Ask a CO: Outdoors cards for seniors over 65?

by Editorial Staff | August 26, 2020
a person pulls out an old hunting licence from their wallet

Q: I’m a senior and don’t need a fishing licence. My Outdoors Card does not expire until December 31, 2019. Do I need to carry a licence summary with me when I am fishing?

-Garry Shaver, Amherstview

Other documents may qualify

A: Some Ontario and Canadian residents qualify to use other documents instead of purchasing and carrying an Outdoors Card and recreational fishing licence. If you are over the age of 65, you may engage in fishing provided you carry a licence, permit, certificate, or identification card issued by a federal, provincial or territorial government of Canada that indicates your name and date of birth. Catch and possession limits for a sport fishing licence apply in these situations.

If you opt to use your Outdoors Card and a valid recreational fishing licence that you have purchased, you must carry the Outdoors Card with you while fishing, and if the Outdoors Card does not have a box on the back indicating a valid 1-year or 3-year recreational fishing licence, you must also carry the licence summary that lists your valid fishing licence.

Brenda Koenig (Provincial Enforcement Specialist, MNRF)

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Originally published in the August 2019 issue of Ontario OUT of DOORS magazine. Ask a CO is also a regular feature in the print edition.

Please check the most recent Ontario hunting and fishing regulations summaries, as rules and regulations can change.

For more instalments of Ask a CO, click here


  1. Dave S Gibson wrote: re the 65 and over age group not requiring a fishing license .... is then statement made in a recent response correct ?, in that "sport" limits apply to seniors ..... it was my understanding that "conservation" limits (a lower #) apply when a license is not required . Can you please confirm this fact. Thanks Dave Gibson
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Good Morning, Dave, anglers over 65 who do not require an outdoors card or fishing licence may observe the sports slot limits.
  2. Gordon Eakley wrote: I had a small game license in the seventies can I use that as a record for renewal, or do I have to retake the course?
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Thank you for your question. We’ll discuss the question and if it is not one that has been asked in recent memory, we’ll pass it along to the MNRF for a response. Can you please let us know where you are located in case we use your question?
  3. Tim Barlett wrote: Sir / Madam, Is it possible to buy an Ontario Outdoors Card / Sport Fishing Lic as a gift for another person? Thanks in advance. Tim Barlett St Catharines ON
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Tim, from The following information is required to buy, renew or replace an Outdoors Card: legal first, middle and last name date of birth mailing and/or residential address height and eye colour parental consent (for resident hunters 12 to 14 years old) Attaching a fishing licence is trickier, as it involves the individual's personal fish and wildlife file (shown here: Perhaps best to transfer the funds to the recipient and have them set it up themselves.
  4. Ermand McLain wrote: I just turned 65 Nov 18th (1955) Do I need to carry anything except my drivers permit or any other ID? In Canada
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Ermand, states: "If you are under 18 years old or 65 and older You do not need to purchase an Outdoors Card or licence to fish. You will need to carry your government-issued identification with you, that includes your name and date of birth, at all times while fishing. Your identification acts as your licence to fish, if you belong to one of these age ranges." So your driver's permit will do just fine.
  5. Glen Hossack wrote: I am over 65. Do I need to buy outdoors card/fishing license?
    • Meghan Sutherland wrote: Glen, from "The persons described below can carry a licence, permit, certificate or identification card issued by a federal, provincial or territorial government of Canada that indicates their name and date of birth and use it as a fishing licence. Ontario and Canadian residents who are under 18 or 65 years of age or older." So as long as you have some sort of government-issued identification on your person, you do not need an outdoors card or fishing licence.