Steps to Obtaining Florida Residency

Welcome to Florida sign and palm treeWhether you are splitting time between Florida and another state for pleasure, business, school or retirement, there are benefits to obtaining Florida Residency; much of that attributed to taxes. For example, if you own a home ‘up North’ but have a home in Florida to escape the cold winters, you might be better suited to stay in Florida for the majority of the year because, unlike many other states, Florida does not have a state income tax. In many cases, the overall taxes are much higher in other states. By owning Florida real estate and establishing Florida residency, you can potentially save money and benefit in numerous ways.

Spending at Least Six Months in Florida is Essential

You must spend at least 183 days of the year in Florida to obtain residency. Your other state of residence can audit you to make sure you are actually spending more time out of their state than in, so be cautious about documenting your stay with receipts and other paperwork for proof in this regard.

File for Florida Homestead Property Tax Exemption

Property owners in Florida may be eligible for exemptions and additional benefits to reduce their property tax liability. The homestead exemption and Save Our Homes Assessment Limitation help thousands of Florida homeowners save money on their property taxes every year. Further benefits are available to property owners with disabilities, senior citizens, veterans, active-duty military service members, disabled first responders, and properties with specialized uses.

Florida Statutes, Chapter 222, states, in part:

(1) Any person who shall have established a domicile in this state may manifest and evidence the same by filing in the office of the clerk of the circuit court for the county in which the said person shall reside, a sworn statement showing that he or she resides in and maintains a place of abode in that county which he or she recognizes and intends to maintain as his or her permanent home.

(2) Any person who shall have established a domicile in the State of Florida, but who shall maintain another place or places of abode in some other state or states, may manifest and evidence his or her domicile in this state by filing in the office of the clerk of the circuit court for the county in which he or she resides, a sworn statement that his or her place of abode in Florida constitutes his or her predominant and principal home, and that he or she intends to continue it permanently as such.

(Note: This is not a complete statute. See full and complete Florida Statutes for additional information.)

Senior Care Facilities

Those 60 years and older in a senior facility or community such as a nursing home or assisted living may file under Florida Statutes, Chapter 400 to prove residency in Florida.

Obtain a Florida Driver’s License and Vehicle Insurance

Obtaining a Driver’s License, getting insurance, and registering them in the state of Florida are essential when securing residency. You can do this at the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles.

File a Declaration of Domicile

A Circuit Court-File, Declaration of Domicile, declares where you reside in your principal home and falls under Florida Statute 222.17.  A Declaration of Domicile is available at the county recorder’s office.

Resident Taxes

Pay Florida resident taxes and maintain proof of filing and receipts.

Register to Vote

Register to vote in the state of Florida. Voter registration is available online or in-person at the Department of Motor Vehicles when you apply for your driver’s license.


If you have children, enroll them in school in Florida, or if you are an adult student, show proof of your Florida enrollment in a college, university, or other Florida educational programs.

Woodward, Pires & Lombardo, P.A. Attorneys can help you obtain Florida residency to ensure you are on track and getting the most benefit from your homesteading endeavors.

About Woodward, Pires & Lombardo, P.A., Attorneys at Law

For 50 years, Woodward, Pires & Lombardo (WPL) has been proud to have served and will continue to serve you as their top priority. At WPL, our attorneys have lived and worked in Southwest Florida for decades and possess a vast knowledge of the law and a first-hand understanding of how the law intersects with the lives of those in our community. Our attorneys have the responsibility and obligation to use their training as advisers, counselors, and strategists for the betterment of our community.

In 1971, When Arthur V. Woodward, Esq. founded the first established law firm on Marco Island, he emphasized the importance of a superior work ethic, collegiality and respect among our peers, and a social conscience that commands participation in opportunities for the good of the public. These guiding principles formed the tradition of excellence that the attorneys and staff at WPL work hard to uphold today.

Our Practice Areas Include:
  • Business Law
  • Community Association Law
  • Family Law
  • Local Government Law / Land Use & Zoning
  • Litigation
  • Personal Injury
  • Probate & Trust Administration
  • Real Estate Law
  • Wills, Trusts & Estates
  • Securities & Commodities arbitration, Litigation & Class Actions

You’ve known us and trusted us for the past 50 years, and we will continue to defend and protect you and your loved ones for many years to come as we continue to build our future together. For more information, see

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