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 Department of Natural Resources 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 their own unique email address, as this becomes your username for future logins to COMPASS.

  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, On the Compass Portal homepage select "Never purchased a license from DNR?” Enroll Here

Screen shot of conmpass website with an arrow on where to click if you have never purchased a license. 

Then, complete our 6 step customer enrollment process.

The last step of new customer enrollment is to confirm your email address and password. Once you click enroll, the following will appear on your screen:

Thank you for registering with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.
Please click here to login

Clicking here will take you to the screen above, where you can log in and make your purchase.

Password requirements:

  • Must be a minimum of 8 characters
  • Consist of both letters, numbers and at least 1 special character (!, @, #, $, & or *)

Enrollment is a one-time process. Once enrolled and verified, you will be able to login and purchase your licenses. 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 see a message indicating to click here to login.

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 license, print your license, 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. Once you’ve created your new account and logged into the Compass Portal, click purchase new license, click Free Registration from product categories, then select 365 Saltwater Angler Registration. An electronic version of your license is acceptable as long as it is the licensed holder’s possession while engaged in the licensed activity.

Other Ways to Purchase

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 Department of Natural Resources Regional Service Center

By Mail

To order your Hunting or Fishing License by Mail:

Download applications for fishing, hunting and boating licenses from the Department of Natural Resources 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: Applications can 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).

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. The department 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.

Adobe Acrobat Icon Download the latest version of Adobe Reader