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Old 09-18-2013, 12:27 PM   #1
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Registration and Garaging

This has probably been the topic of many threads and if it has would any of the readers of this thread, please, send us a link.

Now that we have taken the plunge, it is time to move on to a number of other things that we need to resolve before we take delivery of our new coach. Obviously an important one is going to be where we register and “garage” the coach. Our intent is to be full-timers without a home; the RV will be our home. From what research we have done so far we understand that there are a number of issues associated with registering that include residency requirements, state and local sales taxes, state income taxes, coach insurance, medical insurance, mail forwarding services, voter registration, etc. and that for some of these topics the advice can vary even by county within a state. We also understand that some states, like Montana, are trying to crack down on full-timers that register their vehicles in Montana.

On a related note, are there any special licensing requirements for the big, as in over 40 foot, Class A coaches?

As always, your input is greatly appreciated as we continue to prepare for delivery and our new life style.

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Old 09-18-2013, 12:31 PM   #2
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Most of the full timers we know have established residency in South Dakota and also seems to be the state of choice. Requires a visit to the the state to get driver's license and vehicle registration. I'm sure others will chime with additional info.

Hope this helps

Ron
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:56 PM   #3
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Where is your current legal address, that is where you will need to register your vehicle. I don't know about other states but in Indiana if you are caught regerstering your vehicle out of state while an Indiana resident, you are subject to back sales taxes, back regerstration fees and penalties.
If full time, where is your drivers license from and where are your registered to vote. That is your legal residence.
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:39 PM   #4
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We also understand that some states, like Montana, are trying to crack down on full-timers that register their vehicles in Montana.
Actually, it is other states objecting to their residents using a Montana LLC to purchase/register the rv to avoid their home state sales tax and registration fees. If you are truly a full timer and do not stay in any one state to require registering there, it is legal and proper to become a Montana LLC for this purpose, and can save a lot of money in tax avoidance (legal, not evasion - illegal). There are lots of legal things to consider and do right. We did this for a while, until our situation changed and we could no longer qualify, but you need to make certain you get good sound guidance so you stay within the law. We set our LLC up, however, before we made the purchase - the LLC actually did the buying. If you go this way, some things like insurance and financing can get more complex, also. My guess is, though, that if you have already ordered your unit and are still a resident somewhere, that is where you will have to register and pay the required taxes.

Most full timers choose Texas, Florida, or South Dakota as their domicile state, mostly for tax and vehicle registration and licensing, as well as, availability of services like mail forwarding that are used to full timers. You should check other things also, like health insurance, in your intended domicile state. Some health plans are different, or even unavailable, in different states. You may wish to check with Escapees for information. A lot of full timers are active there and have "been there done that". They tend to favor Texas as a domicile (they are based there) but many of their members also use South Dakota or Florida.

Good luck.
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:56 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by OWV View Post
On a related note, are there any special licensing requirements for the big, as in over 40 foot, Class A coaches?
Drivers license? In many states yes. Where I live, CA, you need a special drivers license for coaches greater than 40'. Check the laws in the state you hold your drivers license in. Good news, is if you meet your home state's qualifications you are good to go throughout US.

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Old 09-18-2013, 04:10 PM   #6
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Most of the full timers we know have established residency in South Dakota and also seems to be the state of choice. Requires a visit to the the state to get driver's license and vehicle registration. I'm sure others will chime with additional info....
We just completed that process a few weeks ago with Alternative Resources (AR) in Sioux Falls, SD.

Alternative Resources | RV Mail Forwarding | Sioux Falls | South Dakota

I think America's Mailbox is on the other side of the state in Rapids City.

1. We established an address with a personal mail box (PMB) with AR a couple weeks before we made the trip.
2. We arrived in Sioux Falls on a Thursday and using our AR address we registered at the Tower CG and got a receipt for our stay. AR and Tower CG have a good working relationship so Tower knows what you need.
3. Friday morning we got to the DMV, turned in our IL DL and got our SD DL. No tests, no special license. They do require some very specific verification of name and US residency.
4. We then had an appointment at AR at 11:00 to go through all the paperwork needed to register our DSDP and Honda CRV in SD.

For about $85 AR did all the work to get our titles with liens from the lenders and take the paperwork to the DMV. The registration fee for the RV is based on UNLOADED vehicle weight. It was a tad over $500 for my DSDP plus some other fees. Since we ordered special plates (RV HOME & RV TOAD) we also paid $30 a for each vehicle for that privilege. We got our temp tags last Monday and should have our metal plates within 2 weeks. If we hadn't gone specialized plates, we would have those now.

While we were at AR we also registered to vote in SD. Because of our address we are only eligible to vote on state wide and federal issues and perhaps some other wider issues but nothing related to schools and such.

We are currently set up for mail forwarding once a month on the 18th. Of course there is an annual fee for that service plus postage. I also signed up for the "gold plan" where I get an Email every day on whether or not I have any mail if is so, from who.

Since then we have updated all of our banking and other financial stuff to the new address. The only thing left is our insurance policies but that is complex because we close on our S&B home this coming Monday and we figured we will wait until that is done. Also, all of my retirement paperwork uses the SD address.

