exempt from fishing license requirements:

Surf Fishing Permits

Note: Exempt anglers are required to to apply separately for a Fisherman Information Network (FIN) number though the ePermitting system unless otherwise noted.

Residents and Non-Residents are exempt from fishing license requirements if they are the operator of a vehicle with a valid Delaware surf fishing vehicle permit when that vehicle is located on a designated Delaware State Park beach. Other occupants of that vehicle are required to have a Resident or Non-Resident fishing license if they are fishing.

Seniors

Residents of the State of Delaware age 65 years and older are exempt from fishing license requirements, but must have proof of age and residency.

Children

Children under the age of 16 are exempt from the fishing license requirements and FIN requirement.

On-Farm Fishing

Any resident who owns or lives on a farm in Delaware containing 20 or more acres and the members of his or her immediate family who reside on the farm may fish on that farm without a fishing license.

Non-residents who are occupants of farms in this State containing 20 acres or more who are engaged in the science of husbandry, who actually reside thereon, and the immediate members of the family of such occupants who also reside on said farm may fish on that farm without a fishing license.

A non-resident, who owns but is not an occupant of a farm in this State containing 20 acres or more and where the science of husbandry is practiced, and the immediate members of the family of the nonresident farm owner may fish on the farm if the farm occupant or resident, if any, gives the owner written permission or if fishing is permitted pursuant to a written lease, if any, between the farm owner and the occupant or resident of the farm.

Boat Fishing Licenses

Any person age 16 and older who has not already obtained an individual recreational Fishing License and is fishing on a boat where the boat owner purchased a recreational Boat Fishing License is exempt from purchasing a Fishing License while fishing from the vessel.

Other Exemptions

Currently, anyone qualifying for the following exemptions should contact the Division at 302.739.9918.

  • Any Delaware resident that is a patient in a rehabilitation hospital under the Department of Health and Social Services.
  • Any Delaware resident who is legally blind.
  • Any person who fishes in a fee-fishing facility, registered as such with the Department of Agriculture.

The following are exempt from hunting and trapping license requirements:

Seniors

Note: All Exempt hunters and trappers are required to get a free License Exempt Number (LEN).

Residents of the State of Delaware age 65 years and older are exempt from hunting and trapping license requirements, but must have proof of age and residency.

Children

Children under the age of 13 are exempt from the hunting license requirements but must be accompanied by a person who is the lawful holder of a hunting license or has the lawful right to hunt.

On-Farm Hunting

Any resident who owns or lives on a farm in Delaware containing 20 or more acres and the members of his or her immediate family who reside on the farm may hunt or trap on that farm without a hunting or trapping license.

Non-residents who are occupants of farms in this State containing 20 acres or more who are engaged in the science of husbandry, who actually reside thereon, and the immediate members of the family of such occupants who also reside on said farm may hunt or trap on that farm without a hunting or trapping license.

A non-resident, who owns but is not an occupant of a farm in this State containing 20 acres or more and where the science of husbandry is practiced, and the immediate members of the family of the nonresident farm owner may hunt or trap on the farm if the farm occupant or resident, if any, gives the owner written permission or if hunting and trapping is permitted pursuant to a written lease, if any, between the farm owner and the occupant or resident of the farm.

Other Exemptions

Currently, anyone qualifying for the following exemption should contact the Division at 302.739.9918.

  • Any unarmed persons participating in an organized fox hunt may participate without a license.

The Division of Fish & Wildlife provides licensing discounts and exemptions for active-duty military personnel and disabled veterans.

Active Duty Personnel

Note: Because of the public health restrictions of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, please submit your applications by email, fax, or by mail at the address below:

Division of Fish & Wildlife
Attn: Recreational Licensing
89 Kings Highway
Dover, DE 19901

Fax: 302.736.7925
(Please call 302.739.9918 when faxing)

Active duty military personnel stationed in Delaware are eligible to purchase recreational licenses at the resident price.

Qualified applicants can only purchase the licenses from Dover Airforce Base Outdoor Recreation Center or they must complete the Military Non-Resident License Application and submit it directly to the Division of Fish & Wildlife. Please allow up to 4 weeks for processing.

Operations Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom

Delaware residents who served 90 or more days in in Operation Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom are eligible for a one-time license exemption for the first 12 months following the date they were honorably discharged or removed from active status.

Qualified applicants must complete the Military Delaware Resident License Application and submit it directly to the Division of Fish & Wildlife. Please allow up to 4 weeks for processing.

Service-Connected Disabilities

Veterans with at least a 60% service-connected disability rating are eligible for a veteran license exemption.

Qualified applicants must complete the Disabled Veteran Exempt Application and submit it directly to the Division of Fish & Wildlife. Please allow up to 4 weeks for processing.

Other Exemptions

A member of the armed forces who is a patient in a military hospital and submits a written statement signed by the patient’s commanding officer (CO) certifying the nature of the disability and place of station.

Persons who are patients in any Veterans Administration facility in this State, or in any public hospital or sanatorium for the treatment of tuberculosis, or a patient in a rehabilitation hospital under the State Department of Health, provided such person carries identification which verifies his or her status as such a patient, shall not be required to purchase a fishing license. Forms shall be supplied to such persons when they apply for their licenses to be used for the identification purposes.




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