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Mobile-First Mississippi First State to Offer Auto Renewal for Outdoor License Holders

In 2018, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP) and NIC Mississippi embarked on a comprehensive technology enhancement plan to drive innovation to the state’s licensing system.

Their goal was two-fold: Increase annual license purchases and effectively engage licensees.

Together, MDWFP and NIC Mississippi launched the Hunting and Fishing Auto-Renewal System and Customer Portal, featuring the ability to purchase licenses easier than ever before in Mississippi.

Their work also led to a nationwide first for hunting and fishing licenses: the ability to auto-renew annual licenses as part of an all-new personal customer portal.

The new system is the first instance of a state offering automatic renewal for all license holders, regardless of purchase method.

Mobile Application Integration

In Mississippi, 66 percent of customers purchase their license through a mobile device. The Hunting and Fishing Auto-Renewal System and Customer Portal was designed from day one to be a mobile first solution, delivering the same experience across mobile and desktop, inside or outdoors. Customers can update their profiles, store preferred payment methods, select auto-renewal options, purchase a license and update their customer information.

Project Significance

The audience size of online Hunting and Fishing Licenses expands to the 250,000+ licensed hunters and fishers in Mississippi. Since the launch of the project, average transactions have totaled approximately 11,670 users per month. While there is one service completed through this channel, it encompasses the ability to purchase 23 different MDWFP Hunting and Fishing License privileges, five non-resident license packages and seven resident license packages.

User-Led Reporting

The introduction of user-led reporting has helped MDWFP track not only customers who have opted-in for auto-renewal purchases but also customers who may have chosen to not opt-in on the initial purchase. MDWFP can target these customers through the reporting admin and send email reminders encouraging users to sign-up for auto-renewal, increasing the likelihood of acquiring recurring statutory revenue. This reporting has led to 60-day reminder emails that target customers who may have forgotten to sign-up for auto-renewal and gives them the opportunity in advance to opt-in their license.

Automatically Renewing Licenses

The standout feature of the enhanced system is the auto-renew option for all annual hunting and fishing licenses. Outdoor enthusiasts can now opt-in for this convenient process upon purchasing a new license, and their eligible licenses will automatically and securely renew before their set annual expiration date. Mississippi took the automatic renewals a step further and is now the first state to offer automatic license renewals no matter the purchase channel.

  • 66% of customers purchase their license through a mobile device
  • 80,280 privileges have been sold through the auto-renewal process

License Packages

With many options to choose from while hunting in Mississippi, and many privileges to purchase, MDWFP integrated license packages into the new customer portal. Customers both resident and non-resident can purchase licenses in bulk and additionally receive a free outdoor magazine subscription for a year. Each license package allows the customer to receive more than the other, giving hunters the ability to purchase licenses that they may need before they get out in the wild. This one-click license-package purchase process eliminates the need to search through a list of licenses, trying to find the best one to suit each individual hunt. Instead, the MS Sportsman package provides all the needed licensing privileges to hunt on Mississippi land for the next twelve months, saving valuable time in the license selection process. Since the launch of the license packages, transactions have totaled approximately 8,210 among a variety of 12 packages.

Digital Licenses

Users that download the MDWFP Hunting and Fishing Mobile App can store all their licenses directly in the mobile app. With over 78,000 downloads, the mobile app connects real-time to the licensing system, updating licenses on the fly, and removing licenses when they expire. Citizens on the go and outdoors no longer have to remember their license or worry with replacing one if it is lost. The digital license is always available, and the offline mode stores the license if the user is out of cell coverage. See the digital license in action here: https://vimeo.com/266704722. Additionally, the application features in-app license purchasing allowing users to purchase applicable licenses on the go helping with annual privilege sales.

Harvest Reporting

With Turkey and Deer Harvest reporting becoming a requirement in Mississippi, Game Check was implemented into the mobile device. Uses can report their Deer and Turkey harvest immediately after they have finished their hunt. The offline mode stores the user’s information until they have reached cell coverage and automatically submits the information. Hunters no longer have to wait until they get home to use their desktop computer but can do this directly from their iOS or Android device.

Customer Portal

The application contains specific user information that is associated based on customer login. The customer portal allows users to view their past license purchases, update their license auto-renewal information, update their mailing address and customer information, and navigate to purchase licenses specific to the customer needs.

Since the launch in 2019, there have been more than 29,000 downloads and 129,160 checks-in through the mobile device, successfully transitioning a fully paper-based process to an alldigital solution in less than a year.

Wildlife Management Area Mobile Application

No longer using paper cards at the wildlife management area (WMA) locations, this new mobile application allows citizens to check-in to WMAs across the state, select a time/date of their check-in, enroll the activities they will be experiencing on the hunt, check-out when they have finished and report any species that were hunted during their visit from the comfort of their home. While this mobile app is standalone, the WMA system has been directly integrated into the MDWFP Mobile App. allowing users, to check their licenses digitally, purchase licenses if needed and check-in to hunt all in one platform. Since the launch in 2019, there have been more than 29,000 downloads and 129,160 checks-in through the mobile device, successfully transitioning a fully paper-based process to an all-digital solution in less than a year.

Project Impact

The License Auto-Renewal System and Customer Portal has greatly increased the ease of use and process for citizens looking to purchase a hunting and fishing license. Customers now can update specific customer information on their customer profile, view past license purchases and setup auto-renewal from their mobile or desktop device.

By delivering a new system that is cross-platform, innovative, and customer-centric, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks delivered on creating a truly modern experience that brings private sector technology to the government space for the first time. Automatic license renewals, license packages and digital licensing have already proven to be a winning formula for MDWFP as the agency continues to build on its award-winning digital platform for all people to enjoy.

  • 50% of all licenses purchased are enrolled to be automatically renewed
  • Average transactions total approximately 11,670 users per month
  • More than 64,280 licenses have been purchased and opted-in for auto-renewal since the system launch

NIC Mississippi is a division of NIC Inc., a leading digital government solutions and payment company, serving more than 7,000 federal, state and local government agencies across the nation. With headquarters in Olathe, Kan., NIC partners with the majority of U.S. states to deliver user-friendly digital services that make it easier and more efficient to interact with government – providing valuable conveniences like applying for unemployment insurance, submitting business filings, renewing licenses, accessing information and making secure payments without visiting a government office. In the COVID-19 era and beyond, NIC helps government agencies rapidly deliver digital solutions to provide essential services to citizens and businesses alike. Having served the public sector for nearly 30 years, NIC continues to evolve with its federal, state and local government partners to deliver innovative and cost-effective digital government to constituents. Learn more at www.egov.com.

For more information about NIC Mississippi, please contact Dana Wilson at dwilson@egov.com.

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