How to Change a Primary Residence

Image of a happy family at home.
Image Credit: monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

A primary residence is the home in which you spend the majority of your time. By law, you can only have one primary residence and it's used for such purposes as filing taxes, census taking, in-state tuition verification and other activities. People having primary homes as well as secondary residences occasionally find the need to change their primary residence from one to the other. But an official change in primary residence requires certain other changes to take place in order to be truly effective.


Switching Your Primary Residence

Step 1

Change your driver's license and other personal documents to the address of your new primary residence. When changing your primary residence address on your driver license you can also change your voter registration. Most states' driver license offices also offer voter registration services. Once you've changed your primary residence address contact the Social Security Administration and supply the new one.


Video of the Day

Step 2

Ensure any vehicle registrations also reflect your new primary residence address. Any vehicles you're leaving at your secondary residence won't require vehicle and insurance registration changes. Verify with your insurance company that it has the proper addresses for all your vehicles. Vehicle license plates, including for cars, boats and other vehicles, normally don't require changing when your primary residence address change is in the same state.


Step 3

When changing a primary residence address ensure as well that your change your address on credit cards and bank statements. Credit card bills and utility statements with the proper primary residence address can help maintain and even re-establish credit. Properly addressed credit card and bank statements and utility bills also ease of verification of your new primary residence address.


Step 4

If you change your primary residence ensure you file the proper homestead paperwork. In some instances, taxes on one home can be homesteaded and thus reduced if you intend to live in it for at least six months of the year. Homesteading privileges typically only apply to a primary residence, though. Primary residences consisting of trailers on rented lots or homes on leased property may require payment of personal property taxes and homestead privileges may not apply.



Step 5

Ensure you forward mail from your now-secondary residence to your new primary residence. If you're at your now-secondary residence often, there may be no need to forward mail to your new primary residence. Talk to the applicable local post office about holding your mail until you can pick it up, or get a post office box for the now secondary residence where your mail will stay safe for long periods of time.


Beware "change of address" scams found on the Internet. Change of address services are offered for free by all states and most businesses, including banks.



Report an Issue

screenshot of the current page

Screenshot loading...