Generally, a person’s “domicile” is his or her primary legal residence. While a person may have several residences or places where he or she lives, in the United States a person may only have one domicile or legal residence. Each state has its own rules for establishing legal residence, and it is possible for more than one state to assert that a person is domiciled in that state, which may happen if a state is looking to levy taxes or assert jurisdiction over a person.
Establishing “domicile” or “legal residence” in Nevada, as defined by statute, is a matter of being physically present in the state with the intent to indefinitely remain. If you are trying to get states (including Nevada) to recognize your status as a Nevada resident, the more “indicia of domicile” that point to Nevada, the better. The Nevada courts have listed some of those indicia of domicile as: having a Nevada mailing address, voter registration, school attendance in Nevada, receiving medical care in Nevada, conducting business, and financial affairs in Nevada, paying taxes, drafting wills, or being employed in Nevada. 1 Additional indicia of domicile are filing a declaration of domicile with the county clerk, registering a vehicle or vehicles in Nevada, obtaining a driver’s license, recording a homestead declaration for your residence in Nevada, using a Nevada address for primary correspondence, including credit cards, magazines, bank accounts, etc., transferring significant cash and securities holdings to Nevada institutions, establishing relationships with professional advisors (attorneys, accountants, etc.) in Nevada, and establishing memberships in community and local organizations.
There are specific parameters, however, for establishing residence in Nevada for certain purposes, including filing for divorce, voter registration, welfare benefits, or in-state tuition at a state college or university. For example, to qualify for in-state tuition, a student must be a bona fide resident (meaning physically present in the state) for at least 12 months prior to matriculation; to file for divorce or annulment, a person must have resided in Nevada for at least 6 weeks before filing the complaint; to be eligible to vote a person must, before an election, have continuously resided in the State and County for 30 days and the precinct for 10 days. 2
Trying to avoid residency in another state is a different matter, as the definition of domicile is different in most states, and a state may try to assert that you were a domicile of theirs as well as Nevada in order to levy taxes, or for some other purpose. Thus, if you are trying to establish residency in Nevada, it is not only important to meet Nevada’s qualifications, but to make sure that you cannot be considered domiciled in the state you left.
It is recommended that you seek advice and counsel from a professional, either a tax attorney or CPA, who practices in the state in which you are leaving to make sure that you cannot be considered domiciled in that state.
2 Fact Sheet: Residency Requirements in Nevada (2016).