All my friends and family have our current CG address we will be at until we retire NOV 30th and head for Winter Ranch in Alamo, TX. At that point they will get our TX address.
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by jzick View Post
Actually, it is other states objecting to their residents using a Montana LLC to purchase/register the rv to avoid their home state sales tax and registration fees. If you are truly a full timer and do not stay in any one state to require registering there, it is legal and proper to become a Montana LLC for this purpose, and can save a lot of money in tax avoidance (legal, not evasion - illegal). There are lots of legal things to consider and do right. We did this for a while, until our situation changed and we could no longer qualify, but you need to make certain you get good sound guidance so you stay within the law. We set our LLC up, however, before we made the purchase - the LLC actually did the buying. If you go this way, some things like insurance and financing can get more complex, also. My guess is, though, that if you have already ordered your unit and are still a resident somewhere, that is where you will have to register and pay the required taxes.

Most full timers choose Texas, Florida, or South Dakota as their domicile state, mostly for tax and vehicle registration and licensing, as well as, availability of services like mail forwarding that are used to full timers. You should check other things also, like health insurance, in your intended domicile state. Some health plans are different, or even unavailable, in different states. You may wish to check with Escapees for information. A lot of full timers are active there and have "been there done that". They tend to favor Texas as a domicile (they are based there) but many of their members also use South Dakota or Florida.

Good luck.
Very well said IMO. The people who get in trouble using Montana LLC's are those who register the vehicle in MT but keep it most of the time in whatever state they "really" reside in. Obviously, your home state won't like that if it finds out. As full-timers who have a SD domicile but don't spend a lot of time there, our MH doesn't violate SD laws with its MT plates because it rarely is there.

There's absolutely nothing that prohibits US citizens from having vehicles registered in multiple states as long as those vehicles don't violate the licensing laws of other states that require they be registered there if they spend more than a certain number of days in there.

As for TX vs SD domicile for full-timers that's sort of a Ford vs Chevy thing. SD does not require any higher class of license to drive a MH or other RV and TX now does. It doesn't mean that SD couldn't change its rules one of these days. SD is very fulltimer-friendly and getting licenses, registering to vote, etc, has all been quite easy for us.
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:17 PM   #8
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...Some health plans are different, or even unavailable, in different states....
We are in the process of getting set up with Health insurance...mostly working with Sandee's issues. Since I am federal (FEHB elligable) I plan on using GEHA PPO plan. Sandee is a State of IL employee and that is getting a bit tricky but we will probably settle on Quality Care which is also a PPOish kind of program. That means we double cover each other and might open up our options for "in network" service providers.

We did consider BCBS but GEHA, for me, is more economical and fairly well established through out the US. But...if we run into problems, then BCBS will be our next move.
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:32 PM   #9
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In my traveling experience that little blue BCBS card is recognized and accepted everywhere I've been.
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Old 09-22-2013, 07:05 PM   #10
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We just completed that process a few weeks ago with Alternative Resources (AR) in Sioux Falls, SD.

Alternative Resources | RV Mail Forwarding | Sioux Falls | South Dakota

I think America's Mailbox is on the other side of the state in Rapids City.

1. We established an address with a personal mail box (PMB) with AR a couple weeks before we made the trip.
2. We arrived in Sioux Falls on a Thursday and using our AR address we registered at the Tower CG and got a receipt for our stay. AR and Tower CG have a good working relationship so Tower knows what you need.
3. Friday morning we got to the DMV, turned in our IL DL and got our SD DL. No tests, no special license. They do require some very specific verification of name and US residency.
4. We then had an appointment at AR at 11:00 to go through all the paperwork needed to register our DSDP and Honda CRV in SD.

For about $85 AR did all the work to get our titles with liens from the lenders and take the paperwork to the DMV. The registration fee for the RV is based on UNLOADED vehicle weight. It was a tad over $500 for my DSDP plus some other fees. Since we ordered special plates (RV HOME & RV TOAD) we also paid $30 a for each vehicle for that privilege. We got our temp tags last Monday and should have our metal plates within 2 weeks. If we hadn't gone specialized plates, we would have those now.

While we were at AR we also registered to vote in SD. Because of our address we are only eligible to vote on state wide and federal issues and perhaps some other wider issues but nothing related to schools and such.

We are currently set up for mail forwarding once a month on the 18th. Of course there is an annual fee for that service plus postage. I also signed up for the "gold plan" where I get an Email every day on whether or not I have any mail if is so, from who.

Since then we have updated all of our banking and other financial stuff to the new address. The only thing left is our insurance policies but that is complex because we close on our S&B home this coming Monday and we figured we will wait until that is done. Also, all of my retirement paperwork uses the SD address.

All my friends and family have our current CG address we will be at until we retire NOV 30th and head for Winter Ranch in Alamo, TX. At that point they will get our TX address.
For about $85 AR did all the work to get our titles with liens from the lenders and take the paperwork to the DMV. The registration fee for the RV is based on UNLOADED vehicle weight. It was a tad over $500 for my DSDP plus some other fees.

Question: Is there a 4% excise tax due on the motor home?
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Old 09-22-2013, 08:26 PM   #11
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"Question: Is there a 4% excise tax due on the motor home?"

The tax in SD is only 3%. If you have paid tax to any other state, you will be given credit for the amount paid. If you paid more than the 3% amount, there isn't a refund
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Old 09-22-2013, 08:55 PM   #12
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Thank you for the information and explanation. Much appreciated!
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:04 AM   #13
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Keep in mind Jury Duty ... you may or may not be excused/exempt.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:02 AM   #14
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Keep in mind Jury Duty ... you may or may not be excused/exempt.
The Driver License clerk in Sioux Falls told us that if a full timer receives a Jury Duty summons from South Dakota you complete a "Nomad Affidavit", get it notarized and return to the court. They take your name off the jury duty roll for life.
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