Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Quick service for buying last minute fishing licenses

Trying to make license buying as easy and convenient as possible the Ohio Division of Wildlife has installed a two-level telephone system to meet those challenges.

At least for those would-be anglers looking to buy a fishing license when they're up against the clock and can't visit an issuing agent. A credit card is required, however.

Calling 866-703-1928 between 5 a.m. and midnight will connect the person with a for-real, live customer service representative. This person will walk the purchaser through the transaction. A $5.50 convenience fee is included with this option.

To access the automated option, call 855-764-3474 any time for reaching the agency's  Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system.

Callers to this option only should be sure to first have their nine-digit customer identification number, which can be obtained at no cost from the Wild Ohio Customer Center at This IVR option includes a $3.25 convenience fee.

In either option, the customer is issued a 10-digit license number and instructed to carry it along with a photo ID as proof that the angler is properly licensed. A printed copy of the license is not included.

As explained by a Wildlife Division official, the possibilities available by the two options are:

Resident license $19, plus convenience fee.

Resident Senior $10, plus convenience fee.

One-day license $11, plus convenience fee.

Nonresident license $ 40, plus convenience fee.

Three-day Tourist license $19, plus convenience fee.

Option one, the angler would need to talk to someone and provide them with their name, address, and social security number.  There is no way a customers can enter all that data through the interactive voice recognition (IVR) system we are using, which is why this customer need to talk to a person to do the data entry.  Cost for this service is an additional $5.50.

Option two, the anglers already has their customer number and the caller can use the IVR system by pushing numbers on the key pad of the phone.  The option is $3.25 addition to the cost of the license they want to buy.

Also new this year - and not part of the new phone-in system just described -  anglers have the option of buying in advance an $11 “Lake Erie Charter 1-Day Fishing License” allowing them to wait and validate the license at the dock the day of the trip, the agency official also said.

Waiting to sign and date the license allows for its future use in case the original fishing trip is cancelled due to weather or other circumstances. This license is not available for purchase over the telephone, the Wildlife Division official said as well.

Customers also should be aware that Social Security Numbers (SSN) will be required of ALL individuals, youth and adults, who plan to buy licenses and permits.

United States Federal Statute 42 requires the collection of SSN of any individual to whom the state issues a recreational hunting or fishing license, agency officials say.

When buying a license, customers are also required by law to give their full name, date of birth, gender, declaration of residency, mailing address, height, weight and hair and eye color.

For questions or clarification, contact the Division of Wildlife at 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) or visit our website at

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn
Twitter: @Fieldkorn

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