Am I a Wyoming Resident?
A guide to meeting the requirements of residency for hunting, fishing, trapping licenses and preference points in Wyoming.
Hunting and fishing in Wyoming is a privilege granted by state law. The Wyoming Legislature has established the residency requirements and fees for hunting and fishing licenses. Wyoming, like all other states, has different fees for residents and nonresidents. Wyoming statutes and Game and Fish Commission regulations have been enacted to ensure that only bona fide Wyoming residents are issued resident hunting, fishing, trapping licenses, and preference points.
It is the person's responsibility to determine his or her individual residency status prior to applying for or purchasing a resident license. It is not the license agent's responsibility to determine or verify residency status. If in doubt about your residency status, please contact your local Wyoming Game and Fish Department enforcement personnel.
It should be noted that the definition of residency for the purpose of purchasing resident hunting, fishing, trapping licenses, and preference points is vastly different than for other purposes such as driver's license, voter registration, vehicle registration, college tuition, jury duty, tax purposes and/or professional and business licenses. Residency requirements may also be different than the state in which you have/had residency.
Can I apply for a Resident License?
To qualify for any resident game and fish license, permit, preference point, or tag, a person shall be domiciled and shall physically reside in Wyoming for one (1) full year (365 consecutive days) immediately preceding the date the person applies for or purchases the license, permit, preference point, or tag and the person shall not have claimed residency elsewhere for any other purpose (including, but not limited to, voting, payment of income taxes, purchase of resident hunting, fishing, or trapping licenses, etc.) for that one (1) year period.
Any active duty member, the spouse, or minor child of any active duty member of the armed forces of the United States who has been stationed in Wyoming for ninety (90) days also qualifies for resident licenses, so long as the member remains stationed in Wyoming.
Who is a Resident?
"a United States citizen or legal alien who meets the requirements specified in § 23-1-107 and rules of the Game and Fish Commission."
A person shall lose his or her residency in Wyoming if he or she resides in any other state, territory, or country for an aggregate of one hundred eighty (180) days or more in a calendar year, unless he or she qualifies as one of the following:
• A minor dependent
• Is temporarily employed in the service of the United States
• Is a patient at a hospital or institution
• Is attending school
• Is an active duty member of the armed forces
• Is serving full time in an established volunteer service
(Refer to § 23-1-107 and WGFC Regulation Chapter 44 for detailed requirements).
What is Domicile?
"That place where a person has his true, fixed and permanent home to which, whenever a person is temporarily absent, the person has the intention of returning."
Having a mailing address, owning property or a business, or being employed in Wyoming shall not alone prove Wyoming residency or domicile.
Domicile is established when the person demonstrates that he or she:
• Physically resides in Wyoming
• Has abandoned domicile in other states
• Has made his or her permanent residence in Wyoming
• Is not residing in Wyoming for a special or temporary purpose
A Wyoming resident, including spouse and minor dependents, may maintain his or her residency for the purpose of purchasing resident hunting, fishing, trapping licenses, and preference points if the person meets all of the following requirements:
• The person was a resident of Wyoming when he or she entered the military and Wyoming remains his or her declared Home of Record; and
• The person is an active duty member of the military and is not a civilian employee of the military; and
• The person makes no claim of residency elsewhere for any other purpose (such as, but not limited to, voting, payment of state income taxes, purchase of resident hunting or fishing licenses, etc.).
Military personnel who have established residency by being stationed in Wyoming for ninety (90) days shall maintain their residency as long as they remain stationed in Wyoming. Any person serving in active military duty in any other state, territory or country, may maintain resident status if the person:
• Is not a civilian employee of the military;
• Makes no claim of residency elsewhere for any other purpose (such as, but not limited to, voting, payment of state income taxes as a resident, purchase of resident hunting or fishing licenses, etc.); and
• Was a resident of Wyoming when he/she entered the military service and Wyoming remains his/her declared home of record, or the person:
- Makes no current claim of residency in any other state, territory or country for any purpose;
- Has established his/her home of record in Wyoming; and
- Has maintained his/her voter registration in Wyoming.
What is Home of Record?
Home of Record means:
The place recorded, on military form DD 214, as the home of the individual at the time they enlisted, were commissioned, or initially ordered to active duty in the military.
