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Old 01-29-2011, 08:02 AM   #1
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Mail forwarding questions

It looks like we are planning to spend half or more of the year in Florida but not in one location. So if we go with a Fl mail forwarding service I have some questions. If using this for your address for your primary residence what happens if you are called for jury duty and are either way up north or four hours away in Fl. If you ever get "called on the carpet" in your previously home state for taxes, NY in our case, are they smart enough to recognize the address as a mail forward? Not trying to cheat on anything but if it is legal why not take advantage if we are truly not in NY for more than 6 months. This has some interesting listening for those who are thinking what we are Domicile Guide - A seminar for the Florida Snowbird it does not mention mail forwarding if I remember correctly.

Drivers licenses and registrations are confusing to me when transferring them to Fl. Will a NY title work? I read something about getting a Fl police officer or car dealer to sign something that proves what you are registering. Tough to do if we want to leave the NY plates behind and drive it down with the new Fl ones. Can you register in a county other than the one you state as your address without a problem? The idea of still having NY registrations doesn't seem smart if claiming another state residence.

I know this has been kicked around here, just looking for members that may have lived it so we are sure it is what we want to do.

Sometimes I wonder if we are doing this backwards and instead of coming down here for the winter we should sell the house, buy one here and take the MH up north for the 3 good months of summer there.

Sorry about the long wind. Too much coffee this morning I guess.
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Old 01-29-2011, 10:06 AM   #2
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Hi HD4Mark,
Actually you're doing this the correct way. Look at the entire picture (+/-) and then followup by doing the various processes one step at a time.

Go to Official Website Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to see the Florida DMV site. Or go to Official Website Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to lean about getting a Florida Drivers License.
Go to Gather Go Get the FLORiDA Card: Index to see what you need when arriving at the DMV to get a Florida drivers license.
Go to How do we establish residency in Florida? to see some topics about establishing Florida residency.

To get the official answers to your questions:
Go to Official Website Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for DMV questions.

If the above mentioned links do not answer your questions, consider contacting the mail forwarding service you intend to use. Most have a package of instructions that will lead you through the process.

Welcome to Florida.

As to NYS not liking you anymore. From what I understand, if you are not a resident of the state, you owe no taxes (personal, income, etc) to NYS. However, if you work in NYS, you will need to pay NYS income tax and file a non-resident NYS income tax return.

If you spend less than 6 months in NYS there should be no problem with a Florida resident being in NYS for the summer. Now you would be a NYS tourist!

As to property you own in NYS, one must continue to pay all taxes on the property, just as you do now. I'm a resident of Florida. I own property in states other then Florida. The bottom line is if the Department of Revenue is happy the rest of the state is happy.
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:02 AM   #3
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GaryKD gave good advice, so I won't repeat it.

As for jury duty, you must respond promptly to the Clerk of the Court issuing the jury summons. Florida Clerks are quite accustomed to having people be out of state and are generally willing to reschedule you for another, more convenient appearance. Just call the phone number provided on the jury summons and ask for a postponement. Typically they will ask WHEN you will be back in Florida, so be prepared to name a month. You will almost surely be called then, and a second request for a postponement may not be so cordially received.

You transfer your title and driver licenses once you arrive in Florida. They will probably require that the vehicle VIN be verified, so it may not be possible to do it by mail/fax from out of state.
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Old 01-30-2011, 07:01 AM   #4
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One thing you might want to do before leaving NYS is to remove yourself from the voting roles. States have used voter registration as 'proof' you live there for taxing purposes.

We made the switch in 06' from RI to FL. We use Good Sam mail forwarding out of Pensacola, $10 plus postage per month. When in Pensacola you can pick it up in person. At that time it was easy to get the license with the address provided. We made the appointment online and were out in less than an hour.

We registered the car in a different county and it did not matter. Being from RI we had made a trip to find out how we go about it. Turns out if we had taken our checkbook with us we could have done it in 15 minutes. So we made a second trip, the women at the counter walked out to the car to verify the vin. Piece of cake compared to RI.

Make sure you bring proof of the sales tax you paid in NYS on your vehicles, you will get credit for taxes already paid. Good luck,

Bob

PS you will need to pay prorated taxes for 2010 to NYS for this tax year. Then nothing after that. Got to love FL.

PPS We have not been hit with a jury summons, but I think they may not use the addresses for mail forwarders anymore. Ever since the hanging chads they have not allowed people to vote using those addresses.
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Old 01-30-2011, 07:44 AM   #5
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There is another thread that has lots of comments on this subject regarding states up north that will try to enforce a fee, registration, etc if you park your RV more than 30 days in some states. They are loosing lots of tax revenue and want as much as they can get.

