Monday, August 09, 2010


It's very hard to obtain a job in an area where you don't live. But nobody will rent to you or give you a mortgage unless you have a job to pay the bills.

So let's say you solve that dilemma by moving in with family temporarily. How do you prove residency? Because of 911, when you open a bank account, they want to see your drivers license. You can't get a drivers license or license plates until you can prove residency with a paycheck stub or a utility/housing bill or a bank account statement more than a month old. But if you're living with somebody else, you don't have a mortgage or a gas bill. And you don't have the job yet. And what if you want to vote in next month's election? Good luck with that!

It looks like it may be more complicated than I'd thought for Katie and Nathan to become official Wisconsin residents. And the next question is whether one of them getting hired and receiving a paycheck will prove residency for both of them.


  1. Could you go ahead and put one of the utilities in their name?

  2. That is mind boggling.

    On the voting, could they do it absentee?

  3. Would a cell phone bill work as a utility bill? Many people no longer have landlines. I would think that would be the easiest thing for them to get.

    I've been working on a similar problem. We may have jobs but when the house forecloses and we move into our RV on bare land we will no longer have a physical address. You can't vote, get a post office box, or fill out the required homeschooling forms without one. Not to mention my dh won't be able to get packages for his job.

  4. Kim:

    Full time RVers have ways to work around it; some of those methods might work for you guys, too. Even if it's a rented mailbox an hour away, it can still be used as your permanent address. If it's a private provider, your address at a private mail box will have a real street address, not a P.O. Box

    Post offices have mailboxes, to.

  5. *too. Sorry, my keyboard is starting to die.

  6. Would it count if they "rented" from you?

  7. EC, I don't think they'll be here long enough that we should bother with changing utilities. And I suspect there'd be connect/disconnect fees incurred if we did.

    Cheryl, they can't legally vote absentee in Texas if they live here. But I don't know how they prove they live here. Of course, if they wanted to vote in Milwaukee instead of here, I'm sure they'd be allowed to vote a dozen times on primary day; we'd just need to find a bumper sticker or a t-shirt with the president's name on it, and they'd be welcomed into the voting booth with open arms.

    The government website specifically said cell-phone bills and post office boxes cannot be used to prove residency.

    I'm wondering if we could be the landlord from whom they rented. If we did, though, I suppose we'd have to comply with who-knows-what-all laws regarding landlords, and report the money on whatever-form of the federal income taxes. I bet it would take longer to set up an officially-sanctionable rental situation than for Nathan to find a job at McDonalds or the theater and wait for a paycheck stub.

  8. Thanks EC

    We have looked into a PMB, we had one a few years ago in CO, unfortunately the service is prohibitively expensive and about a hour from here.

    Susan- I hope your family finds local jobs soon so they can solve this mess!

  9. This might be too late, but I know if they are living with you there might be some kind of thing where you can go with them with your proof of residency or something and validate they are living with you. We did that for our roommate in order for him to get an ID card... but that might be just Washington. You could try calling them about it.

  10. Cassie, that works for voters registration or food stamps or Medicaid, but not for ID cards or drivers licenses.