Qualifications for Becoming a Mississippi State Resident

By Mary Jane Freeman
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Whether you are considered a Mississippi "resident" varies, depending on what you want to do. Different tasks require you to live in the state for different amounts of time first. For example, to file for divorce in Mississippi, you must have lived in the state for at least six months. On the other hand, you only need to live in the state 30 days to register to vote.

Driver's License and Registration

When you move to Mississippi, you will likely want to get your drivers lic'ense right away, and you will have to show proof of residency.You must provide two documents showing you are a state resident, such as a lease agreement, utility bill, state car tag receipt or bank statement. You'll also be required to complete an application, present appropriate identifying documents and pay a fee. You'll have 30 days to register your vehicle upon arriving in Mississippi, provided it was registered in your previous state. If you purchase a vehicle in the state, you have seven working days to register the vehicle, or nine days if it was purchased outside of your home county.

Divorce and Custody

If you're filing for divorce in Mississippi, you must first meet the state's residency requirement. This means you or your spouse must have lived in Mississippi for at least six months immediately prior to filing. This gives the court jurisdiction to hear and decide your case. If your children are also new residents to Mississippi, a Mississippi court cannot make any custody decisions concerning them until they reside in the state for at least six consecutive months.

School Enrollment

To enroll your minor child in a Mississippi school, you or her legal guardian must provide proof of your residence in the school district with at least two forms of documentation. Acceptable documents include a mortgage or property deed, lease agreement, voter precinct identification, vehicle registration, utility bill or driver's license. For a teen between 18 and 21 who wants to attend a Mississippi college or university and pay in-state tuition, residency will be determined by the residency of the father, the mother or the custodial parent or guardian. Anyone over 21 will be classified as a Mississippi resident after living in the state for 12 consecutive months. Acceptable proof of residency includes state tax returns or a state driver's license.

Voter Registration

To register to vote in Mississippi, you must complete a voter registration application at the office of either the Circuit Clerk or Municipal Clerk in your county or Department of Public Safety when you obtain your driver's license. You can also mail in the application. However, you won't be eligible to register until you have lived in Mississippi and the county where you plan to register for at least 30 days.