Each state within the USA has its own standards for what counts as proof of residence. Floridians typically need to show at least one year’s worth of verifiable history living within the state to prove they live there full time. College and university students must show they worked, lived, went to school, or were otherwise present as contributing members of society for at least twelve consecutive months to be considered residents. The qualifying document types are specific and limited.
A Declaration of Domicile, also known as an affidavit of residence or proof of residency letter in Florida, is one way to show you’ve lived here long enough to qualify as a resident. We will explain everything you need to know about all about the various forms of documentation that Florida considers valid evidence of where you live.
What Counts as Proof of Residency in Florida?
The kinds of documents that count as proof of residency in FL vary slightly based on why and where you need to prove your residency. For example, the FL DMV has one set of standards, and applying for college or university has different requirements. Normally you can prove residency with official documents from any source that previously validated your address information, such as school records, utility bills, taxes, and voter registration. If you don’t have these, then cell phone bills, financial paperwork, proof of residency letters, and other forms of evidence must be obtained.
Residency Proof for DMV
Florida abides by the standards of the US Department of Homeland Security REAL ID Act of 2008. According to the FLHSMVD or Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Department, you need A Primary (acceptable form) ID, proof of your Social Security Number, and proof of address. Since address alone won’t get you a license, we’ve listed all the options below, so you know what to bring for each document type.
Valid U.S. passport or passport card
U.S. birth certificate
Consular Report of Birth Abroad
Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship
Social Security card (with the customer’s current name);
A printed W-2 form or pay stub (Nothing handwritten)
SSA-1099 or printed 1099
Deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet, or residential rental/lease agreement
Form DS2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) status
Florida voter registration card
Mail from financial institutions, federal, state, county, or city government agencies, or FDLE registration form completed by local sheriff’s department.
Florida vehicle registration or title
Automobile payment booklet
Current homeowner or automobile insurance policy or bill
Utility bill, hook up, or work order dated within 60 days prior to the application
Selective service card
Medical or health card with address listed
A letter from A homeless shelter, transitional service provider, or halfway house verifying they receive mail for the customer when accompanied by a Certification of Address.
Educational institution transcript forms for the current school year
A current, valid professional license issued by a government agency in the U.S.
W-2 form or 1099 form
OR people who do not have the above may provide 2 proofs of address from a person with whom they reside and a Certification of Address form.
Residency Proof for Taxation and Finance
Florida States Chapter 196 outlines what you need to prove your residence for your homestead exemption. You must have specific types of address proof to establish permanent residence because only permanent residents can have this type of exemption. Below are the ten acceptable forms of evidence.
- Proof of Residency Letter- A formal declaration of domicile by the applicant. This must be part of the public records of the county where the exemption is being sought.
- Utility Bills- Proof of payment for utilities at the property where you reside must be within the last 12 months.
- Kids School Registrations- You can include evidence of where the applicant’s dependent children are registered for school.
- Bank Statement- These should show where your bank statements and checking accounts are registered.
- License and Registration- A valid FL driver’s license or a license tag on a vehicle you own
- Your ID- A FL ID card and evidence of relinquishment of driver’s licenses from any other states.
- Proof of Employment- Documentation of the applicant’s place of employment, such as your business or professional license, pay stub, or W2.
- Taxes- A federal income tax return filed by the applicant with the current address listed
- Voter ID- This can be your voter info card or other official correspondence from the supervisor of elections providing proof of voter registration.
A proof of residency letter or Declaration of Domicile can help you prove where you live because it is accepted In most places, such as schools. Here are the most frequently asked questions from people who want to know more about proof of residency In Florida.
The short answer here is no. You need at least three documents, including primary, Social Security, and address proof, to get an in-state ID. The purpose of the Florida state ID is to show who lives In Florida, and you need proof of your address to qualify. Unfortunately, unhoused individuals and those who haven’t been in FL long enough to have this evidence struggle to get an ID or license. You can check the DMV website (https://www.flhsmv.gov/driver-licenses-id-cards/what-to-bring/u-s-citizen/) for more information on how to prove your residency for an ID card.
Going to school here does not automatically make you a Florida resident, even if you reside in FL for several years for classes. Students need to show that they didn’t just move for classes. Those who want in-state tuition may need to provide several years’ records. Here are some of the acceptable documents:
Primary to First Tier Proof: At least one of the documents you provide must come from this category.
ᐅ A GED is allowed when accompanied by multiple years of high school transcripts from a local school.
ᐅ Voter Registration Card
ᐅ Florida driver’s license, ID, or Vehicle registration
ᐅ Parental evidence of a permanent residence in FL. This may include a statement and copy of the lease or similar documents.
ᐅ Florida Homestead Exemption
ᐅ Proof of permanent full-time employment in Florida for at least 30 hours per week for the most recent and consecutive 12-month period.
Secondary or Second Tier Proof: You may include one of the following as additional evidence that you live in FL as a permanent resident
ᐅ A lease with receipts of no less than 12 months of rent paid
ᐅ A Declaration of Domicile that is sworn and subscribed as noted by the Clerk of Court. This is very similar to notarized letters of residency
ᐅ A professional or occupational license issued by FL
ᐅ Benefit history, such as award letters and other official correspondence from Florida public assistance programs and similar agencies.
ᐅ Utility bills with proof of 12 months of consecutive payments
ᐅ An official state, federal, or court document evidencing legal ties to Florida for the 12 months before enrollment.
Pro Tip: Some forms of proof your school might not accept can be submitted to other agencies, such as the DMV, where you can obtain an ID or A license. You can then use an ID, license, or other proof to show you are A resident without directly handing the ‘unacceptable’ evidence to the school. This method involves more steps, takes more time, and costs A few dollars. However, it is still preferable to pay out-of-state tuition if you are A resident of Florida.
Unfortunately, proving residency for school in Florida isn’t the easiest, especially for young people who don’t have jobs, utilities, or rental histories. Many other states and schools allow documents such as income taxes, bank statements, and cell phone bills. Florida schools do not. Here are sixteen options that may be permitted In other places but cannot get you into college or university In Florida:
ᐅ Birth certificate
ᐅ Bank statements
ᐅ Cell phone bills
ᐅ Concealed weapons permit
ᐅ Credit card bills
ᐅ Fishing License
ᐅ High School Student ID
ᐅ Hunting permit
ᐅ Library card
ᐅ Medical bills or doctor’s notes
ᐅ Personal mail
ᐅ Social Security card
ᐅ Shopping club/rental cards
ᐅ Tax returns
ᐅ A boat or recreational vehicle registration
Like most other US states, Florida offers plenty of ways to prove residency. You may want to check the requirements for each type of proof. Schools, In particular, accept some unusual proofs like an occupational license and exclude A few commonly used documents like taxes. Fortunately, it’s usually pretty straightforward, with so many choices and varying ways to obtain the necessary evidence.