E-Permits available March 1

JEFFERSON CITY – Starting March 1, Missourians will be able to buy most hunting and fishing permits at home, using the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) new e-Permits system. The system will allow hunters, anglers and trappers to print permits on regular computer printers and have them in hand them immediately.

All sport-fishing and -hunting permits will be available through e-Permits. So will trapping permits and the Apprentice Hunter Authorization. E-permits will look like the old permits and will be about the same size as in the past. Commercial permits and lifetime permits will continue to be sold through MDC’s Central Office by calling 573-751-4115.

The change to e-Permits is part of MDC’s continuing effort to improve services and keep permit costs low in spite of declining revenues. Hunters and anglers will be able to buy permits online 24/7 anywhere they have access to a computer and printer. If they prefer to buy permits from vendors, as they always have, that option will remain open to them. They also can buy permits by calling toll-free 1-800-392-4115. Phone purchases are subject to a $2 convenience fee, while the fee for online permit purchases is $1.

Vendors will continue to print permits on the existing material until July 2012. The old, Point-of-Sale permit system will stay in use until July 2012, when vendors will be able to switch to the new all-online system. The old type of permits will be phased out between July 2012 and July 2013. After that, permits purchased from vendors will be on regular printer paper.

Missourians have been able to buy permits online since 2002. However, under the old online system, buyers received only confirmation at the time of purchase. They used this confirmation while waiting to receive the actual permits through the mail, which could take up to two weeks. This was no help to turkey and deer hunters, who need actual permits to tag game. With e-Permits, turkey and deer hunters will be able to buy permits, print them and have valid permits immediately.

Deer and turkey tagging procedures will change with the change to e-Permits. The main difference is that permits no longer will include a removable transportation tag. Instead, the permit itself will be the transportation tag. Deer and turkey permits will have months printed along one edge and dates on another edge. Hunters will notch the month and day as part of recording their harvested game and attach the permit to the animal. They will continue to check harvested animals through the Telecheck system.

E-Permits will not be printed on adhesive-backed material, so hunters will need to provide a means of attaching them to harvested game. Hunters are encouraged to put e-Permits inside zipper-type sandwich bags and attach them to deer or turkeys with string, twist-ties, wire, plastic cable ties or tape. Protecting paper permits in this way will keep them readable and make it easier to write confirmation numbers on them when Telechecking deer and turkeys. You also can save e-Permits on your computer and print extra copies of permits in case one is lost or ruined. As always, permits may not be shared and additional copies of a permit do not provide additional valid permits for the buyer or others to use.

The change to e-Permits will reduce costs as MDC phases out software, hardware and special permit material used in the old, Point-of-Sale permit system. When fully implemented, e-Permits will reduce the cost of issuing permits by approximately $500,000 annually.

Missouri residents pay $12 for an annual fishing permit, while residents in the eight neighboring states pay an average of $20.80 for the same privileges. Missouri’s $17 Resident Firearms Any-Deer Permit is a fantastic bargain compared to the average of $46.63 for equivalent privileges in surrounding states.