California Residency Determination

California Education Code and Title 5, Sections 54000-54072, require that each student enrolled in or applying for admission to a California community college provide information and evidence to determine his/her residence classification for tuition purposes.


To qualify as a California resident, you must verify physical presence in California and intent to become a resident one-year and one day prior to the residency determination date, which is the published date before classes begin for a new semester. 

The one-year and one day period begins when you are not only present in California, but have also demonstrated clear intent to become a resident of California. Physical presence within the state solely for educational purposes does not constitute establishing California residence regardless of the length of that presence. The Taft College residence halls are ineligible and cannot be considered a permanent California state residence.

The burden of proof is on the student to verify both physical presence in California AND intent to make California your residence. Please bring ALL documents necessary to establish residency to the Admissions office.

Document Checklist

Below are documents you should provide to verify your California residency status. 

Please note: no single document is a determining factor.

Primary Evidence

Two proofs in your name OR your parent’s name if you are under 19; date for each must be on or before one year and one day prior to the start of the semester.


The following are considered valid forms of identification:

  • California state and federal tax returns (forms 1040 and 540) with W-2 forms (showing California as the home address)
  • California automobile registration
  • California driver’s license and/or California ID card
  • California voter registration Visit election website 
  • Military personnel: Active Duty orders and Military ID, showing permanent or home record as California
  • Ownership of residential property in California

Physical Presence

The following will validate your physical presence in California:

  • Establishing and maintaining active California bank account
  • California license for professional practice/membership in California organizations
  • Petitioner for divorce in California
  • Utility bills in your name (i.e., Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison) during the past year
  • Proof of employment (pay stub) for the past year
  • Rental/lease agreement for the past year in California
  • Verification of California public assistance for the past year

To avoid delays, it is important to bring ALL relevant documentation with you when you visit the Admissions Office.

Residency Requirements – Admissions

California Residency and Citizenship Requirements: By state law, Taft College is required to obtain evidence from students of physical presence in California and of their intent to make California their home state for other than a temporary period. For this reason, all information requested on the Admissions Application must be furnished. 

Incomplete applications will not be processed.

A California resident, for purposes of community college admission, is a person who has maintained physical presence in California for at least one year and one day immediately prior to the first day of instruction with the clear intent of making California his/her/their home.

Non-residents of California will be required to pay the non-resident tuition fee. Non-resident students who have attended three years of high school in California and graduated from a California high school may be eligible for exemption from non-resident tuition per AB 540 regulations.

Under AB 2210, Education Code section 68075.6 grants an immediate nonresident tuition fee exemption to eligible Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders and refugee students who settled in California upon entering the United States. This exemption is granted for one year from the date the student settled in California upon entering the United States.

This exemption applies to the following:

  • Iraqi citizens or nationals (and their spouses and children) who were employed by or on behalf of the United States Government in Iraq (Pub.L. No. 110-181, § 1244)
  • Afghan and Iraqi translators (and their spouses and children) who worked directly with the United States Armed Forces (Pub.L. No. 109-163, § 1059)
  • Afghanistan nationals who were employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government or in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan (Pub.L. No. 111-8, § 602)
  • Refugee students admitted to the United States under Section 1157 of Title 8 of the United States Code

Residency regulations may be found in sections 54000, 540600 – Title 5 of the California Code of Regulations.

Due to the complexity of residency requirements, students are encouraged to contact the Admissions Office at (661) 763-7741 or send an email to with specific questions.

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