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Do I need to change my driver license and license plate?

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by laserbeam, 04.23.12.

  1. laserbeam

    laserbeam

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    Hey, everyone,
    I am moving to another for residency and I just shipped my car there. Do I need to change my driver license and register my car there? The law defines a resident as a person who lives in that state with the intent to make that state a "fixed and permanent" place to live. My residency contract is renewed yearly and my child will attend school in my home state. So the new place do not seem to be a "fixed and permanent" place for me live. I want to save the trouble of going through all the DMV processes. Anybody know? Thanks.
  2. Dumb

    Dumb USMLE Tutor - PM me for info

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    I believe the rule is that your license must be changed after 30 days of living in another state.
  3. laserbeam

    laserbeam

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    One should change his/her driver license within 30 days of becoming a resident in that state. To become a resident there, a person needs to have the intent to make that state a "fixed and permanent" place to live. So, technically, within 30 days of having that intent, the person is supposed to change driver license.
  4. BADMD

    BADMD

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    You will be earning all your money in that state and spend the vast majority of your time in that state, while simultaneously not maintaining a residence somewhere else. You will, most likely live there for at least 3 years. While you can try to maintain that you live somewhere else, realistically you are a resident of the state.

    More practically, if you lose your drivers license, need to buy a car or a host of other state controlled activities, you find not having adopted your new state as your place of residency more difficult. A co-resident of mine found this out the hard way when her purse was stolen and she had get a new license.
  5. Droopy Snoopy

    Droopy Snoopy

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    Getting summoned to jury duty in your old state would be a bummer, too. Yeah OP you're going to pay taxes and otherwise be a resident of your new state, highly recommend mitigating the potential for major inconveniences down the line by putting up with a couple of small inconveniences now.
  6. HondoCrouch

    HondoCrouch

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    If you are only there for training and have no intent on making it your permanent residence then you do not have to change your drivers license or registration.
  7. Dumb

    Dumb USMLE Tutor - PM me for info

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    Right and the more common reason: simply getting a traffic ticket. Or even a minor car accident. I'm going to live in another state for a year and although it seems a tad annoying to change it, it may be best for peace of mind. No need to create more problems during what should be an already stressful year.
  8. Socrates25

    Socrates25

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    If you get pulled over by a cop, I recommend you lie to them about how long you have been living in the state. In some states, they can write you a ticket if you live in a state for a certain period of time yet have not changed teh license/tags.

    I know this because it happened to me. I told the cop I'd been in-state for 3 months. ****in bastard pig.
  9. 45408

    45408 aw buddy

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    I recommend NOT lying to law enforcement. Do so at your own (significant) risk.
  10. danielmd06

    danielmd06 Neurosomnologist

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    I'll echo what everyone else has said. It's annoying, but you need to go ahead and change your car tag and get a new driver's license.
  11. laserbeam

    laserbeam

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    Thank you all for above advice and opinions. This is the first time for me to post here. I appreciate your kindness.
    It looks like it is safer to change license and registration. So I think I will do it.
  12. wannabeOBGYN

    wannabeOBGYN

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    I lived out of state for medical school, in two different states, and never changed anything. That being said, I kept my home address as my permanent mailing address. I never had any issues. I did get pulled over once but I told the cop I'd only been there a short while for medical school and he didn't say anything else. I never got into an accident or lost my wallet, etc., so I cannot speak for those experiences, but otherwise I don't see the big deal. That being said, I will probably change everything over for residency since it'll be a solid four years in one location.
  13. southernIM

    southernIM

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    My recommendation would be, if you are going to get it changed, do it ASAP, before your residency actually starts. I was lazy and my old license expired halfway through intern year. Finding time to go to the DMV post call was NOT fun.
  14. 45408

    45408 aw buddy

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    It was quite painless for me. The DMV was <1 mile away from my house, took about 15 minutes, and they even re-took my picture when I realized I had cocked my head off to the side the way I always do...

