Help me return to legality!
June 29, 2014 2:33 PM Subscribe
I like to think of myself as a law-abiding citizen, and in pretty much all areas of my life I have been, save this. I believe I've twice illegally renewed my vehicle registration because I am not a legal resident of the state where I registered. How do I fix this without facing stiff legal penalties?
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
In 2011 I joined the military and was stationed in a different state than my home state, the latter of which contained my home of record. During this time, I was also a legal resident of my home state. In late 2012, I changed my state of legal residence to the state in which I was stationed because my home state had an income tax while my duty station state did not, and during my military service I only resided in my home state while on leave (one month per year). In 2013 while on leave I purchased a car and registered it in my home state, and at this point I was no longer a legal resident of my home state, so that was probably illegal. I've also renewed my registration twice since then.
The registration renewal agreement states the following: "I hereby affirm and certify that I am a resident/have a bona fide place of business in this county, am an owner of and have in effect financial security for the above vehicle as required by law, have disclosed/verified any/all liens for, am entitled to the license plate issued, and that the information listed on this application is true and correct. FALSE CERTIFICATION CAN RESULT IN CRIMINAL PROSECUTION UNDER PENALTY OF LAW." [emphasis in the original]
Under the previous paragraph lies a signature block, which I have signed in two instances while no longer being a legal resident of the state. I believe this constitutes false certification, because I am not technically a legal resident of my home state, though I do live here again now.
I recently completed my military contract and have returned to my home state, having no plans to continue living in the state where I had been stationed but was still a legal resident. I would like to re-apply for legal residence in my home state, but I fear that this will alert them to my legal violations.
Optimally, I would like to become a legal resident of my home state once again without facing any legal penalties. As far as I am aware I am the only one who is aware of the issue, which makes me think that my home state has simply failed to detect the violation. Still, this is stressful to me, because I often find myself wondering if/when I will be detected and all the resulting complications.
I'd like to make clear that I am the one at fault here. I am not attempting to excuse my violation--I simply wish to resolve it. So I ask you, denizens of MetaFilter, what is your recommended course of action for me? I would really appreciate some advice on this matter.