DOW Creating Electronic Licensing System

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The Colorado Division of Wildlife has entered a contract with Central Bank of Missouri to create the technological backbone for the Division's new Total Licensing Project (TLP). Project coordinators presented the major terms of the agreement at a Wildlife Commission workshop meeting at Division headquarters in Denver Feb. 21.

Under the contract, Central Bank of Missouri and its partner, Automated Licensing Systems, will work with the Division to design, program and maintain an electronic licensing system for at least five years. The agreement, signed Feb. 20, includes a $3 million performance bond and other financial guarantees to the Division to ensure the system runs smoothly.

Central Bank has been at the forefront of electronic licensing since 1985 and currently runs similar systems in seven states: Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Tennessee, Louisiana and Mississippi. Colorado's system will be modeled after Missouri's, which has been running the latest version of the technology for two years.

"State wildlife agencies operate very much alike and the Division will benefit greatly from Central Bank's experience," said Rob Molloy, the Division's Total Licensing Project manager.

Under the TLP system, the Division will no longer issue paper licenses to agents. Instead, agents will sell hunting and fishing licenses electronically through point-of-sale terminals, which will print licenses on demand. Buyers also will be able to purchase licenses through the Internet and by telephone.

"The new system allows hunters and anglers to buy a license anytime, anywhere," Molloy said.

Buyers will no longer have to wait in long lines or fill out lengthy forms, he said. "They simply can supply a driver's license or previously purchased hunting or fishing license - that's all."

The new system will take information directly from the driver's license, authorize the sale through a database, and then print a new license. The buyer receives a compact, printed license with necessary carcass tags, about the size of a credit card, identifying the holder and listing all privileges purchased.

To further expedite the process, the Division will no longer require buyers to possess conservation certificates or agents to file license remittance reports.

The Division will provide about 800 point-of-sale terminals to agents statewide. The system is quite simple to learn, said Molloy, and license agents will be trained how to operate terminals shortly before the system comes online.

Not only will electronic licensing simplify the process for hunters and agents, Division officials expect the new system will expand the Division's efficiency as well.

"The new system increases the accuracy of our database, which will help law enforcement officers and provide more precise harvest information," said Henrietta Turner, the Division's license services manager.

"The new system should deliver more convenience for license buyers, improve business processes for license agents and be more efficient for the Division, representing a real win-win-win situation for all of us," Molloy said.

The Division will conduct pilot testing of the system in December. The complete system is set for launch by April 2, 2003.