Fishing License Requirements & Fees

Click the tab headings below to learn more about Fishing License Requirements & Fees, as referenced by the New Mexico Hunting Rules & Info booklet.

See also Disability, Age, & Military Benefits.

General Information

While fishing in New Mexico, anglers 12 years and older must possess a valid New Mexico Fishing License or Game-hunting & Fishing License. (Need a license? Click Here to buy one online.) Licenses are valid April 1 through March 31 of the following year. A New Mexico Fishing License is not required on tribal reservations and private Class-A lakes.

  • Licenses not required for resident and nonresident anglers 11 years of age or younger.
  • Junior Fishing Licenses are available to resident and nonresident anglers 12–17 years of age.
  • Senior Fishing Licenses are available to New Mexico resident anglers 65–69 years of age.
  • Free Licenses for New Mexico residents 70 years and older are available online, by phone and at license vendors and all NMDGF offices. Free Fishing Licenses are not available to nonresidents. Free licenses for 100%-disabled veterans are available by application through the NMDGF Headquarters in Santa Fe, NM. These free fishing licenses do not require a Habitat Stamp, Habitat Management & Access Validation or a Second Rod Validation.
  • Handicapped Fishing Licenses are available to New Mexico residents with a permanent disability in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Applicants must have one or more disabilities that substantially limit major life activities. These fishing licenses require a Habitat Stamp, if applicable, and Habitat Management & Access Validation.

Habitat Management & Access Validation

In addition to a New Mexico Fishing License or Game-hunting & Fishing License, once each license year
(April 1–March 31) anglers must purchase a Habitat Management & Access Validation. The HMAV is not required for anglers 17 years of age or younger, or in conjunction with any free fishing license or privilege. The HMAV will automatically be added to the shopping cart with your first purchase of a fishing, hunting or trapping license for persons 18 years of age and older.

Habitat Stamp

To fish U.S. Forest Service and BLM lands in New Mexico, anglers 12 years of age and older must purchase a Habitat Stamp. Stamps are valid for one license year (April 1–March 31). This stamp is not required for anglers 11 years of age or younger or in conjunction with any free fishing license or privilege. Funds from the sale of the Habitat Stamp are used for improvement projects, including building fish cover, removing sediment from reservoirs and ponds, monitoring and improving water quality, preventing erosion and restoring lakes and trout streams.

Second Rod Validation

To fish with two rods, anglers 12 years of age and older must purchase a Second Rod Validation. This validation is not required in conjunction with any free fishing license or privilege. All other license regulations, such as bag and possession limits, remain the same. Three rods cannot be used at anytime.

Gila Trout Fishing Permit Free for Select Locations

A Gila Trout Fishing Permit is required to fish Black Canyon, Gilita Creek, Mineral Creek, Mogollon Creek, Sapillo Creek, West Fork Gila River (headwaters to East Fork confluence), Whitewater Creek, and Willow Creek (including tributaries). This permit is free and available online: www.wildlife.state.nm.us, by phone, and at all license vendors and NMDGF offices.

Fee by License Type

Licenses, stamps and validations may be purchased online, toll-free: 1-888-248-6866, at all NMDGF offices or over the counter (OTC) at local vendors. License Purchases Make Conservation Possible

License Type Resident* Nonresident

Annual Fishing

$25.00

$56.00

One-day Fishing

12.00

12.00

Five-day Fishing

24.00

24.00

Junior Annual Fishing (age 12–17)

5.00

15.00

Senior Annual Fishing (age 65–69)

8.00

NA

70 Years and Older Annual Fishing
Free license available to New Mexico residents only and does not require a Habitat Stamp, Habitat Management & Access Validation or Second Rod Validation. If obtained at a license vendor, a $1 vendor fee may apply.

NC

NA

Handicapped Annual Fishing

8.00

NA

Second Rod Validation

4.00

4.00

Game-hunting & Fishing:
Squirrel and game birds (other than turkey) and fishing

30.00

NA

Junior Game-hunting & Fishing:
Squirrel and game birds (other than turkey) and fishing

15.00

NA

Senior and Handicapped Game-hunting & Fishing

20.00

NA

Disabled Veteran Game-hunting & Fishing

10.00

NA

Habitat Stamp
Mandatory on all USDA Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management properties.

5.00

5.00

Habitat Management & Access Validation (HMAV)
Not required for individuals 17 years of age and younger or in conjunction with any free fishing license or privilege (page 4). HMAV does not replace the Habitat Stamp.

4.00

4.00

Gila Trout Fishing Permit
Free for select locations, page 3.

NC

NC

OTC Duplicate License (if license is lost or destroyed):
If obtained at a license vendor, a $1 vendor fee may apply.

NC

NC

A vendor fee of $1 per transaction applies for all purchases.

NA = Not Available.
NC = No Charge.

New Mexico Residency Requirements

*To qualify for New Mexico resident fees, an individual must meet one of the following criteria.

  1. A United States citizen who has been domiciled in New Mexico for a period of not less than 90 days immediately preceding the date of application for a license and who does not claim residency elsewhere for any purpose. Temporary or seasonal residents, who maintain a primary residence outside of New Mexico, do not qualify for resident licenses.
  2. A citizen of another country who is legally in the United States and can verify residence in New Mexico for 90 days immediately preceding his/her license application.
  3. A student who has attended an educational institution in New Mexico while residing in the state for at least one full term preceding the application for a license. Students also must present a certificate or letter from the institution verifying their enrollment and attendance.
  4. A member of the U.S. Armed Forces who is assigned permanently to a military installation located within New Mexico and who presents with his/her application a certificate or letter that verifies the military assignment and is signed by the commanding officer. The spouse or dependent of such person, living within the same household and similarly certified by the person’s commanding officer may also purchase resident licenses.
Reference (2019-20 NM Fishing Rules & Info pgs. 2, 4)