Enrollment‎ > ‎

Residency (Domicile) Policy & Procedures

The Department of Student Enrollment is responsible for verifying the domicile status for new and continuing students, domicile policy enforcement, and the consequences for violating domicile policy. The purpose of this page is to provide an overview of the domicile policy and procedures of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. Additional questions should be directed to Catherine Mau, the Coordinator of Student Enrollment, (cmau@chccs.k12.nc.us).  

This page attempts to summarize and explain policies of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools Board of Education. This page does not establish or override Board policy. The Board and school administration will rely on Board policy and not this page in making school admission or assignment decisions. 

Domicile and Residence Defined

Domicile requires the intent to abandon one's prior home and remain in the new location as a permanent home for an indefinite period.  In contrast, a residence need not be one's exclusive home and does not require an intention that the residence be the permanent home.   

The words "domicile" and "residence" mean different things.  A person may have her/his residence in one place and her/his domicile in another.  Residence simply indicates a person's actual place of abode, whether permanent or temporary. Domicile denotes one's permanent, established home as distinguished from a temporary, although actual, place of residence. Domicile is the home where a person intends to remain permanently, or for an indefinite length of time. Two things must concur to constitute a domicile: First, residence; second, the intent to make the place of residence a home.

A student who is domiciled within the geographic area served by the school system, in the school district who is under age 21 before the first day of school, who has not completed the prescribed courses for high school graduation and who otherwise qualifies for admission is entitled to be admitted without payment of tuition.  Under certain circumstances specified by law, a student who resides in the school district and who otherwise qualifies for admission to its schools also is entitled to be admitted without payment of tuition.  

Meeting Domicile Requirements

The domicile of a student under 18 years of age is presumed to be the domicile of his or her parents, legal guardian or legal custodian as defined by the General Statutes of North Carolina. 

If the student is at least 18 years of age, married or abandoned by his or her parents, or if the court declares a student to be emancipated, the student may establish a domicile independent from that of his or her parents, legal guardian or legal custodian.  A student who establishes domicile as a result of being emancipated is a domiciliary of the school district and will be entitled to the same rights and privileges of other students domiciled in the school district.

This residency policy shall not apply to homeless students, as per the McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Act.  Questions regarding homeless students should be directed to the Coordinator of Student Services, 919-967-8211.  

For more information please see Board of Education policy 4120 by searching our Policy Site.

Verification of Domicile

Prior to enrollment in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, a student's parent or legal guardian must provide one proof of residency for a domicile within the school district.  

Verification of a domicile is completed by the Registrar or Coordinator of Student Enrollment at Lincoln Center.  Currently, acceptable proofs of residency include the following documents:
  • Current lease or rental agreement;
  • Current Orange County property tax bill;
  • Final sales contract, settlement statement on the purchase of a home, or contract to purchase a home (if moving after the school year begins, the contract must have an occupancy date that aligns with Policy 4135);
  • Current mortgage statement; or 
  • Unseparated Duke Energy, OWASA, Public Service Gas bill, or Piedmont Electric bill. Note: Telephone or Cable bills are not acceptable as proof of residency
Any parent who is domiciled within the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, but cannot provide an acceptable proof of residency or does not have any of the aforementioned documents in their name, should contact the Registrar at Lincoln Center, 919-967-8211, ext. 28268. 

Enforcement of Domicile Policy

In addition to the documents required to establish domicile for the purposes of registering a student, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools reserves the right to request a variety of documents to verify a student's domicile and conduct investigations into the domicile status of students.  Verification of a student's domicile status may occur at any time during the year.   

A residency investigation shall be conducted on families suspected of living outside of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, including but not limited to:
  • Families suspected by school personnel of being in violation of the domicile policy;
  • Families who submit a false, suspicious, or contradictory proof of residency; and
  • Families for whom CHCCS receives returned mail or correspondence by postal authorities to a school or Lincoln Center because of an invalid address. Returned mail of this nature shall be forwarded to the Coordinator of Student Enrollment for review.
It is the responsibility of the Coordinator of Student Enrollment to pursue investigations involving possible domicile fraud.  The Coordinator of Student Enrollment reports directly to the Assistant Superintendent for Support Services.  

Families being investigated will be notified in writing by the Coordinator of Student Enrollment. Any family under investigation may be required to provide additional proofs of residency, above and beyond what is required to register a student.  Affidavits of residency may be refused as proof if it is suspected that a family has submitted false, suspicious, or contradictory material.  The Coordinator of Student enrollment may also conduct home visits to verify residency or refer the case to local law enforcement for residency verification.

Information about CHCCS domicile requirements, procedures, and consequences for violating the policy can be found in the Registration section the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools website and in writing from the Coordinator of Student Enrollment at Lincoln Center.  

Consequences for Violating the Domicile Policy

Any student found in violation of the CHCCS domicile policy shall be withdrawn from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.