Moving to the DC/MD/VA (DMV) Area

Mainly for Foreign Service clients:  When being reassigned to the “mother ship” (aka “Main State” for the State Department FSOs), don’t forget to get a local driver license, to reregister your vehicles, and to submit local withholding forms.

Using a Virginia residency as an example, Virginia requires you to obtain a Virginia driver license when you are going to be present in the state for extended “TDY” or “PCS.”  The Virginia DMV website states:  “Within 60 days of moving here, you must obtain a Virginia driver’s license.”  This is not optional and should not be confused with uniformed service member exemptions of the “SCRA.”  We’ve heard of several examples when the “lesser included offenses” of not having taken care of these details exploded a small fine into a large one.

Here are the vehicle-related requirements starting with the 30 day requirement to have it titled in Virginia: Vehicle Titling and Registration.

The District of Columbia and Maryland have similar (but not exactly the same so consult with their sites here – DC and here – MD) provisions so you’ll want to check your understanding.

Don’t forget to submit an updated withholding form for local taxation.  It’s likely you’ll file part year resident in the year of arrival and year of departure though for some the requirement for filing nonresident is triggered by circumstances instead.  Virginia’s form is located here.  You can fill it out and scan/email it to the Charleston pay office.  DC’s form is here while MD’s form is here.

If you prepare your own taxes, make sure to only include state “source income” as your W2 amounts may or may not be correct depending on when the change went into effect.

We have other articles covering some of the details of taxation including residency versus domicile issues.

These comments do not constitute tax advice and are offered for discussion only. Consult with a us or other qualified tax professionals to discuss your specific situation.

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