PROVIDENCE - The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) will launch a new, fully online fishing and hunting license system that expands upon current web-based services on Thursday, March 1.
Implementation of the new system is part of statewide efforts to improve customer service and streamline processes. The system will replace paper-based license issuances and accounting methods and builds upon the current offering of online fishing licenses to include hunting licenses, permits, tags, and stamps. Fishers and hunters will be able to access their accounts 24/7, so they can manage their licenses, add new permits and licenses from the comfort of home, on the go, or even out in the field.
The new system secures licensing and registration information electronically and enables customers to save frequently used information, report harvests online, and carry proof of licenses and permits in one document. The system will issue each user a Rhode Island Fishing and Hunting ID, or RIFHID (pronounced Rye-fid). This number is unique to each customer and can be used to quickly access the system to reprint lost or damaged licenses and permits, purchase additional permits, and renew licenses in subsequent years.
Licenses will still be available for purchase at DEM's Office of Boating Registration & Licenses in Providence and participating sales agent locations across the state. On March 1, residents and non-resident customers will be able to purchase freshwater fishing, recreational saltwater fishing, hunting, and combination freshwater fishing and hunting licenses, as well as trout stamps and spring turkey permits. Starting in April, hunters will be able to report their spring turkey harvest online. In August, hunters will be able to purchase hunting permits for deer, migratory bird, and small game and will be able to report all harvests online.
There are no additional fees for purchases made online or at DEM. If customers make purchases at a sales agent, there will be an enhanced access fee of $2 per license and $0.50 per permit for residents; for non-residents, the additional fee will be $3 per license and $0.50 per permit. Enhanced access fees will be used to offset the administrative costs to bill, track, and account transactions at sales agent locations and support system development, operation, support and maintenance.
The enhanced system was developed by Rhode Island Interactive, LLC (RII). RII previously partnered with DEM and its vendors to issue the current online freshwater fishing license, which has been active for over 10 years, and saltwater fishing licenses, which have been available online since 2010.
As part of a larger network of recreational opportunities in Rhode Island, hunting and fishing play an important role in connecting people with nature, supporting quality of life and family traditions, and attracting tourism. Fishers and hunters purchase approximately 70,000 licenses, permits, stamps and tags each year and contribute more than $148 million to Rhode Island's economy. Revenue generated from license and permit sales support Rhode Island fish and wildlife conservation programs. A critical source of funding, these monies are leveraged to match federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program dollars that support outdoor recreational opportunities for fishing, hunting, and boating in Rhode Island.
More information about the new licensing system is available at dem.ri.gov/huntfish. The site also acts as a portal to help plan adventures that make the most of Rhode Island's great outdoors. The site links to information on hunting and fishing opportunities, trails and natural areas through a variety of maps, as well as certification information for hunter safety and boating safety. For more information on DEM programs and initiatives, visit www.dem.ri.gov. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RhodeIslandDEM or on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) for timely updates.