Establishing Florida Residency
You may be planning a move to Florida or buying a second home in the Sunshine State. If you want to establish your residency in our beautiful State, I hope you stay with me today for tips and things you’ll need to do when you get here.
Hey everyone, I’m Lisa Kelly Lakeland Homes and Lifestyles with Premier Realty.
Aside from being so excited about you becoming one of our newest residents, there’s some pretty important things we need to talk about when you go to establish residency in Florida.
Full disclosure here: I am a fully licensed Florida Realtor, Not an attorney or CPA. Some of the things I’ll be discussing today may be complicated, and I strongly suggest you get with a professional specializing in a few of the fields we’re doing to talk about.
However, at the end of this video, you’ll have a really good idea of what you’ll need to do, where to go and how to do properly establish your residency in Florida.
I’m also providing you a list of links so you can have them all in one place for easy access.
First, you are considered a resident when your permanent home is here.
Most people relocating from another state typically sold their other home and either purchased or is renting a home in Florida. In this case, you would just do all the routine things like changing your drivers licenses, voter registration card, enrolling your kids in school..Taking these types of actions show that you are going to be a permanent resident here.
Now , if you own another house in another state and want to keep your other house, BUT want to change your residency to the State of Florida, that’s where it can get tricky.
This is very common, especially if you own a second home here in Florida. Probably one of reasons why you bought this home is for the awesome tax benefits.
However, the state where your other home is located may not take kindly to losing your paid tax dollars either. In this case it’s recommended you contact an attorney to get the best advice based on your personal situation.
*You’ll need to file a Declaration of Domicile with the State and have it approved. There’s specific documentation you’ll have to show to prove you have the intent of stay here in Florida.
Again, please consult an attorney to make sure this is done properly.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about the things Most of you will need to do right away.
Yes, you have to go down the DMV. I know I know, everyone dreads going down there and sitting around waiting for your number to be called.
The good news is, you can make an appointment at your Counties Tax collectors office and kill several birds with one stone there.
Drivers License and Vehicle registration:
The key to making your appointments go smoothly is being prepared with all your necessary documents . And have More than necessary with you.
Once you arrive in Florida, you’ve got 30 days to get your Florida Drivers License.
When you get to the DMV, they’re going to ask you for a bunch of documents ..Like social security documents and proof of residency.
I put a link in the description that shows you what you’ll need to bring and examples.
Here’s the part most people don’t know.. In addition to all the documents they will ask you for, you’ll also need a primary identification document that is NOT your Out of State Drivers License.
Just bring your birth certificate or passport, and you’ll be fine.
Now lets talk about transferring your car title, vehicle registration and Tags.
If you’ve looked at the State websites, you’ll probably scratching your head. I too, find this website confusing.
Go to the Tax Collectors office of the county you are moving to in order make sure you bring the all the correct documentation.
If you own your car outright, transferring the title from one state to the State of Florida is quite simple.
However, if your car is financed in another state, you may or may not have to transfer the title over to Florida. It all depends on the state you’re coming from.
If you’re only of the lucky ones that has moved to Polk County, I put a link in the description for you. All the people down at our Tax Collectors office are very nice and very patient. They do this all the time and are happy to help you.
Again, just make sure you bring all your documentation, and you’ll sail right on through.
You’ll have 30 days to register your vehicle in the State of Florida once you arrive and you’ll have to show proof of Florida Car Insurance. So make sure you have that in place before your appointment.
I know this sounds like a lot to do, but like I mentioned before, you can take care of all this in one place. Yes, you’ll need to visit a couple of different windows, but it’s a whole bunch better than making several trips on different days.
Just plan on spending a couple of hours at the Tax Collectors office when you make your appointment, and you’ll have all of these tasks behind you.
Now let’s talk about Pet registration.
You must register all your pets with the State of Florida. You can get a Florida registration form from any local veterinarian.
Cats and Dogs over 4 months old must also have a pet license and have a current rabies vaccination.
Once your registration form is completed and their rabies shot recorded, you will get your pet license tags. By law, your pet is required to wear the tag to show proof of Florida license.
The costs vary from county to county, so check with the Animal Control in the county you’re moving to.
Next, lets talk about Homestead Exemption.
If you own a home in the State of Florida and you have established residency, you can then apply for a homestead exemption. This is super important because filing for a homestead exemption is going to give you a huge discount on the assessed value of your home.
Why is that so important?
Because you’re paying property taxes on the assessed amount. This is one of the many perks Florida residents enjoy!
Plus it caps the amount that the assesses value can go up every year by only 3%.
March 1st is the deadline to file for a homestead exemption. You only have to file once for your current home. If you sell that home and buy another primary residence, you’ll have to file for the new house.
You can even file on line. Go to your County’s Property Appraisers website or stop by the property appraiser's office. There is no charge for filing a homestead exemption.
Are you relocating to Florida because you retired?
When planning to retire to Florida, you’ll want to check out the Department of Elder Affairs website.
This website is very helpful.. You’ll find information on assisted living communities, Veteran Affairs and ton of other helpful information. There’s also a handbook they provide that gives loads of tips about moving to Florida as a Retiree.
And if considering relocating to Lakeland, check out a few videos I know you’ll enjoy.
Moving to another State may seem a little stressful at first. I hope this video relieves a little of that for you.
To make things a bit easier for you, I made a list off all the websites and resources talked about today. You’ll find a link to the Printable PDF in the description.
And if you’re just in the planning stage of your relocation journey, I have a ton of information I’ll be happy to share with you too. Comment below or private message me..I’d love to hear about your next chapter.