Point-of-service License Sales
With the 2014 licensing year, all Fish and Game license agents will issue regular N.H. hunting and fishing licenses using the automated system.
Our automated licensing system allows Fish and Game to operate more efficiently and effectively by using a proven technology platform that is has been adopted throughout the country. In 2013, New Hampshire was one of the last few states still issuing hand-written paper licenses.
Many benefits: The POS system gives Fish and Game timelier access to license sales data needed for essential management decisions. The system also saves shipping and printing costs for the Department, provides easier and faster access to customer license and tag information, and gives law enforcement improved access to critical licensure and sportsperson information.
Following are frequently asked questions for Fish and Game License Agents:
How do I look people up in the system?
License agents have the ability to search for customers in the new system using various matching criteria to ensure that the person being sought is the person found. A customer search is done by entering the last name, date of birth, and one of the following: driver’s license number, previous NH hunting or fishing license number since 2000, or NH hunter certification number since 2000. Please note that license purchase and hunter education information may not be immediately reflected in the online system until our systems are fully integrated. Customers are still required to show the appropriate proof, and the agent can enter this data into the system.
Do I need to have a special computer dedicated to the new system?
No. All you need is a computer that can connect to the Internet, a printer to print out the license, and a compatible version of Adobe Acrobat running on the computer. This can be the same computer you use for other activities in your business. As long as the computer has the ability to access the Internet (preferably with a high-speed connection), has virus/malware protection, and Adobe Acrobat (version 8.10 or higher) installed, there should not be a problem accessing and conducting license sales activity on the PC.
Who gets the $2 transaction fee being charged under the new system?
The $2 fee goes to the automated system vendor, Sovereign Sportsman Solutions (S3), to cover the cost of its operation. It does not go to the license agent. This is an automated transaction fee that the consumer pays, just like they do when they buy a license online.
Will it still be cheaper for people to buy a license from an agent instead of online?
Yes. Starting with 2014 licenses, online license purchasers will pay a $3 transaction fee. Consumers buying licenses at agents will only have to pay a $2 fee.
Why is Fish and Game subcontracting the automated system to a vendor instead of doing it internally and keeping the $2 transaction fee for the Department?
The new automated licensing system and related customer service involves complex programming and other technical skills that the Department is not equipped to provide. Also, the systems utilize complex infrastructure hosting configurations that would need to be outsourced, even if the state developed its own system, in order to meet state and federal mandates specific to the acquisition, use, and storage of customer information, system disaster recovery, and system back-up and recovery processes. The automated license system vendor, Sovereign Sportsman Solutions (S3), specializes in the provision of these types of services on a large scale and provides these services at a lower rate than a single state could get on its own.
Could Fish and Game increase the agent fee to help agents cover the additional costs of maintaining a computer, printer and Internet connection and providing paper?
No. The $1 agent fee is set by the State Legislature, and only the Legislature has the power to change it. If agents wish to take action to try to recover costs involved with the automated system through an increased agent fee, they should talk to their legislators.
Will the license fees agents collect be handled any differently?
No. Customers will pay the agent as they do now, and the remittance of funds to Fish and Game remains the same.
Are agents going to have some hand-written paper licenses to use as backup, to use when the system is down or if people don't want their information to be entered into the automated system?
No. In New Hampshire, there will be no hand-written licenses. The system is going to be 100% automated, with computer-generated monthly reports and data transmission to Fish and Game in a timely manner. The days of hand-written licenses and months-long delays in getting data to headquarters are over. Once we get through the transition period, the new system will provide operational and financial benefits to both New Hampshire Fish and Game license agents and the Department, as well as customers using the automated system.
I am concerned that it will take longer to issue a license on busy days – like the day before trout season or a fishing derby – with only one person issuing the licenses (we only have one computer) instead of 3 or 4 that we used to have writing licenses on busy days.
Individual transactions will take less time, since a lot of the person's information will be in the system. Also, the automated system is online, not an application on your computer, so agents may use additional laptop or other computers and printers if you need to have more than one license-selling station.
What happens if the system bogs down with many agents logging in at the same time on busy days? If the automated system is down, we could lose sales.
The automated system vendor assures us that this is not likely to be a problem with New Hampshire's system because the new solutions technology utilizes hosting technology that adds additional processing resources to the hosting environment as needed to ensure that processing bottlenecks do not occur. This process is automated and based on performance threshholds determined in conjunction with the state agency. Keep in mind that right now, more than half of our licenses are already issued electronically through the online system and Wal-Mart, and the system holds up well, even on busy days.
If an agent has trouble logging in, or gets locked out of the manager account, they wouldn't be able to sell or void licenses. What kind of customer service will be available to help in these emergency situations?
The vendor provides technical support online and by telephone (1-877-450-4994) to accommodate support calls during the day, off hours, and during peak load times of the year. Users will also be able to communicate via the agent terminals with N.H. Fish and Game staff for certain issues and access system support via a dedicated email address at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am concerned that the system is going to be so complicated that it will be hard for my employees to learn. For example, if you make an error, will you have to void the transaction and start completely over?
We understand the system will be new to you and your employees, which is why we are providing training in December for all agents. During that training, we will make it clear how far a transaction can go and still be corrected, as well as addressing other areas of concern. If you run into difficulties while using the new automated system, you can call the technical assistance help line mentioned above.
Also, the new licensing system was designed with the user in mind, utilizing User Interface professionals from across the country to ensure that the system is easy to use. The system utilizes a unique approach to the sales process that actually walks the user through a sale and informs the user of not only licenses that can be purchased, but also describes why certain licenses may not be purchased. This has revolutionized the self-service aspects of the system, making it much more intuitive and easy to use.
Can't you make the license smaller in size?
We do not have plans to change the size of the license. This size is easy to print.
Will the licenses still have tags attached?
The license print out will include any tags for licenses purchased.
Why does the agent have to cover the cost of providing paper for the licenses?
While agents will absorb the cost of paper that licenses are printed on and ink cartridges, there will be some savings through the automated system. Your postage costs will go down, as you'll only be responsible for mailing back a check for license proceeds, redeemed gift certificates, and issued Over Age 68 licenses. You'll also save time on administrative tasks, as you will not have to process and mail all the paper license forms, and your end-of-month reports will be computer-generated.
What if people complain about the paper – they really liked the old Tyvek licenses!
Agents should print licenses on plain white bond paper. Well over half of licenses sold are bought online, so they are already being printed on plain paper at home. We suggest that people may want to enclose their license in a Ziploc bag if they want it to be waterproof. A nice feature of the new system for consumers is that replacement licenses can be printed at the original issuing agent or at Fish and Game at no charge.
Will the new system give agents better data?
It will! Under the new system, agents will have immediate access to sales history information, such as how many licenses they sold in what months or which types of licenses they sell the most.
What can I say to customers who are concerned about the privacy of their personal data?
The data about license buyers is confidential and the property of the N.H. Fish and Game Department. Security of customer data is extremely important to Fish and Game and protections are built into the automated system. In order to ensure data security, license agents cannot view a customer’s license history or edit customer name or date of birth.