How to Apply for a License

All Sales are Final.

We have four convenient ways for you to purchase a license using COMPASS:

Order Your Hunting or Fishing License ONLINE

Our online COMPASS portal gives you 24/7 self service access to our entire product catalog of recreational licenses, permits and stamps; off-road vehicle registrations; magazine subscriptions; and donation options in support of your favorite DNR programs.

Before Using COMPASS….

  1. Check your Web Browser!
    Your best experiences with COMPASS will be with the most current versions of Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. If you do not have a compatible web browser, COMPASS will tell you. Please do not ignore this notification and upgrade your web browser to one of these.
  2. Have a Valid Email!
    Each customer must have a unique email address as this becomes your username for future logins to COMPASS, but your license will be emailed to you 30 minutes after purchase. You will be presented with the ability to print instantly after purchase, but we want to email you a copy to avoid reprint and replacement fees. Plus, you may want to keep a copy of your license on your smart phone.

    Additionally, during the account verification and enrollment process, COMPASS will send you an email asking you to verify your email and activate your account. You must act on this email prior to purchasing any licenses. This is our final step in verifying your identity and the validity of your email address.
  3. Check your Printer!
    Before attempting a purchase through COMPASS, please verify your printer works and you have the necessary free software to view our licenses. Try printing a sample license for good measure and you will be successful when it counts.

If you are a new customer, select either "I’ve never purchased a license from DNR" or "Create a New Account."

Then, complete our 5 step customer enrollment process.

The last step of new customer enrollment is the validation of your email address and activation of our COMPASS account. After you enter your email address and password, COMPASS will send you a verification email to the email address you provided. This verification e-mail will ask you to click on the provided link.

When you click on this link, DNR will validate your email address and you will receive your license as a PDF file 30 minutes after purchase.

Enrollment is a one-time process.

Once enrolled and verified, you will see your Home page and can purchase licenses and manage your account. Get Tutorial.

If you have purchased a license in the past 3 years, you will access COMPASS using your date of birth and one of the following:

  • Previous license (to reference the license number), or
  • Driver's license number
  • At the COMPASS portal, select ‘Use Identification and Date of Birth’ to verify your information migrated over from our legacy systems and activate your COMPASS account. Upon confirmation of your email address and password, you will receive a verification email requesting you to click the provided link to activate your COMPASS account.

    This allows us to validate your email address as active so you will receive your license as a PDF 30 minutes after purchase. Enrollment is a one-time process. Once enrolled and verified, you will be able to purchase your licenses. Get Tutorial.

    If you purchased a license during the COMPASS Pilot (March 2012), you can access your account using any of the following:

  • Login (registered email) and password; or
  • DNRid number and date of birth; or
  • Previous license (to reference the license number) and date of birth; or
  • Driver's license number and date of birth; or
  • Social Security number and date of birth
  • At the COMPASS portal, select either ‘Use my Login and Password’ or ‘Use Identification and Date of Birth’ to access your COMPASS account. You should see your Home page and be able to purchase your licenses, download and print applicable forms and obtain a new DNRid card.

    Registering for the Saltwater Angler Registration?

    All registrations are processed through COMPASS now, and each angler registering must have a COMPASS account.

    If you registered in the past 3 years, we likely already have your information and it is waiting for you to verify it in COMPASS.

    Please use the instructions above to access your information and activate your COMPASS account. If you are a first time registry angler, please follow the new customer instructions above to create and activate your new COMPASS account.

    COMPASS will present your registration to instantly print as you will need to carry free license with you while fishing. Additionally, a PDF version of your registration will be sent to your email 30 minutes after purchase.

    Other Ways to Purchase

    By Telephone 1-855-855-3906

    You can purchase hunting and fishing licenses and off-road vehicle registrations, and access the free saltwater angler registry by phoning our 7 AM to 7 PM/365 live operator call center. Call toll-free: 1-855-855-3906 to speak to our friendly agents in Baltimore, Maryland.

    You will be asked for the same information as purchasing online, so please have this information readily available to enhance your experience.

    In Person

    Locate A Local License Agent

    With over 250 sport license agents statewide, you can search by region, county, and by city to find the closest agent. Many have extended and weekend hours to serve your needs.

    Locate a DNR Regional Service Center

    By Mail

    To order your Hunting or Fishing License by Mail:

    Download applications for fishing, hunting and boating licenses from the DNR Forms website.

    You will need to have the free Adobe Acrobat software to view and print your application. See Upgrade Your Web Browser and PDF Reader for FREE at the bottom of this page.

    Note: All applications should be mailed to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Service Center in your area, along with a check for the applicable fees. (No cash please).

    Or mail to main office:

    Maryland Dept. of Natural resources
    Annapolis Service Center
    P.O. Box 1869
    1804 West Street, Suite 300
    Annapolis, MD 21401

    Upgrade Your Web Browser and PDF Reader for FREE

    Because your computer and web browser determine your experience with COMPASS, use of any other browser than those listed above will lead to a less than optimal experience and you will have problems obtaining your licenses. All the browsers below are free to download and use and are verified to work with COMPASS. DNR uses Internet Explorer 9 as the standard browser for COMPASS in our offices.

    Internet Explorer 9

    Google Chrome

    Mozilla Firefox

    You will also need Adobe Reader to view and print your licenses, DNRid card, available forms and harvest records from COMPASS. If you do not have Adobe Reader already, please download the latest version below for free.

    Download the latest version of Adobe Reader

    Contact Us

    We are always looking for new, better and more efficient ways to serve our customers and welcome any suggestions you may have. Should you have any suggestions please email us, or call 410-260-3220 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday, excluding State Holidays


    Anglers and Hunters! 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.