A statewide computer failure of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries licensing system means licenses that just expired on June 30 will be good through at least Sunday, July 5, according to the department’s head of enforcement.

Col. Joseph Broussard said Friday afternoon that license computer problems started cropping up statewide last night, and continued into today (July 3), so he made the decision to allow licenses that technically expired on June 30 to remain valid through at least the holiday weekend.

“We normally allow a little buffer on that, anyway, but we are currently honoring 2014 licenses through the Fourth of July weekend,” Broussard said “Right now the ball’s in our court for getting it fixed, so it’s obviously our problem.

“Hopefully by Monday they can resolve this.”

Glitches in the system started cropping up on Thursday, he said. 

“Supposedly yesterday afternoon they had the issue resolved, but I got calls into the night last night, so at that point in time I went on ahead and made the decision to contact my folks and make sure that we didn’t get out there and write a bunch of tickets,” Broussard said.

The author waited at the Wal-Mart in New Iberia for more than an hour Friday morning. Some licenses were granted and went through the system, while others didn’t.

The computer vendor on the phone would take up to five people’s information per call and grant those licenses, and then the Wal-Mart representative had to hang up and wait on hold for another hour before five more people’s information could be given.

But the bottom line is that anybody possessing a recently expired 2014-15 license is good to go for this weekend.

“However, if they had a 2012-13 and didn’t get a 2014, they’ll probably get a citation,” Broussard said.