wearywanderer

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I apologize in advance if this isn't the right forum for this question, but I didn't know where it belonged.

I'm moving across the country to California to start residency, and I was wondering if it's possible to keep my home address in Pennsylvania as my permanent address/residence as I did in med school, undergrad, etc. Also, can I retain my PA driver's license and auto plates?
 

CalmAndCollected

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I apologize in advance if this isn't the right forum for this question, but I didn't know where it belonged.

I'm moving across the country to California to start residency, and I was wondering if it's possible to keep my home address in Pennsylvania as my permanent address/residence as I did in med school, undergrad, etc. Also, can I retain my PA driver's license and auto plates?
You can, as long as the people living in that address are okay with that (being family, not just an address you have had in the past).

In general, you might have issues with your car being continuously registered in a foreign state, as any DMV issues that come up have to be done in Pennsylvania, not California. Any DMV paperwork would go to your Pennsylvania address as well... as would any mail related to the bank, and government, and taxes.

You might have issues with your car insurance if you tell them you are currently living elsewhere for such a long period of time and have no plans to go back home.

I would also look into what address to have in your tax return, as I would wager you would still have to pay taxes in California...

It honestly sounds like a huge hassle to keep that address for not real gain... I would just switch it as soon as you can.
 
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Raryn

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Generally, you should change everything over within N number of days of moving, where N is determined by state law. It can be pretty short - CA requires it within 10 days.

That said, enforcement is basically nil. I maintained my driver's license in my home state throughout 4 years of medical school in another state and 2 years of fellowship in a different one (I did residency in my home town in between). I finally changed my address from my parent's when I became an attending in yet another state.

If they ask you, just say you're a student/trainee - cops have no idea wtf the legal status of a resident is.

Edit: you do absolutely need to tell your car insurance where the car is stored though. You'll get in deeper **** with them if you get in an accident and your home address is 2000 miles away from where they think the car is being stored than if you get pulled over and get some nominal fine. That said, the car insurance companies usually don't care much more than just charging you slightly more or less money based on the domicile of the vehicle.
 
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<L>

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If they ask you, just say you're a student/trainee - cops have no idea wtf the legal status of a resident is.

The Customs agent in Buffalo probably put me on some sort of list with my convoluted explanation for having a license plates from a state I've never lived in when I went on a Toronto trip between the last rotation of med school and graduation.

Also fun fact, my legal address for the school was the default "hometown" for the graduation program of my med school and I didn't notice this, so that ended up being hilariously wrong.
 
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FFP

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I apologize in advance if this isn't the right forum for this question, but I didn't know where it belonged.

I'm moving across the country to California to start residency, and I was wondering if it's possible to keep my home address in Pennsylvania as my permanent address/residence as I did in med school, undergrad, etc. Also, can I retain my PA driver's license and auto plates?
I don't live in California, but, in most states, the answer would be no. You won't be a student; you'll be an employee, and you won't be commuting from your home in a neighboring state.

You'll probably have a couple of months after moving there to take care of license, registration, insurance etc. Also, keeping the car registered in PA to decrease insurance premiums is insurance fraud, and can be pretty costly if caught (in case of a claim). You're also a physician, and breaking the law reflects negatively on your character. Just do the right thing!

 
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hamstergang

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One of my co-residents did get a ticket in NJ for not updating her plates. This is obviously rare but it does happen.
 

hallowmann

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There's a few other issues here, including voting and taxes. It better when paying taxes (generally) to be in the state that your employer is in. Not saying that's always the case, and I don't know the details about California taxes, but just keep in mind that this is something worth at least getting more info about. It was very easy to do my taxes in my home state when I was living there, but it was a royal pain to do taxes for my home state after I moved. The slightly cheaper tax rates in my home state were not worth the additional headache involved (for me).

Anyway, my point is you should keep it in mind in addition to issues with vehicle registration and insurance.
 

mvenus929

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Outside of people affiliated with the military (or maybe some other government jobs), it's really too much of a headache to keep your home residency state different than the state in which you currently live. When I was in med school, I kept my 'home' residency because there was no incentive to change. My mom ended up moving away (to another country) when I was in school, which made getting license plates quite challenging (it was her car that I was 'borrowing' during school, and she was in the military, so it was easy to explain, but not so easy to make sure that I got all my toll bills or license plate renewals).

Just switch to your new state. If you end up moving back after training, you can switch everything back. Other than a couple hours of your time, it's not terribly difficult.
 
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