On its surface, residency in Indiana seems like a cut-and-dried issue: If you live there, you're a resident, right? Not exactly. Because states don't want citizens migrating around the country and claiming residency in many states to take advantage of benefits provided by state agencies without funding them through state taxes, most provide basic requirements to become a resident. In Indiana, the length of time you have to live in the state to qualify as a resident depends on what services you need.
If you earned money in Indiana, you're liable to the state's Department of Revenue for state income taxes on that money and have no grace period to establish residency for taxation purposes. The type of return you file depends upon your residency status. If you moved to Indiana for part of the year, you must file a Form IT-40PNR declaring the wages you earned in the state. If you lived in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania or Wisconsin, you must file a Form IT-40RNR.
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To register as an Indiana resident for voting purposes, you must live in the state for 30 days prior to the election in which you'll vote. To register as an Indiana voter, you must have resided in the state for 27 days. For example, if an election is 32 days away, you may register when it's five days away and exercise your right to vote on the election. If you move to Indiana too close to a federal election to vote, you may consider voting absentee in the state in which you used to live, then transferring your voter registration to Indiana after the election.
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles places different residency requirements on qualifying for a state driver's license. If you maintain legal residence in another state, but live in Indiana for 183 days, you qualify as a resident. Additionally, all voters registered in Indiana immediately qualify as residents of the state, effectively reducing the waiting period to 27 days. If your child is enrolled in a primary or secondary school in the state, or you earn at least half of your adjusted gross income in Indiana, you meet residency requirements without a waiting period.
Each public university and college in Indiana sets its own residency requirements, but because residents receive much more affordable in-state tuition rates, they're generally much more stringent than other residency requirements. A student must live in Indiana for 12 months prior to the start of classes to be a resident and must be financially independent from parents in another state to qualify. Students must also not be residing in Indiana merely to attend college during that one-year period, and must also register their vehicles, maintain an Indiana driver's license and register to vote during that period to qualify as a resident.