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How to Change State Residency

After the truck’s been unloaded, furniture set up, and boxes unpacked, there is one final step in the moving process: establishing residency. Failing to establish residency after moving to a new state means you may be stuck paying taxes to your old state. Worse, you could end up paying taxes to both states! You may also have trouble accessing social services, applying for a job, securing a bank loan, enrolling your kids in school, or receiving in-state tuition. If you’re involved in a legal dispute, it may even affect which court gets jurisdiction over your case. To avoid these sorts of headaches and others, here is how to change state residency after you move.

Research Your State

Each state has its own requirements for establishing residency. Most require you to live in the state for at least 183 days during the year, but not all do. Hawaii, for instance, requires you to spend at least 200 days in the state, while Alaska and Florida don’t have any time requirements; you’re a resident as soon as you arrive. A few states have reciprocal tax agreements that allow you to establish residency in several states. Check the laws in your state, so you know exactly what’s required.

Establish a Domicile

In legal terms, a “domicile” refers to your true, principal, and permanent home. Purchasing a house is the best way to establish a domicile. If you plan to rent, sign a long-term lease rather than going month-to-month. Remember that while P.O. Boxes are convenient, they do not establish residency.

In most cases, establishing a domicile is a simple process. Putting your name on a mortgage or lease is generally enough, but some states ask you to submit a “Declaration of Domicile” form as well. However, if you own homes in multiple states, establishing residency becomes more complicated. You’ll need to keep track of the time spent in each location, in case the authorities decide to challenge your claim.

Change Your Address

Once you’ve found a new home, make sure your address is registered with state and federal agencies, as well as any private institutions you do business with. These include:

  • IRS
  • United States Postal Service
  • DMV
  • Bank
  • Employer
  • Internet Provider
  • Cell Phone Provider
  • Healthcare Provider
  • Insurance Companies
  • Local Utilities, Such as Gas, Water, and Power

All of these organizations should be contacted before your move, especially your local utilities. Otherwise, the lights won’t work when you arrive at your new home. Legal documents are regulated and recognized by state authorities. When they all point to the same address, it creates a strong and credible pattern, important for establishing residency.

Show Intent to Live in Your New State

Besides updating your legal records, creating ties to your new community also helps. This is particularly important for people who own multiple homes. Becoming involved in local organizations demonstrates a serious commitment, so in the event of a residency audit, you’ll be able to show you’ve put down roots in your new town. You can start by:

  • Enrolling your kids in a local school
  • Joining a religious congregation
  • Obtaining a library card
  • Transferring your medical records
  • Claiming a homestead exemption in your new state
  • Relinquishing a homestead claim in your old state
  • Becoming a member of a professional organization
  • Volunteering at a neighborhood charity
  • Registering to vote

Most residency claims are not disputed, but people who own properties in multiple states are more likely to receive one. Participating in your community shows you’re a member, entitled to the same benefits and protections as all the other members.

Moving to a New State

Changing state residency is easy, but getting to your new home often isn’t. But no matter where your move is taking you, Allied helps get you there safely. Our moving plans are based around your needs and tailor-fit to your budget and schedule. As a full service moving company, we don’t just ship your belongings. We help with packing, storage, and set-up as well. Help make your move as smooth as possible. Contact us today for a free quote!