OLYMPIA—Fishers and hunters with faded or discolored recreational licenses, catch record cards or access site parking permits can get free replacement documents, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) has announced.
The department notified retail license dealers and licensing customer service personnel about the free replacement policy Friday after receiving scattered reports of print fading or flaking off recreational licenses and catch record cards. Others reported vehicle access permits darkening in hot weather. The vehicle permits are required for parking on WDFW-owned wildlife areas and water-access sites.
License and permit holders may get replacement documents at any WDFW regional office or at a retail license vendor. Regional offices are located in Spokane, Ephrata, Yakima, Mill Creek, Vancouver and Montesano. Retail vendor locations may be found on the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/vendors.
License holders also have the option of requesting replacements for defective documents by mail from WDFW’s Licensing Division, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia WA 98501-1091.
“We only recently began hearing about some licenses fading or permits darkening and at this point we don’t know how widespread the problem is,” said Ron McQueen, WDFW’s assistant director for business services.
McQueen noted that the licensing paper stock performed satisfactorily when it was tested in a washing machine and dryer earlier this year. WDFW has asked its automated license system provider to investigate the cause of the discoloration and fading.
“We regret that our customers have been inconvenienced and we want to make sure they can get the documents they need while we determine what caused the recent problems,” he added.
Those seeking replacement documents will not be required to pay the standard duplicate-license fee, but must turn in the defective documents when requesting a replacement. For more information on the replacement procedures, license holders may call 1-866-246-9453.
In the meantime, WDFW has notified its enforcement officers about the faded licenses and darkened permits. Anglers with faded catch record cards are asked to continue keeping a written record of their catch and to seek a replacement record card as promptly as possible.
Recreational license documents are sold through an automated license system, provided by Outdoor Central, Inc., of Nashville, Tenn., under a contract with WDFW. The department’s former recreational license system contract with MCI WorldCom expired June 30.
Telephone license sales through the Outdoor Central automated licensing system began last December and license sales over the Internet started in February. Retail vendor sales under the new system began June 1 and all retail licensing terminals were in place by July 7.
By the end of July, about 900,000 licensing documents had been sold using the new licensing system, with 700,000 of those sales taking place at retail vendors.