What is a WIN card and do I need one?

A WIN Card is a Wildlife Identification Number.

Anglers and hunters must purchase a Wildlife Identification Number (WIN) card before purchasing any licence, wildlife certificate or hunting draw application.

The card is valid for five years and functions like a credit card at the point-of-sale, confirming your eligibility for a licence within seconds.

Who manages this system and why?

Active Network manages the system, allowing private businesses the opportunity to provide public services they can deliver efficiently.

The management of fish and wildlife is complex and needs as much information as possible about the resources and the people who use them. The automated licensing system provides current and accurate information about anglers and hunters, while also providing better licensing services.

How do I get a WIN card?

You must complete an application form and pay a small fee at a Private Licence Issuer. The vendor will issue the new WIN on a paper receipt, and licences or draw applications can be purchased at that time. A permanent WIN card will be mailed to you within 4 weeks.

You can also visit AlbertaRELM.com to buy or renew your WIN, buy your Sportfishing licence, and apply for the hunting draws.

Who are the Private Licence Issuers?

Private Licence Issuers are stores, gas stations, and other retail locations throughout the province:

What is AlbertaRELM.com?

AlbertaRELM.com is a website where hunters and anglers can buy or renew their Wildlife Identification Number cards (WIN), buy Sportfishing licences and apply for draws:

Hunters and anglers can also view their licence purchases for the past five years including their draw application history and priorities, update their addresses and telephone numbers, and receive information.

When is my online licence valid and will it be mailed to me?

Your online purchase is valid immediately when you print and sign the licence.

You do not need to wait for a licence to be mailed or go to another location to pick it up. If you lose your online licence, you can reprint the licence at no cost.

What is the cost and what do I need to buy a licence online?

Your online licence costs the same as a licence purchased at a Private Licence Issuer. You will need:

  • Computer with internet connection
  • E-mail address
  • Printer to print your licences
  • Valid credit card

Your internet browser should be Microsoft Internet Explorer version 8.x or higher. To print your licence, you need Adobe Acrobat Reader Version 7 or higher (or equivalent .pdf file viewer). Adobe Reader X (v.10.1.1 or higher) is recommended.

How do I know my online information is secure?

Your internet browser shows you are on a secure server if the URL of the website begins with “https” rather than “http” and there is a closed padlock on the status bar.

AlbertaRELM.com is protected with a secure internet service called Verisign. The information you enter is transmitted to us using a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) of communications.

Your credit card information is encrypted for added security. Your credit card number is not stored in our database, which is why you need to enter your card number for each transaction.

Do I use the same WIN card to purchase fishing and hunting licences?

Yes. The same WIN is used for purchasing both recreational fishing and hunting licences.

What do the licences and tags look like?

Licences look like a cash register receipt that lists the holder's name, address and the appropriate licensing information.

Tags look similar to a ski-lift ticket that uses a wire to attach to the animal.

Do non-residents need a WIN card?

Yes.

Anyone who requires an Alberta hunting or fishing licence needs a WIN card. The number is issued at the time of purchase so that there is no delay in receiving a licence.

Do youths (less than 16 years of age) and seniors (greater than 64 years of age) need a WIN card to hunt?

In Alberta, you must be at least 12 years of age to possess a hunting licence.

If you are 12 or 13 years of age:

  • Before obtaining any licence, you must successfully complete the Alberta Conservation and Hunter Education Program.
  • Have the written permission of your parent or guardian.
  • You may hunt game birds with any legal weapon and you are no longer restricted to hunting big game with only a bow and arrow.
  • To hunt with a firearm, hunters under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent, a legal guardian or by a person 18 years of age or older who has the written permission of the parent or legal guardian.

If you are 14 or 15 years of age:

  • You must have the written permission of your parent or guardian to purchase a hunting licence.
  • You may hunt any game animal, for which you have a valid licence, with any legal weapon.

If you are 14 years of age or older and you are a first-time hunter:

  • You may be required to pass a hunter-competency test prior to obtaining a hunting licence. A first-time hunter is a person who has not previously held a recreational hunting licence in Alberta or elsewhere. Note: non-residents (Canadian) and non-resident aliens are exempted from this first-time requirement if they are accompanied by a licenced guide.)
  • You may hunt any game animal, for which you have a valid licence, with any legal weapon.

Learn more about Alberta Hunting Regulations:

Do I have to take a hunter education course before getting a WIN card?

No.

Successfully completing a conservation and hunter education course (or passing a hunter-competency test) is required only for first-time hunters applying for a hunting licence if such hunters:

  • have not passed such a course or test elsewhere and
  • are not non-residents accompanied by a licenced guide

Anyone who applies and pays $8.00 is eligible for a WIN card.

How do I change my mailing address and personal information on the WIN card?

You can update your information in any of the following ways:

  1. Change your personal information online:
  2. Head over to your local Issuer and complete a WIN Application form to up-date any new information (Section A). No new WIN Card purchase is required.

  3. Telephone the Active Network AlbertaRELM Help Desk:
    • Toll-free in North America: 1-888-944-5494

How are replacement licences and tags being handled?

If you lose a licence, you can go to any authorized Licence Issuer and purchase a reprint of the licence for a small fee.

If you lose a licence tag, you must go to a Fish and Wildlife Division office and fill out a statutory declaration form explaining the details of the lost tag.

After the licensing system authorizes a replacement, you can then go to any authorized Licence Issuer and purchase the replacement tag for a small fee.

How do Fish and Wildlife Officers use this system?

The system allows Fish and Wildlife Officers to confirm licences in the field, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, against the database in Edmonton, even if the licence was purchased on the same day.

I haven't received my WIN card yet. How long does it take or whom should I contact?

Your permanent WIN card is mailed to you within a 4 weeks of your purchase date.

If you haven't received your card:

  • Make sure to have your paper receipt, which includes the WIN number you received at the time of purchase.
  • Contact the Active Network AlbertaRELM Help Desk:
    • Toll-free in North America: 1-888-944-5494

How do I renew my WIN card?

WIN cards are valid for 5 years. When your card expires, you can renew it at any Private Licence Issuer for a small fee.

Your renewed card is valid for 5 years. You can renew your card as many times as you would like.

Whom do I contact to get my WIN card reinstated after it was suspended by Maintenance Enforcement?

Maintenance Enforcement removes the suspension once the WIN card holder has made payment arrangements.

Contact

If you have more questions about purchasing hunting or fishing licences in Alberta, contact:

  • AlbertaRELM Help Desk (Active Network)
    Toll-free in North America: 1 888 944-5494
  • Information Centre
    Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
    Tel (Edmonton Local):
    780 944-0313 / 780 310-3773 (ESRD)
    Toll Free: 1 877 944-0313

Related Information

Read more frequently asked questions:

Learn more about hunting and fishing regulations in Alberta:

Updated: Jun 10, 2014