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Full-timers' residency requirements


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#1 TDKeenan10

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 02:49 PM

Hi. Diane and I intend to become full-timers very soon. We would appreciate any advice you can give us on residency problems. How do you handle fed taxes, voting, "billing addresses" for credit cards, etc.? We have kids scattered throughout the United States that could act as a mail drop. Does that set us up for state residency? Should we get a P.O. Box in Montana? Thanks, Tom and Diane Keenan
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#2 TBUTLER

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 06:59 PM

Welcome to the forum TD,

You have raised a real good question! When we went full time almost 8 years ago we found a resource that listed all the states and their residency requirements along with their tax structure, etc. I don't think it is the same book but here is one that covers the same kind of information: Selecting an RV Home Base. This link has been updated August 2011 to replace one that no longer worked.

There are legal issues. When we went full time we went to a lawyer in our new home state, South Dakota, and had our trust and wills altered to fit the legal requirements of South Dakota. At that time she gave us a sheet that described what courts look at in determining state of residence. Some people get themselves into a legal gray area by having drivers license from state A and a mailing address in state B while perhaps owning property in state C. When you try to claim state B for tax purposes, you can put yourself in a real bind. Then purchasing a motor home in State D and paying no sales or excise tax there further clouds the situation. There are lots of items from memberships in organizations to voting to vehicle registration, etc. that can be examined to determine where you actually live.

The thing I would be careful of is to make the move as completely as you can. Our drivers license, vehicle registration and mailing address all match. When we bought a new motor home we paid our excise tax in South Dakota as well (it was a fraction of what our state income tax would have been in our original home state). We vote in South Dakota also. The stronger you make this link to your new home state, the stronger your case will be if there is ever a question.

Having said all that, I will say that South Dakota works really well for us. I'll not go into details here but you can find information about using South Dakota as a home state at http://www.myhomeaddressinc.com
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Tom and Louise Butler
2004 Monaco Windsor, Cummins 400 ISL
Roadmaster Sterling Tow Bar, Brakemaster, GMC Acadia, BikeE Recumbent Bicycles

After 9 1/2 years full time in our motor home and being Winter Texans we are now living at Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, Texas. Now we are Summer Chickens!

"The tipi is much better to live in; always clean and warm in winter, cool in summer, easy to move... If the Great Spirit wanted men to live in one place he would have made the world stand still." -- Flying Hawk, South Dakota Oglala Sioux


#3 TDKeenan10

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Posted 28 May 2009 - 07:27 PM

Thank you for your most thoughtful response. I will research it very carefully.
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#4 ClayL

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Posted 30 May 2009 - 11:06 AM

Thank you for your most thoughtful response. I will research it very carefully.

In addition to the info Tom posted you might find the domicile info HERE useful.
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Clay (WA5NMR), Lee (Wife), katie & Kelli (cats)
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#5 TBUTLER

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 12:12 AM

Clay,

That is an excellent resource. Explains it better than I ever could. Thanks for adding that. I've bookmarked the site.
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Tom and Louise Butler
2004 Monaco Windsor, Cummins 400 ISL
Roadmaster Sterling Tow Bar, Brakemaster, GMC Acadia, BikeE Recumbent Bicycles

After 9 1/2 years full time in our motor home and being Winter Texans we are now living at Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, Texas. Now we are Summer Chickens!

"The tipi is much better to live in; always clean and warm in winter, cool in summer, easy to move... If the Great Spirit wanted men to live in one place he would have made the world stand still." -- Flying Hawk, South Dakota Oglala Sioux


#6 RichinBigRig

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 06:55 PM

I am currently full-timing with South Dakota as my state of citizenship. I use a mail forwarding service in Sioux Falls[Alternative Resources] and they are a full service company--meaning that they can handle my adsentee voting, my vehicle registrations/licenses, special delivery mailings, small packages, etc. My mail is forwarded to me on Friday of each week, which means that most weeks I have the mail package on Monday. I was born and raised in Sioux Falls, so it was an easy choice to go back there. And as a previous post mentioned, my drivers license is from SD, my will has been prepared and on file there, and my voting registration is in SD. I had to go to the state of course to get everything in order, but once done, the mail service can handle nearly anything that I need. The tax benefits are worth the one time effort to put everything in place.
Rich Halverson
RichinBigRig@yahoo.com
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Rich and Charlotte Halverson
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Natives of South Dakota and North Carolina
Careers in business (Rich) and teaching (Charlotte)

#7 TBUTLER

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Posted 26 June 2009 - 05:04 PM

If you haven't found it yet, everyone reading this topic should also take a look at a recently posted response to an article under Legislative action: Registering an RV using a Montana LLC. The third post by tmoning has links to two articles about motor home registrations in Montana that have backfired on their motor home owners. Certainly something to think about!
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Tom and Louise Butler
2004 Monaco Windsor, Cummins 400 ISL
Roadmaster Sterling Tow Bar, Brakemaster, GMC Acadia, BikeE Recumbent Bicycles

After 9 1/2 years full time in our motor home and being Winter Texans we are now living at Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, Texas. Now we are Summer Chickens!

