Find answers to frequently asked questions about rod licences.
Do I need a rod licence?
Anyone aged 12 or over who wishes to fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt and eels in England, Wales or the Border Esk region of Scotland requires a rod licence to fish with a rod and line. If you are fishing for coarse fish with three or four rods (four is the maximum allowed) then you need two licences.
Licence duties and conditions
Licence duties and conditions are set for 2012 and 2013, but we are currently considering our licence duty proposals for 2014 and beyond. We will be reviewing certain aspects of the licensing system to give better service to rod licence payers.
We will be addressing the number of rods allowed per licence as part of this review. Options for change are currently being considered, but there is strong support to allow three rods on one licence for stillwater fishermen. We will be consulting on firm proposals early next year. The cost for the extra licence would depend on the number of anglers involved, but would probably not exceed £10.
Where can I buy my rod licence?
You can buy your rod licence from Post Office outlets throughout England and Wales, online, by direct debit and over the telephone on 0844 800 5386. The phone line is open from 8.30am to 8pm daily from March to September and 8.30am to 6.00pm from October to February, Monday to Saturday.
I have heard I can apply for a licence through other websites. Is this correct?
Only the Post Office and a number of specific fisheries are allowed to sell rod licences. We are aware that other websites offer to “process” your rod licence application for you and may charge you a fee for this service. We have no connection with such websites and do not endorse the service they provide.
How to apply for a rod licence if living abroad?
Overseas customers wishing to buy a full, senior concession or short term rod licence should purchase them via the website. It is unlikely that you will receive the full licence in the post, and short term licences are not issued, so it is essential that you keep your confirmation email as your proof of purchase and use this when you go fishing. If you are applying for a disabled concession licence, please contact us directly, either via our website or through our general enquiries number, details can be found at the top of this page by clicking the ‘contact us’ link.’
All other overseas customers wishing to use a rod and line to fish will need to buy a licence on their arrival in England or Wales using the address they are staying at during their visit
I have changed my name and address. What should I do?
If you have changed your name and/or address, please let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning us on 03708 506 506 so that we can update our records
When will my licence run out?
If you buy a full licence it will run out on the 31 March each year unless you have bought a new season licence in advance. One-day licences are valid for 24 hours from the start time, and eight-day licences are valid for 192 consecutive hours from the start time.
How soon after buying my rod licence can I fish?
If you have bought a full licence for this season from the Post Office, by phone or on line on the Post Office website, you are covered to go fishing immediately. You will receive a till receipt (from Post Office branches) or confirmation email from the Post Office (for online or telephone purchases) to confirm that your purchase has been successfully processed.
If you have bought a one or eight day licence you can fish from the start date and start time stated on the licence application. Again, you will receive a till receipt or confirmation email from the Post Office to confirm that your purchase has been successfully processed.
Please note, some websites offer to process your rod licence application for you. There may be a delay between you applying to these websites and us receiving and completing the transaction. You must wait till you receive an email from the Post Office, confirming that the transaction is complete or until you have received your licence before you go fishing
When will I receive my licence?
Licences are not posted for one and eight day licences. Full licences are sent out within a couple of days of you buying the licence. If you have not received your licence seven days after purchase, please call us on 03708 506 506 and we can look into this for you.
I have bought a trout and coarse rod licence and want to fish for salmon. Do I need to buy a new licence’
You may upgrade your trout and coarse licence to a salmon and sea trout licence at any time during the year. To upgrade your licence you must take it to a Post Office branch. You’ll need to pay the difference in cost between the licences (regardless of when you upgrade). The Post Office will keep your trout and coarse licence and a salmon and sea trout licence will be posted to you. You can still fish for non-migratory trout and coarse fish with the salmon and migratory trout licence.
Can I get a concessionary rod licence?
Concessions are available for juniors aged between 12 and 16 years old, seniors aged 65 years and over and disabled anglers who are in receipt of a Blue Badge or Disability Living Allowance. Your eligibility for a concession may be checked against the information you provide as part of the application process.
Do I need a licence if I take my young child fishing?
Children younger than 12 do not need to buy a rod licence. Children aged 12 – 16 inclusive need to purchase a junior licence at £5.00. If you take a child fishing, we advise that you purchase a licence. If you are holding or helping to hold the rod you will need a licence.
Remember, many angling clubs and fisheries run introductory angling events to introduce youngsters and adults alike to fishing. Many of these events will have a general or temporary licence, allowing anyone attending to fish without buying their own licence.
For more information, visit our angling events page
I have receive a renewal letter in the post. How do I renew my rod licence?
If you have received a renewal letter in the post, check that all the details are correct. If they are then either take your letter with you to the Post office, or choose the renewal option online or over the telephone. This way, you will be able to renew your licence without having to provide all your details again. If your details on the letter are incorrect or have changed then you will need to buy a licence by providing your details again. This will ensure we have the correct details for you on our database. You do not need to keep your renewal letter after renewing your licence.
Do I need a renewal letter to buy a licence?
No, not at all. If you have not received a renewal letter or don’t have it to hand when you are renewing you can still buy a licence online, at the Post Office or over the phone. You will just need to provide us with your name and address details.
I have lost my rod licence and need a replacement, what do I do now?
If you have lost your rod licence or it has been destroyed then you can get a replacement licence. To get a replacement you will need to call us on 03708 506 506. There is a £5 (£1 for juniors) charge for a replacement licence payable by debit/credit card, cheque or postal order.
I want a refund on my rod licence, is this possible?
Rod licences are non-refundable unless they have been bought in error and are returned to us immediately following purchase. To apply for a refund please send your rod licence along with a covering letter explaining why you want the refund to:
National Customer Contact centre
PO Box 544
Why does a rod licence run from 1 April - 31 March?
The rod licence season runs on an annual cycle from 1 April to 31 March and we offer full and concessionary rod licences which run between these dates. This system keeps costs to a minimum and keeps licence duties as low as possible. By operating to a financial year, we can remind all anglers to renew their licences through publicity campaigns in March through to June. If all licences were issued on a rolling basis, we would have to operate a system of reminders for every individual licence holder which would result in extra costs that would have to be passed on to anglers.
We do offer one and eight day licences for anglers who don't wish to fish regularly. The current licensing set up was created after a public consultation in 1994, which included our Fisheries Advisory Committees. This was then approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF).