December 22, 2016 (Olympia, WA): The state of Washington's new recreational license sales system became operational this week, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officials say the switch from the old system went as smoothly as possible.
The new system began selling hunting and fishing licenses and the Discover Pass on the evening of Dec. 18, several hours earlier than expected, said Peter Vernie, WDFW’s licensing division manager. "This secure, next-generation system will improve service to our customers and to the approximately 600 retailers across the state who partner with us,” he said.
Vernie said customers will notice one significant change when they buy licenses or manage their accounts. The new system has a single log-in that provides customers access to their data and allows them to buy licenses and report harvest activity. The old system required customers to log-in multiple times to access separate features, such as harvest reporting.
Vernie said the new system also underwent extensive security reviews by the state’s cyber-security and technology agencies before it was approved for launch. People who have questions or difficulty using the system should call the Licensing Division’s customer service desk at 360-902-2464 between 7:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. on weekdays, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the first 48 hours of operation, Vernie said the new system processed more than 1,000 customer transactions through dealer sales, phone sales, and the internet.
WDFW sells about 2.5 million hunting and fishing licenses and related recreational permits each year, generating about $55 million in revenue that directly supports recreation programs and hunting and fishing opportunities. The system also sells the Discover Pass throughout the state.
“We are very pleased with the new system," Vernie said. “The switch-over went smoothly, and we are now working hard to support our dealer partners as they set up new equipment and become acquainted with the new system. A number of issues remain to be investigated and resolved, and we appreciate the public’s patience while we deal with them.”
WDFW contracted with JMT Technology Group, a consulting firm based in Maryland, to develop the new system in less than six months, in collaboration with a team of WDFW personnel. JMT has developed similar outdoor recreation licensing systems in Maryland and West Virginia.
License fees did not change with the release of the new system. Most license items for the 2017-18 license year, which begins April 1, 2017, will be available for sale in the new system in mid-January, 2017. Until then, all products for the 2016-17 license year will remain available.
Individuals can access WDFW’s licensing system at: https://fishhunt.dfw.wa.gov/