How to Establish Residence in North Carolina

By Mary Jane Freeman
Holding down a job in North Carolina can help prove your residency.

Ron Chapple studios/Hemera/Getty Images

Moving to North Carolina simply requires that you travel to the state and set up your home there. Generally, moving to a new state means that you plan to set up a permanent residence -- and typically do this by renting an apartment or purchasing a home, getting a state driver's license, registering to vote in the state, getting a job and paying state taxes. Certain state privileges, like paying a lower tuition rate to attend a state's public universities, require that you live in the state for a specified period of time.

Getting a Driver's License

If you plan to drive in North Carolina, you must get a license within 60 days of permanently relocating to the state. To get your new license, you must provide proof of your new North Carolina address such as with a lease agreement, utility or cable bill. You must also successfully complete knowledge, vision, traffic sign recognition and driving skills tests.

Registering to Vote

You must be a resident of North Carolina to vote in the state -- and register in the county where you live at least 30 days before the election in which you plan to vote. On the application, you must provide your home address in addition to your name, date of birth and citizenship status. You must send the completed form to the North Carolina State Board of Elections. Once received and approved, the BOE will mail you a voter registration card as proof of your registration.

Qualifying for In-State Tuition Rates

If you plan to study at a public North Carolina university and want to be eligible to receive the lower in-state tuition rate as a North Carolina resident, you must live in the state for at least 12 continuous months immediately preceding the first day of classes -- and North Carolina must be your permanent home, not just where you live while attending college. To establish this, the school will look at such factors as whether you filed state income tax returns, own property in the state and pay property taxes, have a North Carolina driver's license, own vehicles registered in North Carolina, registered to vote in the state, work in the state and have a North Carolina bank account.

Filing for Divorce

To divorce in North Carolina, you must also reside in the state for a certain amount of time. Immediately prior to filing a divorce petition, you or your spouse must have lived in North Carolina for at least six consecutive months. A North Carolina court has the authority to make decisions concerning your children, such as custody and child support, if the state is your children's home. Generally, this means that they have lived in the state for at least six consecutive months immediately prior to your request for custody or child support.

About the Author

Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.