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Old 01-12-2015, 09:07 PM   #1
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Registering a motorhome in S. Dakota

Has anyone not in S. Dakota registered their Coach in S. Dakota? I am planning on registering there when my current state tags expire. The state seems to be very RV friendly. So I am doing my research before renewal time. I would like to hear any info on the subject. Thanks for your help. Ed.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:11 PM   #2
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Ed, we just registered our cars in SD. We plan on doing the same with the coach when we pick it up next month.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:13 PM   #3
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I'm not sure about South Dakota but when I bought my RV from out of state I had to get a form from the BMV to have the VIN number verified by either the motor vehicle department or a law enforcement officer before I could register the vehicle. Also, in Indiana you can drive for 30 days after the purchase before you get tags, we had to wait for the pink slip so all we had was a bill of sale and had to wait a couple weeks for the pink slip. Not sure how South Dakota is but I'm sure you can find the info on there web page.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:23 PM   #4
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Has anyone not in S. Dakota registered their Coach in S. Dakota? I am planning on registering there when my current state tags expire. The state seems to be very RV friendly. So I am doing my research before renewal time. I would like to hear any info on the subject. Thanks for your help. Ed.
I thought you had to be a resident of the state to register there? To do otherwise might be considered fraud.
I know people in WA have tried to use a Montana LLC and been caught, cost them a bunch in fines plus they still owed the original taxes.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:27 PM   #5
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I'm not sure what your specific question is. There are thousands of fulltime RV'ers using SD as their domicile, and yes its a very RV friendly state. For most, step 1 is setting up your mail forwarding address with one of the professional mail forwarding businesses in SD. Then if you want to register the vehicle before you go there in person to get your DL, the mail forwarding company can act as your agent and go to the county treasurers office to file the registration in your name. You will need to send them the original title, a check for the fees & tax, and a notarized power of attorney. After you choose which mail forwarding company you want to use, call them and get the details.
I'm assuming you intend to use SD as your domicile state. Keeping your home state elsewhere and just using SD for a vehicle reg is not going to work.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:32 PM   #6
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Has anyone not in S. Dakota registered their Coach in S. Dakota? I am planning on registering there when my current state tags expire. The state seems to be very RV friendly. So I am doing my research before renewal time. I would like to hear any info on the subject. Thanks for your help. Ed.
We are fulltime and domiscile in SD. We chose to keep our mh and car in Montanna for insurance reasons. We are totally legal with no worries. Do YOUR research well and make phone calls, all county's in SD are not the same.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:36 PM   #7
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I should clarify my response that we are full time RVer's, using SD as our "homebase" for tax purposes. And yes, SD is very RV friendly.
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:44 PM   #8
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If you have a mail service, call them and let them handle the paperwork. It is well worth the charge to make sure it is done correctly. My mail service charged 40bux. That included filling out all the forms, assembling necessary paperwork, going to the DMV, doing the registration and mailing me the new plates
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:29 PM   #9
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Ed, as the responses so far have indicated, you may have to explain further what you mean. If you are considering going "full-time," South Dakota is one of the states which makes the most sense as a place to declare domicile.

However, if you are keeping your stick-house or are intending to remain Virginia residents for purposes of possessing a drivers' license, voting, and otherwise the address you use for all your legal documents and purposes, you will not want to register your motorhome in any state but Virginia (we won't even touch on the Montana LLC alternative as it's a hot topic on this forum which most will agree should not even be considered if you plan to remain Virginia residents).

Again, if you are considering going full-time or being full-time RVers (being out on the road and living in your RV), then yes, by all means you should consider and research South Dakota as a place to "call home" so to speak. You will have to change to a South Dakota drivers' license, register to vote, collect your mail (and/or use a mail forwarding service), consider registering BOTH your motorhome and your toad in South Dakota (or as some do, then use a Montana LLC as an alternative to register your vehicles), and by all other purposes, declare South Dakota as you home state. This is what many full-time RVers do.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:56 PM   #10
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Thanks all, for your input, I think that the Montana llc may be the direction I should go, or at least look further into it. For now our plan is to keep the S&M in VA.
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:21 PM   #11
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Thanks all, for your input, I think that the Montana llc may be the direction I should go, or at least look further into it. For now our plan is to keep the S&M in VA.
Well, as mentioned, the Montana LLC "discussions" here on this forum turn into heated name calling and accusation sessions so I didn't really want to even mention it (and shouldn't have). What you have to do is to really understand the laws and rules of your own state pertaining to what triggers vehicle registration if you even want to consider the Montana LLC route. In most cases, it is difficult to justify unless you are out of your home state the majority of the time (and even then, you'll be called a lot of names by the majority on this forum).

I'll give you a quick PM on a few things to research as I don't want to turn this thread into another flame war.
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:28 PM   #12
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I would second the earlier response on what it is you intend to do. In 2012, I held VA drivers license, and up to Dec 12, had a resident address in VA. VA has 3% sales tax, so moving everything to SD (which also has 3% sales tax) in advance of RV purchase was not necessary... from a tax perspective, AS LONG AS, 1) you are going to full time and have no intention of garaging your RV in VA while maintaining a house there, and 2) you transfer your new title to SD within 30 or so days (IOW before the local property tax folks come after you in Loudoun or Fairfax counties, as well as some others from what I understand), then you can travel to SD, spend the night in a hotel or an RV park, and then take your one night receipt to the drivers license bureau and get a new license. Then, using a mail forwarding outfit's assistance, although you could do it yourself but it is probably better to have them help the first time, and have them work transferring you autos and RV to title and register in SD.

NOTE...this is for full timers...if you're using this to dodge tax and plan on keeping your home in VA, vote there or keep your license there, and finally to garage you MH there...chances are you're going to get caught and you won't like the tax results.

Been there and done that with VA, and now have my second RV registered and titled in my new home state, SD. Not a lawyer or tax consultant, so JMHO...but it works for a lot of us.
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Old 01-12-2015, 11:32 PM   #13
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Thanks all, for your input, I think that the Montana llc may be the direction I should go, or at least look further into it. For now our plan is to keep the S&M in VA.
Are you going to lease or rent out the house in VA? If you use it as your base the state of VA may have a rude surprise for you as in most cases it's illegal to have a LLC in another state. The Montana LLC may be totally legal in MT, but not in VA. If it's legal in MT and VA then you're OK.
I'd love to do an LLC out of state as the sales/use tax on RV's is close to 10% now. Luckily it's only on the difference between the old and new so trading in rather than selling old/buying new makes sense here.
Here in WA they do prosecute for tax fraud if you have a home here and go with a Montana LLC. I have a redacted copy of just such a case. It's over 25 MB so I can't really post it anywhere.
Couple did an LLC through an attorney, dotted all the i's and crossed all the t's but the WA investigators "pierced the corporate veil" and proved it was a sham LLC.
Investigate thoroughly and don't depend on the Montana attorney to do it correctly.
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