Don’t Do It!

 Posted by at 12:43 am  Nick's Blog
Apr 122018
 

Every so often I hear from RVers who are not fulltimers wanting to know about establishing an address with a mail forwarding service and then buying an RV out-of-state and registering it in one of the more RV friendly states like Texas, South Dakota, or Florida. Some of them plan to leave their homes and become fulltimers, while others just want to establish a domicile in one of the states listed above to save money on sales tax, registration fees, and insurance. My advice is always, don’t do it!

It’s perfectly legal to choose any state you want as your legal domicile, but that has to be your legal domicile. For example, you can’t live in New Jersey and have a Florida drivers license and your vehicles registered in Florida. Either you live in Florida or you live in New Jersey, or wherever, but you can’t have both. Yes, you can own property in more than one state, you can even own a home in more than one state, but you still have to be a resident of just one state. I always tell people that you can’t be a little bit pregnant, and you can’t be a little bit of a resident of one state and a little bit of a resident of another.

If you live in New Jersey or Colorado, or whatever state you call home at this point, be aware that you can face heavy fines and penalties for registering your vehicles in another state. A while back a lot of Californians and people who lived in Colorado, for example, were registering their RVs in Montana but still actually resided in their home state. They did it to save money, but for many of them it didn’t work out that way. Their home states, the places where they owned a house and went to work every day and paid utility bills made a case that they were being cheated out of tax funds and prosecuted. It was very costly. I have heard of fines totaling tens of thousands of dollars.

If you plan to become a fulltimer, you can establish your legal domicile in another state as long as you don’t do it and then wait six months or a year or so to hit the road. Trust me, if the police know you live in your town and see you driving around in a car with out-of-state plates, you very likely will get pulled over.

Years ago when we changed vehicles, we gave the one we had been using, which was registered in Texas, to my daughter and her husband, who lived in northern Arizona. It took a couple of months to get a lien release and get the title to them, and in that time they were stopped three or four times by the police in their small town. The last time they were told that if they were caught driving the truck again while it was still registered out-of-state and in our names, they were going to get a ticket and the vehicle would be impounded. Do things right and save yourself a lot of hassle.



After reading yesterday’s blog, Kayaks and RVing, two different readers wanted to know if Terry and I would be interested in selling our Sea Eagle inflatable kayaks now that we are not traveling and have the hard shell Old Town Predator 13s. No, thanks. We really like the Sea Eagles, and it’s good to have a couple of extra boats around for when we have visitors. Plus, we have talked about throwing them in the van when we take some trips this coming summer. There is still a lot of good paddling to be done all over the country.

Yesterday was another marathon writing day for me, and by the time I knocked off about 7:30 PM I had gotten another 8,500 words out in my new John Lee Quarrels book. At this rate, I’m pretty sure I’ll have it finished by the weekend.

While I was doing that, Miss Terry was busy putting hundreds of new string heddles on one of her big Glimakra looms and getting it ready for her next weaving project. Crawling around inside that thing is a lot of work and she wound up with enough bruises on her legs that I’m glad someone didn’t see her and think I was abusing her. But she says it’s worth it, and we all know how much she loves weaving.

Several blog readers have taken us up on our special offer of digital back issues of the Gypsy Journal for the years 2003 through 2017. They come in PDF format on a USB thumb drive and will provide you with weeks of great reading about places to visit from coast to coast and our adventures as fulltime RVers. The normal cost of the back issue collection is $75, but we are running a special through the end of April for just $65, which includes shipping. If interested, you can log onto www.paypal.com and make payment to editor@gypsyjournal.net

A lot of you do your online shopping by clicking this Amazon link or the Amazon Search box at the top right sidebar of this blog. We appreciate that, because when you purchase an item on Amazon any time of the year from one of our links, we earn a small commission, which helps us offset the cost of publishing the blog.



It’s Thursday and time to kick off a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an audiobook of Chesapeake 1880 by my friend Ken Rossignol, a tale of life in the Chesapeake Bay region as the industrial revolution changed the world forever. To enter, all you have to do is click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening.

Thought For The Day – Mother Nature apologizes for the lateness of Spring, but Father Time was driving and refused to stop and ask for directions!

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “Don’t Do It!”

  1. Your post
    Years ago when we changed vehicles, we gave the one we had been using, which was registered in Texas, to my daughter and her husband, who lived in northern Arizona. It took a couple of months to get a lien release and get the title to them, and in that time they were stopped three or four times by the police in their small town. The last time they were told that if they were caught driving the truck again while it was still registered out-of-state and in our names, they were going to get a ticket and the vehicle would be impounded.

    Reply
    If your truck was being used as commerce I could understand the implications
    However the title and registration was not in their name but in yours
    If you gave them a bill of sale or relative transfer for that vehicle then it it has to be insured and registered immediately in Arizona which they failed to do regardless of the lean release
    If in any form you become a resident of Arizona immediate registration applies
    If you’re just visiting
    Theoretically if you boon dock in Arizona for seven months you need to register your vehicle in that state

  2. Your domicile can be in any state you wish if you’re going to register and Insurance a vehicle outside your domicile one needs to put it in an LLC and a lease back to yourself
    Case in point where Oklahoma had no sales tax my class A truck was registered in the state of Oklahoma my residence was Florida my only obligation was to buy 25 gallons of fuel in that state re-registration through the mail
    Oklahoma change their tax structure,, and we switch to Montana again my residence was in Florida, obligation to Montana zero fuel $15 LLC re-filing fee
    Insurance provider,progressive, both states
    The only reason not switching to Maine LLC registration they have to read and visually see the Vin numbers if not sold by a dealer
    If a vehicle (licensed and insured ) is under a corporate lease or an LLC it can be placed in any state, Driven by anybody
    Look on any class A truck driving down the road the license plate and their door tag states most don’t match.
    So if you register under your domicile you’re going to pay more, or lease (and leaseback )under your LLC is a whole different ball of wax
    You won’t find too many high-end coaches that don’t LLC lease/lease back
    For tax purposes

  3. Ed, I don’t know about Florida, but several states have decided the LLC thing is invalid and a tax scam if the people live in their state. We know more than one RVer who went the Montana LLC route and were hit hard with fines by their respective states, California, Minnesota, and Colorado.

  4. After reading the comments by Mr. Ed about Montana LLCs, and then your reply to him I have to speak up and hopefully will help some of your readers avoid the major problem we had after registering our Tiffin Phaeton with a Montana LLC. They make it sound like it’s a great way to save a bunch of money, and maybe it is if you live in a state like Florida where there are snowbirds coming and going all the time and nobody pays attention to license plates. But we live in Iowa and we wish we never heard the term LLC. Five months after forming the Montana LLC we got a registered letter from the state of Iowa informing us that we were in violation of state laws and a notice to appear in court. I immediately called the lawyer who formed our LLC and he assured us we had nothing to worry about and told us they are perfectly legal. Not according to Iowa! The Montana lawyer sent us all kinds of paperwork that supposedly proved the legitimacy of the LLC and the judge basically laughed in our faces. We were found guilty of using an out-of-state LLC to commit tax fraud and slapped with a $20,000 fine. You read that right, $20,000. We were also told that could be a felony conviction and be on our records forever. Fortunately a family friend who is an attorney represented us and he was able to negotiate it down to a misdemeanor and got the fine down to. $12,750 plus court costs. And we had to register the motorhome and our tow vehicle in Iowa and pay the sales tax on both of them since they were bought out of state through the LLC. All I can say is it has been a nightmare. I know a lot of people have them and may never have a problem, but I know it cost us a small fortune

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