CDFW Introduces License Application for Mobile Devices

by California Department of Fish & Wildlife

Media Note: A link to download fishing and mobile app video is available at the bottom of the page. 

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) is pleased to announce the launch of the CDFW License App for mobile devices.

The new application allows residents and nonresidents to display California sport fishing licenses and validations on their mobile phones and other mobile devices in lieu of a physical license.

Users may also download and view various CDFW online resources, including hunting and fishing regulations booklets, the Fish Planting Schedule and access the Online License Sales and Services website.

Users can download the application on their mobile devices through the Apple App Store or Google Play Store or by accessing the direct download links from CDFW’s License App web page.

Following the successful rollout of the CDFW License App, hunting licenses and related hunting validations will be added to the mobile display options as early as mid-2024.

“We sometimes think progress moves too slowly, but the Department of Fish and Wildlife has moved full-speed ahead in making fishing licenses valid for 365 days and has modernized the licensing process by going digital,” said Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg), author of the original legislation, Assembly Bill (AB) 817, responsible for the change to a 365-day license and mobile licensing display. “I couldn’t ask for a better partner in implementing this new process. I look forward to CDFW’s goal of growing its digital footprint in other licensing areas.”

Wood’s AB 817, introduced in 2021, was widely embraced throughout the fishing community by national and statewide Recruit, Retain, Reactivate (R3) advocates, conservation organizations and CDFW.

The Coastal Conservation Association of California (CCA CAL), which works to protect the interests of recreational saltwater anglers and healthy marine habitats, also supported the legislation.

“The CDFW License App represents the culmination of efforts that will benefit license holders for many years,” said Wayne Kotow, executive director of CCA CAL.

Nathaniel Arnold, acting chief of CDFW’s Law Enforcement Division, said, “Wildlife officers expect the app will provide additional opportunities for the angling public to have their licenses conveniently in possession when checked.”

The rollout of the CDFW Licensing App aligns with the goals of CDFW’s R3 initiative to transform hunting and fishing barriers into opportunities. This app will allow California anglers to easily obtain, access and display their sport fishing licenses on their mobile devices, providing a convenient and paperless solution that promotes responsible fishing practices, ensures compliance with regulations, and enhances overall fishing experiences for individuals in both urban and remote areas.

More information about the app and Frequently Asked Questions can be found on the CDFW’s License App web page, which includes video tutorials covering the app’s various functionalities.


Mobile app and fishing video is available for download at the following CDFW FTP site.

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