CWW Residency upon moving state-to-state


March 6, 2008, 12:10 PM
Right now I have a PA CCW. I understand that it will no longer be valid once I move to another state, as I am planning to do in June (to Washington).

However, I am trying to figure out exactly when I enter the residency limbo re: CCW, for which I see a couple of possibilities:

- Is it on leaving the driveway in Pennsylvania with the intent to reach Seattle? (At that point, though mail delivered there will reach me, and I will still have stuff in PA -- this is my mom's house -- which I will not yet have moved until a later trip, I could not in good conscience say that's "where I live.")

- Is it on entering the state of Washington having intended to reside there? That's the situation as described to me re: state residency for the purposes of determining whether parties are of diverse citizenship for the purposes of Federal jurisdiction in court. Paraphrased: "Cross the border into the state of intended residence in your car / moving van / bicycle, and BOOM, you're a resident."

However, there's residency and residency: There are situations where it's preserved elsewhere, even with little evidence (if you're in one state "temporarily" but consider yourself to reside elsewhere), and aspects of residency where minimum time must elapse. (Getting in-state tuition, for instance, or being eligible for a CCW.)

To curtail my own rambling: the upshot I want to know is whether my PA CCW will be valid through the course of (at least my initial) journey West.

Since my move will be in at least two phases, I think it would be fair to argue that I am still a PA resident (with a futon, dishware, clothing, etc. in Harrisburg), but would rather have a definitive answer about how moving affects CCW.

Yes, I will seek this information from multiple sources, but as we all know from gunshops and LE officials, not everyone agrees sometimes on what the law is. (Unless it's easy and clear, like the 2nd Amendment ;))

Thanks for any insight!


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March 6, 2008, 12:20 PM
Usually establishing residency involves something concrete like getting a driver license, switching vehicle plates/insurance. But, check out the state law. I may be in the same boat but moving to TN. They say explicitly that I have 6 months after establishing residency to get my TN permit. I think I went to and followed links for the state of interest.

March 6, 2008, 12:30 PM
"Intent" is the key. In my state, if I carry a particular knife for slicing apples, no problem. If, on the other hand, I am carrying this same knife for self defense, and I said as much to the police, I could be found guilty of a felony. Intent. Of course, when asked, I carry the knife for slicing apples.

Now, regarding your trip. You are a legal resident of PA traveling to WA and considering taking up residence there You are still a resident of PA (you could always decide that the grass isn't greener and return to PA). Now, WA likely has a specific number of days in which you must get a WA drivers license, Once you do that, your intent is pretty clearly that of becoming a WA resident. Same for plates for your car.
Intent is also manifested by signing a fixed term lease to rent or the purchase of a house.

Bottom line, you should be fine on the drive since you are still a resident of PA. Once in WA, you should abide by the laws of WA and be very careful how you answer any questions if stopped by the police.

Yes, I am a lawyer, no, this is not legal advice. Just musing.

Old Dog
March 6, 2008, 12:32 PM
yhtomit: Follow this link
Should tell you everything you need to know about obtaining a Washington CPL. Way I read it, once you get a WA driver's license (which you should do as soon as you have a place to live) you're good to go. My local sheriff's office processes new CPL applications and gets the licenses out in just a few days. Other counties may vary; I've heard some take the whole 30 days, and one guy told me his county did same-day service.

As others note, you're a PA resident until you get here, find a place to live, sign a lease, get your DL and register to vote ...

As an aside, I'm always impressed whenever I go to one of the less busy Dept. of Licensing offices (for driver's license matters) at just how friendly and fast the service is (I lived in California for too long).

March 6, 2008, 12:38 PM
WA doesn't honor PA permits, but WA does issue to non-residents. Are you planning to remain a resident of PA or become a resident of WA?

March 6, 2008, 01:35 PM
As an aside, I'm always impressed whenever I go to one of the less busy Dept. of Licensing offices (for driver's license matters) at just how friendly and fast the service is (I lived in California for too long).

Old Dog: With one exception at a particular King County licensing office, I too was very impressed with the friendly, efficient service at state offices in WA when I lived there last. That stinker office, and specifically the same nasty woman I encountered, I found out later is the same place and the same woman that made a friend of mine (woman in her mid-20s, not a shrinking violent) actually cry.

wdlsguy: I moved to PA to go to law school, before that I was in WA for a couple of years, and then spent one year establishing residency in Texas, when I thought I'd go to school *there.* (long story :)) However, I consider Seattle my hometown (born and grew up elsewhere, but in a town where I have no connections now whatsoever, and haven't for decades), and believe me, I'm planning to be an official WA resident again just as soon as possible. PA has certain charms, but WA is a state I'd be happy I think to live in forever. There are many other great places and strong draws, but WA is the current favorite by a significant margin.



