How to Become a Florida Resident STAFF PICK

Posted almost 5 years ago. Applies to Florida, 33 helpful votes



Sign and file Declaration of Domicile

You should sign a Declaration of Domicile and file this document with the Clerk of the Circuit Court. You should send copies of the declaration to the taxing and voting registration officials in your former state to evidence your change in residence.


Obtain Florida Driver's License

You should obtain a Florida driver's license at the Driver's License Office. To operate a motor vehicle in Florida, you must obtain a Florida driver's license within thirty days after you (1) file a Declaration of Domicile, (2) file an application for homestead exemption, (3) register to vote, (4) enter a child or children in public school or (5) obtain employment in Florida.


Register Automobile in Florida

You should obtain a Florida license tag for your automobile from the County Tax Collector. To receive a vehicle registration you must have the following items: a previously issued registration or vehicle identification number, make, model, proof of insurance information from a company licensed to do business in Florida, and a driver's license.


Register to Vote in Florida

If you did not register to vote at the time you obtained your Florida driver's license, then during a period when the voting registration books are open, you should register to vote, and exercise that right by voting regularly.


Advise Former State of Change in Domicile

You should advise the local and state taxing authorities of your former state of the change of your domicile to Florida. As indicated above, it is advisable to forward copies of your Declaration of Domicile to the applicable authorities shortly after your signing of this document. If in your former state you received a homestead exemption or other similar tax benefit associated with your residence, you should promptly take affirmative steps to cause that exemption or other benefit to be terminated or removed. In connection with the submission of your last state income tax return in your former state, you should mark the return "Final Return" and use your Florida residence address on the return. Your tax preparer may also attach a statement to the return that notes the dates of your abandonment of your domicile in your former state and establishment of your Florida domicile. Some states require the filing of an affidavit, questionnaire, or other document to terminate your status.


Apply for Florida Homestead Exemption

Between January 1st and March 1st of the current year, you should apply for the exemption from taxation of the first $50,000 valuation of your home. You must take with you (1) the recorded copy of your Declaration of Domicile or a Florida Voter's Registration Identification Card; (2) Florida drivers license, if you drive; (3) Florida registration for your automobile, if you own a motor vehicle; (4) a copy of the recorded deed for your property; (5) current electrical receipt for service in your name prior to January 1; and (5) your social security number.


File Federal Income Tax Returns As Florida Resident

You should commence filing federal tax returns and related documents with the Internal Revenue Service Center, Atlanta, Georgia, and use your Florida address as your home address on the return.


Establish Additional Relationships With Florida

To provide further evidence of your change of domicile to Florida, you may also consider the following: use Florida address as your legal address, establish relationships with local financial institutions and advisors, obtain a Florida safe deposit box, and transfer memberships to Florida and support Florida charitable causes. All of the foregoing items are not essential, but each has been considered as some evidence of a person's legal place of residence and domicile.


Review And Update Your Estate Planning Documents

You should consult with a local estate planning attorney to find out what effect, if any, this change has on the validity and operation of your present Will and other estate planning documents, and then promptly make whatever changes are necessary or advisable.

Additional Resources

Considerations in Becoming a Florida Resident

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