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How To Become A Florida Resident

Updated: Sep 7


How To Become A Florida Resident

Are you daydreaming about trading your snow boots for flip flops and making the move to join us in the Sunshine State? It's a thought that crossed many minds! Just consider this - in 2020 alone, Florida welcomed over 241,000 new residents.


The reasons varied from seeking out our beautifully warm climate to leveraging the benefits of having no state income tax. Whether it's the allure of sun-kissed beaches or financial factors pushing you towards Florida, we've got you covered with this comprehensive guide on how to establish residency here successfully.


So buckle up, as we unravel 'the where,' 'the why,' and most importantly, 'the how.'.


Key Takeaways


To become a resident, you need to initiate residency requirements, file the Florida Declaration of Domicile, establish a home in Florida, obtain a Florida driver's license, and register to vote in Florida.


Benefits of becoming a resident include tax advantages like no state income tax and asset protection through laws like the homestead exemption. You also gain access to various services and benefits, and enjoy the lifestyle benefits of living in the Sunshine State.


If you're interested in buying a home in Miami but don't have enough money saved for a down payment, consider the FHA Zero Down Financing Program which offers options with no down payment required.



Quick Navigation - Click the link below to jump to that section..

  1. Move to Florida and Steps to Establish Florida Residency

  2. Benefits of Becoming a Florida Resident

  3. Financing Your Home in Florida: Understanding FHA Zero Down Financing Program

  4. How to Qualify for an FHA Loan in Miami

  5. Condo Loans in Florida: What You Need to Know

  6. Common Questions and Answers about Becoming a Florida Resident

  7. Conclusion

  8. FAQ's




Move to Florida and Steps to Establish Florida Residency

Move to Florida and Steps to Establish Florida Residency

To establish Florida residency, you need to initiate residency requirements, file the Florida Declaration of Domicile, establish a home in Florida, obtain a Florida driver's license, and register to vote in Florida.


Initiating Residency Requirements


Let's begin the journey of becoming a resident. Here are the steps to kick off our move:


We plan our move on paper first. It is best to have a clear idea of where we want to stay in the state.


We must spend most of our time in Florida for income tax benefits. The law requires us to be physically present here more than anywhere else.


For asset safety, the law doesn't count how much time we stay in Florida. But it asks us to prove that we want to keep our main house here.


Filing for a 'Declaration of Domicile' helps make this clear, especially if we live in two states or stay in Florida for over four months at a stretch.


Once we know that we will be living in Florida, it's important to get a driver's license or ID from Florida within ten days.


If we have any serious problems with the law during probation, it is good to talk with a lawyer because U.S citizens need five years of good moral character proof.



Filing the Florida Declaration of Domicile


We will guide you on filing the Florida Declaration of Domicile. This is a vital step in becoming a resident.


Get the declaration form from the circuit court.


Fill out the form with your exact Florida address.


Provide proof that you live in Florida.


Show that you plan to stay in Florida for good.


File this form at the records of the county where your home is.


Pay a small fee for filing.



Establishing a Home in Florida


We move on to the next step - finding a home in Florida. You need to choose a place that will become your permanent home in this sunshine state. Buy or rent a house or flat here. The address of this place is very important.


It proves you live in Florida now, not in another state. Wait! Here's an extra tip for you: file for the Florida homestead exemption if you buy a house here. This can shield your home from some types of taxes and debts, up to certain limits on size.


Obtaining a Florida Driver's License


To become a resident, one important step is obtaining a Florida driver's license. Here are some key points to know:


You must get a Florida driver's license or ID within 10 days of becoming a resident.


To apply for a driver's license, you need to visit your local Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles office.


Bring documents such as proof of identification, proof of Social Security number, and proof of residential address.


Non - US citizens may need additional documentation, such as proof of legal presence in the United States.


You may be required to pass a vision test and a written knowledge test.


A fee is usually required for obtaining a Florida driver's license.



Registering to Vote in Florida


To become a resident, you need to register to vote in Florida. Here are the steps:


Fill out a voter registration application: You can get the application online or at your local Supervisor of Elections office.


