Residency Information

New students contact Admissions, Graduate School, or Law School.  Registrar's Office is responsible for residency classification of previously enrolled and currently enrolled students. Please review the Board of Regents' Policy 940.1 for more information on residency requirements.

The Montana University System classifies all students as either in-state or out-of-state upon admission. This classification affects admissions decisions and fee determinations. The basic rules for making the classification are found in the Board of Regents' Policy 940.1. It is each student's responsibility to secure and review a copy of the policy. Failure to be aware of the rules will not be a cause for granting any exceptions to them. A copy of the policy is available from the Admissions Office or the Registrar's Office. Each residency determination is based on the unique set of facts found in each individual's case.

New students should contact the appropriate admissions office regarding their initial classification: 

Undergraduate Admissions: umevaluationsoffice@mso.umt.edu or directly to your admission evaluator. Please ensure to answer all questions on your admission application regarding residency, including issue dates for all ties with the state (driver license/vehicle registration/voter registration/etc).

Graduate School Admissions (including new Pharmacy students): grad.school@umontana.edu

Law School Admissions: lawadmissions@mso.umt.edu

Physical Therapy Admissions: physical.therapy@umontana.edu

Veterans/Military: Vets Office vetsoffice@mso.umt.edu

Please note, as of January 8, 2019 per subsection H, out-of-state students admitted to a professional degree program (law, pharmacy, or physical therapy at UM), are not eligible for reclassification and shall remain classified as an out-of-state student for the duration of enrollment in the professional program.  A student in these programs who is classified as out-of-state who maintains their initial classification was in error may only seek reclassification prior to the start of their initial term of enrollment.

At the University of Montana – Missoula, the Registrar’s Office handles residency reclassification applications for all continuing or returning students.

Reclassification is not automatic and will not occur unless the individual so petitions. It is the student’s responsibility to meet any filing deadlines or requirements that are imposed by the appropriate unit of the Montana University System. The appeal process is given in the Regents' policy. Please see the below for information on the residency reclassification process.

Step 1: Begin the 12-month period

With certain exceptions in subsections H and I in the Board of Regents Policy 940.1, in order to be eligible for in-state status, a person must meet a 12-month durational residency test. You will have to demonstrate a bona fide intent to become a Montana resident.

The 12-month continuous period of domicile in Montana does not start until some act indicative of an intent to establish residency is taken, however one act is not definitive of all acts that may be necessary. Mere presence in Montana or enrollment at a unit will not serve to start this period.

While it is your responsibility to read and adhere to the entire policy, some especially applicable subsections follow.

C.

  1. The 12-month period referred to in subsection B does not begin to run until an act indicative of intent to become a Montana resident is taken. The following acts will serve as such indicators, although one act is not definitive of all acts that may be necessary to be classified as in-state under this policy:

          (a) A motor vehicle owned or operated by the person seeking in-state status is registered in Montana,

          (b) A Montana driver's license is acquired,

          (c) A Montana voter registration is acquired,

          (d) A principal residence is purchased in Montana...

  1. ...only in the event that none of the above indicators are appropriate,the person seeking instate status may file an affidavit of intent to establish residency. A form may be obtained from and must be filed with the unit…

D.2 The 12-month period does not run for any period during which the person enjoys a status, receives a benefit, or exercises a right or privilege based upon residency outside of Montana, or which negates the intent to become a Montana resident. For example, the 12-month period does not run for any period in which the person maintains legal ties to another state or country such as a driver’s license, vehicle registration, voter registration, or tax liability, regardless of the person’s reasons for establishing or maintaining such ties.

More information regarding what is required of a person seeking resident classification for tuition can be found in the policy and on our Residency Pre-Screening + General Info Sheet.

Step 2: Gather Application Materials:

At the end of your 12-month waiting period you must complete the residency questionnaire and attach copies of your supporting documents. Submit everything to the Registrar’s Office for review. 

Residency Questionnaire – REQUIRED for all reclassifications, must be filled out entirely and signed. This includes two affidavits that are not always required to be completed.

Employment Affidavit- Typically only required for petitioners who are currently employed in a full time permanent, non-remote position that brought them to Montana. Please see BOR Policy 940.1 Section I.(b).

Tax Exemption Affidavit- Not typically required. Can be used in various circumstances. For example, can be used to either show the petitioner is a dependent of a Montana resident or not a dependent of parent or legal guardian of another state.

