Using Internet technology, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources has implemented a major change in its system of selling hunting and fishing licenses. Traditionally, licenses were sold by more than 800 license vendors, primarily retail businesses, that were required to hand write licenses at each location.
With a new method implemented in late 2004, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and vendors that choose to participate can now sell licenses using an automated computer-based Internet system and issue the license at point of sale. "The new system represents a commitment by DNR to better deliver licenses, services and information to the more than 700,000 licensed sportsmen and women of South Carolina," said Billy McTeer, DNR director of customer services.
South Carolina's DNR has contracted with Great Lodge Inc., a company based in Charlotte, N.C., to assist in providing this service. Great Lodge has successfully implemented similar point-of-sale systems in both Louisiana and Arkansas. DNR encourages interested license vendors to contact Adrian Rivera at the S.C. Department of Natural Resources in Columbia at (803) 734-3824 for further information.
License vendors who opt to participate in this program must first have a personal computer and Internet provider service. Using the Internet, the vendor establishes a connection with Great Lodge, where all of the license information is entered. Once completed, the license is printed out at the vendor location on a printer provided by DNR. The transaction is simple, and is much quicker for the vendor than the previous traditional "hand-written" license sales system, with no additional charge to the sportsman or sportswoman. Current license sales vendors can choose voluntarily to participate in the new Internet-based system or continue to sell licenses the old way using the hand-written method.
Last fall several license sales vendors across the state agreed to participate in a pilot program to test DNR's new system, McTeer said. "We appreciate Grady's of Anderson, Toby Bait and Tackle of Johns Island, Nichols Store in Rock Hill, and Elgin's Quick Stop in Elgin for piloting this program," McTeer said. "In addition, Bass Pro Shop in Myrtle Beach and all of the 27 K-Mart Stores in South Carolina are now using this new system. The DNR plans to aggressively pursue adding other vendors to this system during the coming months."