image of an angler holding a 32-inch rainbow trout
Statewide

How to buy an Oregon fishing license

June 26, 2020

You can purchase an Oregon fishing license online or at an ODFW license vendor. Here are step-by-step directions for purchasing online.

Note to Apple iPhone users: When electronically tagging a fish on your Combined Angling Tag or Hatchery Harvest Card using the mobile app, it may not appear on the tag or card view in the app. Your harvest has been recorded, and you can view it through the full ELS website. We hope to have this bug fixed shortly.

Who needs a fishing license in Oregon

  • All anglers 18 and older must purchase a fishing license, and appropriate tags and endorsements.
  • Children younger than 12 years do not need a license to fish or shellfish.
  • Young anglers from 12-17 years old need a $10 Youth License -- includes fishing, hunting, shellfishing licenses and Columbia River Basin Endorsement.
  • Older anglers may be eligible for a Pioneer or Senior license.
  • Veterans and active members of the armed services also may be eligible for license benefits.

Find a list of licenses, tags, endorsements and their costs.

How to buy a license online:

1. Log into the ODFW electronic licensing system from the MyODFW.com website. Click on the green "Buy a license" button.

image of the Buy a license button on web

2. Verify/create an account, if you haven't already.

screen shot of ELS login page

  • Verify your account if you have had a fishing/shellfish/hunting license if you have preference points, any other certifications (such as disabilities permit), or have purchased an annual license since 2016 – you already have an online profile.
  • Create a new account if you have never had an Oregon hunting/shellfish/fishing license, or haven’t purchased one since 2016.
  • You may purchase daily paper fishing licenses and Waterway Access Permits without creating an account. Simply select “Guest checkout” on the login screen and be ready to print your license. (Electronic daily licenses are available, but require opening an account.)

3. Once logged in, select “Purchase from the catalog.”

screen shot of the ELS intro page

4. From there, select “Fishing” from the list of available categories.

screen shot of ELS catalog page

5. Select the licenses and other documents you want to “Add to cart.” Other documents to consider in addition to a fishing license are:

  • Columbia River Basin Endorsement – if you plan to fish for salmon or steelhead within the Columbia Basin.
  • Combined Angling Tag – to legally fish  (including catch-and-release) for salmon, steelhead and/or sturgeon.
  • Two Rod Validation – allows you to fish most lakes, ponds and reservoirs with two rods at the same time.
  • Hatchery Harvest Card – allows additional harvest of hatchery salmon and steelhead

6. Proceed to checkout.

screenshot of the ELS proceed to checkout

7. Check out.

screen shot of ELS checkout page

Verify your Social Security number?

If you receive an error message saying you must verify your Social Security number, chances are good you've accidentally created a duplicate account. Meaning you already had an ODFW account without realizing it, and tried to create a new account instead of verifying your existing account. Happens all the time.

The bad news: You must contact ODFW.websales@state.or.us and ask that your accounts be merged. This can only be completed Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The good news: You can use "Guest Checkout" to purchase/print a daily license if you're going fishing immediately and it's outside of normal business hours. Then contact the ODFW licensing staff about purchasing annual documents.

Selecting paper or electronic

During the check out process, you will be asked if you’d like to print a paper copy of your documents, or download an electronic version onto your smartphone using the MyODFW app. You also will indicate if you want to tag salmon, steelhead and sturgeon electronically or using a paper angling tag or harvest card.

You can print a paper copies of your documents on your home computer. You can’t reduce the size of  documents before you print it, but you can trim excess blank paper to make it easier to fold them into  a manageable size.

If necessary, you can print multiple copies of your license, but only one copy of your Combined Angling Tag or Hatchery Harvest Card.

If you choose to carry your license and other documents on your smartphone, you'll need to download the MyODFW app from the Google Play or iPhone App store. Log into the app using the same user name and password you created in the licensing system.

Buying a license for others

You can buy a license for someone else online, but they need to have their own online account. They also must have their own smartphone if you select an electronic option for them. (You cannot carry their electronic license for them on your smart phone.)

Otherwise, you can print a paper copy of their documents for them to carry.

Buy at an ODFW office or license vendor

You can still go to an ODFW office that sells licenses* or an ODFW license vendor to buy your license and other documents.

*Due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, ODFW offices are currently closed to the public. However, several license vendors are open. Call ahead to confirm. (June 25, 2020)

Explore Related Articles

Where to clam and crab

Nehalem Bay offers both beach and boat access to softshell and purple varnish clam beds.

How to clam and crab

Digging razor clams is a challenging and fun recreational pastime with delicious rewards. Continue reading to learn some fundamental skills needed...

Where to clam and crab

Siletz Bay, located at the south end of Lincoln city, is a very popular destination for beach-goers and clam diggers....