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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Becoming Florida Residents

First of all, just a note of support to all those dealing with the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Harry and I are thinking about those who are still in harm’s way this afternoon. Sure hope that they don’t get the amounts of rain that they are possibly anticipating!

We’ve been prepping the next area of the house for painting. We have the hallway and one wall of the sitting room area taped up and ready to go. So the plan for tomorrow is to do a little more painting. Harry also finished up replacing the towel bar and other bathroom accessories to something a little less gold. We still have to paint in the bathroom, as the walls in there have more of those “lovely” flowers that we had in the bedroom. But that project is down the road a bit.

A reader left a question on the last blog post about our changing our domicile to Florida and what was involved with that. This address change has been the easiest of all of them because we were already Florida residents.

We started out back in 2010 doing lots of research about which state we should make our domicile after we sold the house. We knew for sure we didn’t want it to be NY!! According to the research we did, the “best” three for rv’ers seemed to be Texas, South Dakota, and Florida, mainly due to the fact that they don’t have state income tax there, and they seem to make becoming residents a little easier for people who don’t actually have a physical home in the state. We were leaning towards FL, when we went to a seminar about choosing a state for domicile, and SD seemed to have a little more going for it because supposedly the insurance rates in FL were more expensive. So, after going back and forth, we decided to use SD.

In hindsight, we would have been so much better going with our original thought. For us, at least, SD didn’t end up being very convenient. They had originally changed the law so that your license could be renewed online. What they didn’t mention was that you had to have stayed a night in the state within the year. Also the license expired on your birthday. You could renew it so much ahead of time and so much after. However, with Harry’s birthday being in Feb and mine in October, they were just far enough away from each other that we would have to make two trips to SD, in the same year. So we decided that when our licenses came up for renewal we would switch to FL. Then our plan was accelerated when our mailing service moved, and since we had to do an address change anyway, we went ahead and switched.

When we “moved” to Florida, we went with St. Brendan’s in Green Cove Springs, FL for our mail service. They were really good about answering any questions we had, although most of the process was pretty clearly explained on their webpage. (We will continue to use them during the summer season to have our mail forwarded to us, as they have been very convenient, and we have always appreciated their excellent service.) When we started going through the process of becoming residents, we discovered that while the insurance was a little more expensive, the yearly registration fees were much cheaper. So it ended up being a wash. The costs involved were the charge to file the domicile documents, to get our licenses and register our vehicles (our truck and fifth wheel). That was a few years ago now and I can’t remember exactly, but I would estimate that the costs to do everything at DMV totaled around $500, give or take a little. The only thing I didn’t like about FL is that they passed a law a couple years ago, that if your address is a mail order facility, they put the registration number for the RV as your physical address on your license. While it never caused any problems, I just didn’t like how it looked on my license.

Anyway, this past week, when we went to change our address, it made it really simple since we were already Florida residents. We just went to the webpage, supplied the identifying information so they could pull up our record, and changed our address – as well as giving our credit card information for the fee, of course! (Florida is really up to date on online access. It is really easy to order absentee ballots, and you can even go back in after you send your ballot back and see what date it was received.) We think we now have most of our address changes done, and it feels good to know we’ve changed our address for the last time for hopefully quite a while.


  1. Glad that process is behind you. It can be a hassle getting all of that done.

  2. good info for sure..thanks for the follow up it really if helpful. With no amazon this year is that going to impact the funds or is staying put going to help even that out this year..

    also, Insurance on truck and RV who did you find with best coverage and best price or is it all state controlled process??

    thanks a million
    carl & karen newton

    have a good one and thanks a million.

    1. Yeah not working at Amazon is definitely a big change for us. We have been applying for work around here so hopefully we will get jobs soon.

      As far as insurance, we've been with GEICO since even before we started fulltiming. When we got the road, we checked with them and they had fulltiming coverage so we just stayed with them. Not sure if they are the cheapest around but we've been happy with them.