Press Releases

RBFF Offers Six Ways to Improve Anglers’ Online License Purchase
New Report Assesses the Current State License Purchase Process Online; White Paper Offers Specific Recommendations for Optimizing the Customer Experience

ALEXANDRIA, VA (March 29, 2013) – The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) today announced the results of a new report that assesses the current state of the online license purchase process, and a white paper that offers six ways to improve anglers’ experience with the process. The RBFF Online Fishing License Assessment: 2012 and The Connected Angler: Six Ways to Improve Anglers’ Online License Purchase were officially announced at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference taking place March 25 – 30, 2013 in Arlington, VA.

“National consumer trends show there will be many technology and demographic changes occurring in the next few years that will have a significant impact on RBFF and state agencies’ success,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “According to Statista, nearly 190 million people will shop online this year – 118 million on a mobile device. Using this information, we embarked on a project to assess the current state fishing license online purchase process and develop a set of recommendations that we will use in our work with state agencies to help build on, or improve the customer experience.”

Conducted in August 2012, RBFF visited every state agency homepage, purchased a one-day, non-resident fishing license (or the shortest term available) and documented the experience in four categories: pre-purchase phase, purchase phase, post-purchase phase and customer support.

The report recommendations with supporting key findings include:

  1. Go mobile! Five out of 50 states offered mobile-friendly websites, and 2 out of 50 states offered mobile license buying.
  2. Require every customer to provide an email address. Forty-seven states collected email, but only a little over half of those made email collection mandatory.
  3. Say “thank you.” Thirty-two states offered no post-communication, thank you message.
  4. Follow up and educate at every e-opportunity. Eleven states offered the option to sign-up for subscriptions or news.
  5. Focus on families. Three out of 50 states offered a family license.
  6. Offer Spanish-language translation. One state offered Spanish translation.

The Online Fishing License Assessment is RBFF’s first step towards better understanding the customer experience and assisting states in improving it. “State partnerships are a priority for RBFF, and we will continue to collaborate, and create programs that benefit the states, and the customers they serve,” added Peterson.

The white paper, along with the detailed final report, is available to view and download at

Related images are available in the RBFF Newsroom.

About RBFF: 
RBFF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating, thereby protecting and restoring the nation’s aquatic natural resources. RBFF helps people discover, share and protect the legacy of boating and fishing through the Take Me Fishing™ campaign.

For further information: Stephanie Vatalaro,, 703-778-5156