So, it would be good to hear from others that live in NYS to see what the tax & fee laws really are before you pull the trigger.

We stopped in St. Augustine, FL to change our title, registration, and drivers license even though our residence is in Polk County. Took us about an hour for everything. Very helpful. Don't bother stopping at a FL weigh station to have you VIN number verified on the form they provide. In NC you can get an ID card if you still own property or register other vehicles in the state. Don't know about NY.

I don't think your question about mail forwarding was answered about moving around. I'm interested to here more about how that works when you are at different CG for only 2-5 days at a time.

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Old 01-30-2011, 07:57 AM   #6
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Hi denochs,
There is no easy answer to mail forwarding if one is moving quite a bit. At this time, I am a 1/2 timer. My daughter collects the mail. When moving quite a bit, she just holds it until I know if can be forwarded. Her instructions are to open all mail, toss the junk and call for mail from the IRS, any other government agency or attorney.

If I was using a mail forwarding service, I'd use the high cost method of mail delivery to have my mail forwarded.
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Old 01-30-2011, 08:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HD4Mark View Post

Sometimes I wonder if we are doing this backwards and instead of coming down here for the winter we should sell the house, buy one here and take the MH up north for the 3 good months of summer there.
That's basically what we decided several years ago when we sold in Maryland and moved to Florida. Then after 5 years of parttiming we sold in Florida too and when fulltime from there.

We use Good Sams Mail Forwarding out of Florida. Sometimes we move around quite a bit but at least once a month, we try to call ahead to where we will be and find out if we can have our mail sent there. If there is a possibility that our mail will arrive before we do, we ask Good Sam's put write - Arriving XXXX so the campground doesn't return the package.

One of the best things you can do with your mail is try to minimize what comes in the mail as much as possible. Try to either set up automatic bill pay, paperless, or online bill pay as much as possible. We either stopped magazines or switched to the online subscriptions when possible.

By the way, another posters said that mail forwarding addressees weren't allowed to vote since the hanging chads - with Good Sam's we have received absentee ballots for every election like clockwork without even having to request them after the first one.

Good luck
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:24 AM   #8
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I don't think your question about mail forwarding was answered about moving around. I'm interested to here more about how that works when you are at different CG for only 2-5 days at a time.


Dave,

That is our life style. We stayed in 90+ CG's last year. What I prefer is to have the mail sent C/O General Delivery to the local Post Office. That way I take the CG out of the loop if something happens. We went to Alaska in 08' we had called for our mail to be sent to the PO in Bonners Ferry, ID (our FL tag was due to expire on our AK trip). The mail was delayed for some reason and we could not wait any longer. I was able to call the PO and have them sent it to Tok, AK instead. No extra charge or having to rely on somebody at the CG to do it.

With Good Sam you have a toll free number or you can use their website to request your mail. As just posted, we do almost everything online. We do not get credit card statements or bills, just an email.

Bob
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Old 01-31-2011, 06:33 AM   #9
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When I was fulltiming, I would call my mail service and have my mail sent General Delivery to a local Post Office wherever I happened to be, as many campgrounds did accept mail. I had to stay put until the mail arrived.
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:33 AM   #10
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What I prefer is to have the mail sent C/O General Delivery to the local Post Office. That way I take the CG out of the loop if something happens.
This is exactly what we do. We use a different mail forwarder (in SD) but use exactly this method. I call ahead to the local post office to check if they take General Delivery (not all post offices do, so it's always important to check) and then just have the mail sent there. It's waiting for us at the PO when we arrive. We do this 1-2 weeks ahead of when we arrive to a spot. Been doing this for past year with no issues. Nina
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:57 AM   #11
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Thanks all for very useful info. Our reason for the change of residence is mostly about income tax. I wouldn't even consider it if it was not legal. The problems after would not be worth the savings. Even out tax guy kind of takes a hands off attitude about it. If it is a legit thing to do, hey why not?

My first big concern is about motor vehicles. It doesn't seem smart to still register a vehicle in NY while claiming residence in another state. Problem is we have a car, SUV, a boat, 2 PWCs and 3 trailers that won't be leaving in the near future. The trailers can easily be registered out of state. The cars and boats are a different story. From what I can gather from the links GaryKD was good enough to supply Fl wants to see the VIN or have a Fl police officer or a car dealer sign a form stating that is the VIN of the vehicle. I haven't looked into boats yet. The MH and toad are in Fl now so I guess that won't be a problem unless the insurance is way higher. It would be really nice to get rid of the front plate and window stickers.

For an address we are having our mail forwarded now to my in laws winter home in Fl and they weed out anything we don't need. We already have most bills, bank statement and stuff paperless whenever possible.
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