Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
benzaldehyde212

Changing state residency and becoming an independent adult

Recommended Posts

I'm getting ready to move out of state to go to grad school.  Because I will have to apply for residency in that state for tuition purposes, I'm assuming that means I am moving there "for real." My question is, what exactly does that mean?  Does this mean I will no longer be considered a dependent of my parents? And if I am not a dependent, am I required to have my own insurance (health insurance will be provided by my program, but I don't know about car insurance)? If I get my own car insurance, I guess that means I have to register my car in my new state? How do I make the change official--do I just start listing my "permanent address" as the place I will now be living? If I register to vote in my new state, does that mean I have to un-register (?) in my home state? Do I have to inform someone I'm leaving so I'm not contacted for jury duty back home? And how long do I have after I arrive to get all of this done? Any and all moving advice is welcome! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey there,

I am not moving for grad school, but my girlfriend just moved for a job in a new state and I helped her out with some of this stuff, so I'll tell you what you now.

As for the residency and dependency questions, it depends on the state requirements for residency and the health insurance plan. Usually you do have to be a dependent to stay on your parent's insurance, but not necessarily. Talk to them. You may even be able to have both health insurance plans, I know people who've had two and chosen which one to use based on the cost. Poke around on the school website to find out what you need to do to qualify for residency. I had to certify I wasn't a dependent of my parents even though I was going to a school in state my parents have lived in for 25 years and I have for my entire life, but the UNC system is notoriously weird about residency. 

You'll definitely have to both register your car and take out auto insurance in your new state, as you need an in-state auto insurance policy to register your car. As for registering your car, it's not too onerous, but generally you just have to go into the DMV, provide proof of residence and insurance, pay a fee, and take a written driving test. Again, requirements by state vary, so look on their DMV website.

As for voter registration, once again, it varies. Some states "require" you to let them know you registered in a different state to strike you from their rolls, but there's really no way to enforce that. If your name is struck, then you would not be able to be called for jury duty there. However, if you didn't have your name struck, you would no longer be eligible for jury duty as you are no longer a resident, so you'd just tell them that, and it would cease to be an issue.

Essentially, it's a lot of bureaucratic crap that seems more complicated than it is. Take it one thing at a time.I'd focus on the health insurance first, since healthcare is expensive and important. You probably have some time to figure out the residency issues, since I'm assuming the school only requires you to apply as soon as you're eligible, which in most cases takes a year.

Hope that helped!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, note that "residency" means a lot of different things depending on which organization you're talking to. For example, as an international student and non-American citizen, as far as tuition purposes go, I am a non-resident and I would pay the non-resident tuition rate. To the IRS, I am a non-resident alien for the first 5-6 years that I live in the US, afterwards, I will be a resident alien. For immigration purposes, my time as a foreign student is all non-resident and does not count towards a green card or anything. To the California DMV, I am a resident and must register my vehicle in California. So, as you can see, you would need to figure out which each authority considers a "resident". You can always contact the authority in question if you are unsure of your status.

But just to answer some of your questions:

Registering your car: Find out the laws in your new state and also your current state. I know some students that had to register in California, while others were able to keep their home state registration. Most students register in California though because California has pretty strict laws on what must be registered here. If you register in the new state, you should "de-register" in the old state. There may already be systems in place to make the transition smooth (I've only done this in Canada, not the US). Usually you can get a pro-rated refund for your registration in your old state.

Car insurance: This depends on your parents insurance company and whether or not they will let your parents have insurance for the car with you as the primary driver out of state. This might cost more than you just getting your own insurance. Also, you might want to get your own insurance so that you have insurance in your own name, which can help reduce insurance costs for you in the future. 

Making the change official / time limit: Usually, you just need proof of address in the new state before you can do any of this. If you have a lease in your new state, that is good enough. Typically the timelines for these changes are 10 days to 90 days after you move.

Voting: Like doubledyno said, it varies. I know a student who votes in their home state because California isn't a battleground state. I know another one who chose to switch to California so that they can vote in the state referendum (I'm told California has a weird system).

I agree that Health Insurance should be the primary concern and it looks like if you are taking the school plan, then you should be all set. You can decide whether or not to also stay on your parents' plan. Check to see if your parents plan allows you to be on their plan as secondary insurance (that is, if you have a claim, your school's insurance will be primary and then your parents plan may pay for any costs not covered by your school's plan). Talk with your parents to find out whether or not it's cost effective (usually, if they have to pay extra for you to be on their plan, then probably not, but if their work pays for their dependents too, then no reason to get off their plan).

Next, vehicle concerns should be the second priority. The DMV in California gives you 10 days to switch to a California Driver's License. I think 30 or 90 days to register your car. So it should be one of the first things you do. You should also make your car insurance decisions ASAP. If you plan to be with a company with physical offices, you can pick one out ahead of time and maybe even make an appointment for one of the first few days in your new state.

