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Old 05-14-2019, 09:25 AM   #1
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FL or TX Registration Question

Hello all. My wife and I are preparing to full-time and we are exploring which state we are going to set up our domicile in. We have been doing a lot of research but have one question we have not been able to find a definitive answer on regarding first-time registration of our truck and trailer.

We currently live in CA and our registrations will renew in July. Costs for registering both will be almost $1500 and greedy CA will not refund any fees if you move after paying the renewal.

It sounds like to register a vehicle/RV in Texas we have to get both physically to Texas to get them inspected prior to being able to register them. Can anyone confirm this? Also, do we have to register the vehicles in the county where our mailing address will be or can we do the inspection and registration at any DMV office in Texas?

As for Florida, we have read that the DMV will need to verify the odometer and VIN for each vehicle. We have read that if you can't get the vehicle to the DMV that you can get a notarized document confirming both pieces of information. Our question is, can we get the document notarized in another state, such as CA, and then take it to FL? Or does it need to be verified and notarized by someone still in the state of FL?

We will not be able to get both vehicles to either state by July before our CA registration expires so we are trying to determine if we can get them registered in either state without them physically being there.

We know we can register them in South Dakota without having them there but our preference would be to set up our domicile in either TX or FL.

Thank you in advance for any clarification on these questions.

Cheers!
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Old 05-14-2019, 09:30 AM   #2
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I was able to find that in FL the verification does need to be performed in FL, so it sounds like FL is not an option, at least not this year. Still looking for the confirmation on TX.
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Old 05-14-2019, 11:11 AM   #3
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Five years ago I used a form from Florida to have VIN and odometer verified by a law-enforcement officer in Georgia; that, the Ga. title, bill of sale and payment of registration got me Florida title and tag mailed to me in Georgia. I did not actually have to be present in Florida. I called a Florida tax-collectors title/tag office and the form was mailed to me.

Things may of course be different now.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:00 PM   #4
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We just moved from CA to FL to avoid the same BS you're going through, but didn't realize CA wouldn't refund our registration. Anyway, FL didn't check our odometer reading or even bother to look at our RV. They took our word for it. I'd suggest FL over TX for the following reasons: no annual inspections, no special drivers licences, renew licenses by email/online every 8 years, easy voting registration, on the spot drivers licenses and hard licence plates, approx $60/yr registration by email/online, and ease of making it happen. We stopped by the tax collectors office and within an hour we were FL domiciles, got drivers licenses, registered our vehicles and registered to vote. We never left our chairs.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:08 PM   #5
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AJ, after reading Jlo's post, have to agree with him.

Since I am in Texas, can 100% confirm, you have to have your rig at the inspector's shop to get a vehicle inspection. They go through everything (Lights, turn signals, horn, tires, wiper blades, etc. and they also require proof of insurance to do the inspection). Have a good friend of 25+ years who does mine, and he will let me slide on just about anything, but refuses to let me slide not bringing my vehicle to his shop, yes I have asked as its always a PIA to take over just for a 2 minute glance and pay the $7 fee.

Since you have options, the no inspection part of Florida sounds nice to me.

Good luck!
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:16 PM   #6
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FL issued me temp tags to get my RV to them to verify the VIN, but you have to appear in the tax office with a Florida drivers license and FL address.

You can check with them if they have a way to do that without being present.
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:25 PM   #7
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FL or TX Registration Question

Re Florida
Just went through this but am in state .. the verification form can be downloaded online .. a police officer or notary can verify according to the form. I assume any notary in the us will do . Iím in Florida but had a notary certify the vin and mileage. Unlike the other comment , the dmv ( actually the county tax collectors office in Florida) MUST have that form. They clearly said they wouldnít take my ďwordĒ . You can find out what documents you need listed clearly online.
I did all this in person DL first then the auto registration. If you donít have the title ( leased or loan) you must first get the lease or loan company to release the title to Florida. That takes some time and the paperwork to send to the lease or loan. is also online.
Itís more expensive than you think as the annual fee is cheap but you need to own longer than 6 months or you owe Florida tax 6%+ and if youíve never had a Florida vehicle you get hit with a ďnew wheels ď fee/ tax. I owed no tax on my MH but the new wheels fee made my first 2year registration 500+
Itís been two weeks and Iím still trying to get my lease company on my electric car to get things worked out with Florida.
No smog checks though and easy online renewal at low rates in the future. Use one of the mailbox services and they can tell you what you need to do
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Old 05-14-2019, 12:55 PM   #8
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Yes. As was mentioned, you need to pay sales tax on the value of your vehicles when registering. You can use a mailbox service for an address but if you do not wish to have one you can use your plate number as the address. I know someone who did that. Not all of the offices are aware but they can check it out and do it.
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:03 PM   #9
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FL did not require me to pay sales tax for the RV when I changed my Michigan title (titled to me) to FL
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Old 05-14-2019, 02:02 PM   #10
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I'd recommend you call and get the real facts.

I'd also recommend doing it in Livingston, TX if you choose Texas. It's the home of the Escapees RV Club and Livingston knows full-timers. They'll whisk you through the whole process in a couple hours. You can also set up you mail forwarding service right there. You'll need an address to set everything up.

If you do it in Texas you don't have to have a yearly inspection unless you're actually staying in Texas. You have a 3-day window for driving through without getting the inspection. The inspection is no big deal.
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Old 05-14-2019, 04:33 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnhicks View Post
Five years ago I used a form from Florida to have VIN and odometer verified by a law-enforcement officer in Georgia; that, the Ga. title, bill of sale and payment of registration got me Florida title and tag mailed to me in Georgia. I did not actually have to be present in Florida. I called a Florida tax-collectors title/tag office and the form was mailed to me.

Things may of course be different now.
Thanks John. I'll need to look into this further.
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Old 05-14-2019, 04:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kahoona View Post
Yes. As was mentioned, you need to pay sales tax on the value of your vehicles when registering. You can use a mailbox service for an address but if you do not wish to have one you can use your plate number as the address. I know someone who did that. Not all of the offices are aware but they can check it out and do it.
I've read this is only if the vehicle is less than 6 months old and/or if you did not pay sales tax on the vehicles already somewhere else. We paid sales tax in CA, which is more than FL, so we shouldn't have to pay it again from what I understand.
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Old 05-14-2019, 04:35 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by JohnRR View Post
FL issued me temp tags to get my RV to them to verify the VIN, but you have to appear in the tax office with a Florida drivers license and FL address.

You can check with them if they have a way to do that without being present.
John, how long were the "temp" tags good for? Being that we're in CA, and don't have plans to rush to FL, that still may not allow us enough time to get both vehicles there.
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Old 05-14-2019, 04:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jlo11111 View Post
We just moved from CA to FL to avoid the same BS you're going through, but didn't realize CA wouldn't refund our registration. Anyway, FL didn't check our odometer reading or even bother to look at our RV. They took our word for it. I'd suggest FL over TX for the following reasons: no annual inspections, no special drivers licences, renew licenses by email/online every 8 years, easy voting registration, on the spot drivers licenses and hard licence plates, approx $60/yr registration by email/online, and ease of making it happen. We stopped by the tax collectors office and within an hour we were FL domiciles, got drivers licenses, registered our vehicles and registered to vote. We never left our chairs.
Jlo, thanks for the info. May I ask which county you registered in?
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