I have been unable to find a definitive answer online and was hoping someone on here could help.

I currently live in RI with my parents and fiance. All of my documentation and hers have our RI addresses, hers with her parents, mine with mine. We are moving to MA, renting an apartment on a year lease. We both work in RI. We are planning to buy a house in the future in MA, just renting for now. Do we have to change our legal address to MA? And all the other paperwork?

I read a lot of this, but it is more so talking about temporarily moving and working in MA. Unless I missed something.

So to sum up, working in RI, moving to MA, not sure what paperwork I may need to fill out.

Thanks in advance.

2 Answers 2


Massachusetts require you to change the car registration, title, and insurance within 30 days of becoming a resident.

One argument for changing over is that your insurance company may not be thrilled if you are in an accident and they discover that 1) the car's "home" is not what is on the policy and 2) the amount you're driving has changed.

A possible exception is if your parents can still claim you as a dependent.

However, you say that the apartment is only temporary, but that's just a plan. A lot of things can happen in a year that may derail your current plans (job loss, break up, can't find a house, illness).

  • The confusing part is determining if I am in fact considered a resident. If I go strictly off of the 183 day rule, then yes. But there seem to be a lot of cases that don't share that. Feb 18, 2016 at 19:58
  • Do you really meet any of the other cases? Here's the tax page for "domicile" and "resident" for Massachusetts. To me the exceptions are for temporary relocations (student, patient, military).
    – mkennedy
    Feb 18, 2016 at 21:33
  • @banjokaboom the determination of residence for tax purposes and for the purpose of motor vehicle license and registration are not necessarily dependent on one another. In particular, motor vehicle departments don't typically have a 183-day rule.
    – phoog
    Feb 23, 2016 at 6:34

Those registrations must be in the state in which you reside. When you move to MA you will need to change everything. You will be a citizen of MA since you have no plan to return to RI in the short term. Also, if the state in which you work has state income tax you will be required to file an out-of-state income tax return (unless that rule is different in RI than in the states where I am familiar). Be sure to research all of these points. I'm giving my personal opinion, not legal advice.

  • The way I understood the link I posted above, all that should be where your domicile is. Technically, since an apartment is temporary, my domicile is still with my parents. Especially if I leave my registration and license with their address. In a year or so I'm going to have to redo everything when I move to a house? That doesn't seem to make sense. Feb 17, 2016 at 20:59
  • This is not a site for opinions. This is a site for facts, for cases, for explanations. Could you add citations? Don't tell others to "research" - that's not an answer in the slightest.
    – Zizouz212
    Feb 18, 2016 at 1:50
  • Your state of domicile is where to intend to return. You do not intend to return to your parents' home; you are now domiciled in the state of your apartment. Apartments are not temporary. Your tenancy may be, but as you have explained your situation, the state of your apartment is now your state of domicile. Why ask for help if you only want to argue? Best of luck. Feb 18, 2016 at 20:49
  • @banjokaboom how is an apartment temporary? Some people live their entire lives in rented accommodations, whether an apartment or a house. Some live in apartments they own, too.
    – phoog
    Feb 23, 2016 at 6:37

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