Saltwater Information Program Permit (SIP Permit) FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions 

Below is a list of frequently asked questions, each of which can be clicked to provide an answer.

What’s this all about?

The Saltwater Information Program (SIP) permit is part of a nationwide effort to collect contact information annually for everyone who fishes recreationally in saltwater. Doing so will help our ability to contact anglers periodically and ask them questions about their fishing activities. This information is the backbone of good saltwater fishery management. 

Having an accurate Georgia “address book” of all recreational saltwater anglers will provide a better picture of how many people go fishing. This will result in a better understanding of the impact of recreational fishing on fish populations, and will lead to better fishery management decisions to create and maintain sustainable saltwater fisheries.  It will also allow us to document the importance of saltwater recreational fishing so that services like boat ramps and fishing piers are provided and maintained. 

 I already have a Georgia saltwater fishing license. Why do I need this permit? 

All short-term, annual, and combination Georgia fishing licenses cover both freshwater and saltwater and will require you to obtain the SIP permit when recreationally fishing in saltwater. Plus, tens of thousands of Georgians have lifetime, senior, honorary or other long-term licenses that are not renewed each year. Without their contact information, there is no way to accurately determine how often they go fishing. That’s a problem. Bottom line: the SIP permit will help us ensure fish are out there to catch when you, your children or grandchildren go saltwater fishing. Besides, this free permit exempts all Georgia anglers from having to register with the federal government through something known as the National Saltwater Angler Registry, and pay a federal registration charge every year.

How much does the SIP permit cost?

The SIP permit is free, whether you add it to an existing license or include it in the purchase of a new license. 

Isn’t this going to cost DNR money that won’t be available to spend on other fishery management activities like boat ramps, habitat enhancement and such?

The company that manages the Georgia hunting and fishing license system does not charge the state any extra funds to administer the SIP permit process. The one-time cost of updating the computer programming of the license system to include the SIP permit was paid by a grant from NOAA Fisheries in 2012. 

Will the SIP permit be available like other hunting and fishing licenses?

You bet. We want this to be as easy and user friendly as possible.  Your SIP permit is available through any license vendor currently selling hunting and fishing licenses in person, by telephone or internet.  Please make sure you provide an accurate email address, if you have one. Then we can send you an email reminder every year when it is time for you to renew your SIP permit.

What does my SIP permit look like?

When you get a SIP permit you will receive an updated print out that adds the SIP permit to all your other valid licenses so you only have to carry one piece of paper. If you have a lifetime, senior or other long-term license, you will need to carry that along with the documentation of your SIP permit.

I’m a senior citizen and have a senior license. Does this have anything to do with me?

Even if you have a senior license you still need to obtain an annual SIP permit if you plan to fish in saltwater. We need contact information from all saltwater anglers age 16 and older to ensure that our survey results are accurate.

I bought a Georgia lifetime hunting and fishing license years ago. I don’t need to register, do I?

Yes, if you plan to fish in saltwater in Georgia. We need contact information from all saltwater anglers age 16 and older to ensure that our survey results are accurate.

 I only fish with a saltwater guide who has a license to cover everyone on board. What about me?

You do not need a SIP permit. Have a great time!

I only fish with a saltwater guide, but that guide does not have the license that covers everyone on board. Do I have to get a SIP permit?

Yes, you need a valid fishing license and the SIP permit. 

What happens if I lose my SIP permit?

You can reprint another copy of your permit by visiting the GADNR license sales site at  Or, you can go to a Georgia hunting and fishing license vendor, and they’ll do essentially the same thing for you. There is no cost to print another copy online or if you visit a license vendor.

What happens if my contact data changes after I register or I have an error in my SIP permit data? What should I do?

You can correct it yourself, at no cost, using the online license system at

Do I also have to sign up with the National Saltwater Angler Registry, which went into effect in January 2010 and charges a registration fee?

No. We created the SIP permit to collect angler contact information required under federal law so Georgia anglers don’t have to register directly with the federal government and pay a federal registration fee.  Because of the SIP permit, the National Saltwater Angler Registry does not apply to anglers in Georgia. Forget about it.  Our program will collect the angler contact information necessary to maintain Georgia’s exemption, but we need your help. To keep Georgia exempt from the national registry, it is critical that saltwater anglers do their part and register with us. It’ll only take a minute. 

I fish on a private hotel pier that is commercially licensed, so I don’t need a fishing license. Do I need to register?

No, you do not need a SIP permit.

Does the SIP permit apply to commercial fishermen?

Commercial fishermen have commercial fishing licenses, and fill out extensive mandatory harvest reports. The SIP permit is only for those who fish for fun, not as a business.  However, a commercial fisherman fishing recreationally in saltwater must follow all the recreational fishing rules and must have a valid SIP permit.

I have a federal highly migratory species permit, such as a tuna permit. Do I have to register?

Yes, if you’re going to recreationally fish in saltwater in Georgia with any license you need a valid SIP permit. It’ll only take a minute. It’s free.

My question isn’t answered here and now I’m really confused. Help!

Remember the general rule of thumb: As of Jan. 1, 2013, virtually every adult saltwater angler (16 and older) in Georgia will need a valid Saltwater Information Program (SIP) permit along with a valid fishing license. If that doesn’t help, please call the Coastal Resources Division of Georgia DNR at (912) 264-7218.