The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is set to roll a new licensing system for fishing and hunting licenses this coming weekend. The D.N.R.’s Rich Smith says the new system will be internet based.

Smith says the old system is basically a credit card machine that had to dial up to a mainframe and get packets of information. He says the new system will improve communication as it can send e-mail messages directly to the sellers about changes in policies or licenses. Smith says the new system will offer up-to-date information for those who want to get a hunting license.

For example, Smith says the system will be able to show a countdown for the quota for resident deer licenses, so you can see how many licenses are left by clicking on a county. The licenses themselves will also be new. Smith says every new license purchased will have a barcode and the next time you come in, the dealer can scan the code and automatically pull up your license information.

The D.N.R. instituted a new fee this year that will pay for the new system. He says they charge a $1.50 fee for each license to offset the cost of the system. Smith says the old system cost them 74 cents per use and they were only charging 50-cents, so the state was subsidizing the cost of the system. The new system is similar to what you might see a restaurant use.

Smith says you may’ve seen a waitress go up to a computer screen and punch in your order, and that is what this system will look like, as the agent can use a touch screen to touch in or scan your driver’s license and then give you a selection of licenses. The new system has been in use in a pilot project in some counties and will go into use statewide on Sunday August 15th.