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Idaho Fish & Game
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Three-Year Licenses

Thursday, May 26, 2016 

It’s a simple idea. Buy a 3-year license for the convenience of not having to remember to do it every year.

For most adult hunters and anglers this convenience saves a couple of dollars. The real winners are young sportsmen or women about to turn 18-years old. They can save a chunk of money buying a 3-year license while they are still 17, because they will pay youth prices for another three years.

To learn more, check out the Q&A following this column.
Questions and Answers

Q1. Who can buy a 3-year license?

A1. Residents and nonresidents can purchase a 3-year license.

Q2. Why should I buy a 3-year license?

A2. It’s convenient. And if you are 17 or a resident anticipating a move to another state, it could save you significant money.

Q3. Can I save money by buying a 3-year license?

A3. It all depends on your age, if you become a nonresident, and if there’s a fee increase in the next 3 years.

If you are 17 and a resident, buying a 3-year license means you continue to pay the youth or junior price of a license and tags for the next three years. If you don’t, when you turn 18, you start paying the price of an adult license and tags.

If you are 17 and a nonresident, buying a 3-year junior mentored license allows you to hunt for the price a junior mentored license for the next three years, instead of paying the price of an adult nonresident license.

If you are a resident, but may be moving out of state, buying a 3-year license while you are a resident allows you to maintain the price of a resident license. Even though your license remains a resident license for 3-years, tags will increase to nonresident prices once you are a resident in another state.

Q4. I am a resident now but may move out-of-state in the next year. What would happen to my 3-year license?

A4. If you buy a 3-year license as a resident and then move out of state, your resident 3-year license remains in effect but your tag and permit fees would increase to nonresident prices once you establish residency in another state.  Please be aware it is unlawful to claim residency in more than one state.  If you have a resident Idaho license and intend to purchase a resident license in a another state, your Idaho resident license must be surrendered to Idaho Department of Fish & Game with a statement of why the license is being returned.

Q5. Who’s the biggest winner with a 3-year license?

A5. The biggest financial winners are young hunters and anglers about to turn 18. If convenience is important to you, then you win by not having to worry about buying a license at the last minute.

Q6. Is there a downside to a 3-year license?

A6. No. Plus, there’s a possible unknown benefit to someone who buys a 3-year license now. If there is a fee increase during the next three years, a hunter or angler who purchased their license before the fee increase won’t pay the higher price until the three year period ends.

Q7. What happens if prices go up during the 3-year period?

A7. If there is a fee increase after someone buys a 3-year license, then he or she has saved some money. Higher fees would apply after the 3-year license period ended.

Q8. Why is Idaho Fish and Game offering a 3-year license?

A8. The idea for a 3-year license came from a sample survey of hunters and anglers, both resident and nonresident. 50% of nonresidents and 82% of residents surveyed liked the idea of being able to buy a multi-year license. The opportunity to buy a 3-year license went into effect July 1, 2013.

Elk hunting with horses

Last Updated: October 21, 2014 
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