ODFW’s new electronic licensing system (ELS)

November 30, 2018

ODFW’s new electronic licensing system (ELS) will allow customers to store their licenses, tags and validations online on their smart phone or tablet. Customers can also choose to carry paper documents, but will be able to purchase and print these documents from home using regular paper. The new system will also allow for electronic tagging of fish and game using an app that will work even when offline.

Frequently asked questions
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HOW DO I VERIFY MY ACCOUNT IN THE NEW SYSTEM?

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) 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.

verify

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#, call or email ODFW (odfw.websales@state.or.us / (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 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. 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 TO PURCHASE IN THE NEW SYSTEM

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. Many retailers have told us they prefer to use their own equipment, which the new system allows, so as not have to print using a special terminal or special paper.

While the new system is scheduled to launch sometime on Dec. 1, not all licensing agents will be up and running on it immediately. For the first few weeks of December, it will be a good idea to call ahead before visiting a license sale agent to make sure they can sell you a license/tag—or check the How to Buy a License or Tag page at MyODFW.com for a list of active agents which will be posted and updated beginning the week of Dec. 3, 2018.  

If you need a 2018 license or tag to hunt or fish on Dec. 1-2, 2018, ODFW recommends you buy it before Nov. 30 at 6 p.m. when the old license system will shut down.

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 MyODFW.com. 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 MyODFW.com 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 other workshops are only available for sale online at MyODFW.com. They are no longer available at license sale agents including ODFW offices. Verify or create your account or at MyODFW.com and follow steps to purchase a class or workshop.

How to register for course, workshop or event

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 MyODFW.com?

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.

TAGGING AND MANDATORY 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. ODFW recognizes the potential sensitivity of personal hunting and fishing locations and will be evaluating options to address confidentiality issues associated with the new system.

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 online at MyODFW.com or call ODFW at (503) 947-6101 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

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

No. You will need to choose either electronic or paper at the time of purchase. However, customers who choose paper will have the option of changing to electronic during the season.

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 license.

Can I resize my paper licenses and tags to make them smaller?

No. Paper licenses and tags should be printed as is and not modified in any way. Licenses may be laminated to make them waterproof. Tags should not be laminated (as you will record your harvest in ink on the piece of paper.)  

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. 

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.

GIFT-GIVING AND OTHER PURCHASING QUESTIONS

Can I give a 2019 license or tag as a gift this year?

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. 

Gift giving will be easier in March when a function called “Group Purchase” is launched. This new function will allow customers to build a group of family and friends that they can make purchases for, using that list to easily buy both online and at license sale agents or ODFW offices. In preparation for the launch of the Group Purchase feature, customers should make sure to note the ODFW ID numbers of the people they plan to purchase for in the future so that they can easily locate their account and build the group.

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

Hunter education classes and outdoor workshops are only available for sale online at MyODFW.com. They are not sold at license sale agents including ODFW offices. Verify or create your account at MyODFW.com and follow steps to purchase a class or workshop.

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 MyODFW.com.

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 (503) 947-6101 to purchase pre-paid dailies.

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

Federal duck stamps are not sold via MyODFW.com 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), or buy online at https://www.fws.gov/birds/get-involved/duck-stamp/e-stamp.php and use immediately.

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.

MORE ABOUT ODFW'S NEW ELECTRONIC LICENSING SYSTEM

Why is ODFW changing its licensing system?

To provide better service to customers, reduce our operating costs and modernize our licensing system. Customers will be 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 choose to 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 $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.

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 ODFW.Info@state.or.us

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