Provide the required documents: You will need to provide proof of your identity and residence. Accepted documents include a Florida driver's license, Florida ID card, or utility bill with your name and Florida address.


Submit your application: Once you have completed the application and gathered the necessary documents, submit them to your local Supervisor of Elections office either in person or by mail.


Wait for confirmation: After submitting your application, wait for confirmation that you are registered to vote in Florida. This confirmation will be sent to the address you provided on the application.


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Benefits of Becoming a Florida Resident

Benefits of Becoming a Florida Resident

Becoming a resident comes with numerous benefits, including tax advantages, asset protection, access to Florida services and benefits, and lifestyle benefits. To read a more in-depth look into the top reasons people move to Florida, read our blog post title: Reasons To Move To Florida: A Guide


Tax advantages


As residents, there are several tax advantages that you can enjoy. First and foremost, Florida does not have a state income tax, which means you won't have to pay taxes on your personal income.


Additionally, Florida also does not impose an inheritance tax, allowing you to pass down your assets without incurring additional taxes. Another benefit is the homestead exemption, which protects your primary residence from being forced to be sold by creditors.


This exemption has no dollar limit, although there are acreage restrictions. Lastly, if you're married and own property jointly as tenants by entireties, all of your shared property is protected from creditors of a single spouse.


Asset protection


One of the benefits of becoming a resident is asset protection. Florida has specific laws in place to protect your assets, including the homestead exemption and tenants by entireties ownership.


The homestead exemption safeguards your primary residence from being sold by a judgment creditor, while tenants by entireties ownership can shield all types of property owned by a married couple from creditors of a single spouse.


By becoming a resident, you can take advantage of these asset protection measures and potentially avoid state income tax and inheritance tax. It's important to note that filing a Declaration of Domicile is recommended as it provides proof of your intent to make Florida your permanent home.


Access to Florida services and benefits


As a resident, you gain access to various services and benefits that can greatly enhance your lifestyle. One major advantage is the absence of state income tax in Florida, which means more money in your pocket.


Additionally, there is no inheritance tax, allowing you to pass on your assets without facing additional financial burdens. The state's asset protection laws are also favorable for residents, with benefits like the homestead exemption and tenants by entireties ownership.


These provisions can help safeguard your property from creditors and legal disputes. By establishing residency in Florida and filing a Declaration of Domicile, especially if you split time between two states or spend significant periods here, you can fully enjoy these services and benefits as an official Floridian resident.


Lifestyle benefits


Becoming a Florida resident comes with several lifestyle benefits. One of the biggest advantages is that Florida does not have state income tax, which means more money stays in your pocket.


Additionally, Florida also does not have an inheritance tax, allowing you to leave assets to your loved ones without worrying about hefty taxes. Moreover, the state has strong asset protection laws that can safeguard your property from creditors.


The Florida homestead exemption protects your primary residence from being forced to be sold by creditors, ensuring that you can keep your home. If you're married and own property together, the tenants by entireties ownership provides further protection against individual creditor claims.



Financing Your Home in Florida: Understanding FHA Zero Down Financing Program

Financing Your Home in Florida: Understanding FHA Zero Down Financing Program

The FHA Zero Down Financing Program is a great option for homebuyers in Florida who may not have enough money saved for a down payment. This program, administered by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), offers financing options with no down payment required.


That means you can finance up to 96.5% of the purchase price of your home through this program.


One of the main benefits of this program is that it is specifically designed to assist first-time homebuyers and individuals with low to moderate income levels. The FHA has more flexible credit score requirements compared to conventional mortgage loans, making it easier for people with lower credit scores to qualify.


Of course, there are still eligibility requirements that need to be met, such as meeting minimum credit score and debt-to-income ratio criteria.


If you're thinking about buying a home in Florida but don't have enough money saved for a down payment, the FHA Zero Down Financing Program could be the solution you're looking for.


It's important to do your research and speak with a knowledgeable mortgage lender who can guide you through the process and help determine if you qualify for this program.



