Moving Across the Country? How to Change State Residency

Maybe you’re moving to be closer to family, or perhaps it’s a new job or just a desire for a change of pace — and scenery that has you on the move.

In 2018, 7.6 million Americans moved to a new state. So, if you’re looking to relocate to a different state, you’re not alone.

However, making a home in a new state is more than signing a mortgage and moving in. You need to know how to change state residency. 

Updating your residency in a new state keeps you current with state tax codes and requirements. Your personal finance information—taxes, bank, and brokerage accounts—also remain current. 

Each state also has its regulations for voter’s registration and individual driver’s license.

Are you moving across the country and wondering how to establish residency in your new state? In this guide, we’ll take a look at how changing state residency works.

1. Find a Place to Live

To establish a new place of residency in a new state, you need first to find a place to live. This dwelling or domicile counts as a permanent living space. 

You may purchase or rent the following:

  • Standalone Home
  • Apartment Rental 
  • Mobile home

Contrary to common belief, you can not use a P.O. BOX as a place or residency while making your home somewhere else. Every state requires you to show intent when you make your home there. Establish a domicile

Using your new in-state address on tax returns, insurance documents, and a driver’s license shows intent. 

2. Don’t Leave Your Mail Behind

One common mistake made by movers is not forwarding their mail. As part of your moving plan, make sure you change your mailing address with the post office.

Visit your local Post Office or go online and request permanent mail forwarding to your new address. 

3. Request a New Driver’s License and License Plate

If you plan to take your car or other motor vehicles, expect to apply for a new driver’s license. 

Having a current license simplifies the process, but every state has its own standards for such a thing. After you establish domicile, take a current bill reflecting your new address down to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Proof of residency speeds up the process.

Do a same-day car registration, so you don’t have to return for a new license plate.

4. Establish a Relationship With a New Bank 

Unless you want to drive back to your previous state for your banking needs, open a new account with a local bank.

A local bank account further establishes residency and domicile. It’s also a smart idea to contact banks where you have credit cards and update your new address.  

5. Register to Vote

Every state requires a residency to vote. Registering to vote also helps initiate domicile. As soon as you move, go online to register to vote and request a new card at your new address.

If you don’t have internet access set up, register at the DMV or local town municipals. 

Now You Know How to Change State Residency

Learning how to change state residency is a matter of paperwork. The details can get tedious, but they help you settle down in your new home the right way.

Are you planning a big move to Philadelphia any time soon? Let us help you with your move.