ODFW’s electronic licensing system (ELS)

August 19, 2019

ELS Tech Tips Be ready for fall hunting season!

Sports Pac holders, don’t forget to “purchase” your tag before the deadline.

Sports Pac holders still need to pick up their controlled or general season tag before the deadline. The tag won’t cost anything but the user still needs to “purchase” it by visiting a license sales agent or logging in to their account and going through purchase steps. Reminder the tag sale deadline is always the day before the hunt begins for big game hunts (and Sept. 27 to purchase a bear or cougar tag). See how-to video on how to pick up your voucher tag

Be sure you are logged in to the MyODFW app before heading out of cell reception.

The MyODFW app works without cell reception, but users need to be logged in or their profile won’t come up and they won’t be able to use the app when out of cell service.

Note that the original version of the app released in December 2018 automatically logged users out after six months, so hunters who haven’t used the app in awhile may need to login again even if they never logged out.

Forgot your username or password? Follow the system prompts on the ODFW Licensing page to recover them or contact ODFW by phone, email or social media for help.

Update and sync your app before leaving cell reception:

Go to the Google Play store on Android Devices or the App store on Apple devices. Update your MyODFW app or hit “Open” to be sure you have the latest version (currently 2.1.0). Once you are logged in, click the three lines on the upper right corner and hit “sync account” to be sure the app is fully synced and has your latest purchases.

Problems tagging or opening app while in the field? Try turning off your WiFi.

Hunters and anglers who connect other peripheral devices through their cell phone's wireless connection (such as a GPS or camera) may need to disconnect their WiFi while validating their tag in the app. If you get a message that says “An error has occurred,” try turning off your WiFi. You can turn it back on once you are done tagging.

Bring a portable charger or take other steps to keep your phone charged.

Just like in previous years, hunters will be required to have and display a license and tag upon contact by ODFW or OSP. Hunters who choose electronic tagging need to have enough battery or an external battery source to power their phone and show a license or tag. Placing your phone in airplane mode will significantly conserve battery life when out of cell reception. Note that ODFW and OSP will also be able to access information about a hunter’s purchases while in the field and not in cell service.


Aug. 16, 2019 -- The State of Oregon is currently experiencing intermittent network connection issues, which is having an impact on ODFW’s licensing system. These issues may result in customers and license sale agents not being able to verify accounts or purchase annual licenses. If you experience an issue when attempting to verify an account or purchase an annual license, please log out and allow at least 15 minutes before logging back in.

We apologize for the inconvenience. 

With the online licensing system, hunters and anglers can now buy documents online to print immediately from home or carry them on their smartphone – or buy paper or electronic tags at a license sale agent.

Print these FAQ

Current ELS bugs/issues

Top ELS problems and how to fix them

I can’t report on my tags/ see my preference points / see my certifications online.

It’s likely you didn’t Verify/Look up Account, but created a new one, so you are not seeing your tags or points. Email or call Licensing at 503-947-6101 or visit an ODFW office that sells licenses to have your duplicate account deactivated. (Note that call hold times are high now due to customers wanting to report by phone.) Once that’s done, go back to the ODFW Licensing website and use Verify/Lookup Account to enter your Hunter/Angler ID number from 2018 or prior license, or an email or phone number associated with your account. You will be able to use your email again in your verified account but will need to select a new username. See video, tips on verifying your account

I can’t get past verifying my residence / verifying social security number in system.

Be sure you are entering residence for the date system is asking for, which is not necessarily your current residence. Another trick is to try entering just a zip code and letting the city auto-populate (the system is picky about spelling and it’s possible information migrated from old system is misspelled which is why you can’t proceed through this step). If that still doesn’t work, you can contact ODFW (via private message on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, by email to, or at 503-947-6101 and we’ll look up your city for you.

If the system is not letting you past social security number verification, call Licensing 503-947-6101 or visit an ODFW office that sells licenses.

I’m locked out of system and can’t login.

