Pennsylvania Takes Final Steps to Fully Implement POS
Expressing growing optimism, Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe announced that the agency was taking final steps this week to fully implement its electronic license sale system, commonly referred to as "point-of-sale."
In August, Active Network took over Automated Licensing Systems (ALS), the company originally hired to produce the new license sale system. A pilot electronic license sale system was launched at 15 sites on Sept. 22, and expanded in mid-December to some of the agency's larger issuing agents.
"Since the pilot phase began, we have continued to add new agents to the system, and there have been no problems," Roe said. "Clearly, it appears the new point-of-sale license system is ready to go. This final phase will enable the agency to be ready in June, when the 2009-10 licenses go on sale, to sell licenses in a manner that will be a huge improvement for the agency, our issuing agents and our license-buying customers.
"We appreciate the willingness of those agents who participated in the pilot and expansion phase. As we now move to fully implement our point-of-sale system, we welcome those remaining agents and will work with them to ensure all is ready well in advance of the license year."
As part of the point-of-sale process, hunters will swipe their Pennsylvania driver's license through a magnetic reader and all of their personal information will be filled in on the application automatically. Hunters then will be able to select the licenses and stamps they want to purchase. Nonresidents will have to key-enter the data.
"Either way, after the first time a hunter purchases a license this way, he or she will be assigned a permanent customer identification (CID) number that will be stored in an electronic file so in subsequent years they will need to only enter changes in the types of licenses or stamps wanted," Roe said. "This will not only speed-up the license buying process, but it also will remove the burden of having to worry about identify theft since, once someone purchases a license through point-of-sale, we will no longer ask them for their Social Security Number.
"Additionally, hunters will no longer need to carry their Hunter-Trapper Education certification or senior lifetime license ID card with them, as that information will become part of the database."
Roe said that the new licenses are printed on sturdy, weather-resistant yellow material. The harvest tags, which are required for all big game, have perforated holes in them to make it easier to attach the tag to the animal. Additionally, all personal information on the harvest tags will be completed, so all the hunter will need to do is enter the time, date and place of harvest.
Roe noted that having a point-of-sale license system in place will benefit its issuing agents and the agency, as well as its license-buying customers.
"This new system will make license buying easier for our customers, issuing agents and the Game Commission, and will - for the first time in our history - provide the agency with a database of its license buyers that will enable us to better communicate with them," Roe said.
Issuing agents stand to benefit from the system, too, as the new system will audit the books for them while they work.
"This will greatly reduce the need for issuing agents to tie up so much of their money in bonds to secure the paper licenses they need to serve their customers," Roe said. "The amount of bonds will, most likely, be decreased in the future, which will reduce the financial burden on issuing agents."
Roe said that the Game Commission will benefit by fulfilling the agency's goal of making its programs more user-friendly.
"We will finally, after all of these years, have a computer database of all of our license buyers," Roe said. "Such a database will enable the agency to conduct more surveys of our license buyers on a regular basis. We will no longer need to pay to data-enter the names, addresses and telephone numbers of license buyers from license sale books, which will reduce the costs associated with conducting surveys of our hunters and trappers.
"And, once the point-of-sale system is fully in place, the Game Commission will be able to begin to significantly reduce our harvest reporting costs by enabling hunters who harvest a deer or turkey to report those harvests online or through a toll-free telephone number, as we will have the database necessary to validate such report submissions."
Another feature of the new electronic license sale system is that the Game Commission will be able to prevent the sale of hunting and furtaking licenses to any person that has had their privileges revoked. License revocation can occur for the following reasons: failure to respond to a citation issued for a violation of the Game and Wildlife Code; failure to pay fines assessed by a court within 180 days of adjudication of the charges; revocation ordered by the court due to Game and Wildlife Code violations, failure to pay child support or for other lawful purposes; revocation ordered by the Board of Game Commissioners for certain Game and Wildlife Code violations; and revocation mandated by the Game and Wildlife Code.
Additionally, for the most serious violations of the Game and Wildlife Code, an individual who has had their privileges revoked by state law must, in many cases, attend and complete a remedial Hunter-Trapper Education course prior to having their privileges reinstated. And, while the agency sends certified letters to these individuals, many fail to take this necessary step.
According to the agency's Bureau of Wildlife Protection, there currently are about 1,000 people who have served their "revocation period," but have failed to take the remedial HTE course, and will remain on revocation and not be permitted to purchase a hunting license until they address this requirement.
Anyone who may be affected by one or more of the situations may contact the Game Commission's Bureau of Wildlife Protection at 717 787-4024 to verify the status of their hunting privileges.