Presenter: Mike Berger

Commission Agenda Item No. 13
Action
Electronic License Sales
August 2004

I. Executive Summary: This item seeks adoption of a proposed amendment that would allow persons to hunt deer under certain circumstances with a license obtained electronically.

II. Discussion: Under current regulations a person may hunt species other than deer and turkey without having a hunting license in their possession, provided the person has acquired a hunting license electronically and has a valid authorization number in their possession. Deer and turkey were not included because until this year, all deer and turkey were required to be tagged upon kill. Since the tags are part of the hunting license, a license had to be physically possessed in order to comply with the tagging requirement. However, commission action in April 2004 removed the tagging requirements for deer taken by Managed Lands Deer (MLD) Permits, Landowner Assisted Management Permits (LAMPS), by special permit under the provisions of Chapter 65, Subchapter H of this title (concerning the Public Lands Proclamation) on department lands, on department-leased lands under the provisions of Parks and Wildlife Code, §11.0272, and by special antlerless permit issued by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) for use on USFS lands that are part of the department's public hunting program. Therefore, there is no reason to prevent persons who acquire a license electronically from hunting deer, provided they also possess the appropriate permit in addition to the authorization number.

The proposed regulation, located at Exhibit A, appeared in the July 23, 2004, issue of the Texas Register (29 TexReg 7031). Staff will provide a summary of public comment at the time of the hearing.

III. Recommendation: Staff recommends that the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopt the following motion:

"The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission adopts a proposed amendment to 31 TAC §53.2, concerning License Issuance Procedures, Fees, Possession, and Exemption Rules, with changes to the proposed text as published in the July 23, 2004, issue of the Texas Register (29 TexReg 7031)."

Attachment – 1

  1. Exhibit A – Proposed Rule

Commission Agenda Item No. 13
Exhibit A

Electronic License Authorization
Proposal Preamble

1. Introduction.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department proposes an amendment to §53.2, concerning License Issuance Procedures, Fees, Possession, and Exemption Rules. The amendment would allow a person to hunt deer (under certain circumstances) without being in physical possession of a hunting license, provided that the person has purchased a license electronically and possesses a department-issued authorization number valid for that transaction.

Under current regulations a person may hunt species other than deer and turkey without having a hunting license in their possession, provided the person has acquired a hunting license electronically and has a valid authorization number in their possession. Deer and turkey are not included because deer and turkey are required to be tagged upon kill. Since the tags are part of the hunting license, a license had to be physically possessed in order to comply with the tagging requirement. However, recent rulemaking action by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission has removed the tagging requirements for deer taken by Managed Lands Deer (MLD) Permits, Landowner Assisted Management Permits (LAMPS), by special permit under the provisions of Chapter 65, Subchapter H of this title (concerning the Public Lands Proclamation) on department lands, on department-leased lands under the provisions of Parks and Wildlife Code, §11.0272, and by special antlerless permit issued by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) for use on USFS lands that are part of the department's public hunting program. Accordingly, the department seeks to allow persons who acquire a license electronically to hunt deer, provided they also possess the appropriate permit, in addition to the authorization number.

2. Fiscal Note.

Robert Macdonald, regulations coordinator, has determined that for each of the first five years that the proposed rule is in effect, there will be fiscal implications to state government as a result of enforcing or administering the rule. Under current rule, persons purchasing a license by telephone are assessed a $5 convenience fee in addition to a license fee. Since the rules do not and never have allowed the purchasers of licenses sold over the telephone to hunt deer with just an authorization number (i.e., the purchasers had to wait for a license, containing tags, to be mailed to them before going deer hunting), there is no way for the department to determine how many of the licenses were sold to persons solely for the purpose of hunting deer, and thus there is no empirical data upon which to base a revenue estimate. However, in Fiscal Year 2003 the department's total telephone sales of licenses that could be used to hunt deer was 6550, which resulted in convenience-fee revenue of $32,750. Since the proposed option could only be taken advantage of by persons hunting deer on properties for which the department has issued permits, the department does not anticipate that the number of licenses sold by telephone will increase dramatically; however, some increase is expected.

3. Public Benefit/Cost Note.

Mr. Macdonald also has determined that for each of the first five years the rule as proposed is in effect:

(A) The public benefit expected as a result of the proposed rule will be increased convenience for license purchasers by allowing persons to acquire a license electronically for the purposes of hunting deer under certain circumstances, thus removing the need to physically go to a license sales location to acquire a hunting license.

