​​Proof of Residency Procedures

Use this guide to determine if your nonresident status may be changed to resident status for tuition and fees purposes. 

To establish residency, a student needs to meet the three conditions below:

  1. Legal Status
    Legal Status that permits the establishment of domicile in the United States. Essentially, student must be a US Citizen, Permanent Resident, eligible Temporary Resident, hold eligible Visa, etc. (Title 5 § 54045).

  2. Physical Presence:
    Physical presence is proved by being physically and continuously present in California for one year plus one day prior to the start of the term (Title 5 § 54020 and § 54022).

  3. Intent:
    Intent is proven by providing evidence demonstrating intent to make California a permanent home of residence. Taking any of these actions demonstrates a lack of intent to make California a permanent home of residence: filing taxes in another state as a resident of that state; filing for divorce or a lawsuit in another state; paying resident tuition in another state; voting in another. Moving to California for educational purposes alone does not grant residency.

Financial Independence--Students Under 19 Years of Age

A student under the age of 19 who is classified as a nonresident, but has established financial independence, may be classified as a resident, provided the above three conditions are met. A reclassification packet will be provided to document financial independence. 


Requirements to Prove Residency

  • At minimum, two (2) "proofs" in your name or your parent’s name if you are under the age of 19.
  • At least one proof must be a primary document (see below). Identifications and licenses must be current (not expired).
  • Proofs must be dated at least one year and one day before the start of the semester or session for which you are seeking resident status.
  • Admissions & Records reserves the right to request additional proofs in instances when those presented do not sufficiently demonstrate legal status, physical presence, intent, or financial independence (as relevant).​ 

Acceptable Proofs of California Residence

Primary Documents

All documents must have a valid California physical address. Documents with PO Boxes, business address, or nonexisting addresses will not be accepted.

  • California Income Tax (Form 540, page 1-2 as submitted to the Franchise Tax Board) 
  • California Driver’s License or California ID card or DMV printout (must be current)
  • California vehicle registration–California Registration Certificate​ (must be current)
  • California voter’s registration card 
  • Official license from California Department of Consumer Affairs for Business or Individual practice (must be current)​
  • Paycheck stub or letter of employment verification on company letterhead (wet signature needed; signed by the Human Resources manager)
  • Receipt of benefits from a California state agency​
  • Current W2 form with home address
  • Documentation of purchase and occupancy of residential real estate in California – loan papers, tax receipts, escrow paper

Secondary Documents

  • California Bank account–checking or savings statements showing a California branch address–​documenting transactions in California
  • Marriage license or divorce decree issued in California
  • Selective Service registration showing California permanent address
  • California utility bills (e.g., electricity, phone, or water) covering a one year period
  • California health insurance or Medi-Cal ID
  • Military discharge papers (DD214) or Leave and Earnings statement (indicating California as State of Record)
  • California property taxes
  • Union membership in a California local
  • California public library membership (verified by letter or printout with letterhead or branch stamp)

Unacceptable Proofs of Residence

Examples include:​

  • School transcripts, school registration, school ID, school housing contract
  • Credit cards or credit statements
  • Declaration by a California school classifying the student as a resident
  • Affidavits indicating student's physical presence in the State
  • Rental receipts, personal mail, medical or dental bills
  • Lease Agreements or a letter from a landlord (manager) verifying tenancy