How Long Before Becoming A Resident In Texas

The time needed to live in Texas will vary depending on the purpose. Ideally, being a resident of Texas may require living in the state for as much as 30 days, as it’s a requirement in many cases.

However, if you’re applying for a commercial driver’s license, the 30-day requirement will be waived, so you’ll need zero days to establish residency.

If you want to learn more about the process of establishing a residency in Texas and the time requirements for every purpose, keep reading this guide!

Downtown Skyline Of Austin Texas In Usa. - Texas View
Downtown Skyline Of Austin Texas In Usa. - Texas View

How Long Do You Have to Live in Texas to Be a Resident

According to the Texas Department of Safety, the time requirement for being a resident of Texas is generally 30 days. The reason is that you need to present certain documents as proof of residency to the state before being declared a resident, and one of these documents must show that you’ve been in the state for 30 days.

However, the time needed to become a resident of Texas isn’t always 30 days, as different purposes may require different paperwork and, therefore, can take longer or shorter than 30 days.

What counts as proof of residence in Texas?

Our state is pretty flexible regarding proof of residence, as a huge list of documents counts as legal proof that you’re a resident here. The most popular ones are any valid registration card of any controlled belonging, such as a motor vehicle, a boat, deeds, mortgage, lease agreements, etc.

The documents must include the applicant’s name and an address in the state. You can check out the Texas Department of Safety list to find out more about eligible documents. Ideally, you need two printed documents (not photocopied) from the list, where one of them verifies the 30-day requirement if needed.

Can I be a resident of two states at the same time?

The simple answer to this question is yes. Since residency and domicile are two different things, this is legally possible. However, if you have been staying in a different state for purposes like work for more than 184 days, you can be a resident of both your home and work states.

That said, whenever legally possible, you should avoid filing as a resident in two states simultaneously. Both states have the right to tax your income according to their income tax rules, regardless of where you earned money. In other words, you’ll be taxed twice for the same money.

Aerial View Residential Neighborhood In Sunny Autumn Day With Colorful Fall Foliage. Top Of New Development Subdivision With Row Of Single Family House Large Backyard And Bright Orange Color Leaves - Texas View
Aerial View Residential Neighborhood In Sunny Autumn Day With Colorful Fall Foliage. Top Of New Development Subdivision With Row Of Single Family House Large Backyard And Bright Orange Color Leaves - Texas View

Time Requirements for Different Residency Purposes

As previously mentioned, the purpose of residency can impact the time requirement, so here’s a quick look at some of the popular purposes and how long you need to live in Texas for it:

Voting

Voting is an interesting case because you’ll need to fulfill the residency requirements and register to vote. To register to vote, you don’t have to prove that you have lived in that area. Instead, you only need to register in the county where you plan to vote.

to become an eligible voter in Texas, you need to register as a voter in the county you live in at least 30 days before an election. As a result, you must live at least 30 days in that county you’re voting in to be eligible for registration.

ID and Driver’s License

If you want to issue a Texas ID or driver’s license, you’ll need to live in the state for at least 30 days. The reason here is that you’ll need to submit any two documents from the eligible list, and both of them must show an address in Texas.

However, some exceptions will waive the 30-day requirement, allowing you to become a resident on the same day you arrive, such as:

  • If you’re obtaining a commercial driver’s license
  • If you’re giving up a valid (unexpired) ID or driver’s license from another state in exchange for a Texas one.

However, even in those situations, you must submit proof of residency or complete a Texas residency affidavit form.

How to Establish Residency in Texas

To establish residency in Texas, you’ll have to do the following:

  1. First, you’ll need to move here and establish a living address somewhere in the state, whether by purchasing or renting. The important aspect is to have your name on the document
  2. Adjust your records to your new address in Texas.
  3. Submit two printed documents that have your name and new address showing. You should then be able to issue a Texas ID and driver’s license afterward.

Texas Residence FAQs

Are residence and domicile the same thing?

No, domicile is defined as your “legal address”. It’s the place where you have your permanent home and where you also pay your taxes. On the other hand, residence can be a part-time thing.

Can you establish a residency in Texas while being claimed as a dependent in another state?

An individual claimed as a dependent in a state other than Texas on a Federal tax return will be listed based on the other state. As a result, you won’t be able to establish residency here, so you must keep that in mind if you’re a student filing for Texas residency to become eligible for in-state university tuition.

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