Residency Pre-Screening + General Info Sheet – A checklist for the most commonly required documents. While a completed copy of the checklist does not have to be submitted, copies of all applicable documents listed on the form that pertain to the person seeking in-state residency must be submitted.

Affidavit of Intent to Establish Residency – RARELY REQUIRED. Only use if none of the other indicators are appropriate (see Beginning the 12-Month Period). Please note this is rarely used.

Documentation can be submitted to the Registrar's Office up to 30 days in advance of the petitioner’s start date, and no later than the 15th instructional day of the semester for which the status is sought. When a student petitions or meets the requirements after the 15th instructional day, a change in classification, if granted, will not be retroactive and will become effective for the next term.

Although you will not submit materials for review until the end of the waiting period, we highly encourage you to start a file to keep copies of your documents as you collect them.

Step 3 Submit Application Materials: 

Materials can be submitted via one of the methods below:

  1. Email to residency@mso.umt.edu. Scans, attachments, or photos are fine as long as they are clear; or
  2. Mail to:

Registrar’s Office

201 Lommasson Center

32 Campus Drive

Missoula, MT 59812; or

  1. In Person- Dropbox in front of the Registrar’s Office (2nd floor Lommasson)

Step 4 Notification:

After receiving complete applications, the Registrar’s Office will review all documents supplied. The person seeking in-state status will be notified via email if the request has been approved or denied. If more documentation is required, the person seeking in-state reclassification will receive an email to their student email address detailing what supplemental items are required.

Deadlines:

The 12-month period must be completed by the 15th instructional day to qualify for that term.

Requests for residency reclassification changes will be accepted no earlier than the 11th month of the 12-month waiting period.

Example #1: You moved to Montana January 1, 2020 and registered to vote on April 1, 2020.  You never had a vehicle or driver’s license/ID registered in a prior state. You can submit your request on or after March 1, 2021 for reclassification beginning summer semester 2021.

Example #2: You moved to Montana January 1, 2020, registered to vote on April 1, 2020, but you cut your final legal ties by transferring your vehicle registration and getting your Montana driver’s license on August 30, 2020.  You can submit your request on or after July 30, 2021 for reclassification beginning autumn semester 2021.

The priority deadline to submit materials for review is usually the fifth day of classes for that term.

Applications submitted with all required documentation will be reviewed first.  Incomplete applications will be delayed.  Please view pre-screening form for the required application materials.

Please plan accordingly.

Upcoming Dates:

Semester Seeking Residency

12-Month Period Complete By

Priority Deadline to Submit Materials*

Spring 2022

February 7, 2022

January 21, 2022

Summer 2022

August 1, 2022

Ongoing

Autumn 2022

September 19, 2022

September 2, 2022

Spring 2023

February 6, 2023

January 20, 2023

*Requests are due, though they can be accepted up to the 15th class day.  Earlier submission is encouraged to allow time for review and correction or to turn in missing documents.  Residency reclassifications may affect tuition and fee assessment.  See Business Services – Student Accounts for bill payment deadlines.

Deadlines to sever ties to your former state to qualify for the upcoming semester:

Semester Seeking Residency Date to complete severing ties to former state
Spring 2022 February 7, 2021
Summer 2022 August 1, 2021
Autumn 2022 September 19, 2021
Spring 2023 January 20, 2022

For questions regarding reclassification, please email to residency@mso.umt.edu.

If a student is denied in-state classification upon admission or reclassification to in-state status by the Registrar’s Office, the student may appeal the decision to the Residency Classification Committee.  The decision of this committee constitutes the final campus decision, and further appeals shall be referred to the Commissioner of Higher Education.

To appeal the Registrar’s Office’s decision, the student must submit a letter addressed to the Residency Classification Committee within 14 calendar days of the Registrar’s Office’s written decision.  An appeal may be accompanied by any additional written materials the student wishes to submit that are relevant to the classification decision.  The appeal letter and any additional materials should be submitted to Sarah Corbin in the Registrar’s Office who will transmit the entire residency packet to the committee for consideration.

To appeal a decision of the Residency Classification Committee, the student must submit a letter addressed to the Commissioner of Higher Education within 14 calendar days of the committee’s decision.  An appeal may be accompanied by any additional written materials the student wishes to submit that are relevant to the classification decision.  These materials should be submitted to Sarah Corbin in the Registrar’s Office who will transmit the entire packet to the Commissioner’s office in Helena. The Commissioner’s office will communicate the Commissioner’s decision to both the student and the Registrar’s Office.

Further appeal procedures are outlined in Section II. C. of the Board of Regents Policy 940.1.