How to Qualify for an FHA Loan in Miami


If you want to qualify for an FHA loan in Miami, there are a few things you need to know. First, your credit score should generally be at least 580. It's also important to have a steady employment history and enough income to cover the mortgage payments.


Your debt-to-income ratio should be below 43%, however, the DTI can go up to 56.99% in most cases. Keep in mind that FHA loans require mortgage insurance, which includes upfront and annual premiums.


To apply for an FHA loan in Miami, you'll need to provide certain documentation. This includes pay stubs, tax returns, and bank statements that show your financial stability. Additionally, the property you're purchasing must meet specific requirements such as being in good condition and meeting minimum property standards.


These factors play a role in determining whether or not you qualify for an FHA loan in Miami. By understanding these requirements and providing the necessary documentation, you can increase your chances of securing this type of financing for your home purchase.


Condo Loans in Florida: What You Need to Know


If you're considering buying a condo in Florida, it's important to understand the loan options available to you. Condo loans in Florida are a little different from traditional home loans because they involve shared ownership of the property.


One thing you need to know is that many lenders have stricter requirements for condo loans compared to single-family homes. They may require a higher credit score and a larger down payment.


Another important factor is the financial health of the condominium association. Lenders want to make sure that the association has enough reserve funds and insurance coverage to maintain the property properly.


So before applying for a condo loan, make sure you do your research on the lender's requirements as well as what's expected from the condominium association.



Common Questions and Answers about Becoming a Florida Resident


Can you be a resident of two states? How long does it take to establish residency in Florida for tax purposes? What documents are needed to become a resident? Find the answers to these questions and more by reading our comprehensive guide on becoming a resident.


Can you be a resident of two states?


Yes, it is possible to be a resident of two states. However, when it comes to establishing residency for tax purposes or benefits, you generally need to have a primary residence in one state.


For example, if you spend most of your time and have significant ties with Florida, you can establish residency there and become a resident. Keep in mind that each state has its own rules and requirements for determining residence, so it's important to familiarize yourself with the specific guidelines of both states involved.


How long does it take to establish residency in Florida for tax purposes?


To establish residence in Florida for tax purposes, it's important to spend most of the year physically present in the state. There is no set time frame or waiting period specified by law.


However, it's recommended to spend at least 183 days in Florida and demonstrate intent to make it your primary residence. This can be done by obtaining a Florida driver's license, registering to vote in Florida, filing a Declaration of Domicile, and changing your passport address.


Remember that each individual situation may vary, so consult with a professional for personalized advice.


What documents are needed to become a resident?


To become a resident, you will need to provide certain documents. These include:


Proof of physical presence in Florida, such as utility bills or lease agreement

Florida driver's license or ID card within 10 days of becoming a resident

Social Security card or proof of eligibility to obtain one

Proof of voter registration in Florida

Car insurance policy from a Florida provider if you own a vehicle

Bank statements and other financial records showing your Florida address


Is there a waiting period to become a resident?


There is no waiting period to become a resident. Unlike some other states, Florida does not have a specific timeframe or waiting period for establishing residence. However, it is recommended to file a Declaration of Domicile if you live in two different states or spend more than four continuous months in Florida.


This document helps provide legal proof of your intent to make Florida your permanent home. It's important to note that even without a waiting period, certain actions should be taken within a specific timeframe when becoming a resident, such as obtaining a Florida driver's license or registering out-of-state cars in Florida within 10 days of becoming a resident.


Can moving to Florida be considered a fraudulent transfer?


Moving to Florida can be considered a fraudulent transfer under certain circumstances. Fraudulent transfer refers to the act of purposely transferring assets or property in an attempt to avoid paying debts or legal obligations.


If someone moves to Florida with the intention of hiding assets from creditors, it could be seen as fraudulent. However, simply relocating to Florida for legitimate reasons, like becoming a resident and taking advantage of tax benefits or asset protection laws, would not typically be considered fraudulent.


It's important to understand that each case is unique and will depend on individual circumstances and intent.



Conclusion

Conclusion

Becoming a resident has its perks, from tax advantages to asset protection and access to various services. By following the steps outlined in this guide, such as filing the Florida Declaration of Domicile and obtaining a Florida driver's license, you can establish your residenc in the Sunshine State.


