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Deadline Extended to Renew Fishing Licenses

The deadline to review current commercial and for-hire fishing license has been extended by one month in response to COVID-19.

NC DMF, division of marine fisheriesState Division of Marine Fisheries officials said Thursday that fiscal year 2019-2020 commercial fishing licenses, for-hire fishing licenses, and permits issued by DMF with an expiration of June 30, 2020, will remain valid until July 31, 2020.

The extension does not apply to Coastal Recreational Fishing Licenses, Recreational Commercial Gear Licenses or to fiscal year 2018-2019 commercial fishing licenses that expired on June 30, 2019. These license holders must purchase a fiscal year 2019-2020 license by June 30, 2020, to remain eligible to purchase a fiscal year 2020-2021 license.

Recent legislation pertaining to COVID-19 authorized state agencies to delay until Aug. 1 the renewal dates and associated fees for licenses and permits in the interest of public health, safety, and welfare and for the economic well-being of citizens and businesses and the Division of Marine Fisheries has determined these circumstances apply.

“COVID-19 has had widespread economic impacts to North Carolina’s commercial and recreational for-hire fishing industries,” said division Director Steve Murphey. “This extension will allow fishermen more time to adjust financially to these circumstances.”

License holders are encouraged to renew their licenses through the mail. Renewal packets were mailed to each license holder earlier this spring.

Fishermen also may submit completed applications with either a check, cashier’s check or money order only in drop boxes at the following division offices:

  • DMF Headquarters: 3441 Arendell St., Morehead City; Phone: 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632
  • Manteo Field Office, 1021 Driftwood Dr., Manteo; Phone 252-473-5734 or 800-405-7774
  • Pamlico District Office, 943 Washington Square Mall, N.C. 17, Washington; Phone: 252-946-6481 or 800-338-7804
  • Southern District Office, 127 Cardinal Drive Extension, Wilmington; Phone: 910-796-7215 or 800-248-4536

Division offices remain closed, and staff is facilitating license purchases and renewals by phone and mail. Fishermen who have questions should call their local license office or email

Coastal Recreational Fishing Licenses can be purchased or renewed online by calling N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission at 1-888-248-6834 during office hours.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.