"The tipi is much better to live in; always clean and warm in winter, cool in summer, easy to move... If the Great Spirit wanted men to live in one place he would have made the world stand still." -- Flying Hawk, South Dakota Oglala Sioux


#8 Guest_2driftrs_*

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 05:24 AM

Janet and I researched ourselves silly on the subject of residency, and decided Tennessee worked best for us given our situation. But this doesn't mean it would work for everybody. Other states, including SD and FL, looked good, too, but TN is not far from most of our family in NC and VA.

Has anybody made TN their home base? We'd love to hear from you.

Jan and Barry

#9 jim@collardscorner.com

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 09:36 PM

Thought I would add another state that has advantages for full-timers although it may not appeal to many. We are from Alaska and it is a good state to be from if you are a full-timer. No state income tax, no state sales tax, no expensive vehicle registrations ( our 2007 Alfa MH is $100 for a two year license plate tag). Residency is easy to establish although you won't be eligible for the annual Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend Check. Being out of the state more than 90 days in a year disqualifies one form getting it. We vote absentee in major elections but do miss some of the smaller municipal events.

We use a UPS store address for our mail and have it forwarded every week. We've become mostly paperless so over time the volume of mail has decreased substantially. The Internet is the focus for what used to fill our mailbox.

And...residency would give you an excuse to visit up there once in a while.

Like I said, Alaska residency doesn't make sense for most people but thought I would put my two cents worth in.

Jim
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#10 dmgray

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 09:58 AM

Hi We used St.Brendan's Isle mail service in Green Cove Springs, FL to register our rig and car. We contacted them at 904-284-1200 and they e-mailed us the paperwork, which we filled out and mailed in to the DMV. The DMV ladies were so nice and they mailed us our tags to Tex. and said to get our driver's licenses whenever we got to FL. We have had such an easy time getting our mail forwarded with SBI. This was the easiest way to get our tags and mail and we were delighted with both services. Duane M. Gray
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#11 rvtraveler100

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 11:16 AM

I have been full time since April 2005. I considered three states to claim as my residence. Florida, Texas and South Dakota. Fl and TX do not require annual inspections. Not sure of SD. Fl allows for two address for diver licenses and registrations. So, I chose Fl, used the RV park where I winter and my FMCA mail forward address for billing. It has worked out very well. The registration fee for the MH is $50/yr. For taxes I use my Fl address. Hope this helps.

Steve
F272580
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#12 cmcul8r

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Posted 05 October 2009 - 05:15 PM

My wife Joye and I just addressed this issue by becoming members of the ESCAPEES RV Club and Texas residents. We were previously residents of South Carolina, which has state income and sales taxes, as well as property taxes on motor vehicles. The sales tax on motor vehicles, when purchased, is limited to $300. But, what hurt us the most was the county "property" taxes, (lets just say it is more than $3000 a year on just our motor home). We considered going to South Dakota, but SD has a one time "excise" tax on your vehicles. They do adjust it based on any sales tax that you have already paid, but because we only paid $300 sales tax in SC, the difference would have been over $6000.

So, having talked to a Texas resident and found out they did not have a property tax on motor vehicles, I made some additional inquiries through our Discovery Owners Association. I was referred to ESCAPEES.com and found a paper on their home page titled "How to Become a Texan" which discussed a lot of the legal issues and told you what was needed to become a Texas resident. Essentially, I found out that Texas does not have a state income tax, and as I mentioned, no property tax on motor vehicles as long as they are not used for business purposes. Also, they do have a sales tax 6.25% on your vehicles, if purchased after you become a resident. Unlike SD, when we registered our vehicles in Texas, we paid a one time new resident fee of $90 per vehicle, and the registration/tag fees for each vehicle, which was based on the weight of the vehicles. We ended up paying $670 to register our motor home and two vehicles, which was so much better than having to pay the annual property tax on the motorhome. On the other hand, Texas does have an annual vehicle inspection requirement, but we were told that, being full timers and being out of the state the majority of the time, we can have the vehicles inspected next time we pass through Texas, which we do once a year anyway.

So, you might want to consider Texas.

Good luck,

Carl Cook
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#13 fmclanis

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 11:47 AM

Also look into the type of medical insurance you have. I have AARP and the reason I choose them is I can get medical care anywhere is the US. Most insurance companies require you go to their doctors and only get treatment in the state where you get your mail.
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#14 TBUTLER

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Posted 06 October 2009 - 12:05 PM

My wife Joye and I just addressed this issue by becoming members of the ESCAPEES RV Club and Texas residents. ... So, you might want to consider Texas.

Good luck,

Carl Cook



Carl,

Check the discussion on Drivers Licensing in Other States. There is some information on the requirements for drivers of RV's in Texas that you should know.
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Tom and Louise Butler
2004 Monaco Windsor, Cummins 400 ISL
Roadmaster Sterling Tow Bar, Brakemaster, GMC Acadia, BikeE Recumbent Bicycles

After 9 1/2 years full time in our motor home and being Winter Texans we are now living at Sandpipers Resort in Edinburg, Texas. Now we are Summer Chickens!

"The tipi is much better to live in; always clean and warm in winter, cool in summer, easy to move... If the Great Spirit wanted men to live in one place he would have made the world stand still." -- Flying Hawk, South Dakota Oglala Sioux





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