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Old 07-10-2014, 06:07 PM   #1
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South Dakota as Domicile State

We are about to sell the house and buy the RV. Right now we live in New Jersey, but can not afford to retire here so we have decided on SD. My question is if we were to establish our domicile before purchasing we would save 8K in sales tax between the 7% in NJ and 4% in SD, but was wondering if SD has any tax in addition to sales tax when you register the vehicle.

Just to try to head off any negative comments, I don't believe this is like doing a Montana LLC, although we did consider that, as we will be cutting all ties with NJ and consider this a move to a more tax friendly state.



Be interested in any real world experiences out there.

Thanks

Jim
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Old 07-10-2014, 06:19 PM   #2
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We sold our home in NC 3 years ago and became SD residents. We had already purchased our MH and paid NC sales tax on it. SD charged us 3% (not 4) less what we had already paid NC. Vehicle registration is good for 2 years and cost us about $150 for MH and car if I recall correctly. So far there have been no hidden gotcha's and we have been very happy with the move. We went with Americas-Mailbox Home - mail forwarding - Americas-Mailbox for our legal address (on our drivers licenses) and they took care of the vehicle registrations for us. They charged just $25 per vehicle for one of their people to go stand in line at the DMV! We had to physically go to SD to get our drivers licenses, but the residency requirement is ONE NIGHT in the state! Just stay one night in a hotel or campground, next morning take the receipt along with your other state's drivers license (must be current), one other form of identity like a passport and your SS card to the DMV office. 20 minutes later you are a legal SD resident!

If you are becoming true full timers with no ties to NJ then I see no reason for going the Montana LLC route.
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:10 PM   #3
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We "moved" our legal domicile from Wisconsin to South Dakota in 2012. As long as we had already paid sales tax in Wisconsin, which we had, we did not have to pay any in South Dakota. If not previously titled in another state (no sales tax paid) you will, no doubt have to pay South Dakota. Do you, or will you still own property, ie a house, in New Jersey when you do all of this? Depending on how aggressive New Jersey is that could spell trouble. It's much cleaner if you no longer have any ties such as jobs or property owned in your old state.

Bruce is correct, you will have to appear in person to establish residency and as he said, you only have to prove you spent one night in the state (a motel or campground receipt will do). Our visit to the driver's license station took all of 10 minutes.

We too use America's Mailbox. In two years, no complaints. Interestingly, we don't seem to get our license plate renewal notices in time to actually renew them before they are due (one of life's little mysteries that seems destined to remain unsolved) but it is easy to go on-line and renew them when you know they're due.
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:08 PM   #4
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We also made the "move" from IL to SD. We made it official on December 1st after both of us retired on November 30th. We started the process in August with Alternative Resources in Sioux Falls by spending a night at a near by CG and then the next day getting our SD driver's license and starting the process to register our vehicle in SD. That took about 3 weeks to complete because of liens being transferred also. We also started changing all of our financial information (credit cards, loans vehicle insurance and such) over to the new address we established. Finally in October we got our passports also with the new address.

It was pretty easy to do. There are 3 or 4 good SD mail forwarding services to choose from and they all will have resources to help make that process go well.

BTW...when you spend that night in SD you will want to have already established your new mailing address prior to that visit. When you get your receipt from the CG or Hotel you will want the receipt made out to you at that new address BEFORE you try to get your SD DL. That will be your proof of address needed to establish your address for the DL. Again, the mail forwarding services can help you through that process.

Also, SD has some rather strict proof of citizenship requirements with the usual birth certificate requirement. The tricky part is for women that have had name changes due to marriage(s) and providing the proper documents to show the chain of name changes. Having all the marriage certificates and when appropriate divorce documents is needed when name changes were made.

Finally (not in order) we sold the house. We have NO property in IL to confuse anyone about that being our state of residence.
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Sky_Boss View Post
We also made the "move" from IL to SD. We made it official on December 1st after both of us retired on November 30th. We started the process in August with Alternative Resources in Sioux Falls by spending a night at a near by CG and then the next day getting our SD driver's license and starting the process to register our vehicle in SD. That took about 3 weeks to complete because of liens being transferred also. We also started changing all of our financial information (credit cards, loans vehicle insurance and such) over to the new address we established. Finally in October we got our passports also with the new address.

