The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will move to a new, more technologically advanced system for selling hunting and fishing licenses, hunting applications, and ORV and snowmobile permits online and at retail agent locations statewide. The new system will go live at noon Feb. 18.
The transition to the new license sales system will take place Saturday, Feb. 15, through noon Tuesday, Feb. 18. DNR licenses, permits and applications will not be sold in stores or online during that time.
To avoid any interruption to outdoor activities that weekend, customers are encouraged to buy licenses or permits before Feb. 15, if possible.
Anglers will not need a license to fish Feb. 15-17. No fishing license is required during the annual winter Free Fishing Weekend, Feb. 15 and 16, and the DNR also is allowing free fishing on Monday, Feb. 17, to coincide with the time the license system is unavailable. All rules and regulations still apply.
Snowmobilers and off-road vehicle riders can find a list of select dealers selling preprinted ORV licenses and ORV and snowmobile trail permits while the system is down at Michigan.gov/Snowmobiling.
Moving to the new system, which will replace a 26-year-old system under a vendor contract ending in April, allowed the DNR to upgrade its license sales technology, enhance features for customers and provide new equipment to license retailers.
“We’re always looking to improve our customers’ experience, and we designed this new system to improve the license-buying experience both online and in stores,” said DNR Director Dan Eichinger. “We spent more than two years planning and developing a modern license sales system that offers up-to-date, convenient and cost-effective services for our customers and retail partners.”
Features of the new license sales system include:
A barcode scanner wand at retailer locations, which will allow license agents to speed up the sales process by quickly scanning customer driver’s licenses – including nonresidents – rather than typing in customer information.
A more streamlined buying and selling process both online and in stores – for example, customers will only have the option to buy licenses for which they are eligible, meaning they shouldn’t be able to accidentally buy the wrong license and pay the wrong amount.
The opportunity for online customers to create a profile, access their order history, reprint previously purchased, non-kill tag items and set up voluntary auto-renewal of fishing licenses.
Purchases consolidated on the printed license, which means fewer licenses for customers to carry and potentially lose.
A QR code on the license to encrypt the customer identification number for increased security.
The DNR license sales system serves about 2 million customers a year, online and through 1,500 retail agent locations throughout Michigan, issuing nearly 4 million licenses and permits and processing roughly $77 million in revenue.
Through a competitive bid process, Sovereign Sportsman Solutions of Nashville, Tennessee – subcontracting with Dewpoint, a Michigan-based internet technology solutions company – was selected to develop the new system. An industry leader serving customers in the U.S. and Canada, S3 demonstrated an established, proven product that could be tailored to Michigan’s specific needs and brought the benefit of learning from other states’ experiences.
License customers and retail agents provided input that helped shape the new system’s features and participated in system testing to provide feedback on its functionality and ease of use.
Find both the current and future DNR online license sales system at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses.