For the past two years, GON has been reporting on efforts to pass legislation to significantly increase hunting and fishing license fees in Georgia. That legislation passed on March 28, and it’s now been signed into law by the Governor. New license fees and boat registration fees take effect on July 1.
There’s still time to save significant money, especially if every year you buy a hunting or fishing license or the combination Sportsman’s License. If you’re likely to buy an annual Sportsman’s License for eight of the remaining years of your life, now’s the time to consider purchasing a Lifetime License to save some big money.
Before the new much-higher license fees take effect on July 1, sportsman still have time to purchase a Lifetime License at the current cost. Your application simply must be postmarked by June 30, 2017 to get a Lifetime License at the current price.
To purchase a lifetime license, go to www.georgiawildlife.com/LifetimeLicense, and download the Lifetime Sportsman’s License application. Fill it out, and mail it along with the requirement documents. Make sure to read all the requirements, and get your application and documents in the mail so it’s postmarked by June 30. The official USPS postmark date on your envelope is also used for age eligibility.
How much will you save? If you are an adult 16 or older, the current cost for a Lifetime Sportsman’s License is $500. After July 1, the cost will be $750, a 50 percent increase.
Consider that the new cost for an annual Sportsman’s License after July 1 will be $65 per year. If you’re an adult under 47 years old and buy a $500 Lifetime Sportsman’s License before July 1, it would only take eight years of buying annual Sportsman’s Licenses at $65 per year to more than pay for the Lifetime License cost. Being under 47 years old is mentioned because beginning on July 1, there’s a new $350 “Older Adult” Lifetime License for buyers who are 50 to 59 years old. If you’re 48, you are not going to save money buying the $500 Lifetime Sportsman’s License now when you can get the 50-year-old version in a few years for $350.
The Infant Lifetime Sportsman’s License—available to both residents and nonresidents under 2 years old—is a no-brainer. Before July 1, this license is only $200. It will cost $500 on July 1. If you’re an out-of-state hunter paying non-resident fees to hunt in Georgia, imagine if a parent had bought you an Infant Nonresident Lifetime Sportsman’s License for just $200.
A free Senior Lifetime Sportsman’s License is available for those 65 or older born on or before June 30, 1952.
To see all the new fee increases that take effect July 1, see this article from March.