It was pretty easy to do. There are 3 or 4 good SD mail forwarding services to choose from and they all will have resources to help make that process go well.

BTW...when you spend that night in SD you will want to have already established your new mailing address prior to that visit. When you get your receipt from the CG or Hotel you will want the receipt made out to you at that new address BEFORE you try to get your SD DL. That will be your proof of address needed to establish your address for the DL. Again, the mail forwarding services can help you through that process.

Also, SD has some rather strict proof of citizenship requirements with the usual birth certificate requirement. The tricky part is for women that have had name changes due to marriage(s) and providing the proper documents to show the chain of name changes. Having all the marriage certificates and when appropriate divorce documents is needed when name changes were made.

Finally (not in order) we sold the house. We have NO property in IL to confuse anyone about that being our state of residence.
Agree with everything Don said. The reason for the strict documentation is that SD is a "Real ID" state. Information on what that means is here: REAL ID Act - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. I legally changed my name some years ago (dumped middle names I never liked) and I had to show the court order to document why the name on my birth certificate and passport are different. The good news is that the Mail Forwarding service told us exactly what paperwork to bring to the DMV. Also, Americas Mailbox contacted the lien holders of both our vehicles and arranged for title transfer to SD. I have also heard good things about Alternative Resources. The key to a painless process is signing up with one of these companies early on and letting them guide you through the whole residency process.
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Old 07-10-2014, 10:56 PM   #6
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We have been SD residents since 2003 having defected from CA. We use Alternative Resources and have had no problems.

Establish your mail forwarding address first.

Go to SD.

Then you can use a campground's FULL address as your residence. Don't use "Acme Campground". On the receipt it needs to have BOTH of your names on it plus the full address of the campground. Take this with you when you get your drivers license. We found out about the both name issue and the full address issue when we were there a year ago when we renewed our licenses. For proof of citizenship, you can use your passport.

We do our own vehicle renewals with the county treasurers office, costs a few bucks extra to have the tags mailed and credit card but no big deal. For the first time, you might want the mail forwarding service to do this for you.

We have all of our legal "stuff" in SD which includes wills, banking, voter registration, etc.

Register to vote using your campground address as your legal address with your mail service address as your mailing address. Voter registration will mail a card to your legal address and your mail service will somehow get it and send it to you. Now you can use absentee voting.

SD is complying with all of this krap required by the federal govt to prove who you are and where you live. It is no problem and most everyone in SD is very helpful.

Your old state will probably chase after you for taxes for a couple of years like CA did us. Keep excellent records and keep telling the old state you are no longer a resident there as of xxx date. CA chased us for 3 years and the last year, I threatened law suit for harassment and they finally went away.

You can still own property in your old state and that does not make you a resident however if you make any income in the old state, you are liable for taxes to them for that income
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Old 07-10-2014, 11:11 PM   #7
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We also use Americas Mail Box in Box Elder, SD (a suburb of Rapid City).
They have their own RV park adjacent to their business, so you can just stay in their park, take the receipt to the DMV the next day and get your DL. We have been members for about a year and they helped us get all our cars and MH registered in SD. This year we bought a new MH in Michagan, got an "In transit" registration, drove to SD and registered it today, 3% sales tax paid at the court house, new plates in hand, and out the door in 20 minutes. Saved a ton of money over having to title it in the state we bought it. In SD, you have 30 days to register after purchase or there will be some penalties.

Good luck,

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Old 07-11-2014, 02:23 PM   #8
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We use MyDakotaAddress in Madison, SD. Terri is awesome to work with and since Madison is a small town, Terri has a great working relationship with the courthouse and DMV. Women can avoid having to provide documentation of name changes by producing a valid passport in current name. You have to provide your original SS card too, plus 2 bills showing your SD address, a copy of your mail forwarding agreement, a receipt showing you have stayed overnight in the state, and must sign a statement that you plan to return to SD after you are finished traveling. If you have a spouse and if both of you are getting drivers license at the same time, both names must be on the receipt for the overnight stay. Madison has a very nice state park right outside the town limits to stay at. Fulltime RVers cannot take advantage of the one time renewal by mail because you have to provide that overnight stay receipt at renewal.
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Old 07-11-2014, 05:04 PM   #9
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Campbell36, I'm a 7 yr SD resident, at Americas Mailbox.
Although the SD state wide sales tax is 4% , or more with the local percentage on top. That's not what applies to vehicles. Its a 3% excise tax that's applied to new or transferred vehicles in SD. If you have already paid sales tax on the same vehicle in a different state, SD will give you credit for that, up to their 3% tax. Other than some minor fees for the transfer & title, the only other tax on vehicles is a "wheel tax", which has only been adopted in a few counties. Its only $20 -25 per wheel and only applies if you domicile in one of those counties.


