How to Write a Proof of Residence Letter

By Teo Spengler ; Updated June 19, 2017
Notary public stamping a document

Where you live can affect your rights to attend school, get a driver's license and even qualify for a library card. Some agencies or service providers may ask you to write a letter swearing that you live in a particular location, while others require additional documentation. If you make inaccurate statements under oath, you could face civil and criminal penalties.

Proof of Residency Requirement

Most states or counties limit social services to those who can prove they are residents. Even institutions open to all, like public colleges and universities, require out-of-state residents to pay higher tuition. Cities sometimes restrict urban treats like free days at the museum to city dwellers. However, the method you should use to prove residency varies depending on the person or agency requiring it.

Letters Proving Residency

You may be asked to provide a letter or affidavit proving residency to obtain certain local benefits, like allowing your children to attend public schools. In a residency letter, state your residence address, describe when you first occupied the residence, and swear that the information is true under penalty of perjury. In some cases, you need to sign the letter in front of a notary public.

Writing a Letter For Someone Else

You may be asked to write a residency letter for someone else. For example, if a family member arrives from out of state and is staying at your home, you might need to state facts to prove the person's residence. In this case, your letter should identify yourself, identify the name of the person living with you, state that the person is living at your home, provide your residency address and the date the person moved in with you. To close, swear under penalty of perjury that the facts you gave are true, then sign the letter.

Other Documents

Most of the time, you'll be asked to provide documents to prove residency. A current state driver's license or identity card proves state residence, but in many cases you can also use utility company bills, telephone statements, a residential rental agreement or lease contract, home ownership records, certified marriage certificate or property tax bills. A city library card may serve as proof that you live in that city, and sometimes all you need could be a letter from a government agency sent to you at a local address.

About the Author

Living in France and Northern California, Teo Spengler is an attorney, novelist and writer and has published thousands of articles about travel, gardening, business and law. Spengler holds a Master of Arts in creative writing from San Francisco State University and a Juris Doctor from UC Berkeley. She is currently a candidate for a Master of Fine Arts in fiction.