Hunting and Fishing License Information in Tennessee

License Validity Period

Duration of Licenses: In Tennessee, hunting and fishing licenses are generally valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. This applies to most types of licenses, offering flexibility and convenience for both resident and non-resident sportsmen.

Social Security Number Requirement

Federal Mandate for License Purchase: As mandated by federal law, a Social Security Number (SSN) is required for purchasing any hunting or fishing license in Tennessee. This requirement ensures compliance with child support enforcement laws and is a standard procedure for license acquisition.

Seasonal and Fee Changes

Adaptability to Regulatory Changes: It is important to note that hunting and fishing seasons are subject to change. Similarly, license fees may vary over time. These adjustments are often based on wildlife management needs and economic factors.

Migratory Bird Seasons

Federal Regulation Compliance: Seasons for hunting migratory birds are determined by federal regulations. Hunters must adhere to these guidelines to ensure the sustainable management of migratory bird populations.

License Availability

Where to Purchase Licenses: Most hunting and fishing licenses in Tennessee, excluding special categories like the Lifetime Sportsman License and licenses for individuals with disabilities (e.g., Wheelchair, Disabled Veteran, SSI, Blind Fishing licenses), can be obtained from various locations:

  • County Clerks: Available in most county offices across the state.
  • Sporting Goods Stores: Licenses are sold at numerous sporting goods retailers.
  • Hardware Stores and Marinas: Convenient locations for license purchases.
  • TWRA Regional Offices: Direct purchase from Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency offices.
  • Online Platform: The website offers an easy online purchasing option.

Native Tennessean License Information

Eligibility for Native Tennessean Licenses

Special Privilege for Nonresident Tennesseans: Nonresidents who were born in Tennessee have the unique opportunity to apply for Native Tennessean annual licenses. This special category allows individuals who were born in Tennessee but currently reside elsewhere to purchase annual hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses at the same cost as residents of Tennessee.

Application Process

Steps to Acquire a Native Tennessean License:

  • First-Time Applicants: Those applying for the first time must do so through an application process. Detailed information and the application form are available online at Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
  • Renewal for Previous Applicants: Individuals who have previously obtained a Native Tennessean license can conveniently renew their licenses online at, through the TWRA OnTheGo mobile app, or at any licensed agent in Tennessee.

Lost or Misplaced Licenses

Options for License Replacement: In case a hunting or fishing license is misplaced:

  1. Print at No Cost: All types of licenses, including lifetime licenses, can be reprinted at no charge from This service is available anytime.
  2. Replacement at License Agents: A replacement license can also be obtained through any licensed agent across the state for a fee of $8.00.

Address Verification

Ensuring Accurate Records: It's important to verify and confirm your address at the time of license purchase or renewal. This step ensures that all records are up-to-date and can assist in streamlining the application and renewal processes.

License Exemptions in Tennessee

Overview of Exemptions

Specific Groups Exempted from License Requirements: Tennessee offers various exemptions from hunting and fishing license requirements for certain residents and groups. These exemptions are designed to encourage outdoor activities while respecting land ownership and military service.

Eligible Groups for Exemptions

  1. Senior Residents: Residents born before March 1, 1926, are exempt from license requirements, provided they can show proof of age and residency.
  2. Military Personnel on Leave: Active military personnel on leave can hunt or fish without a license, but must carry their leave papers during these activities.
  3. Landowners and Family: Landowners, along with their spouses, children, and children’s spouses, can hunt on their own farmland without a license. This exemption is valid if they are Tennessee residents, regardless of whether they reside on the land. However, this does not apply if the farmland is jointly owned by unrelated persons.
  4. Resident Grandchildren and Great-Grandchildren: Those under 16 years old can hunt on farmland owned by their resident grandparents or great-grandparents without a license.
  5. Tenants on Farmland: Tenants, their spouses, and dependent children who reside on and care for farmland can hunt on that land without a license. They must be Tennessee residents and have the landowner's permission.
  6. First Cousins Owning Farmland: First cousins who jointly or commonly own farmland, along with their children, may fish and hunt small game on this land without a license.

Required Documentation

Statement for Exemption Verification: Individuals hunting under a resident farmland owner exemption must complete a statement confirming the location of the property and how it qualifies for a landowner exemption. This form can be filled out in advance or when requested by a TWRA official. It’s available at TWRA offices and on the TWRA website (

Additional Exemptions

Hunter Education and Safety Requirements: Landowners and their children hunting on their parent's land under this exemption are also exempt from Hunter Education Certification requirements and the mandate to wear blaze orange.

These exemptions are part of Tennessee’s commitment to promoting outdoor sports and wildlife conservation while recognizing the rights of landowners and the sacrifices of military personnel. It’s important for individuals to understand these exemptions and carry the necessary documentation to ensure compliance with state wildlife regulations.

Wild Advisor Pro


The legal advice provided on Wild Advisor Pro is intended as a summary of the hunting, camping, hiking, and fishing laws and regulations and does not constitute legal language or professional advice. We make every effort to ensure the information is accurate and up to date, but it should not be relied upon as legal authority. For the most current and comprehensive explanation of the laws and regulations, please consult the official government websites or a qualified legal professional. Wild Advisor Pro is not responsible for any misunderstandings or misinterpretations of the information presented and shall not be held liable for any losses, damages, or legal disputes arising from the use of this summary information. Always check with the appropriate governmental authorities for the latest information regarding outdoor regulations and compliance.