Residency Requirements for Texas

By Jennifer Marlowe
Follow these steps to become a new Texas resident.
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Establish residency in the state of Texas by acquiring a Texas driver's license, place of residence and filing state income taxes. Enjoying certain benefits of being a Texan, however, require a little more effort. Out-of-state residents, for example, pay between $28,000 and $32,000 for a year's tuition and fees for the University of Texas as of September, 2010. Meanwhile, a Texas resident pays between $8,000 and $10,000 for the same year's tuition and fees. Texas universities and colleges only give this tuition break after accepting an applicant's proof of residency.

Driver's License

Attain a Texas Driver's License within 90 days after moving to the state of Texas if you are 16-years-old or older and wish to change your residency. Surrender a valid driver's license from your previous state at a local Texas Department of Motor Vehicle's (DMV) office. Valid driver's licenses from France, Canada and Germany are also accepted. Applicants for a Texas driver's license must fulfill all the same requirements as a new driver unless you present a valid out-of-state or out-of-country license. This out-of-state or out-of-country license allows a new resident to waive the written and driving examination. A vision test, however, is required for anyone requesting a new license. A person under the age of 18 must show a certificate indicating the successful completion of driver's education. In addition, the minor must have a parent or guardian present to sign an authorization form for the license. Any out-of-state license or permit must be surrendered to officials at the Texas DMV. Individuals under the age of 18 must pass a mandatory driver's test.

In-State Tuition

Live in the state of Texas for 12 consecutive months in order to receive residency tuition rates from Texas universities and colleges. If your parents claimed you as a dependent on out-of-state income taxes within the last 12 months, you are ineligible for resident status for tuition and fees. However, if you are an independent U.S. citizen with an established domicile in the state of Texas for 12 consecutive months, you may receive the lower tuition rates. Permanent residents may also pay these lower fees by obtaining a green card, known as Card I-551, or a I-551 stamp in a passport. Still, these applicants must also establish a domicile in the state, along with 12 months of consecutive residency in the state, prior to enrolling in the university or college.

Valid Proof

If your Texas residency is called into question, you can present certain documents as proof. For example, provide an employer's statement with signature showing your length of employment in Texas. A parent or guardian's income tax form, filed in Texas, showing you as a dependent within the last 12 months is also acceptable. You man also provide recent property tax receipts from , proof of a large down payment on a Texas property or a lease agreement on a Texas apartment as evidence. Homeless Texans may provide written statements from a legitimate Texas social service agency reporting the receipt of services for the past 12 months. Texas voter registration cards, credit reports showing a local address, valid Texas driver's license from the past year and state income tax forms also provide adequate proof of residency. University offices and government agencies requiring proof of residence also have residency questionnaires for applicants. These documents require a notary's signature.

About the Author

Jennifer Marlowe is a seasoned journalist with experience since 1994. As a former reporter and columnist, she has written for a variety of publications including "The Cleveland Plain Dealer," "Sew Simple Magazine," "Northern Ohio Live," "Ohio Game & Fish" and "The Country's Best Log Homes." Marlowe holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Akron.