Wait at least five minutes and try again. Users have three tries to enter a correct username and password before they are locked out for five minutes. If needed, use the “Forgot Password” or “Forgot Username” and follow the process to reset your password or retrieve username. If you do reset your password, you still need to wait five minutes to enter information and log back in. (For forgotten passwords, you will receive an email asking you to reset password. For forgotten username, enter your ODFW ID#, email address or phone number and last name and date of birth associated with your account.) If that does not work, contact ODFW Licensing at 503-947-6101.


Hunters and anglers who have big game preference points or other certifications/statuses that remain in effect (Pioneer license, disability permit, Northwest Goose certification, license suspension) need to complete mandatory reporting or have purchased an annual license in the last three years (2016-2018) need to verify their account in ODFW’s new licensing system before purchasing their first document.

You can verify your account online at MyODFW licensing page or at a license sales agent or an ODFW office that sells licenses. If verifying online, use the Look Up Account button. DO NOT verify your account on the app, you need to verify through the MyODFWlicensing page before entering username and password on the app.


Provide your last name, date of birth and one of the following pieces of information:

  1. Hunter/Angler ID# (now called the ODFW ID#) which is printed on all licenses and tags from 2018 and prior years;
  2. Phone number associated with account; or
  3. Email associated with account.

If you do not have a phone number or email associated with account and don’t know your Hunter/Angler ID#, contact ODFW (via private message on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, by email to, or at 503-947-6101 or visit a license sales agent and ask them to find you in the system.

Customers who did not purchase an annual license in 2016, 2017, or 2018 and don’t have preference points or other statuses in effect can just open a new account by choosing “I am a new customer or have not purchased an annual license in the last 3 years.”

Can parents verify their kids’ accounts?

Yes. A parent can complete verification for their minor (age 17 and under) child, either online or at a license sales agent or ODFW office.

Will I need an email address to use the new system?

Only if you choose electronic tags or to purchase online. All customers age 12 and over who purchase licenses/tags online or choose electronic tags are required to have a unique email address (not shared by anyone else with a MyODFW account, including a parent or relative) for their account. Customers who purchase paper tags at license sale agents or ODFW offices will be encouraged (but not required) to include an email address in their profiles.

The unique email address is one way customers can be found and identified in the new system and tied to their specific licensing information. The email is also used to reset a forgotten password. Also, with the new system, ODFW is switching its primary communication method with customers from mail to email for cost savings and efficiency. Customers who provide an email can opt out of receiving certain ODFW emails if they choose.


How do I apply for a controlled hunt in the new system?

  • Login at the ODFW Licensing page (after first using Verify/Look Up Account and completing your account setup).
  • Go to Purchase from the Catalog / Big Game Hunting / Controlled Hunts.
  • Choose the hunt series you want to apply for (such as 200 series elk hunts or Premium elk hunts).
  • Proceed to checkout; you will make your hunt choices or choose a point saver during the checkout process.

You can also apply at a license sales agent or ODFW office that sells licenses—make sure the vendor finds your correct customer information in the system (provide your Hunter/Angler ID from your 2018 or prior license or other information).

If your preference points are not in your account, it’s likely that you did not use the Verify/Look Up Account feature to create your online account. Please contact Licensing at / 503-947-6101 with your name, Hunter/Angler ID number from 2018 or prior license, and the ODFW ID number on your new account (the account without preference points). Licensing will deactive the account without your preference points.

Can I apply for a tag on the MyODFW app and how do I do it?

How to apply for a tag using the MyODFW app (video)

Or, see the MyODFW Facebook page or the MyODFW Medium page or for a step-by-step guide

Will I still be able to purchase at a license sales agent?

Yes. The majority of current license agents have agreed to continue to sell ODFW licenses/tags under the new ELS.

See a list of active agents at or call your preferred vendor and ask if they sell ODFW licenses and tags. Note this list is updated frequently so check back to see if your vendor is on the list.

