The Military Spouse Residency Relief Act was created because of the difficulties military families faced when moving to a new state. Since moving is a given with the military lifestyle the legislation makes an effort to ease the burden of changing state residencies every two to three years.
For years military spouses were left struggling to find new jobs, shuffling stacks of paperwork and tiptoeing around miles of red tape just to get settled in a new state. The Military Spouse Residency Relief Act, signed in 2009, makes these moves a little bit easier in that it allows military families to move without having to change their state residence!
Military spouses should all be aware of this legislation and how the Military Spouse Residency Relief Act works in your favor to relieve some stress when you’re faced with your next PCS.
One of the most common annoyances associated with a PCS is having to renew your license and registration in a new state. Unless you’re a fan of taking the driver’s test three, four or more times, the constant trips to the DMV are most likely an annoyance. And that doesn’t count the fees you incur getting a new license each time.
Because the Military Spouse Residency Relief Act allows you to remain a resident of your last state, you can keep your previous license and registration free of penalty as long as you only remain there under military orders.
Taxes are another area where military families and spouses were left in a mess of paperwork that generally leads to unnecessarily paying too much on your taxes. The Military Spouse Residency Relief Act allows spouses to maintain their residency in their home state if desired so they will only need to pay the taxes for their state of residency.
This is especially beneficial if you are from one of the seven states without income tax. Regardless of your home state or current state, you’ll want to check out the state-specific rules, as the Military Spouse Residency Relief Act applies differently across certain states. You may want to consult a military legal specialist on base before deciding to switch residency.
Nursing is a popular occupation for military spouses because of the significant need for trained medical professionals. In the past nurses faced with a PCS were forced to switch their state licensure within 30 days of moving, which in some cases can involve extra licensure fees not to mention the hassle of getting it.
Thankfully, the Military Spouse Residency Relief Act allows military spouses moving due to government orders to continue practicing while in a different state than their licensure because they never technically switch their state of residency.
This benefit is only available to nurses with an active compact license moving to another state that participates in the compact licensure program. A full list of participating states and more information can be found at this link.
Photo courtesy of pheaber