DES MOINES - Iowa residents who have previously hunted, fished and trapped as nonresidents are urged to plan ahead in being able to obtain license privileges as residents.
The electronic licensing system for hunting, fishing and trapping now automatically identifies people who have previously obtained licenses as nonresidents. This is a reflection of Iowa law changes that were made to identify a growing problem in Iowa of nonresidents falsifying records in order to illegally obtain illegal resident licenses. This law change means that DNR law enforcement has stepped up efforts to prosecute people who are illegally hunting, fishing and trapping in Iowa by falsifying records to obtain resident privileges.
"Unfortunately, this can be an issue for people who have hunted, fished and trapped in Iowa as nonresidents in the past, but are now legitimately residents of our state and are expecting to be able to purchase resident license privileges," said Joli Vollers, a supervisor in the DNR's Law Enforcement Bureau.
Because of the change, Vollers said people who have previously been in Iowa's licensing system as nonresidents need to have the information available so the necessary changes to resident status can be made.
Hunters, anglers and trappers now eligible for resident licenses who have been nonresident participants in the past, need to fill out and return a form that can be accessed at http://www.iowadnr.gov/license/.
"What we don't want to have happen is someone who is now a legal resident of the state not being able to obtain a resident license because of the change in the system," said Vollers.
Vollers said the necessary changes can be made once the customer has provided the required documentation necessary to determine Iowa residency.
"It will take customers a little time to gather and check the necessary documentation; then more time for us to update the status in the licensing system," said Vollers. Vollers said those people who have previously hunted, fished and trapped in the state as nonresidents need to factor the extra time into their planning in order to get their new resident licenses in time for planned hunts.
"People who fall into this category of having been nonresidents and now seeking resident privileges shouldn't wait until just before they plan to go out in order to get the proper license. If they wait until the day or night before they plan to go fishing or turkey hunting to get the license and tags, the system will block them out," said Vollers.
"Unfortunately some license purchase attempts may happen on weekends or after hours. The status change can only be made during business hours; license vendors are unable to make the change and are unable to provide much assistance. Former nonresidents who are now wanting to obtain resident licenses should begin the process right away so they don't miss out on opportunities to get outside and enjoy our natural resources," Vollers added.