How to Certify or Calibrate Personal Scales

The Virginia Angler Recognition Program (VARP) accepts certified or calibrated personal scales for the Freshwater Trophy Fish Award Application. The following applies only to applications for the VARP and not state record certification.

Personal scales can be "calibrated" or "certified" by an authorized service agency. Only National Type Evaluation Program (N-TEP) or "legal for trade" scales can be "certified." However, N-TEP approved or legal for trade scales are not required to qualify for use in the Virginia Angler Recognition Program. A certified service agency can "calibrate" your scales for the purpose of applying for a Trophy Fish Award. If your scales are not N-TEP approved or legal for trade scales; be sure to let the agent know that your scales only need to be calibrated to qualify for VARP. It is important to note that lower quality scales may not have a level of accuracy that allows them to be properly calibrated. Investing in quality scales is recommended for use in the program.

Please select one of the following options to qualify your personal scales for use in the VARP, DGIF does not provide "calibration" or "certification" services.

  1. Contact a certified service company by viewing this list (PDF) provided by the Office of Weights and Measures. Look in the column "BUS TYP" for "WGH" designation to locate scale companies on the PDF document that might provide this service. Please note that these are independent agencies and there will likely be a service charge.
  2. Contact one of the four VDACS regional Office of Weights and Measures to see if there is a Virginia State Inspector available. State inspections are provided free of charge, however, because of the limited number of inspectors, one may not be available for scale calibration.
  3. The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) offers a scale testing service for members.

Please retain a record of your calibration or certification as the certification date and company/organization are required on the Trophy Fish Award Application. Once your personal scales are certified and/or calibrated; follow the rules found in the Trophy Fish Award Application in the annual Fishing Regulations booklet or on this website. Personal scales must be calibrated or certified within 1 year prior to the date of catch.