Getting Started

Important information you should know before you begin

Available Licenses

Definition of a Maryland Resident

Legal Penalties for Providing False Information

Printer Test

What to do about a Lost License

ID Requirements

Hunter Education Requirement

Information about the Sales Process


Available Licenses

Customers may now purchase hunting licenses, fishing licenses, and off-road vehicle registrations along with associated items through our new COMPASS online portal, 7 am to 7 pm call center, at any of our Sports License Agents and the Department's 7 Regional Service Centers. All convenience fees have been eliminated. License prices are the same regardless of how or when you obtain your license.

Please contact your local DNR Service Center for other DNR licenses & permits, such as commercial licenses and boat titling and registration.

Items purchased through our COMPASS online portal are effective immediately. Be sure to print your license document before leaving COMPASS. Additionally, give us your email address and a copy of your license will be emailed to you 30 minutes after purchase. Only fishing decals and the Maryland migratory bird stamp will be mailed (allow 7-10 days for delivery). Hunting and Fishing Guides can be viewed or downloaded from the links included on your license or within the email containing your copy of the license.

From your online COMPASS account you can access various forms for download. These forms include your DNRid Card, additional Harvest Record cards, and Field Tags. Additionally, you can access a listing of Maryland Emergency Rooms, a Trip and Emergency Contact form and forms for securing permission on private property for fishing, hunting and trapping. Remember, a fishing or hunting license does not represent permission to fish or hunt on private property. You must always secure the property owner's permission prior to hunting or fishing on their land.

Definition of a Maryland resident.

  • An individual whose fixed, permanent and principal home for legal purposes is located in the State of Maryland.

  • A member of the armed forces of the United States who is on active duty and stationed officially in the State.

  • A member of the armed forces of the United States who is officially stationed outside the State of Maryland whose legal residence is Maryland. 

  • Legal Penalties for Providing False Information to obtain a MD sport license.

    Information provided in securing a fishing or hunting license is provided under penalties of perjury.

    Printer Test

    To ensure that your license will print properly, we recommend printing a sample license to ensure that you have the most current Adobe Acrobat software and that it is working properly.

    Lost Licenses

    If you provided your email address during the purchase of your license, a copy will be emailed 30 minutes after purchase. This electronic copy of your license will allow you to print another copy should your original be lost or damaged.

    A license can also be reprinted for free within 24 hours of purchase. You can reprint your license any time after that by logging into your COMPASS account; but you will be charged a reprint fee of $1 per fishing item and $5 per hunting item.

    Customers can also download and print additional DNRid cards, harvest records, and all field tags directly from your COMPASS account. You are automatically given a COMPASS account if you provided your email address during your first purchase. COMPASS will email you a password and logon link so you can access your account at anytime and anywhere using this provided email. If you do not provide an email during purchase, you will still have a COMPASS account, but you will need to access it by a combination of an identification type (DNRid, Driver License, SSN, License Number) and date of birth.

    Call 410-260-3220 for assistance between the hours of 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday, excluding State Holidays.

    Requirement to carry second form of ID along with license.

    Maryland licensed sportsmen are required to carry a second form of identification along with their licenses when hunting or fishing. That second form of identification should match the name and address printed on your license.

    All licenses now include a DNRid card. This DNRid card provides quick access to your COMPASS account for future purchases at DNR Service Centers and Sports License Agent locations.

    The DNRid Card does not qualify as your second ID in the field. You must still carry a second form of identification while you hunt and/or fish.

    Hunter Education Requirements

    Customers qualify for certain items by the education or other certifications the carry. COMPASS stores these certifications for each customer to prove your eligibility. One your Recreational License and DNRid card, you will notice ‘PRE’ or up to three letters after the ‘CRT:’ one each and they represent the following certifications:

  • PRE = Certification that you held a hunting license, or hunted on private property prior to July 1, 1977;
  • H = Hunter Education and Safety Certification
  • T = Trapper Education and Safety Certification
  • B = Boating Safety Education Certification
  • To purchase a hunting license or to hunt in Maryland, state law requires:

  • Presentation of a Certificate of Competency in Firearms and Hunter Safety (required for junior licensees), or
  • Certification that you held a hunting license issued prior to July 1, 1977, or
  • Certification that you hunted on private property prior to July 1, 1977, and were legally exempt from purchasing a hunting license, or
  • Certification that you are purchasing a non-resident license and will only hunt waterfowl.
  • Note: Persons under the age of 18 hunting on family property when a license is not required, must have a Certificate of Competency in Firearms and Hunter Safety.

    Information about the Sales Process

  • Customers may cancel the transaction at any point before entry of payment information, however they will still receive a COMPASS account through customer enrollment to make future purchases at any time.
  • All sales are final. We accept Discover, Mastercard and Visa at our Service Center locations, through the COMPASS online portal and if you call our call center, A DNR contracted, Maryland-based company provides our 7 am to 7 pm by 365 call center operations to issue licenses to you by live operators.
  • We are proud to be living up to our green roots with the deployment of COMPASS. With the added convenience of email license delivery, we only provide access to our hunting and fishing guides digitally through our web site and no longer mail guidebooks to online and telephone license customers. Providing a digital copy allows you to print the specific pages that are relevant to you, or download the entire guide to store on your smartphone or other mobile device. Additionally, the digital versions never go stale and are updated with the most current information as the license year progresses. If you desire a hard copy of our guidebooks, you may visit any of our more than 200 sports license agent locations, 7 Service Centers and 10 wildlife management areas.
  • DNR operates the COMPASS online licensing and registration system, but it was developed by a Maryland-based company.
  • Customers will not be charged a convenience fee for licenses purchased by any method through COMPASS. All licenses are the same price regardless of how or when they are obtained.