Fishers and hunters who have yet to purchase their 2000 recreational licenses will be able to buy them through February on a new computerized system in Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) offices without paying a transaction fee.
That's because WDFW wants to try out the new Washington Interactive Licensing Database (WILD) system on as many sales as possible over the next few months, before installing the system in all recreational license outlets statewide.
Once the system is fully deployed next spring, a 9.5 percent transaction fee will be charged on all WILD recreational license purchases. That fee, approved by the Legislature and the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission, goes to the WILD project partner, MCI Worldcom Communications Inc., which in turn is providing all the hardware, software and dealer training to run the system.
During the trial period, WDFW will compensate MCI for the waived transaction fees from funds appropriated by the Legislature for development of the automated license system. The amount of the waived fees is expected to amount to about $5,000.
By the time the new 2001 recreational license cycle begins next April, the WILD system is scheduled to be used for all license sales, whether in WDFW offices or private license dealer outlets.
The WILD system pilot project began Nov. 6 in WDFW's Olympia headquarters; regional offices in Spokane, Ephrata, Yakima, Mill Creek, Vancouver and Montesano, and a WDFW district office in Wenatchee. During the pilot period which runs through February, the WILD system will be tested on sales of new 2000 licenses.
Current license holders who are seeking to replace lost licenses or add documents such as permits and tags to existing licenses will continue to be served under the old, paper-based license system. The new WILD system operates from a database which does not have information on past license sales.
The automated system, similar to those already in use in Oregon and Idaho, will be faster and more accurate than the current paper-based license system.