How Do I Get New Jersey Residency?

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In New Jersey, a person typically becomes a state resident by establishing a permanent residence in the state for over a year. The New Jersey Department of the Treasury considers multiple factors when determining a person’s domicile, the place and state the individual considers their permanent home. These include:

  • Person’s intent.
  • Where they register to vote.
  • Driver’s license and vehicle registration.
  • Whether the person has family ties.
  • Whether the person’s federal tax return lists New Jersey as a home address.
  • Location of the person’s bank accounts.
  • Whether the person has claimed a homestead benefit.

How to Prove Residency

A person can prove their residency status in New Jersey by providing documentation of their permanent and primary residence. This must be the place where they intend to return to and remain in after having left for work or personal reasons, such as vacation, military leave, study at a university or a business assignment.

Although a person may have several residences, or places where they live, they only have one domicile. For example, New York, which neighbors New Jersey, provides that a person's domicile does not change until they can demonstrate with clear and convincing evidence that they have abandoned the New York domicile and established a new domicile outside New York State.

There is not typically an exemption to the rule against having two domiciles. A person can be a part-time resident of another state while having a domicile in New Jersey. They may be able to state that they are a full-time resident of New Jersey, as well as of another state, for tax purposes, depending on the rules of the other state. This could result in overpaying state taxes, however.

Resident for New Jersey Tax Purposes

The New Jersey Department of the Treasury usually considers a person to be a resident of New Jersey for tax purposes unless they:

  • Did not maintain a permanent home in New Jersey.
  • Maintained a permanent home outside New Jersey.
  • Did not spend more than 30 days in New Jersey.

If New Jersey is not a taxpayer’s permanent place of residence, the state will consider them a resident only if they maintain a permanent home and spend over 183 days in the state.

A person who changes their domicile during a tax year can be considered a resident for part of the year, a part-year resident; and a nonresident for the remainder of that year, a part-year nonresident. They must file both a part-year resident return and a part-year nonresident return for that tax year.

Reporting Income for Taxation Purposes

A New Jersey resident is subject to tax on their income from all sources, whether the income was earned inside or outside of New Jersey. Married or civil union couples filing jointly must report the incomes of both spouses, even if one member of the couple does not have a domicile in New Jersey.

A part-year resident must prorate all of their exemptions, deductions and credits. They must also prorate pension and other retirement income exclusions to reflect the time period stated in their return.

Filing Nonresident Income Tax Returns

A person who is not a permanent resident of New Jersey, but who receives income there, must file a nonresident tax return. For nonresidents, New Jersey’s income tax liability is based on the percentage of total income that comes from New Jersey.

The income section of the nonresident return has two columns, Column A, income from everywhere, and Column B, income from only New Jersey sources. A military officer is not required to include their military pay on their New Jersey nonresident return, in accordance with federal legislation.

Calculating Residency Periods

In order to calculate their period of residency, a person should show the beginning and ending dates of their residency period. If they were a resident for 15 days or more in any month, that month counts as a full month of residence.

For example, a person who was a resident from January 30 to July 28 would be a resident for six months. If a person was a nonresident from January 30 to July 28, they would be a nonresident for six months.

Residency for College Purposes

A New Jersey university, such as Rutgers University, has a state residency policy. Rutgers University’s policy is governed by New Jersey Administrative Code 9A:5, which states a person must be domiciled in the state for at least one year immediately prior to enrollment.

A person who has been domiciled within the state for less than 12 months prior to initial enrollment is presumed not to be domiciled in New Jersey for resident tuition purposes. A person who establishes a residence solely for the purpose of attending Rutgers University is not considered to have established a domicile for tuition purposes.

Legal Residency for Divorce

In order to get a divorce in New Jersey, at least one member of the couple must live in the state. Further, at least one member must have lived in the state for one year before filing for divorce. A person does not have to stay at the same address to fulfill their residency requirement. They can move anywhere in the state.

In an action for divorce, the petitioner, or person filing for divorce, should show proof of where they lived during the separation. The petitioner’s proof of residency is their complaint or testimony. The petitioner does not need to provide documents to prove their address.

New Jersey County or City Resident Card

A person can be a resident of a city or county, but not a resident of the state of New Jersey. Being a resident of a city or county typically involves living in a certain place, but it may not involve making that location the person’s permanent home. In order to get a city or county identification card, a person usually must:

  • Reside within the county or city.
  • Apply for a city or county ID card by appearing in person at the city or county clerk’s office.
  • Pay the fee for the ID card.

They must also present required documentation, including original copies of a valid birth certificate with a raised seal and file date.

  • Unexpired U.S. passport or naturalization certificate.
  • Valid resident alien card.
  • Example of the person’s signature.

Proof of a county or city address, such as a valid New Jersey driver’s license, non-driver’s state-issued ID or utility bill, credit card bill or bank statement addressed to the applicant and postmarked no more than three months prior to the application date is also required. A P.O. box address is not accepted.


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