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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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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!