How do I buy a daily or multi-day license (incl. 1, 2, 3, or 7 Day Angling License, 3-Day Shellfish, Daily Angling/Shellfish Combo or 3-Day Hunting License Game Birds available to non-residents)

Daily or multi-day licenses are available electronically or as paper tags via Customers who want to purchase an electronic daily or multi-day license or tag need to open an account by choosing the “I am a new customer…” button. (Electronic licenses/tags require the customer to open an account and download the MyODFW app to use.)

Customers who want a paper daily or multi-day license can choose the “Shop for products that do not require an account” button and print their license/tag after purchase.

Some license sale agents including fishing charters also sell pre-printed paper daily licenses; see for a list of license sale agents or ask the charter taking you fishing.

How do I buy a hunter education class or outdoor workshop on the new system?

Hunter education classes and outdoor workshops are available for sale online at and at ODFW offices. They are not available at license sale agents. Verify or create your account at licensing page and purchase a class or workshop online through the catalog.



How do I register for the Mentored Youth Hunter Program?

Children age 9-15 are eligible to register for this program. The child who will be mentored (or their parent) needs to login to the child’s online account to register. (Don’t forget to Lookup/Verify the child’s account first if they already have preference points or had an annual Combo license between 2016-2018.) Click “Purchase from the Catalog” and the “General” tab, then select Mentored Youth Hunter Program as you would any other item from the catalog and follow through to checkout. Registration is free and you will not be charged for this item. If the child chooses e-tagging, the Mentored Youth registration will show up in their MyODFW app when they sign in to their account.

What products can I purchase online without creating an account at

Use the “Shop for Products that don’t Require an account” button to purchase paper (not electronic) daily or multi-day fishing and bird hunting licenses, wildlife area parking permit, habitat conservation stamp, aquatic invasive species prevention permit (motorized or non-motorized), or to make a contribution to conservation. Reminder that if you want to purchase an electronic daily or multi-day license, you will need to create an account.


How do I report my hunt?

The fastest and easiest way to report you hunt is through the licensing page. (Click on any Buy License/Report Hunt button.) If you haven't already, complete the steps to verify your account. Then choose “Submit a Hunting and Fishing Outcome Report” or “Outcome Reporting / Mandatory Reporting” to complete your report. Be sure to go to the online licensing system, you can't report through the MyODFW app.

If you don't have access to a computer, call ODFW Licensing at 1-866-947-6339 for assistance reporting.  

How do I record my salmon/steelhead/sturgeon/halibut (combined angling tag or hatchery harvest card)?

Paper tag: Validate your angling tag or harvest card by writing in ink all required information like the species code, mark if hatchery or wild fish (for salmon and steelhead), the location code of where the fish was harvested, the month and the date. 

Electronic tag: Use the app that will work even when offline and provide required information.

How do I tag a big game animal or turkey in the new system?

Paper tag: Validate your tag by writing in ink the harvest date/time and Wildlife Management Unit where the harvest occurred. Place paper tag in a plastic or waterproof bag to protect it from the elements and attach it to the antlers or carcass.

Electronic tags: Validate your tag electronically with an app that will work even when offline. Then take the confirmation number from the app plus your name, ODFW ID, Date of Birth, harvest date and write it on anything that will stand up to the elements (like duct tape, trail ribbon or piece of paper in plastic bag), affix it to the animal like a traditional tag and keep it attached to the carcass in transport, as you would a paper tag.

What happens if my phone dies and I can’t show my electronic license, tag or validation?

Just like today, hunters and anglers will be required to have and display a license and tag upon contact by ODFW or OSP. It will be the hunter or angler’s responsibility to ensure they always have enough battery or an external battery source to power their phone so they can validate their harvest and show their license or tag. Note that even when they are in the field and without cell reception, ODFW and OSP will also be able to see information about licenses/tags/validations you purchased and to check your confirmation number (which indicates you have electronically tagged your big game animal).

