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While it is easier than ever to get your fishing license online, there are a few things to be aware of when searching for state websites or license pages. These tips will guide you in the right direction by letting you know how to confirm you are on a safe, legitimate page to avoid fishing license scams.
Buying Your Fishing License Online Safely
Can you buy a fishing license online safely? The answer is absolutely, but there are some important things you need to know.
Since each state agency's website is different and you may not be sure if you are visiting an official state site at first glance, always get confirmation that you are on a legitimate state website before you input any personal information.
Be aware that there are third-party fraudulent websites out on the Internet that are not affiliated with state or county governments. These websites are set up by scammers in an attempt to collect your personal information. The good news is that you can follow just a few specific security steps to avoid them.
How to Get a Fishing License Online Securely
When you are ready to buy a fishing license online, there are a few security guidelines you should always follow to be certain you are making a safe purchase on the Internet. These same guidelines also apply to registering a boat online.
- When you are ready to buy a fishing license online, check to be sure you are following a link that leads to a legitimate state agency site. If you can’t tell by looking at the link or website, call your state agency a call to verify that the site is official before submitting any of your personal information.
- Rather than using a search engine to access a link to purchase a fishing license online, use the links provided on the get a fishing license pages of this website. Each of the state agency links at TakeMeFishing.org will take you to legitimate state agency license pages. In other words, be aware that Internet search engines may not always list the official state agency website as the top result.
- Always check the URL of the website you are on and confirm that it matches with the official state agency website or license page. As an example, in California, the only authorized online sales sites for California Department of Fish and Wildlife products are the CDFW website (www.wildlife.ca.gov) and ALDS (www.ca.wildlifelicense.com/InternetSales). If the URL doesn’t match one of those two, you should not enter your credit card number or other personal information.
- If you do come across a website or URL that you believe suspicious, be sure to contact your state agency or report it to your state's Bureau of Consumer Protection.
- You can also purchase a fishing license in person at an independent license sales agent that has been authorized by the state agency (such as a local sporting goods store or a bait and tackle shop).
By keeping these tips in mind when buying fishing licenses, you can avoid scams and keep your personal information secure.