State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) today announced the introduction of House Bill (HB) 518, a bipartisan initiative to streamline the licensing process for Ohio’s sportsmen and women.

Under current law, sportsmen and women must annually renew separate permits for hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreational activities from the Ohio Division of Wildlife within the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. HB 518 allows for the creation of multi-year, multi-activity licenses, including the possibility of lifetime permits.

“Ohio has a proud tradition of supporting the sporting industry,” said Cera. “HB 518 brings our licensing process into the 21st century, ensuring an orderly system while encouraging Ohioans and eco-tourists to take advantage of our state’s world-class outdoor recreational opportunities.”

Among other changes, traditional fishing licenses would also see updates. Rather than setting a yearly cutoff that discontinues all licenses regardless of date of purchase, HB 518 would make fishing licenses valid for a full calendar year.

The bill was introduced by Rep. Cera and Rep. Jonathan Dever (R-Madeira) in the Ohio House.  A companion bill in the Ohio Senate is co-sponsored by Sen. Sean O’Brien (D-Bazetta) and Sen. Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township). The four lawmakers co-chair the Ohio Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus.

HB 518 will soon be referred to a committee for consideration.

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