When purchasing a new fishing license or even renewing your old license, it is often more convenient to do so online. However, ordering your fishing license online can lead you to question the integrity of websites such as FishingLicense.org.
Is FishingLicense.org a legitimate website? FishingLicense.org does not sell fishing licenses, but their interface can trick users into thinking they are purchasing a fishing license. The site does have fine print alerting users to this fact, but in our opinion the site is deceptive and there are multiple complaints with the Better Business Bureau about this business.
The problem with FishingLicense.org is that it can be easy to think you’re buying a fishing license, when in fact they are selling an eBook and audio guide ABOUT buying a fishing license. You have to read the fine print, which says:
“Our Complete Fishing Licensing Guide and accompanying Audiobook simplify the process of getting a fishing license from your state’s wildlife department. For a one-time charge of $27.98, you get access to all of the information you need in one simple and easy-to-use guide. You’ll also receive Coupons and Gift Rewards valuing up to $500 in savings, a guide on Fishing Gear Essentials and our Fresh Catch Cookbook. FishingLicense.org is privately owned and is neither affiliated with nor endorsed by any government agency.”https://fishinglicense.org/billing.html
Curious as to what these reviews stated or how you can use FishingLicense.org to your advantage? Continue reading below to find more info on FishingLicense.org and its purpose.
The layout of FishingLicense.org makes it seem like a trustworthy site providing you with information and the ability to purchase or renew fishing licenses.
At first glance, you see information describing some of the different fishing license requirements in each state and how some states offer their fishing licenses to be purchased on the website.
The information provided on the rules, regulations, and fishing license requirements is valid, but it leads users to believe that purchasing a license from this website is valid, as well.
Upon my first inspection, this appeared to be a legitimate website. However, after some more scrutiny, I determined you can’t buy a fishing license for any state from one website, and the implied ability to offer all of the fishing licenses in one place made the website illegitimate.
Most of the information on the site (regarding purchasing licenses) was either misleading or false. In fact, the page has a disclaimer stating that they are not affiliated with any government site.
A fishing license is an item handled and enforced by government agencies. Any site not associated with a government agency is outright stating that they are not capable of selling you a legitimate fishing license.
What Happens When You Go on FishingLicense.org?
At the top of the page, you are asked to select a service. The offered services include purchasing a new fishing license, renewing an old license, replacing a lost license, and purchasing a lifetime fishing license.
After selecting your desired service, you are prompted to select the state you reside in.
Once you select a state, the page changes to show you the types of fishing license offered by your state, how fishing education operates locally, and the different fishing organizations in your selected area. That all seems pretty useful.
You are then asked to provide some basic information such as your name, email, and credit card number. However, there is no price or specific license selection before or after you type in your information.
You are probably expecting to type in your information and receive a printable or digital fishing license.
However, if you read closely in the heading above your billing information the page says “Your Guide to Getting a Fishing License.”
Users who submit their information receive a notice thanking them for their purchase. It does not tell them how much they were billed, or what product they are receiving.
They then receive a link to a downloadable Fishing Guide (hence why the page says “Your Guide to Getting a Fishing License”). There will be no license sent to your email, only a guide explaining how to purchase a fishing license. This isn’t useful at all.
FishingLicense.org Reviews and Complaints
On the Better Business Bureau’s website, many people reported having the same problem on the FishingLicense.org site.
After they put in their credit card information, they either did not receive a product, or the product they received was not the item they had been led to believe they were purchasing.
FishingLicense.org issued responses to some of these complaints. However, the responses they issued are the same automated response for each person’s dissatisfaction.
The response each time thanks the customer for reaching out, agrees to send a refund to their account and asks them to reach out to customer service again.
This automated response does not address the fact that their website is misleading and that their services are not truthful or trustworthy.
Getting Your Money Back
For those who sent their billing information in, you may see a charge of anywhere between $5 to $25.
If you are requesting a refund for the “services” you received from FishingLicense.org, they provide a section on their website of how to do so.
In this section, they say you can request a refund by calling or emailing their customer service department within 30 days of the date of purchase.
However, if you read this section closely, you will see that the refund excludes any taxes, processing fees, or any other charges that were included.
As well as not receiving a full refund, FishingLicense.org holds the right to change or even suspend their return policy at any time without notifying you.
You might receive your refund of $20, but the $4 service/processing fee won’t ever come back (that is if FishingLicense.org hasn’t suspended their refund system momentarily).
In the end, FishingLicense.org is not a legitimate place to buy fishing licenses from any official state website, and it is not legitimate.
Other Illegitimate Fishing Websites
While looking for your fishing license on the web it can be quite difficult to tell which websites are truthful and which ones are simply a scam.
Take a quick look at our list of illegitimate licensing websites below so you know which ones to avoid!
- fake-id.org (just avoid this one altogether)
When you’re on an official fishing license website, you should never see a drop-down list asking you to choose your state without being directed to a new website afterward. Each state has at least one or two official websites that are specific to their available licenses.
To find your state’s official licensing website, check out the U.S. Fish and Wildlife website. After choosing your state, the site will direct you to the official government website.
Another secure website for finding your state’s fishing license website (as well as other helpful fishing information) is TakeMeFishing.org.
How much does it cost to buy a fishing license? The cost of your fishing license depends on the state you purchase the license for, which state you have residency in, the type of water it applies to, and how long the license lasts for. Depending on these factors, your license can range anywhere from $5 to upwards of $100.
Can I get a fishing license at Walmart? Walmart does offer the ability to purchase some fishing licenses (in fact I have bought mine there myself a few times). Simply go to the desk in the sporting goods section and an associate can help you do the rest!
At what age do I need to start purchasing a fishing license? Once again this also varies by the state you are fishing in and which state you have residency in. However, most states start requiring fishing licenses between the ages of 12 and 16.