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My partner recently got a job in a neighboring state and will be moving there and asked me to move with her.

She leased an apartment in her name and added me in as an occupant but she's the "owner" of the lease and would be the one responsible for rent/bills etc. This is something we came to an agreement on due to some circumstances. It would only be a temporary move and after 3 years the contract for the job ends and we will move back to our home state

As for myself, I just put in for a transfer to another location my company has there and will transfer back to my original location when we move back. I don't believe I should have to go and change my state of residency, drivers license, car registration/plates, insurance etc) since I consider where I am now my permanent home. It's just a temporary relocation.

Legally, could I leave everything as is since the apartment "technically?" isn't mine (I'd just be staying there with her? She knows about this and is fine with it). I'd be filing my taxes as someone that commutes out of state to work and residing in their current home state etc.

Is there anything I'm missing/not aware of that would make this a bad idea?

Or is this a normal thing people do commonly and I'm overthinking it.

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  • What jurisdiction (country, province, state etc) is this?
    – Rick
    May 31 at 21:45
  • The USA, is knowing which states necessary? I'm just a little nervous talking about this it's my first time moving May 31 at 22:02
  • Knowing the state(s) involved may be relevant, but I'll leave that for other users to ponder.
    – Rick
    May 31 at 22:08

1 Answer 1

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I just put in for a transfer to another location my company has there and will transfer back to my original location when we move back. I don't believe I should have to go and change my state of residency, drivers license, car registration/plates, insurance etc) since I consider where I am now my permanent home. It's just a temporary relocation.

While this arguably works for the common law concept of domicile, as a practical matter, if you live someplace for the majority of a year, and often more than 30 days, you are considered to reside there. You should change your driver's license, car registration/plates, insurance, voter's registration, etc., unless there is an extremely compelling reason to do otherwise, and not just different tax rates and more bureaucratic inconvenience.

A planned three year stay doesn't cut it, especially, if you don't own a home or have a residential lease on a residence in the state you want to claim as your residence.

The main exceptions would be someone who is in an institutional setting, such as attending college residentially for nine months a year while supported by their parents, in a prison, or in military service, where different conventions sometimes apply.

Legally, could I leave everything as is since the apartment "technically?" isn't mine (I'd just be staying there with her?

No. Residency and who owns or leases the place where you are living are two entirely different things. The many people who don't have a lease or own a home are still residents of the places where they live. For that matter, even if you are not a citizen of the U.S., you can still be a resident of a particular state or locality.

I'd be filing my taxes as someone that commutes out of state to work and residing in their current home state etc.

Nope. For state income tax purposes, you reside in the state where you sleep a majority of the nights in a year. There are sometimes more complicated rules that apply to apportion income between states, but that is the strong general rule.

Is there anything I'm missing/not aware of that would make this a bad idea?

Or is this a normal thing people do commonly and I'm overthinking it.

This is a bad idea and not a normal thing that people do commonly.

At a minimum, it will leave you with bureaucratic tangles and at risk of serious state tax audits (which, reading between the lines, seems like the most plausible reason you are thinking about this approach). At worst, you could be exposed to liability for having improper tax payments and car insurance in place, and potential criminal liability for misrepresenting your residence. It might not end up coming to a head and being a problem, but the probability that it will is significant.

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  • I currently live in a home with my family May 31 at 22:29
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    @Technicalities Living at home with your family doesn't help you and not personally thinking that the law is a good idea is not a good reason for it not to apply.
    – ohwilleke
    May 31 at 22:41
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    @Technicalities First of all, "I might not get caught" is also not a good argument. Suppose you are in a car accident, and there is an investigation. Suppose you get a photo-radar or license toll, and notice is sent elsewhere. Suppose you are audited and the auditor looks at where you expenditures were made. Suppose you vote absentee from your current address, it is a close race, and you are investigated. Hard to say. Maybe you don't get caught. That doesn't mean it is legal.
    – ohwilleke
    May 31 at 22:49
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    "Is it legal" is one question, which has been answered well here. "How likely am I to get caught" is another question, and not likely to be reliably answered here.
    – bdb484
    Jun 1 at 2:37
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    I'll note also that some states are very aggressive about this sort of thing. Virginia, for instance, sends highway patrol out on details specifically to track how long cars have been in the state and whether they've been properly registered.
    – bdb484
    Jun 1 at 2:39

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