There are a number of steps that a person can take to help establish that they have adopted Florida as their domicile and principal place of residence that include:
- obtaining a Florida drivers license
- purchasing or leasing a home in Florida (and registering for the Florida homestead exemption in the case of a home purchase)
- registering to vote in Florida
- obtaining a Florida library card
- directing mail primarily to Florida
- registering (and updating insurance on) cars
- accurately tracking days spent in Florida and other jurisdictions (and ensuring that the Florida day count number is as high as possible)
- updating estate planning documents to adopt Florida law
- finding new Florida doctors, dentists and veterinarian
- completing and filing a Florida Declaration of Domicile.
Florida Statute §222.17 states that a person can show intent to maintain a Florida residence as a permanent home by filing a sworn Declaration of Domicile with the Clerk of the Courts. Most counties provide their own form for use for this purpose although no specific form is mandated. However, it must be notarized before it can be recorded and it must be transmitted to the official recording office for recording, accompanied by the applicable recording fee (currently $10).
Several forms are linked to immediately below:
Check with the local recording office for the proper address to deliver or mail the executed Declaration of Domicile and to determine the proper procedures (for example, the need for a self addressed stamped envelope for the return of the recorded Declaration of Domicile, ability to get extra certified copies, etc...).
Even if a Declaration of Domicile is properly recorded, day count tracking continues, however, to be a critical factor in establishing your residency and domicile. Courts have routinely noted a lack of days spent in Florida as a basis to deny Florida residency status for homestead purposes or to conclude that a person hasn't abandoned their domicile and residency in a high tax jurisdiction and relocated to Florida.
The Domicile365 Residency Day Count Tracking App has been designed to permit individuals to track their day counts continuously in each jurisdiction. For more information, please see our software page and download the Domicile365 App or click one of the link buttons below.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors regarding these matters.