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House approves bill to speed electronic fishing, hunting licenses

Posted: Monday, April 17, 2000

JUNEAU (AP) -- A bill aimed at speeding up online applications for fishing and hunting licenses was approved by the House on Monday.

The House voted 37-0 in favor of House Bill 164, which authorizes the Department of Fish and Game and the Department of Public Safety to come up with a system that will allow people with access to a computer to obtain licenses as soon as they apply.

Hunters, fishers and trappers can apply and pay for licenses via the Internet through the Fish and Game Department web site. However, it takes about two weeks for applicants to receive the licenses through the mail. No fishing, hunting or trapping is allowed until the license is in hand.

Fish and Game Department special assistant Geron Bruce said the department is exploring different kinds of systems that will allow people to obtain licenses instantly, including one that will allow applicants to print them out on their home computers.

Bruce says the new system would require people to carry photo identification when they use their licenses so that enforcement officers could confirm identities. No photo identification is required to be carried if people purchase their licenses through a vendor.

Rep. Pete Kott, R-Eagle River, said the bill is a first step toward making Fish and Game Department licensing paperless.

Governor Knowles says the bill continues state efforts to make it easier for the public to conduct business through electronic communication.



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