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Paper licensing for fishing and hunting will soon be a thing of the past. North Dakota’s Game and Fish Department is going paperless. This will mean that the owners of a bait store or gas station will not be able to sell licenses like they used to.

This will also be the last year that county auditors will serve as a middleman between authorities and hunters in the procurement of licenses. Through this system, auditors would collect the sales revenue and pass it along to the relevant department.

This is all a result of a law passed in 2013 that now requires all licenses to be sold electronically.

This is one of the biggest shake ups when it comes to licensing for decades. Randy Meissner, who is the state’s licensing manager, hopes that North Dakota vendors will help those who don’t feel comfortable using the new online system or are out of state.

However, for this to work, vendors must have access to computers and printers on their premises. At this time, only about a quarter of vendors do. The rest are still filling in paper licenses and soon these won’t be valid.

“Paper will go away. We’re not worried about fewer sales, because people here are passionate about hunting and fishing. We are worried there will be people who will be inconvenienced or upset because there won’t be the access they’ve had in the past,” Meissner recently stated about concerns that the new system will reduce licensing sales.

Yet the results from the past few years have shown that hunters are embracing online licensing. Nearly two-thirds of all licenses sold were done so online. This equates to approximately 200,000 of the 290,000 licenses sold last year.

The move to an online only model will allow the department to collect more seasonal data and faster.

How do you buy your licensing? Would you use the online licensing system?

Let us know in the comments below.


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