Big game and turkey hunters using the electronic tagging system must also put a piece of duct tape, trail ribbon or something on their animal (must include their name, DOB, ODFW ID #, confirmation number and harvest date) and keep it attached to the carcass. 

Will I have to pin my location when I tag my fish or animal electronically?

Customers will have the option of either pinning the location of their harvest or providing the wildlife management unit or fishery location code as they currently do. ODFW recognizes the potential sensitivity of personal hunting and fishing locations and has no current plans to change how it uses location data received from recreational hunters and anglers (which is at the wildlife management unit or fishery location level only).`

Do I still have to report my hunt (mandatory reporting) even if I’m using electronic tagging?

Yes and reporting will remain a separate step under the new system as this data is handled separately. Hunters who are using electronic tags will be prompted to report after they validate their tag on the app. Hunters will need to report through the licensing page or call ODFW at 1-866-947-6339 during regular office hours.

Will the paper tags/validations I print hold up as well as the specialized paper from the old system?

Paper tags/validations will be printed on regular printer paper and will require a little extra care when you’re in the field, such as keeping them in a Ziploc/plastic bag or some other waterproof carrier. If you damage or lose your paper tag, visit any license sales agent or ODFW office and get a new one for $2. The new paper tag will have a different barcode so the old paper tag will be invalid. (Note that previously, duplicate tags cost $25.50 or the original cost of the document if lower.)

Can I have both an electronic and paper version of my license or tag?

No. You will need to choose either electronic or paper. However, customers who choose paper will have the option of changing to electronic during the season. Customers who chose paper will also be able to create an online account and use the MyODFW app where they can see licenses/tags purchased, but will be expected to furnish a paper copy of their license (recreational portfolio) and tag upon contact by OSP.

How many copies of my tags can I print?

Customers may print only one big game, turkey, fee pheasant, angling tag or hatchery harvest card. It will be unlawful to make copies. If you lose your tag and need a reprint, you will need to go to a license sales agent or ODFW office and pay $2 for a reprint. Each reprinted tag is unique and only the most recent reprint from the system is valid. OSP and ODFW staff will have the ability to scan the barcode on a printed tag to confirm it is valid.

While tags are limited to one copy, customers may print multiple copies of their paper license (e.g. recreational portfolio).

Can I use the MyODFW app even if I don’t choose electronic licensing?

Yes. ODFW recommends people who choose paper still download the MyODFW app and login so they can see what licenses/tags they have purchased and get other important reminders. However, customers who choose paper tagging will be expected to furnish a paper copy of their license (recreational portfolio) and tag upon contact by OSP.

Can I carry my kids’ (or anyone else’s) electronic licenses/tags along with my own on my phone?

No, due to the long-standing regulation that requires each hunter/angler to carry their own license/tag. People without cell phones should choose paper tagging.

Android error message
Error msg when you try to log in to MyODFW app with Android version 4.0 or earlier.

My Android version 4.0 and earlier does not work with the MyODFW app?

The MyODFW app works with Android version 5 and newer because earlier versions (for Android phones version 4.0 from 2013 and earlier) do not meet industry security standards. Android phones from 2013 and prior will not be able to use the app and people with these phones should choose paper tags. ODFW is unaware of similar compatibility issues with any version of iPhone.

I get an error message when I try to visit the ODFW Licensing page?

Do not use Internet Explorer to attempt to login to ODFW’s licensing page – this browser is no longer supported by Microsoft and does not meet security standards. Chrome and Firefox are the preferred browsers for the ODFW licensing system. Safari and Edge are supported, but can experience issues if not kept up to date


Can I buy a 2019 license/tag for someone else?

Before you can purchase for another person, that person will need to have verified their own account information online or at a license sales agent. (The verification allows the system to identify the products and pricing the customer is eligible for.)

