How Do You Establish Legal Residency in a State?

To establish legal residence in a state, you must have an actual physical residence, not just a post office box, so it is important to buy or rent a place to live, explains the Di Monte & Lizak law firm. Register to vote, if eligible, and obtain a driver's license in your new state of residence. Cancel your driver's license from your previous home state.

If you don't drive, inquire if the new state has non-driving identification cards that aid in cashing checks, suggests Di Monte & Lizak. Re-register titles to cars in the new state, and obtain new license plates or tags. Advise your old state to cancel your old license plates. Notify your auto insurance company that you reside in a new state, and ask for new insurance cards. Change the address on your insurance policy.

You may have the ability to obtain a written declaration of residence in your new State, explains Di Monte & Lizak. It is also possible to make a declaration by signing a new will that documents your new state of residence, or by drafting a codicil to an existing will. Change your address on your passport, and notify banks and credit cards of new addresses.