Purchasing a Maryland Hunting or Fishing License Just Got Easier

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DNR releasing web-based license registration at the end of the month

Example of new DNRid Card

Purchasing hunting and fishing licenses, along with off-road vehicle registrations, is becoming incredibly easy thanks to a new online licensing and registration system called COMPASS. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently began a pilot program, using the new system at seven regional service centers and 27 sports license agent locations. DNR will kick off the full program, which will allow customers to buy licenses from home, at the end of the month.

"We are excited to have COMPASS ─ a modernized and upgraded licensing and customer service platform," said Len Singel, Chief Information Officer of DNR. "When deployed fully, this system will use the latest technology and green practices to better serve our customers and sports license agents. We believe COMPASS will raise the bar for similar systems developed for our sister agencies throughout the U.S."

COMPASS is easier and more convenient than the system it is replacing. COMPASS emails customers an electronic copy of their license within 30 minutes of purchase and automatically issues customers a new DNRid card, creating an easy way to renew or make new purchases. With the DNRid card, customers will not have to go through the process of filling out all of the original forms. Additionally, any DNR service center or sports license agent can provide a new copy if the card is lost.

To ensure the changeover runs smoothly, DNR transferred the last three years of purchases and customer information from the current system to COMPASS ─ more than 750,000 customers and 2 million licenses. Since DNR started the pilot program a week ago, agents have already issued more than 1,300 transactions worth more than $100,000.

Customers can currently use COMPASS at pilot program locations. At the end of March, DNR will roll out the full program, meaning customers can use COMPASS to buy licenses from home online and by live operator telephone. The Department will no longer charge convenience fees to customers enrolling and purchasing online or from the 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. call center. DNR will release additional information as it prepares to fully deploy COMPASS. Sports License Agent locations will be added on a regional rotation, starting with those managed by the Salisbury Regional Service Center.  

DNR encourages hunters and anglers to visit any of the locations, listed at dnr.state.md.us/dnrnews/pdfs/COMPASSPilotLocations.pdf, to purchase their licenses through COMPASS. Customers should be sure to bring a government-issued form of identification to access their customer record and sign-up. Enrollment is a one-time process, where the system verifies the customer’s information for compliance and purchase eligibility. Once the system is fully established, users will be able to self enroll from the convenience and comfort of their homes.

COMPASS, a DNR Major Information Technology Project, is being developed in partnership with JMT Technology Group in Sparks, Maryland as part of a 2-year Consulting and Technical Services II contract.