Once their account is verified, you will need their ODFW ID# or full name and date of birth to purchase for that person at a license sales agent or ODFW office. Purchasing a gift online will require you to log in to the person’s account with their user name and password, which is not recommended. 



Can customers of my fishing charter buy a daily or multi-day fishing license for immediate use?

Yes. Daily or multi-day licenses are available electronically or as paper tags via

Customers who want to purchase an electronic daily or multi-day license/ tag need to open an account by choosing the “I am a new customer…” button or verifying their account. (All electronic licenses/tags require the customer to open an account and download the MyODFW app to use.)

Customers purchasing a paper daily or multi-day license/tag can choose the “Shop for products that do not require an account” button and print their license/tag after purchase.

Pre-paid printed daily licenses (“dailies”) will also still be available for fishing charters or other organizations who want to purchase them and sell them to customers. Contact ODFW Licensing 1-866-947-6339 to purchase pre-paid dailies.

Can I purchase a federal duck stamp on the new system?

Federal duck stamps are not sold via but some ODFW offices sell them so check with the office where you want to buy. You can also purchase your duck stamp at a post office or another location that sells them (such as an outdoor retailer or national wildlife refuge). 

Will I still be able to order documents by mail or fax order?

Instead of mail order, customers will be able to purchase and print license products at home, so the mail/fax order method will be phased out.


Why did ODFW change its licensing system?

To provide better service to customers, reduce our operating costs and modernize our licensing system. Customers are now able to buy and print their documents directly from home, 24 hours a day, without waiting for them to be mailed like under the current system. Or, customers can now buy and immediately use an electronic document, keeping licenses/tags/validations on their smartphone instead of in their pockets. The move to the new system is expected to save as much as $2 million per year, thanks to the elimination of specialty paper and computer equipment and overall lower cost of the system. The system will also allow ODFW and Oregon State Police to look up licensing information while in the field and offline, which is not possible under the current system.

Is the cost of tags and licenses changing due to the new system?

No. Also, customers who have been purchasing documents online or by mail/fax order and receiving them by mail will no longer need to pay a $2 shipping/handling fee because these documents can now be printed at home. Other fees such as the duplicate tag fee ($25.50 or cost of original document) and controlled hunt application change fee ($25) have also been eliminated or reduced under the new system. Customers who choose to visit a license sale agent may still pay a fee for these services, but only $2.

Does ODFW intend to eventually phase out paper licenses/tags?

No. ODFW will continue to offer an electronic or paper option.

Are other states using this type of electronic licensing?

Yes. Several states (including GA, FL, OH, AR) currently provide a paperless tag option. The vendor ODFW is using for the new system (JMT) also manages the license sales system for the states of Idaho and Washington.

ODFW regularly communicates with other state fish and wildlife agencies about best management practices for licensing systems and spoke with 22 other states before making a final decision on the new license sales system. 

Will the new system use a Hunter/Angler ID like the current one?

The current Hunter/Angler ID will become the “ODFW ID” in the new system. Accounts that are moved into the new system will keep the existing Hunter/Angler ID number, but it will now be called the ODFW ID. Customers whose information did not migrate will need to create a new profile and will get a new ODFW ID.

Will my data be secure?

Yes, the new system will meet all data security requirements, including encryption of personally identifiable information in transit and at rest. Personally identifiable information and financial information will not be collected by or stored in the system that you will interact with to access your license and other products. The information will be stored, using full encryption for both in transit and at rest data, in a separate system that has no direct access point for the general public.

Periodically, this FAQ will be continually updated with new information about the ELS. You can also email a question you don’t see answered here to

Explore Related Articles

Buying a license or permit

Unlike general season hunts where anyone can buy a tag over-the-counter, controlled hunts are limited entry hunts that require you...

Buying a license or permit

ODFW’s Premium Hunts give any hunter a chance to draw an additional deer, elk or pronghorn tag with a months-long...

How to hunt big game

Learning to hunt is an adventure that can last a lifetime, and ODFW Hunter Education is a great way to...