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Residency Requirements

To be eligible for a resident license, a person must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. Have a domicile within this state for at least 90 consecutive days immediately preceding the date of application for, purchasing, or attempting to purchase any hunting, fishing, or trapping license/permit. A domicile is a person's established, fixed, and permanent home to which the person, whenever absent, has the present intention of returning.
  2. Make no claim of residency in any other state or foreign country for any purpose.
  3. Claim no resident hunting, fishing, or trapping privileges in any other state or foreign country.
  4. Prior to any application for any license, transfer to this state the person's driver's license and motor vehicle registrations.


The following persons are deemed to be residents of this state as long as they continue to meet any of the following conditions:

    1. Previously had a domicile in this state and is absent due to business of the United States or of this state, is serving in the armed forces of the United States, or is the spouse of an active duty military person.
    2. Previously had a domicile in this state and is absent due to the person's regular attendance at a post-high school institution as a full-time student.
    3. Active military of the United States or the spouse of a military person who is continuously stationed in this state.
    4. Patient in any war veterans' hospital within this state.
    5. Employee of the veterans' administration or any veterans' hospital in this state.
    6. Residing on restricted military reservations in this state.
    7. Attending regularly a post-high school institution in this state as a full-time student for 30 days or more immediately preceding the application.
    8. Foreign exchange student over sixteen years of age attending a public or private high school who has resided in the state for 30 days or more preceding the application.
    9. Foreign exchange student who is between the ages of twelve years and sixteen years who has completed the Department of Game, Fish & Parks' course of instruction in the safe handling of firearms and has been issued a certificate of competency upon completion of instruction and who has resided in the state for 30 days or more preceding application for a license.
    10. Minor dependent of a resident of this state.
    11. For the purpose of acquiring resident small game and fishing licenses, any person who does not reside in South Dakota, but who is a member of the South Dakota National Guard or of any other unit of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States that is located in South Dakota.


Proof of Residency

To buy a license, a resident age 16 or older needs a valid South Dakota driver's license or a state-issued and expiration-dated South Dakota ID card. Either can be obtained at a state driver's license office.

Youth hunters under age 16 are required to provide the HuntSAFE certificate.

Resident Declaration

For the purpose of proof of residency for those who do not possess one of the standard forms of identification described above, individuals must obtain a residency declaration prior to purchasing a license.

Contact a Wildlife Division office, GFP Licensing office, Conservation Officer, or an authorized license agent.