Friday, February 3rd, 2023
Friday, February 3rd, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

New ALIS system has its own type of growing pains

Madison – Wisconsin’s venture into a new system to issue hunting
and fishing licenses just weeks before the old licenses expired has
turned into a real adventure, inconveniencing thousands of buyers
since it was unveiled March 10.

“It’s the growing pains of rolling out a new system,” said Diane
Brookbank, director of the DNR’s Bureau of Customer Services and
Licensing. “I would have loved to have seen a perfectly smooth
transition, but we’ve had a lot of challenges out there.”

Among those, she said, were printing problems and defective
paper across the state. One city also had issues with a
telecommunications company that weren’t resolved until March

Additionally, some of Wisconsin’s 1,400 or so automated license
issuance system agents didn’t respond to the DNR in a timely enough
manner to get necessary upgrades.

“Our chore since we identified this is to get all of our agents
up and running,” Brookbank said. “There are still a very small
number who aren’t (as of March 27).”

The DNR’s contractor identified some printing issues right off
the bat.

“We switched over from USB printing to a more traditional serial
printing,” Brookbank said. “That required all new cables for
everyone in the field.”

Once fixed, the upgraded systems make the licensing process
faster. A simple scan of a previous license, for example, quickly
shows all of the customer information needed to start the
license-buying process. Also, customers no longer will have to
submit paper permit applications for any species except wild
turkeys. All other applications can be done right at the

Agents will find the new equipment more “intuitive” and easier
to use, Brookbank said. The 81/2- by 11-inch screen terminals are
similar to those used in restaurants and grocery stores. The screen
can even display things like a black bear zone map to aid customers
applying for permits.

“We’re making what I would consider a substantial change in the
way we do business,” Brookbank said. “We have a totally new
Internet site as well.”

New this year, the online licensing center is even hosting paper
applications for spring turkey and conservation patrons to make it
easier for customers or service representatives to verify they were

The new address for the online licensing center is

A convenience fee of $1 is added when all items purchased can be
printed by the customer. The fee is $3 when some or all items
purchased must be sent by mail. A fee is not charged to update
customer information online, or to reprint a previously purchased
internet-printable license.

Wisconsin Outdoor News became aware of the equipment problem as
readers began calling in to report their frustrations with the new
system. Retail terminals from Grafton to Washburn refused to print
out new licenses for sportsmen who were standing in line to buy new
patron licenses and fishing licenses. Turkey hunters wanted to have
their new licenses in hand so they could buy leftover tags
beginning March 28.

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