Frequently Asked Questions


General Client Support

  1. How do I purchase items without going in-person to a FrontCounter BC office?

    A number of alternative purchasing options exist for our products:
  2. How do I make payments without going in-person to a FrontCounter BC office?

    Alternative payment options exist for the following:
    • Natural Resource Applications: You have the option to pay directly online at the time of application completion. Alternatively, you can mail in your payment to the address on the remittance slip at the end of the application submission.
    • Invoices: All natural resource invoices (Water, Crown Land, Environmental Management, BC Parks, Fish and Wildlife) should have information directly on the invoice as to where you can send your payment. Some invoices can also be paid via online banking.
  3. What forms of payments are accepted by FrontCounter BC?

    See Payment Guidelines.
  4. How do I know if your offices are open so I can obtain assistance in-person?

    If you require in-person support, please contact one of our locations first by phone or email before coming to our offices in order to help protect the health and well-being of the public and our employees. We encourage you to take advantage of our website resources, where many self-serve options are available to you.
  5. How can I check the status of my application?

    If you used a BCeID to complete your application, log in and navigate to “My Applications” and choose the Submitted option(s). If you did not use a BCeID, contact us with your application tracking number. For more information on application updates, review our Application Status webpage.
  6. What is the difference between an activity and an authorization?

    An activity is the overall project that you want to conduct. An activity may require multiple authorizations (permits, tenures, licences, etc.) from the Government of British Columbia. The new Natural Resource Online Services system streamlines the application, review and submission of authorizations for certain activities.
    An authorization is a legal mechanism that allows the Government of British Columbia to give rights (permission) to the proponent to undertake his/her desired course of action. These rights are often conveyed through a “permit” or a “licence”.
    A new feature that has been developed for the Natural Resource Online Services website is that clients can now choose to research and submit their applications either as an activity or as an authorization.
    An example of an activity would be to “build a sand and gravel mine”, which usually includes authorizations such as a mining permit, a licence of occupation, a water licence and an explosives blasting permit (and others, depending on the nature and location of the activity).
  7. How do I search for the activity I want using Natural Resource Online Services?

    You can search Natural Resource Online Services for an activity by using the Search for Guidance option on the Home Page or by going to the Explore by Activity page.
  8. What are Guidance documents and what kind of information is included?

    Guidance documents contain the activity description, mandatory authorizations, cost range, eligibility requirements, required documents and applicable links. These guidance documents can be easily printed. When guidance documents are unavailable, you will be re-directed to a webpage that will provide you with the appropriate information.
  9. What are the limitations of the Guidance documents through Natural Resource Online Services?

    The Natural Resource Online Services Guidance documents help users by compiling necessary information in one location. They do not replace legislated requirements and only represent what is currently available online.


  1. Firewood on Crown land – where can I cut or harvest it from, can I sell it, and do I need a permit?

    Members of the public who wish to cut firewood on Crown land for personal use must have a Free Use Permit for Firewood from each Natural Resource District where they intend to cut, issued by the appropriate District Manager or designate. Any firewood cut under this permit is for personal use only and cannot be sold.
    More information on Free Use Permits for Firewood.
  2. Where can I cut or harvest a Christmas tree from on Crown Land, can I sell it, and do I need a permit?

    Members of the public who wish to cut a Christmas Tree on Crown land for personal use must have a Free Use Permit for a Christmas Tree from each Natural Resource District where they intend to cut, signed by the appropriate District Manager or designate. Any Christmas tree cut under this permit is for personal use only and cannot be sold.
    More information on Free Use Permits for a Christmas Tree.

Hunting and Fishing

  1. Why does my hunter’s profile indicate there are no licences available to me and won’t let me buy a licence?

    There are several reasons why your hunting profile is not allowing you to purchase licencing or Limited Entry Hunting applications, including:
    • You have not applied for credentials (e.g. residency or hunting credentials) in your profile. Please follow the instructions for ‘Access WILD – Create your Profile and Apply for Credentials’.
    • Your BC Residency credential has expired. Please follow the instructions for ‘Renew your BC Resident Credential’.
    • Your Hunting Credential is showing as ‘Suspended.’ You may have an unpaid fine under the Wildlife Act or are restricted from holding a hunting licence. If you have paid your fine and your profile is still showing as suspended, please Contact Us for assistance.
    • You have unpaid royalties or an outstanding report for a past Permit to Accompany. Please complete and submit Appendix C of your permit along with the royalty payment. If you do not have a copy of your permit, please Contact Us for assistance.
  2. When can I submit applications for the Fall Limited Entry Hunting (LEH) Draw?

    Applications for the Fall LEH draw are typically available for purchase mid to late April. An announcement will be posted on the Hunting in B.C. website when it is open to applications.
    More information on LEH.
  3. BC Hunting Online Frequently Asked Questions

  4. When do the classified water angling licences come on sale for non-resident/non-resident alien anglers?

    New season licences will be available for pre-purchase during the month of March; 12:01 AM March 1rst (Pacific Time). Angling licences are valid from April 1 thru March 31 of the following year.
    Note: Both the current year and the new season licence products will be available during the month of March. You must select “the current season” or “the following season” button to purchase licences based on whether you intend to fish before or after March 31.
  5. Freshwater Fishing Licensing Frequently Asked Questions for Anglers



  1. I want to buy Crown (government owned) land. Where and how can I do this?

    Under the British Columbia Land Act government is not able to sell Crown land directly to an applicant, except in special cases. For example: the land of interest is landlocked and the applicant owns all the surrounding land. Otherwise, Crown land is sold through a competitive process and listed for auction.
    When not sold at auction, Crown land is listed for sale on MLS listings such as
    Please contact the FrontCounter BC office in your area of interest to discuss potential upcoming opportunities.
  2. Are Crown land applications available for public viewing?

    Section 32(2) of the Land Act sets out the Province's requirement to publish Crown Land applications on a publicly accessible website.

    The Applications, Comments and Reasons for Decision site offers a platform for members of the public to find, learn about, and submit comments for consideration on active Crown Land applications in British Columbia.


  1. Free Miner Certificate - Frequently Asked Questions

  2. Mineral Titles - Frequently Asked Questions



  1. How do I know if I need a permit for the activity I am planning in a park?

  2. BC Parks Frequently Asked Questions



  1. Why did I receive a water bill from the Crown (Government)?

    British Columbia's Water Sustainability Act assigns ownership of surface and groundwater to the Crown (government), on behalf of the residents of the province. With a few exceptions, if you want to divert and use surface water or non-domestic groundwater, you must obtain a water licence or a use approval under the Water Sustainability Act that grants you the rights to that water. When a water licence is issued, annual water rentals are assessed. The statement you receive from the Water Management Branch reflects the annual rental charge for your right to use the water allocated to you.
  2. Frequently Asked Questions About Water Billing

  3. Is my well registered?

    You can check if your well is registered using the Groundwater Wells and Aquifers search tool, or through: To register your well, complete a well registration form (PDF) and email it to or mail to the address provided.
    Water Rights Databases can be used to search if a parcel of land has a surface or ground water licence and if your well is registered.

If you are having trouble finding the information you are looking for or require further assistance, please Contact Us.