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South Dakota Will No Longer Require License Fees Up Front

February 10, 2009.

From South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks:

The Game, Fish and Parks Department will be closing online applications to the big game license system from Friday, Jan. 30, through Sunday, Feb. 1 to install changes to the system.

“We apologize for the inconvenience of having the application system shut down, but it is necessary to complete programming that we have been working on to improve the system,” Scott Simpson, GFP Administrative Resources Chief for the Division of Wildlife, said.

Payments for online applications are made by credit card. Previously the system had charged the credit card immediately after the application was submitted. If an individual or group was unsuccessful, a state refund check was written for each individual and mailed.

System upgrades will mean that a credit card is not charged until the lottery drawing for licenses is completed, and then only if the applicant is successful in drawing a license.

“We will eliminate the need for manual refunds,” Simpson said. “That will provide a considerable savings of staff time and money to the entire drawing process.”

Simpson noted that, since there will be no refunds to unsuccessful applicants, individuals who wanted to insure that they are notified once the drawing is completed will be asked to provide their e-mail address when submitting their application. If a valid e-mail address is not provided, the applicant may still log in to the online system after the drawing is completed, select “View Submitted Applications” from the menu and see their drawing results.

Another modification that will be put in place will be a new group application process for use by hunters who wish to be treated as one in the drawing process.

“Our users found the group system we have in place cumbersome and suggested we find a way to make the process more flexible,” Simpson said. “Previously one group member had to submit applications for the entire group and then pay for the entire group. Since each member of the group would receive a refund check if unsuccessful, they would then have to follow up with reimbursement to the original applicant.”

The new process will allow each individual to apply on their own, and yet connect as a group using a group number that is provided as part of the application process.

“We will provide details and some basic instructions as part of the online application process,” Simpson said. “If anyone has a problem, I would encourage them to telephone our help desk at 605/773-3393 for assistance.”

The upgraded system will be back online Feb. 2. Hunters will then be able to submit applications for the Spring Turkey seasons. Deadline for applications to the Prairie Spring Turkey season is Feb. 20.

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