    Plus, post-call = middle of everyone else's work day, so it's as quiet as it's going to get.
  15. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky

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    When you move to a new state, the local state laws typically dictate a certain time period in which you have to establish your domicile there, meaning get your driver's license, car registration...basically anything that will collect money for the state.

    Simply having the intent to return to a different state is not sufficient except in certain cases, like you're active duty military or you're a student in that state for the explicit purpose of attending a school. To my knowledge, no exception exists for completing GME, but if you really feel strongly about keeping your old license and registration, then you could check on it. I would imagine that it would be a tough sell, however, since residency is a job, so you're not considered a student, and your institution will blink at you if you tell them to withhold state income taxes to another state.

    There are two risky pathways here:
    A) Keep your old driver's license, car registration, etc., but maintain your home and pay income tax in your new state. This is essentially playing both sides of the fence. As others have pointed out, it will probably only become an issue if you're pulled over on an unrelated offense.
    B) Try to keep everything in your old state, to include maintaining an address and paying state income tax there. This is definitely not the path of least resistance, and it may not even be legal. In which case, you run the risk that the state where your training is located will eventually come knocking for its state income tax, wondering why you've been there for so long without paying.

    Honestly, we're talking about such a small amount of income that it's unlikely anyone will notice. Of course, we tend to be risk-adverse people, so - as already pointed out - the only safe path is to simply switch everything to the state of your training program. Then be prepared to do it all over again when you're done.
  16. Swisych

    Swisych

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  17. aProgDirector

    aProgDirector Pastafarians Unite! Moderator SDN Advisor

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    One thing not mentioned is that, should you not change your license/reg and get in an accident, you may discover that your insurance is invalid. Insurance rates are set by where the car is registered. It's insurance fraud to not reregister your car. Imagine getting into an accident, injuring someone, and then having no insurance. Not good.
  18. michaelrack

    michaelrack All In at the wrong time SDN Advisor

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    where you live has nothing to do with state income taxes. Income taxes are paid to the state where you earned the income. I live in Memphis TN but pay MS income taxes since I work in northern mississippi (this sucks for me since TN doesn't have an income tax but does have high property taxes)
  19. McGillGrad

    McGillGrad Building Mind and Body

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    As a student, you are in a different category. Your experience does not apply to the OP.
  20. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky

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    Well, I wouldn't say that it has nothing to do with it. Exceptions exist.

    I get your point though, and I should have clarified that if you're maintaining your domicile in your old state, then you simply cannot forego submitting a state tax return in that state just because you're paying taxes in your (new) state of employment. If a state discovers you've been a resident there and haven't even filed a return, then it may want taxes, not to mention penalties.

    Whereas, if you file multiple returns, then most states will provide a credit for those non-resident state taxes, but some will not, or at least not fully, meaning that you are - in effect - getting double taxed. You'll also have to pay for a second state return, but at least you'll CYA. Yet another reason to just relocate your domicile to your new state.

    Also, I can relate. I changed my state residency recently just to avoid the situation you're in. No chance you'd rather live in MS and work in TN?
  21. michaelrack

    michaelrack All In at the wrong time SDN Advisor

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    I wasn't aware that not all states provide full credit for income taxes paid to other states; thanks for the clarification. As far as my situation, my wife and family wanted to live in Memphis, and it is probably the best living situation for us. I am going to be working in MS at least for the next few years. My company's sleep labs are in MS. We probably will open one up in TN at some point, but that would necessitate me getting a TN med license as well as a new malpractice policy if I wanted to be med director- my malpractice is through Medical Assurance Company of MS.
  22. 3dtp

    3dtp Senior Member

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    Whole lot of things written here that may or may not be correct and certainly are incorrect for some of the states.

    First: Is residency considered a job or is a temporary training period? Certain states consider it temporary, and if you are just in a state for a specific purpose with no intent to establish a "domicile" ie a permanent living arrangement and can establish that you have not abandoned your previous domicile (ie where you came from), especially if you plan to return there after you complete your training and still own real property there. OP stated that her/his children are to attend school in a different state (the home state). Therefore, there is clearly no intent to establish a domicile in the new state, and the "home" state remains the home state.

