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Buying Homes For Sale in Virginia

Virginia Requirements for Changing State of Residency

Virginia Requirements for Changing State of Residency

For the state of Virginia, there are two types of Virginia residents: actual and domiciliary.

  • Actual Residents are individuals who are physically present in Virginia, or who maintain a home in Virginia for more than 183 days during the taxable year. The period of residency does not have to be consecutive days. Most Virginia residents are actual residents of Virginia. It is possible to be an actual resident of Virginia and a domiciliary resident of another state. For example, dual status commonly occurs when a resident of another state enrolls in a Virginia school and lives here during the school year.
  • Domiciliary Residents are individuals whose state of legal residence in the technical sense is Virginia. Most domiciliary residents actually live in Virginia. Examples of individuals who are domiciliary residents but who do not live in Virginia are:
    • An individual who enters the military from Virginia (i.e., claims Virginia as his/her home of record) will remain a domiciliary resident of Virginia, unless appropriate steps are taken to abandon Virginia as the state of domicile.
    • A student who attends school in another state, but maintains Virginia as his/her legal state of residence, is a domiciliary resident.
    • A resident of Virginia who accepts employment in another country is a domiciliary resident, unless appropriate steps are taken to abandon Virginia as the state of domicile.

There are many reasons for wanting to change state of residency – financial benefits available in the new state, lower business or personal taxes in the new state, eliminating state tax, securing in-state tuition at a university or college in the new state, etc. Whatever the reason for deciding to change state of residency, one can establish residency in a new state by fulfilling some general basic requirements to qualify for the residency status.

The following are the basic and general requirements needed to establish legal residency for people who want to make Virginia as their new state of residency:

  • Purchase if you can, a home in Virginia. Otherwise, rent. Be sure to have proof of new home address as this is important in establishing your residency.
  • To be an actual Virginia resident, you have to stay in Virginia for more than 183 days in a taxable year.
  • Maintain social and business relations in the state of Virginia
  • Establish at least one bank account in Virginia
  • Establish a living address with the U.S. Postal Service by going to the nearest post office and filing a change of address form, reflecting your Virginia address as the new address
  • Have your important documents transferred to your new Virginia address (insurance, memberships, licenses, etc.)
  • You need to get employed, pay taxes, and file tax returns in the state of Virginia
  • Obtain a driver’s license and car registration in the state of Virginia or apply for a non-driver’s state ID card if you do not drive.
  • Next, register to vote in Virginia
  • If you have professional licenses, have them transferred to your new state. Do this by contacting the governing board of your occupation in the new state (nurses, physicians, social workers, attorneys, etc.). Temporary licensing can often be granted immediately while you are waiting for the permanent license.

Changing state may seem difficult and means a lot of leg work in terms of filing legal documents if you do not know what are the requirements for a change of state. Different state may have different requirements when it comes to certain things and knowing all the requirements before deciding on a change of state would save anyone time, effort and funds. If you do not know the requirements, you could always ask the local government for assistance or do some research before asking any officials.

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