Military Fee Exemptions
- Active Duty − means active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States, as evidenced by a DD Form 2, United States Uniformed Service Identification Card, marked "Active" or "Active Duty".
- Department − means the Department of Natural Resources.
- Members − means Illinois resident military, guard or reserve members.
- Mobilization − means that Reserves or Guard Members were called to active duty by the President of the United States under Title 10 or Title 32, United States Code.
- Service Abroad − means active duty service outside of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, and includes all active duty service in territories and possessions of the United States.
- Verification of Service or Mobilization − means official documentation from the Department of Defense or the appropriate Major Command showing mobilization dates or service abroad dates, including a DD-214, a letter from the Illinois Department of Military Affairs for members of the Illinois National Guard, a letter from the Regional Reserve Command for members of the Armed Forces Reserve, a letter from the Major Command covering Illinois for active duty members, or personnel records for mobilized State employees. A copy of orders shall not be accepted as verification.
- Veteran − means an Illinois resident who is a former member of the Armed Forces of the United States, as evidenced by a form DD-214.
Active Duty Military Members
The purpose of this Part is to acknowledge and recognize the contribution of Illinois residents returning from service abroad or mobilization by the President of the United States as an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces, the Illinois National Guard, or the Reserves of the United States Armed Forces. In recognition of the services of Illinois resident service members, the Department of Natural Resources will waive specified fees for camping, fishing and hunting for the amount of time that the active duty member spent in service abroad or mobilized. Illinois resident military members who have served abroad, or guard or reserve members who were mobilized, are eligible for the following without fee:
- Camping, with no camping fee except:
camper is responsible for applicable utility fees; and
camper is responsible for applicable rent-a-tent fees and cabin fees.
The Armed Forces Special Pass (camping), issued to eligible military members, shall become effective on the date of application and shall expire on the same month and day in the year the entitlement expires.
- Sport fishing and hunting:
Members will be issued a current Combined Sportsman's License and Habitat Stamp.
If requested by the member, one statewide archery deer permit will be issued upon verification if currently available. One free firearm deer permit for the county of choice (and the archery deer permit if not available at time of verification) will be mailed to the applicant when available.
The Combined Sportsman's License will expire March 31 of each year.
Military members are eligible for free sport fishing, hunting and camping for one year for each year served and for one year for each portion of a year served.
Eligible military members must apply within two years after their return from abroad or release from mobilization, provide verification of dates of service abroad or verification of dates of mobilization and provide a photo identification card.
To receive free passes, licenses, stamps and permits, eligible military members shall appear in person at the following Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office:
IDNR Springfield Headquarters Office
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702
If eligible, a new Combined Sportsman's License, stamp and deer permit may be obtained by following the procedures above. Eligible military members can show an unexpired Armed Forces Special Pass to obtain a new license, stamp or permit.
Non-resident military members are not eligible for no-fee hunting, fishing or camping.
The purpose of this Part is to acknowledge and recognize the contribution of Illinois resident veterans of the United States Armed Forces after returning from service abroad or mobilization by the President of the United States. In recognition of the services of Illinois resident veterans, the Department of Natural Resources will issue veterans a current fishing license, sportsmen's combination license or hunting license at one-half the current fee.
Illinois resident veterans of the United States Armed Forces who have served abroad, or guard or reserve members who were mobilized by the President of the United States, are eligible to purchase licenses at one-half the fee charged for the following:
sportsmen's combination license; and
Veterans can apply at any time in person at: IDNR Springfield Headquarters Office, One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702, and must provide a form DD-214 and a photo identification card.
After the initial issuance of one-half price licenses, eligible veterans may obtain one-half price licenses in subsequent years through the Department website or over the counter from any of the Department's direct license agents.
Non-resident veterans are not eligible for reduced fee hunting or fishing licenses.
In addition to the fee exemptions explained above, pursuant to section 10 (a) of Illinois' Regulations for Hunting, Licenses and Stamps, a person on active duty in the Armed Forces, who entered the service from Illinois and is an Illinois resident, may, while on ordinary or emergency leave, hunt without a license; however, a Federal Waterfowl Stamp and State Habitat Stamp are required.
Regardless of all fee exemptions referenced here, all other hunting/trapping regulations apply, as detailed in the Illinois Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, including the requirement to obtain a Hunter Safety Card before obtaining fee-waived licenses, permits and/or stamps.