    This is equally true for "real world jobs" such as consultants who may travel to another state for a project, say a civil engineer on a major construction project. He may work in a state for a year or more, but his home is still his home, even if he's there for 3 years.

    Insurance is a separate matter, as most insurance companies rate a vehicle "where it is customarily garaged," rather than where it is licensed. If that were not so, everyone in NYC would likely register their cars in rural Pennsylvania.

    Taxes: again states are different, with different rules. I was completely stunned when I moved to my newest state to find it had complete tax reciprocity with my "home" state, and I paid taxes to my home state as a resident and paid no taxes in my new state, as long as a.) I maintained a domicile in my "home" state, and had evidence of returning to my "home" state at least once per quarter (easy to do since all my family live there). This is a decided advantage to me, as the income tax rate in my present state is better than 4x that of my "home" state. My "home" state refused to accept my tax return the first year because of that reciprocity clause, and upon consultation with tax attorneys in both states, it was clear that I was able to maintain my domicile in my old state, owning real property, having substantial connections and it was to my advantage, tax-wise. I maintain my "home" state license and registration.

    Find out the rules of your states. No state can force you to change domiciles (forbidden under the interstate commerce clause), but you may have to change anyway, depending on your state. If your kid is staying home, and your home is there, and you are a temporary visitor to the new state, you may not need to change.

    Where did this become a problem? I had to buy a non-resident hunting and fishing license, and could not buy a very nice rifle in my new state.

    Other issues? I had to change my address with the FAA on my pilot's certificates, but I did not have to change the aircraft address since it spends time in both states. Why? FAA rules state I must notify them of my present address any time I am away from home for more than 30 days at a stretch.

    Know before you go and when you find out, let us know.
  23. 3dtp

    3dtp Senior Member

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    Not true. It is insurance fraud not to inform your insurance company that the place where your car is customarily garaged has changed and to give it the new address, where it is garaged, but it is not insurance fraud to not re-register the car. The insurance company may make you purchase a rider or take other actions, such as re-rating the premiums (for example moving from a no-fault to an at fault state or vice versa), to maintain insurance which complies with the state where the car is garaged.
  24. aProgDirector

    aProgDirector Pastafarians Unite! Moderator SDN Advisor

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    I stand corrected. I confused "registering" you car with reporting where it is garaged with your ins company.

    Checking local laws is always a good idea.
  25. laserbeam

    laserbeam

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    It will be up to the judge to decide if my intent is to make the new state a "fixed and permanent" residence, not the DMV. How do I get to see a judge? It must be some situation that I get a ticket.

    I just checked the reciprocal agreement of California - it does not have such thing. So I figure I can not get away with it.
  26. 3dtp

    3dtp Senior Member

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    I don't think so. Residency determinations are really made based on facts, and the rules of the state. For example, I was a Michigan resident for 20 years when I married my wife, who was a grad student at a noted public university. This university for decades did everything possible to keep non-residents just that so they could pay out of state tuition. My new bride had lived in state for 3 years, I owned a business in the state, real property and rental property. Michigan law mandates residency follow the spouse. She filed all the paperwork to get her non-resident status changed to resident. What did the noble institution say? Your husband might just decide to leave the state next year, so not only will we not classify you as a resident, we'll change his classification to non-resident too. The next conversation with the registrar was humorous to say the least. She got reclassified and I remained a resident. She was from California.

    California rules for define residency as:
    --every individual who is in the state for other than a temporary or transitory purpose
    --every individual who is domiciled in this state who is outside the state for a temporary or transient purpose
    --presence in California for more than nine months of a taxable year creates a rebuttable presumption of California residence.

    So, here is a typical residency situation:

    You are matched into a California residency from say, Michigan (or where-ever).
    You own a home and your family (including your child) will not be moving to California from your home in Michigan, but you yourself will rent an apartment or buy a cheap crash pad in Riverside where your residency is, and stay there for the 3 - 7 years of your residency, while commuting home at every opportunity, which clearly won't be much.
    You have no plans to remain in California after residency, you have not relinquished your residence in the other state, and you have no plans to make California your permanent home.

