New state website will serve outdoorsmen

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is launching a website that will serve as a one-stop shop for outdoorsmen who fish, hunt, and boat to obtain all the licenses, permits, and tags they need to participate in these activities.

The single, unified hub, called Rhode Island Outdoors, is intended to modernize and simplify all licensing and permitting services the agency administers. It will launch in mid-February.

Rhode Island Outdoors is being developed by NIC Rhode Island, which has been providing e-government solutions to the state for 20 years, and has been a DEM partner since 2002. Residents will be able to renew their licenses, permits, and tags for hunting, trapping, freshwater fishing, and saltwater fishing when the hub goes live next month. Thereafter, the website will add functionality for additional options, including recreational boating registration, commercial fishing licensing, ATV and snowmobile registration, and hunter safety programs.

Terry Gray, acting director of the agency, said this is a “very big step forward to improving” the process by making it “speedier, more streamlined, and more hassle-free.”

“It will allow hunters, anglers, and boaters to spend more time outside and on the water, which is where they want to be,” he said.

The system will provide a user-friendly interface for an agency that issued nearly 8,000 hunting licenses, 25,000 freshwater fishing licenses, and 50,000 saltwater fishing licenses in 2021. One change customers will experience the first time they use the new system will be the requirement of a Social Security number. This new feature is designed to ensure each customer has a unique and secure account, officials said.