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DNR?Introduces New Electronic License Purchasing System

By Staff | Aug 17, 2010

DES?MOINES – A technological giant step in hunting and fishing licenses sales happened in mid-year 2000 when electronic license sales machines replaced the carbon paper pads, forever changing the way licenses were purchased.

On August 15, another giant step took place when the second generation of Iowa’s electronic license sales system further improved sales and convenience for hunters and anglers.

The new license system uses web-based technology to show real time license quota information, monitors the licenses purchased and automatically adjusts to show which remaining licenses a customer may purchase, and it shows a customer record of previous purchases. The new license can fold down to the size of a credit card.

“We met with and trained nearly 700 representatives and what they told us was that the new system will be user friendly and the new features will benefit our customers,” said Rich Smith, with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources license section.

Another reason for the new technology was to  cut down on customer waiting time and allow the DNR to communicate instantly with the license vendors.

“We tried to address the complaints and concerns from our customers and vendors when designing this new system,” Smith admitted. “It has taken longer than we had hoped to get it up and running, but we had to work out a few problems with some of the new features associated with issuing snowmobile and ATV decals and had to develop new software to read barcodes on the decals.”

“But in the end, we have a system that is going to be much more customer friendly because we have listened to our customers. The extra time it took in development has been worth it in order to better meet the needs of the people using the system,” said Smith.

Smith said the hardware for the new system has been shipped to all 900 venders and about half have made a sale using the new system.

License vendors across the state receive a fee for each privilege they sell using the electronic system. For the first 10 and one-half years, the full cost of the vendor fee was not passed on to the customer,  but was subsidized instead by the fish and wildlife trust fund by more than $3.3 million.

This fee was increased in 2010. A vender fee as well as the projected expense to maintain the system has been added to the price of licenses purchased since December 2009.

“Nobody likes to pay more but the cost to issue the licenses has gone up,” Smith said.

The fish and wildlife trust fund will be covering the cost to register harvested deer or turkey through the license vendor. If the upcoming harvest is similar as the 2009-10 numbers, those payment will be nearly $190,000.