Dishonest Nonresident License Buyers Beware

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With a new computer software cross-checking system shared between the Idaho Transportation Department and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, fishing and hunting license purchasers who are dishonest in their residency claims may quickly pay the price.

All fishing and hunting licenses purchased within six months of the issue date of a first time Idaho driver license are now sent to the local conservation officer where the license applicant lives. The officer receives an e-mail with the license information to initiate the verification of residency.

Idaho State law requires 6-months continuous domicile in Idaho to be eligible for resident Fish and Game licenses. In addition, applicants who do not submit any driver's license, claiming to be non-drivers, are cross-checked to determine if they possess another state's driver's license.

A recent case near Moscow is clear confirmation of this. After a non-resident purchased a resident fishing license, the crosscheck could not locate an Idaho driver's license. Within hours, Moscow-area Sr. Conservation Officer Clint Rand received an e-mail, and an investigation was initiated. Information was collected indicating the masquerading Michigan resident was fishing on the Clark Fork River near Clark Fork, Idaho. The local conservation officer was then dispatched to locate the errant angler. This entire event occurred within 24-hours of the illegal license purchase.

Additional cross-checking assistance will begin July 1, when IDFG will receive information from the Idaho Tax Commission concerning license purchasers. Although this exchange will be limited only to current filing status such as resident, non-resident or not on file, this information will significantly assist in the apprehension of nonresidents purchasing resident Idaho fishing and hunting licenses.

'These new tools will give officers a big lift in identifying non-residents who try to cheat the State out of revenue,' says Rand. 'Residents can also help their own cause at keeping cost down by sharing information about people trying to beat the system.'

Anyone with questions regarding residency license requirements is encouraged to contact their nearest IDFG office before purchasing a license.