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If you caught the "go west" bug and packed up for a move to the semi-wild frontier, you are not alone. When Wyoming is your destination, you are truly one of the lucky ones.
While other mountain states are becoming congested and slowly losing their western flavor to urban sprawl, Wyoming still feels far away from everything. Sometimes it might seem you are the only one in the state.
You may not know it, but you are now calling the least populated state in the nation home. And you will find out very quickly that folks around here like it that way.
But you will receive a hearty hello and friendly welcome from almost anyone you do happen to meet. Although Wyoming may emit a rugged persona more suited to a lonesome cowboy, the state is peppered with some of the most affable people around. Just strike up a conversation with anyone, and you will feel right at home in an instant.
The first thing to consider when you relocate to Wyoming is transferring your driver's license or applying for a new one. Wyoming is a member of the Driver Compact, which allows your out-of-state license to be valid in Wyoming for up to a year.
But while you're switching everything to your new address anyway, you might want to take care of your driver's license as well. If you are not a driver but still need identification, you can pick up an ID card.
In some cases you may need to take a written or road test to get your Wyoming license. If so, it will help to study the Wyoming Vehicle Operators Handbook. If you need a head-start on any of your business at a Driver Services exam office, our forms page offers links to printable documents that you can fill out prior to the visit.
If you brought a boat along to sail the scenic lakes and reservoirs of Wyoming, you must register it with the state. The same goes for snowmobiles and any type of off-road vehicle, including ATVs and motocross bikes.
Those needing to transfer a commercial driver's license (CDL) will need to do so within 30 days. The only thing that could slow the switch is if the out-of-state CDL has a hazardous materials (hazmat) endorsement. If you want the endorsement to carry over, you will need to pass the Wyoming version of the written hazmat test.SOUND LIKE YOU'RE FROM AROUND HERE
- The federal government owns 50% of Wyoming.
- Yellowstone Park was the first designated national park (1872).
- Devil's Tower was the first designated national monument (1906).
- The state is home to the country's largest antelope population.
- Wyoming was the first state to allow women to vote.
- Wyoming was the first state to elect a woman as governor―or to any public office, for that matter.
You are not truly a member of the great state of Wyoming until you take part in the largest outdoor rodeo in the world. Cheyenne Frontier Days is an annual grand gala that draws literally hundreds of thousands of fun-seekers looking for a glimpse into the Old West.
Although it is really like a state fair, packed with concerts, rides, and lots of animals, this event is the place to see the best cowboys in the world. Legendary Wyoming citizen Wild Bill Cody would definitely shout a big "Yahoo!" for this event.
Wyoming achieved statehood in 1890. But prior to that date, the territory lived up quite well to its Wild West persona.
The beaver-capped fur traders were the first easterners to call the frontier home. But way before their arrival, the plains were home to numerous nomadic Native American tribes following the path of the massive buffalo herds.
Of course, most people are well aware of what happened next. There were battles and gunfights. It all seemed to culminate with the Battle of Little Big Horn just north in Montana.
Native Americans did not fare so well in this fight, or under Manifest Destiny in general. Great swaths of Native Americans were reduced to isolated populations on sparse plots of land. But Wyoming continued on and became a ranching hub (hence the Cowboy State nickname).
Wyoming is the proud home of Yellowstone Park, the first designated national park in the county. More parks and monuments would come later as the federal government sought to preserve the state's stunning scenery of jagged mountains.
Then uranium was discovered, and the largest coal seam in the country was struck. Copper and a number of other minerals came next, and Wyoming was quickly transformed into a massive mining state.
On the political side, the state showed a progressive streak and became a firm proponent of equality. It was the first state to allow women to vote. This enabled Nellie Tayloe Ross to become the first woman to be elected to a governorship.
Today more than 50% of the land is owned by the federal government. Considering Wyoming is the ninth largest state, that is a lot of topography. Yellowstone is one of the most visited parks in the U.S. Tourists flow into other parts of the state as well, including the famous Grand Teton National Park. Tourism, though, remains a distant second to mining as the state's top industry.FAST FACTS
- Nicknames: Cowboy State, Equality State, Big Wyoming
- Motto: Equal Rights
- Statehood date: 1890―44th to enter the Union
- Highest point: Gannett Peak, 13,804 feet
- Population: 506,529
- Major industries: Mining and tourism
- State flower: Indian paintbrush
- State mammal: Bison
- State bird: Meadowlark
- State tree: Plains cottonwood
- State fish: Cutthroat trout
- State sport: Rodeo
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