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The UNOFFICIAL Guide to Obtaining California Residency For Tuition Purpose

DISCLAIMER: What appears below is one person's description of their experiences in obtaining California residency, which should only be used for the sake of comparison to your own experiences. Any questions regarding California residency should be directed to the Office of the University Registrar, (530) 752-4749, and not to the members of the Galois Group. For more information, please read the Full Disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Current non-California resident domestic students (including immigrants and permanent residents) need to take steps to be classified as California residents by the end of their first year. These guidelines don't cover everything, so you should still look at the official form, which is available at the Registrar's Office, in Mrak Hall.

  1. Hold on to a copy of any scholarship and financial aid forms. You'll need to put them into your petition.
  2. Make sure you save a hard-copy of your lease. Same reason.
  3. Register to vote in the next election ASAP. You can get the form on-line ( You need to have your form postmarked 15 days before the election. After you get your confirmation from the voter's office, hold onto it as proof of registration.
  4. Get your California driver's license ASAP. It's not hard and very helpful. Go to the DMV (505 Pole Line Rd., (800) 777-0133) read the handbook while waiting in line, take the test. If you can't get a driver's license then get a California ID card instead. Just realize that the date you get your license/ID will affect your petition, so the sooner the better. DMV ( )
  5. As long as you're hanging out at the DMV, register your car, if you have one. Again the date you do this matters, and if you wait too long after bringing your car into the state they will charge you extra taxes. Check before you go if you'll need a smog check and get that done before you go in. Check around town or online for the best smog test prices, it can be very expensive if you don't shop around.
  6. Save your California tax forms: ( )
  7. Don't leave California for more than six weeks total, for one year after the date you hope to establish residency. Keep this in mind when you plan your vacations.

The point of all this is to become a California resident, so have California as your permanent residence, and start lovin' California. Be able to truthfully answer on the form next year, “Yes! I consider myself a California resident!”


The UC Davis Catalog has an official section on obtaining California residency. The following quote basically underlines that the above advice is unofficial and most certainly not authorized. Martha Amésquita is the current Residence Deputy.

From the UC Davis Catalog:

Inquiries regarding residence requirements, determination and/or recognized exceptions should be directed to the Residence Deputy, Office of the University Registrar, One Shields Avenue, Davis, California 95616, (530-752-4749).


You are cautioned that this summary is not a complete explanation of the law regarding residence.

Please note that changes may be made in the residence requirement between the publication of this statement and the relevant residence determination date.

Any student, following a final decision on residence classification by the residence deputy, may appeal in writing to the legal analyst (Legal Analyst Residence Matters, 1111 Franklin St., 8th Floor, Oakland, CA 94607-5200) within 45 days of notification of the residence deputy's final decision

residency.txt · Last modified: 2016/02/15 10:41 by asaenz