Basically, my recommendation is that in order to sort out this independent adult business (if that's what you want, since many things allow grad students to stay as dependents) then plan your move so you have a few days (maybe even a full work week) between arriving and whatever you must do first at the school. I've moved between Canadian provinces and to the United States and each time it's 2 or 3 days of bureaucracy and waiting in line for hours at a time. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm curious, why are you considering registering your car? At least for me, insurance is far cheaper on my parents' plan, and to the best of my knowledge you do not need to have your car registered in the same state in which you claim residency.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Pink Fuzzy Bunny said:

I'm curious, why are you considering registering your car? At least for me, insurance is far cheaper on my parents' plan, and to the best of my knowledge you do not need to have your car registered in the same state in which you claim residency.

If OP is going to a Public grad school it might be a requirement for in state residency and therefore in state tuition. Where I am going to grad school (UNC) we are strongly encouraged to apply for residency so we qualify for instate tuition or else we might have to foot the tuition bill ourselves. One of those requirements to apply (to my understanding) is that if we own a vehicle we need to change the registration from our home state to NC in order to qualify for in state tuition. I imagine that is a state by state or even school by school thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On July 22, 2016 at 10:47 PM, Pink Fuzzy Bunny said:

I'm curious, why are you considering registering your car? At least for me, insurance is far cheaper on my parents' plan, and to the best of my knowledge you do not need to have your car registered in the same state in which you claim residency.

Coincidentally, like doubledyno and EpiGirl2016, I am also going to UNC.  I'll find out exactly what I need to do about residency when I arrive, but as for changing insurance, I have younger siblings that are just starting to drive. It would help my family out financially if I get my own insurance, so I'll probably do that no matter what I have to do for residency/tuition purposes. 

Thanks for the advice!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, benzaldehyde212 said:

Coincidentally, like doubledyno and EpiGirl2016, I am also going to UNC.  I'll find out exactly what I need to do about residency when I arrive, but as for changing insurance, I have younger siblings that are just starting to drive. It would help my family out financially if I get my own insurance, so I'll probably do that no matter what I have to do for residency/tuition purposes. 

Thanks for the advice!

The requirements are very vague, I've done it for two UNC schools now. Essentially they want you to prove that you have made NC your permanent home and have maintained that for 12 months and, supposedly, that you aren't in NC just to attend school. However, in practice what they want to see is that you have a year-round residence in the state (aren't spending summers with your parents at home) so basically any standard year-long apartment lease can support that, you've registered your car in the state, you have an NC license, you have NC voter registration, and you pay state taxes (really the important one, seeing as it funds tuition). Regardless of whether or not you actually plan to stay in NC after your degree, that will qualify you for residency. I also knew people in undergrad who established residency, and then subleased their apartments and went home in the summer anyways - just don't tell the school you do that. They aren't going to check up on it.

More here: http://registrar.unc.edu/academic-services/residency/residency-classification/#require

I hope that saves you some time, I know how stressful moving and getting started with grad school is!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, doubledyno said:

I hope that saves you some time, I know how stressful moving and getting started with grad school is!

Thanks so much! I'm looking forward to starting, but there seems to be so much to do, and it's a little stressful. Hopefully it'll be easier than it seems!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, doubledyno said:

The requirements are very vague, I've done it for two UNC schools now. Essentially they want you to prove that you have made NC your permanent home and have maintained that for 12 months and, supposedly, that you aren't in NC just to attend school. However, in practice what they want to see is that you have a year-round residence in the state (aren't spending summers with your parents at home) so basically any standard year-long apartment lease can support that, you've registered your car in the state, you have an NC license, you have NC voter registration, and you pay state taxes (really the important one, seeing as it funds tuition). Regardless of whether or not you actually plan to stay in NC after your degree, that will qualify you for residency. I also knew people in undergrad who established residency, and then subleased their apartments and went home in the summer anyways - just don't tell the school you do that. They aren't going to check up on it.

More here: http://registrar.unc.edu/academic-services/residency/residency-classification/#require

I hope that saves you some time, I know how stressful moving and getting started with grad school is!

Thanks for the info! It did seem like a really confusing process. Who knew so many UNC grad students would pop up on this specific thread?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, benzaldehyde212 said:

Coincidentally, like doubledyno and EpiGirl2016, I am also going to UNC.  I'll find out exactly what I need to do about residency when I arrive, but as for changing insurance, I have younger siblings that are just starting to drive. It would help my family out financially if I get my own insurance, so I'll probably do that no matter what I have to do for residency/tuition purposes. 

Thanks for the advice!

I'm curious, why is it cheaper for your parents to have fewer individuals on their plan? I'm not questioning that, just wondering why since it may also be true for my family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.