Your plan to move your domicile to SD is a good idea, just be careful of the timing. If you're still living fulltime in NJ when you make the RV purchase, technically you're still a NJ resident and subject to their taxes, regardless of what you have setup in SD. The primary factor in changing domicile, is you physically leaving the old state.
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Old 07-11-2014, 05:49 PM   #10
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We did basically what you are proposing; we purchased our RV into a state other than the one we were living in. In our case we did buy the MH into a MT LLC even though we established SD as our domicile. Don't discard this option just because of some of the posts you read on these forums. There is nothing illegal or immoral about doing this.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:25 PM   #11
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We use MyDakotaAddress in Madison, SD. Terri is awesome to work with and since Madison is a small town, Terri has a great working relationship with the courthouse and DMV. Women can avoid having to provide documentation of name changes by producing a valid passport in current name. You have to provide your original SS card too, plus 2 bills showing your SD address, a copy of your mail forwarding agreement, a receipt showing you have stayed overnight in the state, and must sign a statement that you plan to return to SD after you are finished traveling. If you have a spouse and if both of you are getting drivers license at the same time, both names must be on the receipt for the overnight stay. Madison has a very nice state park right outside the town limits to stay at. Fulltime RVers cannot take advantage of the one time renewal by mail because you have to provide that overnight stay receipt at renewal.
Terri is awesome. Also, the 3% excise tax in South Dakota applies to the difference in value if you trade-in. We traded-in our coach on January and Terri helped us with the tax and registration. We didn't have to pay 3% on the full value of our new coach, only on the difference in trade-in allowance and purchase price.
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Old 07-12-2014, 11:29 AM   #12
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+1 for SD residency, +2 for Terri Lund and MyDakotaAddress.com

One other thought to consider though... if you plan to finance your RV you may do better qualifying for financing while you are still a home owner in NJ vs. a full timer with a SD address.
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Old 07-12-2014, 12:32 PM   #13
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+1 for SD residency, +2 for Terri Lund and MyDakotaAddress.com

One other thought to consider though... if you plan to finance your RV you may do better qualifying for financing while you are still a home owner in NJ vs. a full timer with a SD address.

Yes, lock in the finance before you go full time. Some lenders won't accept a mail forwarding address on the application but once the loan is approved they don't seem to care about a change of address.
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Old 07-12-2014, 03:21 PM   #14
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Other posters have given you mostly good advice. We registered our vehicles in SD while in CA by mail. We had to prove to SD that we had paid sales tax in our home state. I couldn't find the paperwork on 1 vehicle, had to send a letter to DMV and got back a letter statement on what we had paid, then sent it to SD. We went to SD a year later to get our driver's licenses. When we renewed the homeland security requirement had gone into effect, however, women can use their passport for ID and not have to provide additional paperwork. Call any of the SD mail forwarding services and they will be happy to answer ANY questions for you. We have used My Home Address in Emery, SD for 8 years with no issues. They are always friendly & helpful. There are mail forwarding services that will scan your mail and email it or mail to you on a weekly basis or just when you call or email and ask to have it sent.
It's best to reduce your mail volume before you go fulltime, call all the catalogs you receive and tell them to stop. It may take more than one call. Set up all bills or as many as you can on e bill at your bank. We only have our mail sent 3 to 4 times a year because we get 99% by email. The worst offenders are medical bills, Dr's, labs, hospitals, dentists, etc just aren't "with the program". If we are traveling I just keep track of what we owe by calling the insurance co and then calling the medical facility to make payment by credit card. I may get that paper bill 4 months later.
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