Weather Forecast


New DNR license-buying system goes online Feb. 18

Minnesotans who buy their hunting, fishing and other Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) licenses at retail outlets will soon do so via a new electronic licensing system.

Effective Feb. 18, DNR retail license sales will be available on new touch-screen terminals that allow sales clerks to be more efficient when inputting data and outputting licenses.

"Hunters, anglers and trappers alone account for about 3.3 million license transactions a year," said Steve Michaels, DNR License Center manager. "We are moving to new terminals to stay in step with advances in technology, data management, and customer service."

The DNR switched from hand-written licenses to electronic-generated licenses in 2000. This is the first major change in license sales and management equipment in 10 years.

In addition to the new terminals, the DNR wants license buyers to know:

* Later this year the transaction fee for resident licenses that do not require a registration tag and are purchased from the DNR's Web site will drop from $3.50 to 3 percent of the cost of the license, plus a $1 agent fee. The transaction fee for a resident annual fishing license, for example, will be only 54 cents. That's likely less than it would cost to drive to a license vendor.

* DNR licenses will continue to be available 24 hours a day by simply placing a toll-free call to 888-665-4236.

* Possessing a Minnesota driver's license or state of Minnesota identification card will be mandatory for adults age 21 or older to purchase a resident license. The only exception relates the Religious Freedom Act.

"Years ago we made license sales available by computer and phone," said Michaels. "Now we've reduced the fees for these transactions. Our strategy is to adapt to what the customer wants - and that's to have low-cost and convenient options."

The DNR does intend to reduce the number of terminals it distributes to license vendors from about 1,750 to 1,600. This reduction will generate about $1 million in savings over five years. The DNR will maintain an efficient distribution of terminals throughout the state.