Idaho State Trespassing Laws

Trespassing is serious business. Whenever you are out and about you definitely don’t want to run the risk of trespassing in your travels.

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And perhaps more importantly if you own property, even if you just rent property, you don’t want anyone unauthorized coming onto your property to cause trouble.

You have a right to control access to your property, and every law in every state says as much.

Therefore, you’ll want to become fluent with the trespassing laws in your state and in every state that you visit or own property in.

The trespassing laws of Idaho are pretty easy to understand, though there are some important concepts you must be aware of, particularly when it comes to posting property with fencing or no-trespassing signs, and especially if it is bordering public property.

This article will tell you everything you need to know about Idaho’s trespassing laws.

Idaho Trespassing Law Overview

  • Trespassing in Idaho is a misdemeanor, with the exception of repeat offenses which may be charged as felonies.
  • With the exception of properties that a reasonable person would believe to be residences or businesses, all properties must be posted with signage, markings, or fencing.
  • Idaho is a state that allows orange paint markings to substitute for no-trespassing signs as posting against trespassing.

What Constitutes Trespassing in Idaho?

Broadly speaking, Idaho defines criminal trespassing as entering or remaining upon any real property without the express permission of the owner or owner’s agent, or doing so knowing that their present is not permitted.

Similarly, having prior permission from the owner or owner’s agent failing to depart from the property after having been notified to do so by the owner or owner’s agent.

You can read the exact definition taken directly from section 18-7008 of the Idaho State statutes below:


(d) “Enter” or “enters” means going upon or over real property either in person or by causing any object, substance or force to go upon or over real property.
(g) “Remains” means to fail to depart from the real property of another immediately when notified to do so by the owner or his agent.
(2) Acts constituting criminal trespass.
(a) A person commits criminal trespass and is guilty of a misdemeanor, except as provided in subsection (3)(a)(i) of this section, when he enters or remains on the real property of another without permission, knowing or with reason to know that his presence is not permitted. A person has reason to know his presence is not permitted when, except under a landlord-tenant relationship, he fails to depart immediately from the real property of another after being notified by the owner or his agent to do so, or he returns without permission or invitation within one (1) year, unless a longer period of time is designated by the owner or his agent.

Does Idaho Require “No Trespassing” Signs?

Yes, usually, with some exceptions. Except in the case of a property that should be obviously apparent to any reasonable person to be a residence or a business, property must be posted with no-trespassing signage at all navigable entrances to the property in order for the law to apply against trespassing at the instance.

This does not apply, however, if the property is fenced instead. See the next section.

Is Fencing Required to Protect Property?

Yes, if no-trespassing signage is not posted. Generally speaking, if you aren’t dealing with a residential property or a business you’ll want to have no-trespassing signs or fencing at the perimeter in order to give notice to would-be trespassers that they may not enter upon the property.

If they trespass in violation of fencing or posted signage, then the full force of the law will apply at the instance.

What Other Marks Indicate “No Trespassing”?

Paint markings may be used in place of no-trespassing signs or fencing. Idaho is a state, one of only a few states, that uses so-called purple paint laws as an alternative to posting signage against trespassing.

Only, in this case, the paint isn’t necessarily purple! As you will read in the excerpt of section 18-7008 below Idaho law specifies orange paint but also makes mention of fluorescent paint in general being a suitable alternative.

Again, the paint must be applied in accordance with the requirements of the law for the law to back you up if you are posting your own property using paint. Read carefully, and heed:


(a) (…) In addition, a person has reason to know that his presence is not permitted on real property that meets any of the following descriptions:
(i) The property is reasonably associated with a residence or place of business;
(ii) The property is cultivated;
(iii) The property is fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner that a reasonable person would recognize as delineating a private property boundary. 
(iv) The property is unfenced and uncultivated but is posted with conspicuous “no trespassing” signs or bright orange or fluorescent paint at all property corners and boundaries where the property intersects navigable streams, roads, gates and rights-of-way entering the land, and is posted in a manner that a reasonable person would be put on notice that it is private land.

Can Solicitors Ignore “No Trespassing” Signs?

No. Assuming they just want to sell you something, poll you, or sign you up for something solicitors will ignore posted and no-trespassing signage at their peril.

Note that though Idaho does not mandate residential properties be posted with no-trespassing signage, it is a good idea to put up these signs if you want to deter your average door-knocker or solicitor.

Can Trespassing Result in Arrest in Idaho?

Absolutely. Though most forms of trespassing in Idaho are misdemeanors, misdemeanors are still arrestable offenses, to say nothing of repeat offenses that can result in felony charges.

Can You Take Someone to Court for Trespassing?

Yes, especially if their trespass results in damage to property, breach of quiet domain, or other damages.

Special Instances of Trespassing in Idaho

Several, but the most notable is found in section 18-7006.

The section covers trespass of privacy, stating that it is unlawful for any person on any private property belonging to someone else to look into, peer, or peek inside and a door, window, or other aperture of an inhabited building without any lawful purpose.

As you might have surmised from reading only this, this is Idaho’s version of a peeping tom law.

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