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Landowner / Tenant Definitions

Iowa Residency

To register as a landowner or tenant, you must meet the definition of "resident" as outlined in Iowa Code 483A.1A and summarized below.

Resident means a natural person who meets one of the following criteria during each year in which the person claims status as a resident:

  1. Has physically resided in this state as the person's principal and primary residence or domicile for period of not less than 90 consecutive days immediately before applying for or purchasing a resident license, tag, or permit and has an Iowa driver's license or an Iowa non operator's identification card. A person is not considered a resident under this paragraph if the person is residing in the state only for a special or temporary purpose including but not limited to engaging in hunting, fishing or trapping.

  2. Is a full-time student at an accredited educational institution in Iowa and resides in Iowa while attending the educational institution, or are a full-time student under 25 years of age at an accredited educational institution outside the state as long as at least one parent or legal guardian maintains a principal and primary residence in Iowa.

  3. Is a student who qualifies as a resident pursuant to the above paragraph only for the purpose of purchasing any resident license specified in sec. 483A.1 or 484A.2.

  4. Is a nonresident under 18 years of age with a parent who is a legal resident of Iowa.

  5. Is a member of the armed forces of the United States who is serving on active duty, claims residency in Iowa, and has filed a state individual income tax return for the preceding tax year, or is stationed in this state.

Dual Residency Not Permitted:
Unless you qualify under 2, 3, 4 or 5 above, a person shall not purchase or apply for any resident license or permit if that person has claimed residency in any other state or country.

An Iowa resident hunting license will be invalid if you:

  • Obtain the license under false pretenses. Providing false information on a deer or wild turkey hunting license or application invalidates that license and transportation tag and all other deer or turkey licenses/tags obtained during the same year.
  • Do anything that would forfeit your eligibility for a resident license after the license is obtained, such as moving out of Iowa or purchasing a resident hunting privilege in another state or country.


Who is eligible for Landowner/Tenant Licenses?
Landowner/Tenant licenses are valid only on the farm unit of the owner or tenant. The qualifying landowner or tenant does not have to reside on the farm, but must qualify under the following definitions:

“Family member” means a resident of Iowa who is the spouse or child of the owner or tenant and who resides with the owner or tenant.

“Farm unit / Qualifying parcel” means all parcels of land that are in tracts of 2 or more contiguous acres that are operated as a unit for agricultural purposes and are under the lawful control of the landowner or tenant.  Parcels of land in a farm unit need not be contiguous, but all will be considered part of a single farm unit regardless of how those parcels are subdivided for agricultural or business purposes. An owner cannot receive a Landowner-Tenant license on one parcel and a family member receive a Landowner-Tenant License on another, even if the parcels are separate business operations.

“Owner” means an owner of a farm unit who is a resident of Iowa and who is one of the following:

A. Is the sole operator of the farm unit.

B. Makes all farm operating decisions but contracts for custom farming or hires labor for all or part of the work on the farm unit.

C. Participates annually in farm operation decisions or cropping practices on specific fields of the farm unit that are rented to a tenant.

D. Raises specialty crops on the farm unit including, but not limited to, orchards, nurseries or trees that do not always produce annual income but require annual operating decisions about maintenance or improvement.

E. Has all or part of the farm unit enrolled in a long-term agricultural land retirement program of the federal government.

F. Rents the entire farm to an adult child who operates the farm.

G. An owner DOES NOT mean a person who owns a farm unit and who employs a farm manager or third party to operate the farm unit, or a person who owns a farm unit and who rents the entire farm to a tenant who is responsible for all farm operations (unless the renter is the owner’s child).

“Tenant” means a person who is a resident of Iowa and who rents and actively farms a farm unit owned by another person. A member of the owner’s family may be a tenant. Rental includes cash rent and share crop arrangements. A person who works on a farm for a wage and is not a family member does not qualify as a tenant.

Common Landowner/Tenant Scenarios if you are unsure of your eligibility for Landowner/Tenant licenses.


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