Q. I am currently an Alaska resident. I might be moving next summer out of the state. How long after I move until I am no longer considered a resident? If I move in June will I still be able to hunt sheep in August? I will not be receiving any resident benefits in any other state for at least 6 months. How long can someone be out of the state before they lose their residency? It would seem to me that I would have to be a resident of somewhere. I searched and could not find anything that would clarify this for me. Could you please send me a link or quote the law for me. Thanks for your help.
A. Thank you for this question. I will start off by reiterating that Alaska Wildlife Troopers cannot provide legal advice. In a situation where you seek legal advice, consult an attorney.
Alaska residency for purposes of hunting and fishing can be a complicated subject. The law surrounding residency can be found in Alaska Statute 16.05.415. Due to the endless variations of each person’s circumstances, the best way to get a residency question answered is to sit down with an Alaska Wildlife Trooper and explain your situation. The Trooper will ask questions to determine if you are a resident for purposes of hunting or fishing. Just as a side note... do this before purchasing the resident hunting or fishing license. The fine for making a false statement on a hunting or fishing license is $300.
There are different requirements for residency in Alaska with other benefits such as: the permanent fund dividend. There are several exceptions with residency such as: military members, business owners etc... Each case is very unique and a blanket answer is not possible with this subject. Below is an excerpt of the law surrounding residency.
The residency law specifies several things that must be met in order for you to be a resident.
(a) Determination of residency:
1) Physically present in the state with the intent to remain in the state indefinitely and to make a home in the state.
2) Has maintained the persons domicile in the state for the 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the application for a license.
3) Is not claiming residency in any other state, territory or country.
4) Is not obtaining benefits under a claim of residency in another state, territory or country.
Additionally, the statute also specifies that a person who establishes residency in the state under (a) of this section remains a resident during an absence from the state unless during the absence the person:
1) Establishes or claims residency in another state, territory or country; or
2) Performs an act, or is absent under circumstances, that are inconsistent with the intent required under (a) of this section.
There is quite a bit more to this statute, but these are the major points. It is very difficult to answer your question based upon the limited information you posted. I can however address one thing in your question. In your specific situation you state that you will be moving from the state. If your intent is to physically move from the state, this violates (a) 1 due to the fact that your intent is to leave the state. It also violates (b) 2, due to you being absent from the state for a reason that is inconsistent with (a).
It is probable that you, after moving from Alaska to another location, may not be a resident of Alaska for hunting and fishing purposes. It is also probable that you are not a resident of the state that you moved to for hunting and fishing purposes until you complete that states residency requirements.
I would strongly suggest that you contact your local office of the Alaska Wildlife Troopers and schedule a time to sit down and discuss your specific situation.
Thanks for your question. AWT