License Information & Requirements
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Please Note: Internet and telephone orders may take up to 7-10 business days to deliver your license in the mail.
License requirements and fees are set by the Washington State Legislature. Licenses are based on an April 1-March 31 license year. There are no senior citizen discounts on hunting licenses, tags, or permits. A "youth" is defined as a resident or non-resident under 16 years of age at the time of license purchase.
Social Security Numbers
Federal and state law requires persons 15 or older to give their Social Security Number in order to obtain a license. (Federal Law US Code: Title 42, Section 666, Paragraph 13, Section A; and RCW 77.32.014)
Duplicate Licenses & Tags
If hunting license or tag documents are lost, stolen, or destroyed, duplicates can be obtained from license vendors for a cost. However, it is a crime to unlawfully purchase or possess a duplicate license or tag for any purpose other than replacement of a lost or destroyed original document.
Replacement tags may be provided when a hunter has killed an animal that is unfit for human consumption upon WDFW inspection and authorization.
Refunds/Exchanges (WAC 220-220-100)
The department will not refund any recreational license or permit purchase for which a season or hunt has been scheduled, and the licensee could have participated in the season or hunt, regardless of whether the licensee did in fact participate or not.
Except as detailed below, there are no refunds for hunting licenses or transport tags. Exchanges of hunting license documents will not be made after applying for a special permit (Points Option hunts are exempt) or after the hunting season opens.
- Dealer or system error, or wrong license issued. Refund from local dealer within 60 minutes of purchase; from WDFW Olympia office any time during licensing year.
- License purchaser received more than one of the same licenses in the same license year.
- License purchaser qualifies for reduced fee at the time of issue.
- License purchaser who is transferred or otherwise obligated by the military or their business and provides verifying documentation within year of purchase.
- Licensee cannot hunt due to injury or health reasons verified by physicians statement provided within year of purchase.
- We are unable to refund partial licenses. For example, (Deer + Elk + Bear + Cougar) cannot refund individual item from package.
- Death of license holder before season of licensed hunt. Personal representative must provide all documentation.
- Deer and elk transport tags may be exchanged for a different area or weapon type before the following dates: Archery, Sept. 1; Muzzleloader, Sept. 20; or Modern firearm, Oct. 10.
- Tag issued in error not caused by persons applying for tag.
Vehicle Access Pass
Your Vehicle Access Pass (VAP) is free with the purchase of an annual hunting, fishing, or trapping license. It cannot be purchased separately. See State Recreation Lands & Water Access Sites for more information.
If you have a VAP, you have free access to all WDFW-managed lands. However, a Discover Pass is required for access to all State Parks and DNR managed lands. Visit discoverpass.wa.gov for more information. See State Recreation Lands & Water Access Sites for more information.
100 percent of your youth donation will be used to support youth outdoor education. Donations can be made by phone (1-866-246-9453), online (fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov), or at a vendor near you. Call (360) 902-2344 for more information.
WILD ID Numbers
Think of your WILD ID as your permanent license number. Your WILD ID will:
- Decrease time spent purchasing your license
- Prevent duplication
- Increase accuracy of your licenses
- Maintain your license and points history
Required to Hunt
Proof of Hunter Education
Prior to purchasing their first Washington state hunting license, all individuals born after January 1, 1972 must show proof that they have completed a hunter education class. A one time deferral option is available, see Hunter & Trapper Education for options. First-time hunters should plan to complete hunter education training early in the year because very few classes are available after August.
Age Requirements and Restrictions
All hunters, regardless of age, must have in their possession a valid hunting license and any required tags, permits, or stamps to hunt wildlife. Youth are eligible for reduced license fees.
Exhibit of License, Permits, Stamps, Tags, and Wildlife
You are required to show a license, tag or permit, or display wildlife taken when asked to by a Fish and Wildlife officer or other enforcement officer. You are also required to comply with the directions of WDFW personnel related to the collection of sampling data and/or material from wildlife.
Fish and Wildlife Check Stations
Any hunter may be directed to stop at WDFW check stations and produce wildlife in their possession. Fish and Wildlife Officers may stop any person involved in a hunting or fishing activity for the purpose of inspecting hunting and fishing equipment, licenses, tags, or catch record cards and to inspect all fish and wildlife in their possession.
Non-United States Citizens
Special regulations concerning firearms possession may apply to non-United States citizens. If you are not a United States citizen and plan to hunt with a modern firearm, contact the Washington Department of Licensing, (360) 664-6616 or your consulate before you purchase a hunting license.
Note: Licenses, tags, stamps, or permits may be required for wildlife-related activities not covered in this pamphlet.