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How to Become a Resident of Florida in 10 Simple Steps

Florida is arguably one of the best states to live in. If you're not a Florida resident, you may consider moving here as there are numerous parks afforded with citizenship.

So, whether you want to avoid paying income tax or enjoy the breathtaking natural sites and great weather of the Sunshine State, you can become a legal Floridian in a few easy steps.

Admittedly, there's more to becoming a Floridian than just packing your bags and moving to the state. For example, you have to legally sever ties with the state you're leaving. Failure to follow the right procedure could leave you in legal trouble.

For example, the state you're leaving could still pursue you for income tax, even after you've moved to the Sunshine State.

Who is a Floridian?

Simply put, a Florida resident is a person with a true, fixed, and permanent home in the state. To gain citizenship, various actions must be first established.

These actions are backed and proven by documentation backing up your change of residency.

However, becoming a Floridian is more than just having an address in the state. For instance, to be considered a legitimate citizen of Florida, you're required to live in the state for at least six months of the year.

Some of the requirements you'll need when applying to become a Florida citizen include;

  • Means identification
  • Proof of residential address – this can either be registered as a Florida voter or Florida vehicle registration.
  • Proof of your birth of date – either a certificate of naturalization, a valid United States passport, or a certified US birth certificate
  • Proof of a social security number

While you may incur additional costs while sourcing for some of the above mentioned documents, the average application cost is about $200.

A step-by-step guide to becoming a legal Floridian

So, once you've decided to move to Florida and become a resident legally, you'll have to follow a few steps to establish your residency.

Below is exhaustive coverage of all the steps you'll need to become a Floridian.

Relocate to Florida

The first step to becoming a legitimate Floridian is moving to the state. Simply owning a second home in the Sunshine

State or spending a few of the colder months in the region will do little to convince your former state that you're now a permanent resident of Floria.

As you move to the state, obtain some form of documentation confirming the move and your new address.

File the Florida Declaration of Domicile

The next step in your bid to move to the Sunshine State is filling, signing, and filing the Florida declaration document of Domicile. This is a document that declares you are a bona fide or genuine resident of the state.

The document states that you live in the state and are a resident of the same, and you intend to maintain the residency permanently.

Obtain a Florida driving license

After filing the bonafide document, you should proceed to get a driver's license.

Not only does this document help you in the application process, but without a valid Floridian driving license, you might have a particularly difficult time in the application process.

Ideally, you should transfer your driving license to Florida within 30 days of establishing residence. If you don't drive, you should get a state-issued ID.

Additionally, if your car has a foreign state's lienholder, you should visit a motor vehicle service center to transfer the title to Florida.

Register as a Floridian voter

Having a Floridian home address makes you eligible to vote in state and local elections.

While registering as a voter is not a requirement in filing for residency, it can improve your chances of successful application.

Once you have registered as a voter, you should also try to vote in any upcoming elections.

Transfer your tax records to Florida

As a future resident of the Sunshine State, you're advised to pay your federal income taxes with your Floridian address.

Moreover, if you have income sourced from your previous state, you should file a nonresident income tax return in the state it is sourced from, especially if that former state has an individual income tax.

Other essential Florida residency requirements include;

  • Filing a sworn notice of residency through the clerk of the circuit court
  • Registering your pets with Floridian veterinarians
  • Getting a Florida health insurance plan
  • Moving your business to the state
  • Contacting your lawyer to update any estate planning documents to comply with Florida laws
  • Notifying the Social Security Administration of your move

Becoming a Florida resident essentially means severing most ties you still maintain with your former state. This includes social ties, the schools your children attend, and most club memberships. Fortunately, Florida has some of the leading learning institutions and social clubs.

So, if you do decide to move to the state and change your residency, you'll enjoy numerous benefits and perks of being a Floridian.

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