Take advantage of these benefits and start enjoying the Florida lifestyle!


Additional Resources for Establishing Your New Florida Life


If you're considering becoming a new Florida resident, it's essential to be well-informed about the various aspects that come into play. From Florida law to Florida domicile, understanding the nuances can make your transition smoother.


Florida Residency Guide: A comprehensive guide can help you along the way, outlining all the Florida residency requirements.


10 Days of Establishing Residency: Did you know that some benefits kick in within just 10 days of establishing residency in Florida? This is especially crucial if you plan to be a resident of Florida for the long term.


Florida Home and Homestead: If you own a home here, you can apply for the Florida homestead property benefits. This is a significant step in confirming your Florida residence.


Previous State Ties: Make sure to sever your ties with your former state to establish a legal domicile in Florida. This will make you a Florida resident in the eyes of the law.


Getting a Florida Drivers License: Transferring your driver’s license to Florida is one of the first steps you should take. Florida requires this for various legal processes, and it's essential for state residency. This is often the first thing people do when they are getting a Florida driver's license.


Florida County Specifics: Each Florida county may have its own set of rules that make you eligible for state benefits. This is particularly important if you've been in Florida for at least a certain period.


Insurance in Florida: If you plan to sell insurance in Florida, be aware of the state-specific requirements. This is vital if you're transferring your address in Florida.


Financial Benefits: One of the perks of living here is that Florida has no income tax. Make sure all your mail is sent to your Florida address to confirm your residency status. This is possible with the state's tax benefits.


30 Days of Establishing Residency: Some benefits and requirements come into effect within 30 days of establishing residency. This includes the need to transfer the title to Florida if you own a vehicle.


Declare Residency: The state allows you to declare residency after fulfilling certain conditions, which determines what state you legally belong to.


Establish a New Residence: It's not just about moving; it's about establishing a new residence in the state.


By taking the right steps, you can enjoy all the benefits that come with being a resident of this beautiful state. Whether it's Florida insurance options or Florida homestead property benefits, the Sunshine State has a lot to offer. This guide aims to help you along the way as you establish a new residence in the state.


Feel free to reach out to professionals who can assist you in navigating the complexities of Florida residency. The possibilities are endless and possible with the state of Florida.



FAQs


How can I officially become a Florida resident?


To officially become a resident, you need to obtain a residence in Florida and declare residence by filing a Florida declaration of domicile.


What must I do after moving to the state of Florida?


After you move to florida, within 10 days of establishing residence, it is required to get a valid florida driver's license too. Also, transfer the title for your car and insurance to Florida.


Do I have any benefits as a permanent resident in Florida?


Yes! When you are accepted as an official Permanent florida resident, you may be eligible for state programs and benefits like lower property tax due to the application for the florida homestead exemption.


Will becoming a new 'Florida domiciled' affect my income taxes?


Good news! As per florida law, it has no income taxes; hence switching your legal domicile might help save money on state and federal tax.


Can I keep ties with my former state when residing in florida?


According to the requirements established under florida statutes for declaring domicile in flordia; convincing your former state that they are not your main place of living anymore becomes crucial!


What about estate tax if person resides there permanently?


There is good news again! The State of Florida does not apply estate or death tax even if one establishes their house or property as permanent residence.




 

Philip Bennett

Philip Bennett


Philip is the owner and Licensed Mortgage Broker at Bennett Capital Partners, Bus. NMLS # 2046828. He earned his degree in Accounting and Finance from Binghamton University and holds a Master's Degree in Finance from NOVA Southeastern University. With more than 20 years of experience, Philip has been a leader in the mortgage industry. He has personally originated over $2 billion in residential and commercial mortgages.


Learn more about Philip Bennett's background and experience on our Founder's page. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned real estate investor, our team is here to help you achieve your real estate goals. Don't wait any longer, contact us today and let us help you find the right mortgage for your needs.


Discover helpful tips and tricks on mortgages by reading our blog posts


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