If you don’t need a license to fish in Virginia, you need to register register with the FIP unless you are under the age of 16. For more information and to register, please click here.

Q.) What’s this all about?
A.) This is part of a nationwide effort to collect contact information annually for everyone who fishes recreationally in the country’s saltwaters. Doing so will help federal fishing effort surveyors contact anglers and ask them how often they go fishing.

Q.) I have a valid annual Virginia saltwater fishing license or a Potomac River Fisheries Sport Fishing License. Do I need to register?
A.) No. You’re good to go. You provided your contact information when you bought your license.

Q.) I don’t have to buy a saltwater fishing licence under state law. What must I do?
A.) You must register with the Fisherman Identification Program every year. It’s free. It’ll only take a minute or two. You’ll be asked to provide your name, phone number, address, email address, date of birth, and where, in general, you go fishing. You’ll be given an identification number to carry with you to prove you registered, as required by state law.

Q.) Will the online FIP registration and toll-free number be available around-the-clock and year-round?
A.) Yes. We want this to be as easy as possible. If you can, please register online instead of over the phone. This reduces our program costs, and allows us to spend more money on recreational fishing programs that benefit anglers.

Q.) Do I get a card with my FIP number?
A.) No. If you register online, you can print out the final form that shows your registration information and your FIP number. Or just write down the number and keep it with you when you go fishing. Everyone gets a unique, counterfeit-proof number.

Q.) Do I also have to sign up with the National Saltwater Angler Registry, which went into effect in January 2012 and charges a registration fee?
A.) No. We created the Virginia Fisherman Identification Program to collect angler contact information required under federal law, and so Virginia anglers don’t have to register directly with the federal government and pay a federal registration fee.

Q.) Do those of us who fish in freshwater need to register too?
A.) No, you do not except if you fish in freshwater for anadromous species, such as striped bass (rockfish), shad or other tidal species that live in saltwater but spawn in freshwater. If so, you need to register with the FIP every year.