Domicile

As a full-time RVer, I love the feeling of freedom that I have, not being tied to one place.  Like a turtle, I take my home with me.    RV supply stores have a sign you can buy which says “Home Is Where You Park It”, and that’s exactly how I feel!

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Still, I have to be a resident somewhere in order to have a driver’s license, register to vote, register my vehicles, pay taxes, and so on.  I’ve been a resident of Pennsylvania for twenty years, but it doesn’t make sense to retain my residence there now.  Since I have a choice, I want to find a state which has no state income tax or inheritance tax, and one which I could conveniently visit to take care of business (for example, Alaska would NOT be convenient!).

Other considerations include whether or not the state requires a vehicle inspection (which would mean an annual trip to the state of domicile), and remote/online flexibility for renewals, absentee ballots, and so forth.

After doing some research, I found that the three states which are the most “full-time RV’er friendly” are South Dakota, Texas, and Florida.  For me, it made the most sense to choose Florida, since I have ties in the state and it’s possible that I might buy a house there eventually.  So, when I was considering which mail forwarding service to use, I chose one in Green Cove Springs, Florida.

Over the past three months, I’ve been in domicile limbo.  My mailing address is Florida, but my driver’s license is in Pennsylvania.  This created complications in all sorts of ways, so I was very happy and relieved to finally arrive in Florida last week, and become a Florida resident!

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I was absolutely amazed that the whole process took about an hour and a half.  Interestingly, the first action was to go to the Clay County Courthouse and file a domicile intention form, which is actually recorded and becomes public information.  I definitely thought about future genealogists tracking down this document!

I wish I could post a photograph of my driver’s license, because it’s very unique – my address is the license plate number of my motorhome!  Now THAT’s an RV-friendly state!!

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