Proving where you live might seem like a strange idea. After all, you can take someone to your home or send pictures at the touch of a button. However, large service-providing organizations such as the DMV can’t scout locations individually or chase down evidence that people’s identities are valid. Anyone can take a picture of themselves anywhere. The solution is to have people bring the proof with them when they come in for ID cards and licenses.
Your address is deeply tied to your identity, where government and other official paperwork is concerned. Ensuring that you have the right person and know exactly where to find them is crucial because it helps prevent fraud. Equally important, tying your address and identity together helps guarantee you get the services and products meant for you. When the DMV asks you for a proof of residency letter, it is to help prove and protect your identity by making it harder for anyone to impersonate you.
What Is a DMV Proof of Residency Letter?
A DMV proof of residency letter or affidavit of residence is a form filled out by a third party to attest to where you live. While most DMVs are happy to accept other valid proofs, some people struggle to collect evidence of where they reside. For example, young drivers getting their first license often lack other adult evidence of their address because they have no accounts in their name and little to no official correspondence.
Of course, you don’t need to be a teenager to require a proof of residency letter. Some people do not have a bank account or other corroborating documents because they choose not to, have no need, or don’t qualify. Additionally, your DMV may require an affidavit even if you submitted the other proofs of address they requested.
Writing Your Own DMV Proof of Residency Letter
Although you cannot sign your affidavit as a third party, you can write your own proof of residency letter. There are a few essential elements you must include. You need to write your name and address. However, you also need to include the names of other residents, how long you have lived at the current residence and a statement that says the undersigned knows that they are subject to perjury laws if they swear to a false address.
Proof of Residency Letter Writing Tips
Using the correct language and ensuring all the information is present is only part of creating an affidavit. Below we’ve included some simple tips for making the best possible DMV proof of residency letter.
- Don’t hand write a letter of residency. Always type it and print out the unsigned form.
- Use clean white printer paper.
- Don’t include any fancy fonts or colors. This is a serious document that must be legibly printed in black ink.
- Similarly, choose a standard-size letter such as 10 or 11 with regular spacing. Don’t print tiny or overly large.
- The reader should instantly know what they are looking at and recognize it as an official-looking document.
- Skip any unnecessary information or opinions. Your residence affidavit should only have the data the DMV needs and nothing more.
- Don’t sign alone. It’s best to have two witnesses and possibly a notary public to watch the document as it gets signed.
- It’s essential not to wrinkle your letter. Instead, tri-fold it and put it in a correctly sized envelope to keep it in good condition.
- You can include your other proofs of address in the same envelope. Typically you’ll need no more than a couple of other documents like your ID card, a utility bill, or even voter registration. Don’t include every kind of proof you can find. Instead, stick to just two or more as requested.
How to Write
A proof of residency letter is surprisingly easy to write when you know what to include. We’ll explain how to write your own and then offer a simple template so you don’t need to create a letter from scratch. The steps below describe where everything goes on your letter from top to bottom, so you don’t miss anything vital.
- Title- At the top of the page, in larger, bold print, it should say “Proof of Residency Letter.” You can also use Affidavit of Residency or other similar terms if your local DMV calls this form by another name.
- Name- You must print your full legal name as it appears on other corroborating documents.
- Address- Write your address just as you would for a letter, including city, state, and zip code. Don’t worry if you only know the first five digits of your zip code. The extra four aren’t necessary.
- Date- Include today’s date in MM/DD/YYYY or long-form.
- Opening Statement- This is a simple formal greeting such as “To: (Your City) DMV” or “To Whom It May Concern.”
- Body of Letter- The body of your letter should explain in brief sentences who you are, where you live, how long you have been there, and the names of other people who live with you.
- (Optional) Attachments- If you submit all your proof at once, then make a brief statement about anything else in the envelope.
- Oath- The oath affirms that the statements in the letter are accurate to the best of your knowledge and that you understand there is a legal consequence for falsifying official documents.
- Parting Statement- This generally comes in the form of “Sincerely, or Yours Truly,” followed by your name on the line below. However, in some cases, you can also use “Thank You for Your Time.”
- Signature and Date Lines- At the bottom, print each witness’ name and create a line for their signature and the date. Remember not to sign yet. Everyone who needs to witness the document has to be in the same room and watching as it gets endorsed.
DMV Proof of Residency Letter Template
The simple template below will show you what your proof of residency letter should look like. All you need to do is replace the generic terms with your correct information and print it out. This simple, professional format includes all the necessary details and leaves no room for interpretation or miscommunication.
DMV Proof of Residency Letter
Full legal name as it appears on other documents: Jane Maria Doe or John Q. Smith
Street Address: 123 N. Elm Street
City: Springfield State: Illinois
To Whom It May Concern,
I/We acknowledge that (your full name here) has been a resident of (your address here) since (Exact date you moved in). (Optional) (Full name here) lives with (full names of other people in the house, or titles like ‘his wife,’ ‘their children,’ or ‘her grandfather’ are also generally acceptable for family members).
Enclosed you will also find the following: (Name type(s) of evidence here, such as a utility bill or paystub from employer)
I/We affirm that the above is accurate and complete to the best of My/Our knowledge under penalty of perjury.
Witness: (Full name printed here) ___________
Witness: (Full name printed here) ___________
Whether you compose your own proof of residency letter or download our simple, free templates, it’s essential to include all the correct information. Make sure your name is spelled the same on every line, including the other forms of evidence you bring, and don’t forget to attach your other corroborating evidence when you submit your proof letter. Like other official agencies, the DMV has a list of what it considers acceptable evidence. If you weren’t given a printout or instructions, you should be able to find the requirements on their official website.