How Do I Get New Jersey Residency?

By Mary Jane Freeman ; Updated June 19, 2017
Newark, New Jersey Skyline

After moving to New Jersey, you'll need to establish residency to take part in many community activities. Stopping first at the Motor Vehicle Commission and getting a new driver's license will make things easier down the road. You can usually use your New Jersey license to prove your address and establish residency for other activities, such as registering to vote.

Driving and Voting

You don't have to reside in New Jersey for a certain amount of time to get a state driver's license. But you will need to prove your new address by presenting documents such as utility bills, a lease or bank documents. To register to vote in New Jersey, you must be a resident of your county for at least 30 days prior to election day. You can present your driver's license or the last four digits of your Social Security number to register, or present the same type of documents used to get a license.

In-State Tuition Requires 12 Months of Residency

If you plan to attend a public university and want to take advantage of the in-state tuition rate, you must live in the state for at least 12 months prior to enrolling and intend to remain there. To prove residence, you must present your driver's license, motor vehicle registration or voter registration plus three others forms of proof, such as income tax returns or proof of 12 months' employment.

Only Residents Can Work in Public Sector

To work in New Jersey's public sector, from government agencies to school boards, you must be a resident as required by the New Jersey First Act. This requires having your principal residence in the state, which means spending the majority of your non-working hours in New Jersey, having a domestic life rooted there and the state designated as your legal address. Employees must present documentation of their addresses or sign a certification of residency.

Divorce Requires 12 Months of Residency

If you plan to divorce after moving to New Jersey, you can only do so after you meet the state's residency requirement. If you're filing for a no-fault divorce based on irreconcilable differences, either you or your spouse must have lived in the state for at least 12 months immediately prior to filing. A driver's license, utility bills or bank documents can be used to establish residency.

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.