March 7, 2008, 11:50 AM
This one is pretty easy. As long as you maintain a location of residence in PA, IE: you still pay rent, you still pay utility bills, you still have a PA driver's license, You claim PA residency. During the first trip to WA, you go to any law enforcement office, I would recommend finding one that has electronic fingerprinting. You use your PA address and driver's license and apply for a non-resident permit. The only difference is that they have now have 60 days to issue the permit vice 30 days. This doesn't matter, because you have to be a resident of WA for 90 days (with a WA driver's license) for the 30 day limit to apply anyway.

Your PA permit is still valid in whatever state honors it until you give up the PA address or PA drivers license, whichever occurs first.

Once you are issued your WA CPL you are legal for concealed carry in WA, whether or not you are a resident, and your PA CPL will remain valid as long as you have the PA location of residence where you pay rent and the PA driver's license.

Once you get a WA driver's license, which has to be within 30 days of residency in WA, IE: your second move here when you give up your PA residence, you merely change the address on your WA CPL.

Your options for carry in WA without a CPL are pretty simple, you can carry openly, loaded outside your vehicle. WA State laws have pre-emption (spelling?) over city ordinance. The only difference is that upon entering your vehicle, the gun must be unloaded. With a CPL, you can carry loaded, open or concealed, inside or outside your vehicle.

March 7, 2008, 11:51 AM
I have heard, but cannot verify, that Kitsap County Sherrif's office issues CPLs on the same day.

March 7, 2008, 01:34 PM
I think NavyLT hit it correctly "Your PA permit is still valid in whatever state honors it until you give up the PA address or PA drivers license, whichever occurs first." so long as the state you are moving to honors the PA permit.

March 7, 2008, 02:28 PM
Washington does not honor PA permit, however, his permit will be good in all states that do AND Washington issues non-resident permits.

March 7, 2008, 05:32 PM
It seems like this is gray area.

Most states require you to fulfill some sort of residency requirement to become a resident. 30 to 60 days or something.

In that time, are you a resident of the old state or the new state?

And some states prohibit students from filing residency (so that they cannot get in-state tuition). So you may have a permanent home in another state, where you live and work (and go to school) year round, but cannot file residency.

I think that there can be no magical time when you automatically cease being a resident of one state and become the resident of another (before filing some sort of legal documents). During your transition phase, it seems that you are either a resident of both states or a resident of neither state. I think it depends less on how you see it and more on how the person asking the questions does.

March 7, 2008, 05:42 PM
Actually, most states do not have a waiting period to become a resident. Most states have a required time frame within which you must apply for the in-state driver's license, registration, plates, etc and in some a new CPL.

Washington State defines residency as:
(3) For the purposes of obtaining a valid driver's license, a resident is a person who manifests an intent to live or be located in this state on more than a temporary or transient basis.

and must apply for a Driver's License within 30 days:
(1) New Washington residents must obtain a valid Washington driver's license within thirty days from the date they become residents.

In the case of the OP, he would not be considered a resident of Washington during his first trip because his intentions are to return to PA in a short period of time to finish matters up there. His second trip, as soon as he crosses the state line, he is now a resident because he is intending to live in this state on more than a temporary basis.

March 7, 2008, 07:55 PM
This thread spurred me to look through the WA RCW's and I came across this gem

I can’t tell if is started in 1994 or ended in 1994 but it sounds like you have to grant permission to open your medical records if you want to exercise your 2A rights....

I know this doesn’t help the OP with the permit question but it might be good to know what he/she is getting themselves into when they buy a pistol in WA.

March 9, 2008, 03:13 PM
Get a Utah permit- it is recognized in WA. I have WA and UT CHLs. I don't live in Kitsap County, but don't see how they can issue a permit within 1 day since the background check takes longer than that. It sounds to me like the quickest way to go would be to apply for a non-resident permit on your first trip (application must be done in person, usually at the sheriff's office and reauires fingerprints) and change your address once you become a WA resident. Open carry may be technically legal, but can be dicey if some bed wetter takes alarm and tells the police you scared them. If you are moving to the Pugetropolis area PM me when you get here. Can always enjoy making new shooting friends.

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