Proof of Residency and the DMV
Town ClerksWhen you move here, the first thing you will notice is how much business gets done on a local level. The town clerk handles a lot of different things in New Hampshire.
Pet registration is processed through the town clerk. (Go back to the main Moving Guide page to see information on Pets.)
In most towns you go to the town clerk to register to vote. They will have you fill out an affidavit for your residency. Then you fill out the voter registration form. The form will ask you for a bunch of information. You only need to give them your name, address and your signature. You do not need to give them your drivers licence number, SSN, date of birth, or anything else. The town will not send you a voter registration card. You will need to bring an ID to the voting polls if you are registering to vote that day. If you register as Undeclared on the form, you can still vote in the Primaries. You go to the Primary and change your party status before you vote and can change it back when you are finished voting.
Registering your car is done at the town hall also. You may have to go the the Concord DMV if they can't get it all done in town. This may happen if you don't have the title in hand.
Cities like Manchester are a little different, and here is the advice from a recent mover on dealing with Manchester DMV.
The DMV in New HampshireOne of the first things many of you will have to do when you move here, before you can vote, before you can get a New Hampshire ID or driver's license, before you can file most government forms is obtain "proof of residency".
For your average middle-class family this is fairly simple; you rent a house, use local utilities, and use your first bill as proof. Simple. If this describes your moving situation you may stop reading now .
For the rest of us single people who are likely to rent a room for a month to get started, have utilities included in the rent, may not even have a lease for awhile, proof of residency becomes much more difficult in Manchester. While other cities/towns provide a "letter of residency" from the clerk Manchester does not. Instead, you must get a letter notarized from someone you're living with, be them your landlord, roommate, or the guy who's letting you crash on his couch. This letter must include the following:
- The name of the landlord, rommate, etc. who is writing the letter for you
- The date
- Your full name
- The address of the residence
- That you are living there
- Their signature, signed in front of a public notary
- The public notary's signature and stamp
October 20th, 2007
To whom it may concern:
Bob Mover is a resident of my household at 1776 Revolutionary Drive apt. 4 in Manchester, New Hampshire.
Notary Pubic - New Hampshire
My Commission Expires March 15th, 2012
Now, as I learned today from Tricia Piecuch the Manchester Deputy Clerk, they (the city clerk's office) have "about 8" public notaries. But they have a policy due to the high volume of requests, not to serve as notaries for proof of residency. That is, they will not take the 5 minutes it requires them to verify that the person signing the letter is the person shown on their photo ID, which is the only function the notary serves in, because everyone would request this. As I stood in line, two people in front of me were making similar requests. They spent longer explaining to people why they wouldn't do this than it would have taken them to act as public servants in their role as public notaries.
So instead, save yourself the breath (at least until we can pressure a policy change at either the DMV or the Manchester City Clerk's office) and drop $5 to Corrine at the UPS Store less than a block away. She's very friendly with us Free Staters, and several of us have mail boxes with her. The person signing the document just has to show ID and it's done.
Running the DMV Gauntlet
- Take a proof of residency
- Your birth certificate
- Your SS card (passport might be an acceptable alternative, but call first)
- Your current out of state licence
If they turn you away with your proof of residency letter, well, you'll have to decide how to take it from there. If I were you, ask for her name, title at the office, ask to speak with the supervisor, and who oversees the DMV so that you can file a complaint. I saw one woman ahead of me doing just this and the manager accepted what she had. Don't get mad, these people seem to have very thick skin and didn't help people getting angry at them.
Calmly ask for this information, or complain that you've already done everything they asked, since this seems to be successful. I recommend being prepared with how you will proceed should they randomly decide to reject you.