(1) Hunting, freshwater fishing, and saltwater fishing licenses and permits shall be issued without fee to any resident who is certified or determined: (a) To be totally and permanently disabled for purposes of workers’ compensation under chapter 440 as verified by an order of a judge of compensation claims or written confirmation by the carrier providing workers’ compensation benefits, or to be totally and permanently disabled by the Railroad Retirement Board, by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or its predecessor, or by any branch of the United States Armed Forces, or who holds a valid identification card issued under the provisions of s. 295.17, upon proof of same. Any license issued under this paragraph after January 1, 1997, expires after 5 years and must be reissued, upon request, every 5 years thereafter.
(b) To be disabled by the United States Social Security Administration, upon proof of same. Any license issued under this paragraph after October 1, 1999, expires after 2 years and must be reissued, upon proof of certification of disability, every 2 years thereafter.
A disability license issued after July 1, 1997, and before July 1, 2000, retains the rights vested thereunder until the license has expired.
(2) A hunting, freshwater fishing, or saltwater fishing license or permit is not required for:
(a) Any child under 16 years of age, except as otherwise provided in this part.
(b) Any person hunting or freshwater fishing on her or his homestead property, or on the homestead property of the person’s spouse or minor child; or any minor child hunting or freshwater fishing on the homestead property of her or his parent.
(c) Any resident who is a member of the United States Armed Forces and not stationed in this state, when home on leave for 30 days or less, upon submission of orders.
(d) Any resident fishing for recreational purposes only, within her or his county of residence with live or natural bait, using poles or lines not equipped with a fishing line retrieval mechanism. This exemption does not apply to residents fishing in a legally established fish management area.
(e) Any person freshwater fishing in a fish pond of 20 acres or less that is located entirely within the private property of the fish pond owner.
(f) Any person freshwater fishing in a fish pond that is licensed in accordance with s. 379.356.
(g) Any person fishing who has been accepted as a client for developmental disabilities services by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities if the agency furnishes proof thereof.
(h) Any resident saltwater fishing from land or from a structure fixed to the land who has been determined eligible by the Department of Children and Families for the food assistance program, temporary cash assistance, or the Medicaid programs. A benefit issuance or program identification card issued by the Department of Children and Families or the Florida Medicaid program of the Agency for Health Care Administration shall serve as proof of program eligibility. The client must have in his or her possession the ID card and positive proof of identification when fishing.
(i) Any person saltwater fishing from a vessel licensed pursuant to s. 379.354(7). (j) Any person saltwater fishing from a vessel the operator of which is licensed pursuant to s. 379.354(7). (k) Any person saltwater fishing who holds a valid saltwater products license issued under s. 379.361(2). (l) Any person saltwater fishing for recreational purposes from a pier licensed under s. 379.354.
(m) Any resident fishing for mullet in fresh water who has a valid Florida freshwater fishing license.
(n) Any resident 65 years of age or older who has in her or his possession proof of age and residency. A no-cost license under this paragraph may be obtained from any tax collector’s office upon proof of age and residency and must be in the possession of the resident during hunting, freshwater fishing, and saltwater fishing activities.
(o) Any employee of the commission who takes freshwater fish, saltwater fish, or game as part of employment with the commission, or any other person authorized by commission permit to take freshwater fish, saltwater fish, or game for scientific or educational purposes.
(p) Any resident recreationally freshwater fishing who holds a valid commercial fishing license issued under s. 379.363(1)(a).
(q) Any person exempted pursuant to this paragraph by commission permit for an outdoor recreational event the primary purpose of which is the rehabilitation or enjoyment of disabled veterans certified by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs or its predecessor or by any branch of the United States Armed Forces to have a service-connected disability percentage rating of zero or higher or active duty or reserve duty servicemembers of any branch of the United States Armed Forces, the United States Coast Guard, military reserves, the Florida National Guard, or the United States Coast Guard Reserve. A permit issued for an event pursuant to this paragraph shall exempt disabled veterans and active duty or reserve duty servicemembers, the immediate family of such disabled veterans and servicemembers, and one additional person designated to assist a disabled veteran, from possessing a hunting, freshwater fishing, or saltwater fishing license or permit for the duration of the event. For purposes of this exemption, the term “immediate family” means a parent, spouse, or child. The factors to be considered by the commission in determining whether to issue a permit for an event pursuant to this paragraph shall include, but are not limited to, hunting and fishing seasons, timeframe or duration of the event, species concerns, and the number of such permits granted to the organizer of the event during the calendar year for which the permit is requested. The commission shall adopt rules to implement this paragraph.