(B) There will be an economic cost for persons required to comply with the rule as proposed, because the purchase of a license electronically includes a $5 convenience fee in addition to the license fee. There are no other economic costs for persons required to comply with the rule as proposed.

(C) The department has determined that the rule will not affect local economies; accordingly, no local employment impact statement has been prepared.

(D) The department has determined that Government Code, § 2001.0225 (Regulatory Analysis of Major Environmental Rules) does not apply to the proposed rule.

(E) The department has determined that the rule will not have an adverse economic effect on small or micro-businesses.

(F) The department has determined that Government Code, Chapter 2007 (Governmental Action Affecting Private Property Rights), does not apply to the proposed rule.

4. Request for Public Comment.

Comments on the proposed rule may be submitted to Robert Macdonald, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744; (512) 389-4775; e-mail: robert.macdonald@tpwd.state.tx.us.

5. Statutory Authority.

The amendment is proposed under the authority of Parks and Wildlife Code, §12.702, which authorizes the commission by rule to set collection and issuance fees for a license, stamp, tag, permit, or other similar item issued under any chapter of the code.

The proposed amendment affects Parks and Wildlife Code, Chapter 12.

§53.2. License Issuance Procedures, Fees, Possession, and Exemption Rules.

(a) Hunting license possession.

(1) No [A] person may hunt [species other than deer or] turkey in this state without having a valid hunting license in immediate possession.

(2) A person may hunt species other than turkey in this state without having a valid hunting license in immediate possession if that person has acquired a license electronically (including by telephone) and has a valid authorization number in his possession. Authorization numbers shall only be valid for 20 days from date of purchase.

(3) A person may hunt deer in this state without having a valid hunting license in immediate possession only if that person:

(A) has acquired a license electronically (including by telephone) and has a valid authorization number in his possession; and

(B) is lawfully hunting:

(i) under the provisions of §65.26 of this title (relating to Managed Lands Deer (MLD) Permits);

(ii) under the provisions of §65.28 of this title (relating to Landowner Assisted Management Permits (LAMPS));

(iii) by special permit under the provisions of Subchapter H of this chapter (relating to Public Lands Proclamation);

(iv) on department-leased lands under the provisions of Parks and Wildlife Code, §11.0272; or

(v) by special antlerless permit issued by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) for use on USFS lands that are part of the department's public hunting program.

(b) Fishing license possession.

(1) A person may fish in this state without having a valid fishing license in immediate possession if that person:

(A) is exempt from holding a fishing license; or

(B) has acquired a license electronically (including by telephone) and has a valid authorization number in possession. Authorization numbers shall only be valid for 20 days from date of purchase.

(2) No person may catch and retain a red drum over 28 inches in length in the coastal waters of this state without having a valid fishing license, saltwater sportfishing stamp, and red drum tag in immediate possession.

(c) Issuance of licenses and stamps electronically (including by telephone).

(1) A person may acquire recreational hunting and/or fishing licenses electronically (including by telephone) from the department or its designated representatives by agreeing to pay a convenience fee of up to $5 per license in addition to the normal license fee.

(2) A person may acquire recreational hunting and/or fishing stamps electronically (including by telephone) from the department or its designated representatives by agreeing to pay a convenience fee of up to $5 per stamp order in addition to the normal stamp fee(s). This fee shall not be charged if a license is acquired during the same transaction.

(d) The following categories of persons are exempt from fishing license requirements and fees:

(1) residents under 17 years of age;

(2) non-residents under 17 years of age;

(3) non-residents 65 years of age or older who are residents of Louisiana and who possess a Louisiana recreational fishing license;

(4) non-residents 64 years of age or older who are residents of Oklahoma;

(5) persons who hold valid Louisiana non-resident fishing licenses while fishing on all waters inland from a line across Sabine Pass between Texas Point and Louisiana Point that form a common boundary between Texas and Louisiana if the State of Louisiana allows a reciprocal privilege to persons who hold valid Texas annual or temporary non-resident fishing licenses; and

(6) residents of Louisiana who meet the licensing requirements of their state while fishing on all waters inland from a line across Sabine Pass between Texas Point and Louisiana Point that form a common boundary between Texas and Louisiana if the State of Louisiana allows a reciprocal privilege to Texas residents who hold valid Texas fishing licenses.

(e) An administrative fee of $3 shall be charged for replacement of lost or destroyed licenses, stamps, or permits. This fee shall not be charged for items which have a fee for duplicates otherwise prescribed by rule or statute.

This agency hereby certifies that the rule has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency's authority to adopt

Issued in Austin, Texas, on


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