Become a Resident

It's easy to become a Washington State resident; simply take some action that proves you intend to live in the state on more than a temporary or transient basis.

The following are a few examples of actions you can take to become a resident of Washington:

Voting Rights

Information about Washington's residency requirements for voter registration can be found on the Secretary of State - Elections & Voting Residency Requirements page.

Social and Health Services

Specific residency requirements may apply to certain federal, state and local benefits and programs. For help with identifying whether you qualify as a Washington resident, visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page found on the Washington Connection (Your Link to Services) website.

College Tuition

To qualify as a resident student, state law requires that you establish a bona fide domicile in the state of Washington for a period of one year, for purposes other than educational, prior to the start of the semester or quarter for which you intend to register. For more information, please refer to the University of Washington's (UW) student guide for Understanding Washington State Residency and the Student Residency page found on the Washington Student Achievement Council (WSAC) website.


For sales and use tax purposes, the Department of Revenue (DOR) has further defined the term residency. For more information, visit the Washington State residency definition page found on their website.

Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (MSRRA)

The MSRRA is primarily intended to ensure that a service member's spouse has the right to retain residency in his or her (the spouse's) home state for voting and tax purposes. To view the details of this act, and for more information, please refer to the following links: