Bear Identification Program

Cover of Bear Identification Course

The Bear Identification Program is intended to prevent the killing of grizzly bears as a result of mistaken identity. Black bear hunters in Montana are required to pass the Bear Identification test to obtain a black bear license.

Hunters must complete the program and have a validated certificate to purchase a black bear license. If purchasing your black bear license after the (April 15) spring or (August 31) fall deadline, there will be a 24–hour wait before you can use the license.

Completing the program

The test consists of 15 multiple-choice questions. You need to correctly answer 12 questions (80 percent) to obtain a certificate of completion; you may retake the test until a passing grade is obtained. You only need to pass the test once. There are two ways to complete the Bear ID program—by mail or online.


  • Pick up a mail-in test from any FWP office or license provider.
  • Study the bear identification information included with the test.
  • Fill out and return the test postcard to FWP Headquarters. If you don't pass, FWP will mail you another test. If you pass, you will receive a certificate in the mail.
  • Present your certificate to a license provider to purchase your black bear license.


  • Download and read the Bear ID tutorial.
  • Take the online test. A passing score will immediately generate an online certificate.

If you have an ALS number: Click the Submit to Licensing button to attach your certificate to your ALS licensing record so you don't have to physically present your certificate to purchase a license. You can also print it out.

If you do not have an ALS number: Print out your certificate and keep this in your records. You will need to present your certificate to a license provider to purchase your black bear license.


If you are taking this test to purchase a license for the first time, when you reach the certificate you MUST either submit the certificate to licensing or print it to present at the time of purchase. There is NO WAY to go back at a later time to print your certificate!

Currently Unavailable:

The Bear ID Test is currently unavailable. Our technical staff is working to get it back up as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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