Frequently Asked Questions: Independent access providers

Why did Fisheries and Oceans Canada start issuing recreational fishing licences over the Internet?

By replacing the traditional method of licence issuance and expanding the online licensing system to Independent Access Providers, DFO can improve the management of Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence information. Issuing all licences online improves access to fisher information, assists in the development of catch reporting tools and demographic surveys, and accounts for revenue in a timely manner.

How does the online licensing system improve services for fishers and Independent Access Providers?

Fishers and Independent Access Providers are able to apply for a Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence over the Internet in less time than it took in previous years. With a credit card or debit card, fishers are able to purchase, print, and immediately use their sport fishing licence. Independent Access Providers are able to issue licences to repeat clients quicker, issue licences to multiple fishers at a time, and run electronic reports. Additionally, the licence issuing process has been streamlined by eliminating the requirement to submit carbon copies and paper sales reports.

Is there a fee to use DFO’s online recreational licensing system?

No, DFO does not charge fishers additional fees if they choose to buy their recreational Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Licence over the Internet. As an Independent Access Provider you may choose to charge a fee to assist in covering the costs of maintaining a computer, printing costs and Internet access. If a fisher chooses not to pay the Independent Access Provider a usage fee, fishers may still access our site through other public locations such as a library, community centres, Service Canada offices, etc.

If a fisher wants to go salmon fishing, how are Salmon Conservation Stamps issued through the online licensing system?

The stamp is an option on the web menu. If a fisher elects to obtain a Salmon Conservation Stamp, the current year’s stamp image will be superimposed on the licence copy.

As an Independent Access Provider, you can also add a Salmon Conservation Stamp to a new or existing licence. A stamp should be issued through the online system if the licence was issued electronically.

Are both residents and non-residents allowed to acquire tidal sport fishing licences over the Internet or through an Independent Access Provider?

Yes, both residents and non-residents can acquire their licences online or through an Independent Access Provider portal. However, it is important to know that non-residents purchasing a licence online at home are prohibited from fishing for Pacific halibut in Areas 23, 121 and 123. This prohibition will not apply to non-residents who purchase a licence from an authorized Independent Access Provider.

Who can I contact if I have more questions on this initiative?

Pacific Region General Inquiries
Telephone: 1-877-535-7307
Email: fishing-peche@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

What are the different types of licences an Independent Access Provider can issue?

Electronic licences are issued directly through the online system, which is the most efficient and main method of licence issuance. Independent Access Providers can quickly and easily issue licences to clients using this system.

Pre-purchased licences are purchased by the Independent Access Provider in advance to prepare for a system outage or limited Internet connectivity (e.g. in remote areas or on a boat without Internet connectivity). After pre-purchased licences are issued, the information recorded on the pre-purchase licence log must be reconciled/entered into the online system at a later time.

Emergency waterproof paper licences (ie. traditional paper licences) are issued in the event of an emergency when there is a system outage. After emergency paper licences are issued, the information recorded on the carbon copy must be reconciled/entered into the online system at a later time.

Please note that all pre-purchased and emergency paper licences that have not been reconciled into the online system or not returned as unused at the end of the fishing year, will be charged to the Independent Access Providers account as per their agreement.

Are Independent Access Providers required to reconcile emergency water proof licences?

Yes, for emergency waterproof licences where payment has been received, please retain both carbon copies as Independent Access Providers must reconcile that information into the system. This function is now available on the menu called "Licence Reconciliation > Paper".

Are hard copies of the Tidal Water Sport Fishing Guides and Freshwater Salmon guides available?

Yes. A modified version of the Tidal Waters Sport Fishing Guide is available in printed format. However, the Government of Canada is encouraging a more environmentally-friendly and cost-effective approach to deliver information to Canadians. This requires reducing the number of print products and developing electronic publications and tools. Fisheries and Oceans Canada is encouraging all recreational fishers to familiarize themselves with the online BC Sport Fishing Guide.

Fishery management decisions are made all year long and DFO updates the online BC Sport Fishing Guide with the changes when announced.

How do I apply to become an Independent Access Provider?

Please contact the Pacific Region General Inquiries by phone or by email.
Telephone: 1-877-535-7307
Email: fishing-peche@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Can an electronic licence be voided?

Yes, if an error has been made, Independent Access Providers may void 1 Day licences on the same day of issuance or until the day before the licence effective date. 3 and 5 Day licences may be voided on the same day of issuance and up until the licence effective date (up until 23 hours 59 minutes).

Can a pre-purchased licence be voided?

Independent Access Providers should destroy pre-purchased licences where an error was made and issue a correct licence to the fisher.

Any licences not used by the end of the season will remain in the Independent Access Providers inventory as unreconciled and you will be charged for these licences. However, this discretion lies with DFO.

It is recommended that you only buy the number of pre-purchased licences you expect to issue and use up these licences by the end of the fishing year.

Can an emergency waterproof licence (i.e. traditional paper licences) be voided?

Independent Access Providers may void emergency waterproof licences where an error was made and the licence was not issued to the fisher. Independent Access Providers must reconcile the licence by clicking "Flag as void". This function is now available on the menu called "Licence Reconciliation Paper".

Voided emergency paper licences must be mailed to the Pacific Fishery Licensing Unit for processing otherwise it will remain in the Independent Access Providers inventory as unreconciled and you will be charged for these licences as per your agreement.

Any stamps that you have voided cannot be entered or flagged as void in the system. Voided stamps must be mailed to the Pacific Fishery Licensing Unit for processing otherwise it will remain in the Independent Access Providers inventory as unreconciled and you will be charged for these stamps. Please see the user manual for more detail.

Please write void across the emergency waterproof licences and stamps and return voided licences and stamps by mail to:

Pacific Fishery Licensing Unit
200-401 Burrard Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 3S4

Can a lost or damaged emergency water proof licence be replaced?

Independent Access Providers may issue replacement paper licences/stamps at no charge to individuals who have lost their licences and stamps. When issuing a replacement licence, Independent Access Providers are required to ask the fisher to sign the declaration of loss form. The forms and a carbon copy of the licence must be mailed to the Pacific Fishery Licensing Unit for auditing purposes. When reconciling a replacement licence, check off the "replacement" box. This function is now available on the menu called "Licence Reconciliation > Paper". See the user manual for more detail.

I forgot my Independent Access Provider login information, how can I access my account?

The Independent Access Provider system requires your Independent Access Number in addition to a username and password to login to the system. In the event that you are unable to remember your access number, please contact the Pacific Fishery Licensing Unit to reset your information.

New for 2017 - Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licences no longer need to be signed.

There is no longer a requirement for Tidal Waters Sport Fishing licences to be signed. This applies to electronic, pre-purchase and emergency paper licences.