Can you use a virtual address as proof of residency? The answer here is simple.
- You CAN use a virtual address to MAINTAIN your residency within a US state.
- You CAN NOT use a virtual address to ESTABLISH your residency.
So What Does This Mean in Practice?
It means that if you are an established resident in, for example, New York and you decide to live in a foreign country as an expat, you could use a virtual mailbox for important government requirements.
While away, you would maintain your New York residency by ensuring that voting rights, renewing your driver’s license, federal and local taxes, etc, are all managed via your virtual address.
In this way, a virtual address can be used to maintain residency.
- Related Content: Using a Virtual Address for a Bank Account or Credit Card
Establishing residency in the first place is a more complicated affair, that cannot be done just by owning a virtual address.
To become a state resident you would either need to rent or own a residential property that you live in.
Once you have this property and the related address, you will move towards meeting the requirements of state residency.
For example, you will start to pay local utility bills, and statements, change the address details of banking services, and more.
With this “evidence” you can begin applying for a new state ID. From there, you will obtain state residency.
What you will need to ESTABLISH your residency in a state:
- Changing your driver’s license so that it has been issued by the new state.
- Having a home address in that state.
- Having voting rights in that state.
- Have all your bills, bank statements, utilities, etc, paid for and managed from within that state.
As you can see from the box above, establishing residency is a far more complicated process than merely owning a virtual address.
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I have established residency: Now can I use a virtual address as proof of residency?
Here, in a way, we have come full circle.
With an established residency, you can certainly opt for using a virtual address within your state of residency.
This is what makes virtual mailboxes so popular with expats, RV users, and anyone else that doesn’t have a permanent abode due to life changes.
As long as your residency has been established and you have a state I.D card, you can maintain that residency via your mailbox and virtual address.
- Related Content: Can I Use my Virtual Address for my Driver’s License?
What About Using a Virtual Address in a Different State?
This brings us back to the establishing residency conundrum. If you choose a virtual address in a state where you have not got residency, you will not be able to use it as proof of residency.
You will need to go through the full process of obtaining a State I.D in the location you seek to be a resident.
That being said, states such as Texas, Florida, and South Dakota are more lenient with the requirements needed for state residency.
This has made these jurisdictions popular with those that pursue a nomadic lifestyle.
I’m a 25 year veteran of USPS. I’m retired now, but as the editor of Mailbox Master, I can’t quite remove myself from the carrier industry just yet. 🙂