Wyoming residents who attend an institution of higher education outside of Wyoming may retain their residency for purchasing resident hunting, fishing, trapping licenses, and preference points as long as they meet all of the following requirements:
• The person must pay nonresident or non-differential tuition fees; and
• The person continues to maintain residency in Wyoming for all purposes; and
• The person does not claim residency elsewhere for any other purpose (such as, but not limited to, voting, payment of state income taxes, purchase of resident hunting or fishing licenses, etc.).
A nonresident person who attends school in Wyoming may establish residency if:
• The person is domiciled in Wyoming for one (1) full year (365 days) immediately preceding the date of making application for or purchasing a license; and
• The person makes no claim of residency elsewhere for any other purpose during that one (1) year period.
• No special provisions are made for nonresident students to establish residency while attending school in Wyoming.
A minor is considered a person under 18 years of age.
A minor dependent shall qualify as a resident if either the custodial or the non-custodial parent qualifies as a resident and the minor is or will be residing in Wyoming during any portion of the year. For additional information, see § 23-1-107(b).
For example, a minor who lives outside Wyoming with his or her custodial parent during the school year can purchase a Wyoming resident fishing license if his or her non-custodial parent qualifies as a resident and the minor will be residing in Wyoming for any portion of the year.
Being "absent from Wyoming for a special or temporary purpose" includes those situations where a person leaves the state for a short, definite period of time and has a clear expectation and intention of returning.
A person may leave the state for a temporary period of time due to retirement plans(1), job requirements(2), charitable, humanitarian and/or religious purposes (3) and not lose residency status provided that:
• Wyoming residency was first established by being domiciled in Wyoming for one (1) full year prior to the absence;
• The person's domicile or established, fixed, and permanent home consists of real property situated in Wyoming;
• The person makes no claim for residency in any other state, territory, or country; and
• The person does not reside in any other state, territory, or country for more than an aggregate of 180 days in a calendar year.
Similarly, a person who qualifies as a resident and whose domicile is in Wyoming would not lose residency status if he or she leaves the state as a part of retirement plans, provided that his or her permanent domicile and residence (real property) remains in Wyoming and they are not gone for more than an aggregate of 180 days in a calendar year. The person who leaves Wyoming upon retirement, establishes his or her domicile elsewhere, and returns to Wyoming periodically for recreational purposes loses residency even though he or she may own property in Wyoming. Persons moving to Wyoming to retire must be domiciled in Wyoming for one year to establish residency (see "Domicile" definition).
(2) Working Outside of Wyoming Temporarily:
For example, a person who is sent out of state to work for a short period of time, knowing that as soon as the project is completed, the person will return to Wyoming to his or her domicile, shall not lose residency status. However, a person who leaves the state to take employment loses residency even though he or she may desire to return to Wyoming at some future date.
(3) Charitable, Humanitarian or Religious Purposes:
A person who is serving full time in a qualifying program, for a period not to exceed 4 years (as long as the services are provided without remuneration), shall not lose residency status. However, a signed and notarized letter from the volunteer service program director, which describes the services provided, the duration of service and the hours served, must be submitted to establish compliance with § 23-1-107(c) and WGFC Regulation Chapter 44.
What Documentation Do I Need?
A person shall provide proof of residency when making application for, receiving or purchasing a resident license or preference point. License selling agents and the Game & Fish Department will accept as documentation:
• A current Wyoming driver’s license or identification card, or a copy thereof;
• A copy of the applicant’s school records;
• A current military form DD214 or a “Proof of Service Letter” reflecting the applicant’s Home of Record and most recent Leave & Earning Statement (See MILITARY PERSONNEL-HOME OF RECORD);
• A proof of residency statement on a form provided by the Department that has been completed and signed by the applicant. Any active duty member of the armed forces, a spouse or minor child, when making application for a resident license, permit, preference point, or tag, shall be required to complete and submit the proof of residency statement; or
• A minor dependent may use, as proof of residency, the documentary evidence of his or her parent or legal guardian. A dependent child shall be deemed a resident only if the child does not claim residency for any other purpose in another state, territory, or country. (See MINOR DEPENDENTS).
The above listed documentary evidence furnished by an applicant for a resident license shall not be considered conclusive proof in a court of law that the applicant is a resident in accordance with Wyoming statutes.