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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: Is a Photo of My Fishing License Good Enough?  (Read 205 times)

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  • Manatee
  • *****
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  • Location: Fremont, CA
  • Date Registered: Feb 2007
  • Posts: 19222
February 15, 2018

Question: I have a picture of my current fishing license and hunting license on my phone (as well as my driver’s license). That shows all of the legal stamps, stars and stripes that might be required for what I am doing legally. As far as a game warden is concerned, would that work as proof that I have a license? It worked with the California Highway Patrol and I wasn’t cited for driving without a license. Before you say “no,” realize that California only requires sportsmen to buy a state duck stamp, not to have it on them. Why wouldn’t the same be true for a photo of the license? If the department won’t accept a photo on my phone, what channels do we go through to make it legal? (Bob)

Answer: The California Fish and Game Code (FGC), section 7145 (a) requires that every person aged 16 and older who takes any fish, reptile, or amphibian must have a valid sport fishing license on his or her person or in his or her immediate possession. FGC, section 3700.1 provides that it is unlawful for any person, except a person licensed pursuant to section 3031, paragraph (2) of subdivision (a), to take any migratory game bird, except jacksnipe, coots, gallinules, western mourning doves, white-winged doves, and band-tailed pigeons, without first procuring a state duck hunting validation as provided in subdivision (b), and having that validation in his or her possession while taking those birds. FGC, section 3031 generally addresses the requirements and fees for obtaining a hunting license, and provides, at paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) special requirements for obtaining a junior hunting license.

Under the existing requirements, you must have your hunting or fishing license in your immediate possession, and not just a photograph of the license.

Any request to change the regulations or law should be addressed through your state legislator, and, ultimately, the California Fish and Game Commission. Complete details and procedures can be found at www.fgc.ca.gov.