    You are there for training and training alone and when you are done, you will abandon your crash pad and return to your home. Period.

    The facts would not necessarily support California's presumption that you have domiciled in California, after you have been there for 9 months, even though your residency (a temporary condition with a clear endpoint, as described by the RRC/ACGME) will last longer than 9 months, and California requires a permanent medical license, thus you can rebut California's presumption by showing them payments to support a household in the other state, your child's school records, etc. Likely you will not be considered a resident of California for legal purposes/tax purposes, if you can show that you are in a training program with defined goals and an endpoint, and you have a place to go home to when you are done.

    Facts that would fully support your claim to be a non-resident (even after you'd been there for years) would be property ownership in another state, children being educated in the other state, you maintain close contacts with people and business in the other state.

    Another way to look at it is this: You are a resident of Maryland. You attended the Naval Academy and now you are a Naval Officer recently graduated from Annapolis. As a commissioned ensign, you are given orders to report to CINC/San Diego, and your assignment to San Diego is for a 3 year tour. You will be reassigned after that the pleasure of the navy and you have little say in the matter. You are there for a specific, transient and temporary purpose. Just like residency, where you have little to say in the matter, as the NRMP has bonded you over to your program, where you must stay until you are free. (ie completed the program).

    Use good judgement. If you came to California for residency, bought a house in Malibu, signed a letter of intent to go to work in California after residency to get the down payment, there is no way you could rebut California's 9 month presumption of residency. But, if you signed a residency contract on a year to year basis with the goal of completing residency, you could be completely off the hook.

    The path of least resistance is, of course, to become a California resident until you complete residency, but that can be an expensive proposition, especially if you come from a place like North Dakota.
  27. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky

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    ^Good post. I'd just point out that the Naval example is not a good one. Federal law explicitly prevents states from presuming domicile for an active duty servicemember on assignment. To my knowledge, no such law exists for GME.
  28. LucidSplash

    LucidSplash Vac Ninja Extraordinaire

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    Enough time has been spend discussing ways to get around changing ones license and registration that the OP could have done it a few times over already... ;)
  29. laserbeam

    laserbeam

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    To 3dtp:
    Thank you very much for your detailed explanation. I actually kind of agree with you - that is the reason why I post this question in the first place.
  30. ketamine

    ketamine Junior Member

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    Residents are "students" not employees and as a student you have the right to keep your car registered in your home state. My residency program called us students so we received none of the retirement benefits that the other hospital employees received; I went through residency and fellowship without changing my car registration or driver license. As long as you have someone to collect and forward you your mail in your old state you should be able to get away with keeping your car registered you old state. In my fellowship, I was driving on the intestate and an unsecured 2x6 board fell off a trailer and did $4000 damage to my car, which is apparently is my fault for not swerving to avoid the flying board. The insurance company was very nasty to me when I filed the claim but they paid it. I scraped off the windshield inspection sticker when they expired and didn't inspect my car for 4 years. I am from one of the 18 states with no front driver's license plate, so I occasionally would get pulled over for not having registration stickers in my window and front plates, harassment that I would have avoided if I was registered in state I was driving. I do not think I would attempt to do that again since driving an out of state car is a ticket magnet.

    Not registering your car in the state you live and work is a risk since if the DMV, a state revenue department starts poking around, you will likely be found to be in the wrong and be subject to penalty." State medical boards are currently on a witch hunt for traffic citations in a search for DUIs that were pleaded down to traffic citations, so it is well worth the waste of a day and the $300 to $500 to register your car in your current state to keep from getting a penalty you might have to report the medical board.

    You have to be careful about getting too many tickets since when you get a second or third ticket the police can establish a pattern of residency and thus track how long you are in the state, With speed camera and red light cameras taking your picture and entering you into their database every time you drive by it may be more difficult now to go unnoticed for three or more years of residency.
    Last edited: 05.05.12
  31. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky

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