I believe you can use it as a license, just not the tag. It would be the same thing with the electronic licenses. Proof for hunting, but you can't use it as a virtual tag. Just a SWAG (scientific wild *** guess).
^-- yepyou need a hard copy. You can go to walmart or any other location that sells licenses and they can look up your license. It will cost you $10 but they can print you a copy. The dwr will send you the tag in the mail but if you need it for the opener you will need to pay for a copy. You can also pick them up at the dwr but they will also charge you the $10.