Digital hunting, fishing, trapping licenses passed by Legislature

ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - The Alaska State Legislature Friday approved a bill that would modernize the state's system for hunting and fishing licenses.

Rep. Dan Saddler, R-Eagle River, sponsored the bill that would allow outdoorsmen and women to carry their fishing, hunting and trapping licenses electronically.

Under the bill, a digital copy, or an electronic image of a paper copy of a license will suffice when a state trooper or Fish and Game official asks to see proof of a license. Paper licenses will still be an option.

A person cited for failure to display a license will have 30 days under hte bill to cancel the ticket by delivering a paper or digital copy of the license to the ticketing agency.

The House Minority caucus says Alaska drivers are already allowed to display proof of car insurance digitally.

The rule does exempt law enforcement officers from liability to unintentional damage to the digital device while reviewing the license -- for example, if it were to slip out of the officer's hands and into the river. The bill also prevents an officer from looking at anything other than the license while looking at the device.

While hunters, fishers and trappers will still have to record their catch on paper harvest logs, if required for their catch, but the bill allows the state to incorporate digital advances on that front in the future.

The bill now heads to Gov. Bill Walker for his signature.

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