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Licenses, Permits & Quota Hunts

NOTE: Annual License are valid March 1 - the last day of February unless otherwise noted.

Purchasing Online

Hunting and fishing licenses go on sale February 18 each year, the beginning of prime fishing, and are valid until the last day of February the following year.  Seasons are subject to change & license fees are subject to change.

Most licenses, except the Lifetime Sportsman License and specialty licenses, such as Wheelchair, Disabled Veteran, Intellectually disabled, and Blind Fishing licenses, are available from most county clerks, sporting goods stores, hardware stores, boat docks, online, and from all TWRA offices.

The Lifetime Sportsman License cannot be purchased at general license agents. Applications for this license may be obtained by calling the TWRA Nashville Office (615-781-6500), any of the four regional offices, or you can learn more about Tennessee's Lifetime Sportsman's License by clicking here. 

Tennessee Wildlife: It is What we do.

General Resident License Requirements

Resident licenses can be purchased by:

Persons who possess a valid Tennessee driver's license. Tennessee state law requires drivers to obtain a Tennessee driver's license within 30 days of residency. Out-of-state drivers license are only accepted for Military Personnel and Students meeting the criteria below:

  • Military personnel on active duty in this state and their immediate families, who reside with them, regardless of resident status.
  • Students who are enrolled in a Tennessee school, college, or university for at least six months.

Persons who have lived in Tennessee for 90 consecutive days with the genuine intent of making Tennessee their permanent home. Proof of residency is required.

  • Persons who do not drive or do not possess a valid driver’s license from another state, but who have lived in Tennessee for 90 consecutive days with the genuine intent of making Tennessee their permanent home, may prove residency by presenting to a TWRA license agent any two of the following documents: 
    • Current Tennessee voter registration card
    • Current Tennessee vehicle registration or title
    • Form I-94 issued by the US Citizenship & Immigration Service
    • Current rental/mortgage contract or receipt including deed of sale for property or receipt for payment of Tennessee real estate taxes within last year 

Tennessee Lifetime Sportsman License

A Social Security Number is required to purchase a Tennessee hunting or fishing license.

The Lifetime Sportsman License is available to any individual who has resided in Tennessee continuously for the twelve (12) consecutive months immediately preceding the purchase of the Lifetime Sportsman License.  Applicants under the age of three (3) years must have at least one parent or designated guardian who was a resident of Tennessee at the time of the child's birth and has continued to reside in Tennessee since birth.

The Lifetime Sportsman License entitles the holder to all the hunting and fishing privileges afforded holders of an Annual Sportsman License.  It is non-transferable and fees are non-refundable.  This license is good for the life of the holder even if the license holder moves out of state.  

In addition to the Lifetime Sportsman License card applicants will receive a certificate suitable for framing, which makes this special license a natural gift for children or grandchildren.

Revenue from the sale of the Lifetime Sportsman License will be set aside in a permanent trust fund from which only the interest will be used to finance programs designed to manage wildlife and preserve the heritage of hunting and fishing in Tennessee. The fee for a Lifetime Sportsman License must be paid in full in either cash, check, or credit card.  

Lifetime Sportsman License Fees

Applicants must submit a legible copy of their current Tennessee Driver's License in existence for at least twelve (12) months or other proof of twelve (12) months residency with this application. If the applicant is under the age of sixteen (16) and does not have a Tennessee Driver's License, you must include (1) a Legible photocopy of a parent's or guardian's Tennessee Driver's License in existence for at least twelve (12) months or other proof of twelve (12) month residency and (2) A legible photocopy of the applicant's birth certificate.

Applications for this new license may be obtained by calling the TWRA Nashville Office (615-781-6500), any of the four regional offices, or you can download the application and mail it in or fax it to (615) 837-4262.  Applications cannot be processed without the Social Security of the applicant.  

TWRA does accept applications through email at Please be advised that the Lifetime License application requires personally identifiable information to be included on the application. Although the State of Tennessee and TWRA do the absolute best to keep our email environment secure, we cannot be held liable for any identity theft exposure that may occur should you choose to email the application, and the message is compromised. The email sender assumes all risks involved when submitting applications via an email service.

The Lifetime Sportsman License cannot be purchased at the online license center at this time.  Please use the appropriate form for your needs:

What To Do If You've Misplaced Your License

You may reprint all active licenses at any time by logging into your account from our website. You may also purchase a duplicate printed license at a cost of $7.00 at any of our licensing agents.

Guide Licenses

A guide is any individual who accepts compensation for providing assistance to another in any act of hunting, fishing and/or trapping and shall be required to possess a guide license in addition to any other required licenses.

Entities employing individuals as guides may purchase such resident and non-resident guide licenses as may be necessary for its employees.   Use the Miscellaneous Application to apply for a Guide License

Type Description Cost
450 Resident Guide License $150.00
455 Non-Resident Guide License $650.00

High Impact Habitat Conservation Permits

These permits must be purchased for horseback riding, bicycling, and ORV use. Youths under age 13 and persons holding a valid annual or permanent hunting license with a valid permit to hunt on these areas are exempt. At least one occupant of an enclosed vehicle must possess the proper permit(s). No permit shall be required on certain roads/trails as designated.

Areas requiring a HIHCP

Region I
Wolf River WMA

Region 2
Laurel Hill, Yanahli, Cheatham, Williamsport, Bear Hollow

Region 3
Bridgestone Firestone – Big Bottom Unit, Catoosa, Keyes-Harrison , Luper Mountain, Mt. Roosevelt, North Chickamauga Creek – Patton Unit, Pea Ridge , Skinner Mountain

Region 4
Forks of the River,NOTE: All interior trails closed to bicyclists. Will Skelton Greenway and Whaley Trail (formerly known as Bluff Trail) to the Burnett Creek Parking Area open to bicyclists. No High Impact Habitat Conservation Permit required for use of the Will Skelton Greenway/Whaley Trail. North Cumberland, NOTE: No High Impact Habitat Conservation Permit required on Peabody Road from its junction of US Highway 25W to the Hatfield Knob Elk Viewing Tower. No High Impact Habitat Conservation Permit shall be required on US Highways and/or County maintained roads that traverse North Cumberland WMA.


Type Description Cost
035 Resident Annual Permit $74.00
036 Resident Daily Permit $15.50
037 Non-Resident Annual Permit $233.00
038 Non-Resident Daily Permit $37.50

Reelfoot Preservation Permit

Required for all users except:   those under 16 years of age, residents 65 years or older, & holders of the Annual Sportsman license, Lifetime Sportsman license, or the Annual Senior Citizen Permit

Becoming An Authorized TWRA License Agent

If you are interested in becoming a TWRA License Agent, please contact the TWRA Revenue Office at 1-800-648-8798.

The TWRA is funded by two primary sources: license/permit sales and federal excise taxes (Pittman-Robertson and Wallop-Breaux). Tennessee's allocation of these federal taxes is based in part, on the number of hunters and fishermen in the state.

The TWRA does not receive any funding from the State's general fund (i.e. state sales tax).

Thank you for buying a license. Without your support, Tennessee would not have fish and wildlife management programs!