Texas Parks & Wildlife

Makeover for the nation’s largest hunter and boater education and licensing program.

Texas Parks’ Online Registration System (ORS) makes life better for a lot of different people – 100,000 Texans earning hunting licenses and boat operator certificates each year, more than 3,500 volunteer live training instructors, a number of third-party online course providers, integrated with 1,700 stores that sell sports equipment, as well as 500 game wardens.

ORS was implemented as a staged-replacement of a legacy operation that had evolved over many years. The Element LMS established a centralized training database of record for the agency’s massive and growing base of 1.2 million learners. AWS GovCloud hosting accommodates high data volumes that are also highly-seasonal.

Hunter-education participants and boater-education participants find courses online by location (maps and driving distance), register, and receive reminders. After their course completions and fee payments qualify them, participants are notified. Hunters can print their new hunter’s license, and boaters can print their new boat operator’s license. This procedure replaced the agency’s internal printing and mailing of certificates, eliminating waiting time for participants and saving costs for printing and postage. Element added 2-D bar codes to hunter licenses and boat operator certificates.

Element established new e-commerce operations where vendors submit course completion data and process vendor fee collections directly into Texas.gov. In a separate portal, live course instructors process class rosters with test scores and submit fees collected from learners. Element incorporated business logic to parse instructor types because volunteers who are state employees collect fees but cannot charge for their training. We implemented a faster scoring scheme for live instructors so the agency could eliminate the vintage bubble scoring method.

Next Element integrated the central database with the agency’s statewide point-of-sale system to network of 1,700 retail locations. This meshed current licensing transactions with purchases of the many kinds of permits (e.g., deer tags). Further, Element integrated the central database with the agency’s game warden smart phone app to feed current license and permit credential to 500 game wardens dispersed around the state. The app reads the 2D bar codes to enable fast, accurate access to a hunter’s or boater’s credentials.