California Hunting License

How Do I Get My State Hunting License?

Depending on your age, you may be required to have the Hunter Education Certificate in order to legally buy a license or permit to hunt.

  1. Complete the California hunter education certification requirements.
  2. Choose the correct license type.
  3. Buy the license through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website or a California–approved agent.

Types of California Hunting Licenses

California Resident

A resident is a person who has lived in California for at least six months. Active-duty military members are considered residents.

All California residents must have a resident hunting license. For hunters pursuing big game, additional tag licenses are required. Visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website for more details.

Non-Resident

All non-residents must have a non-resident hunting license. For hunters pursuing big game, additional tag licenses are required. Visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website for details on restrictions.

Youth Hunting License

California residents and non-residents under the age of 18 who hunt birds or mammals must have the Junior Hunting License. For hunters age 12 or older pursuing big game, additional tag licenses are required.

Senior Hunting License

California does not offer a hunting license specifically for senior citizens.

Disability License

Mobility impaired hunters may apply for the free Mobility Impaired Disabled Persons Motor Vehicle Hunting License. Visually impaired hunters may apply for the free Visually Disabled Muzzleloader Scope Permit. Disabled hunters may apply for the Disabled Archer Permit. Visit the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website for more details.

Military and Veteran License

Active-duty military members may purchase a resident hunting license.

A Recovering Service Member Hunting License is available to any recovering service member who is undergoing medical treatment for a serious injury or illness.

Disabled veterans (California residents and nonresidents) who have 50% or greater disability and who were honorably discharged may apply for the Disabled Veteran Reduced Fee Hunting License.

Migratory Waterfowl Requirements

All hunters age 16 or older must purchase the Federal Duck Stamp when hunting migratory waterfowl. The California Duck Validation is required for any person taking waterfowl, excluding hunters who have the Junior Hunting License. In addition, hunters are required to have proof of their participation in the Harvest Information Program (HIP).

License Expiration

Hunting licenses are good from July 1 through June 30 of the next year. California residents are able to purchase a lifetime hunting license.

Where to Buy a California Hunting License

Get Certified Online!

Take this California–approved course to complete your online hunter safety education.

California Hunting safety education card Lifetime Card

pay only when you pass

Need help? Here are the answers to the questions California Hunting students most frequently ask.

Frequently Asked Questions