Instructions

In general, you must complete an initial application the first time you want a permit of a particular type. After receiving an initial permit, you must complete a renewal application to renew it.

Vessel Permits

If you are purchasing a permit for a vessel for the first time, you should apply for an initial permit (even if the vessel has been permitted by a previous owner.)

If you have previously purchased a permit for your vessel (even if the permit is expired), you should renew that permit for the vessel. You may change the category upon renewal, and you must meet the permitting requirements associated with the new category."

Note that other fisheries, or states, may have additional permit requirements, including special permits to sell fish. Please contact the appropriate offices or state agencies for more detailed information. https://hmspermits.noaa.gov/otherVesselPermits or https://hmspermits.noaa.gov/otherLinks

How to Apply

You may apply for an initial or renewal permit in one of several ways. Regardless of which way you choose, you may always check the status of your application from the NMFS Permit Shop using the permit number or order confirmation number.

1. Apply Online
Applying for an initial or renewal permit using the NMFS Permit Shop is your best option. You will need a valid credit card to complete your purchase and will have the option of printing your own permit(s) or having them sent to you via mail, email or fax. To complete an online application, you will need contact information for the permitholder (e.g., name, address, and phone number). You will also need either Coast Guard or State registration number, vessel name, home and principal ports, vessel length, year built, crew size, type of construction (e.g., fiberglass), gross tonnage, propulsion type, engine horsepower, and hold capacity. The automated voice response system at (888) 872-8862 may also be used to renew permits (note: initial permits may only be obtained Online or via mail). The option to receive your permit via facsimile is available under the voice system as it for the online method.

2. Download an Application Package
You may also download an initial or renewal application package from the NMFS Permit Shop. The download package is an Adobe PDF (Portable Document Format) file, which you can print onto paper, complete by hand, and mail to NMFS at the address provided in the application. NMFS will then mail your permit to you. You must provide a credit card number or include a money order with your paper application using this option.

3. Request an Application Package to be Mailed
You may request that an initial or renewal application package be mailed to you from the NMFS Permit Shop. Once you receive the package, complete it by hand and mail it to the address provided. NMFS will then mail your permit to you. You must provide a credit card number or include a money order with your paper application using this option. You may also request that an application package be mailed to you by calling the NMFS Customer Service Center at (888) 872-8862.