Future full timer looking for mail/registration info - Fiberglass RV

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Old 11-27-2008, 09:47 PM   #1
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Okay, it looks as if I am going to be picking up any trailer I order (Scamp or Casita) in TX. I am currently residing in CA and will have my neighbors forwarding my mail periodically from CA to where ever I decide to go

CA is an extremely expensive state to register a vehicle in and they are about to raise it by 300%, so of course I won't want to register ANYTHING in this state ever again. How do I go about first registering my new trailer in TX with a CA address and transfering my current vehicle registration to any other state but this one. My idea was like a mailboxes etc. Will that work for registration purposes? What do you all do about that kind of thing? I really don't like the idea of spending my travel money on a box, but believe that it will be cost effective in the end if it is doable because of the high cost of registration in this state. Any advice would be very appreciated!! I would NOT mind getting a driver's license in another state either (can you tell I don't like CA anymore???) Any suggestions would be most appreciated!!

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Old 11-27-2008, 10:38 PM   #2
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Trailer: 2011 Escape 15A
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I assume you are buying something too large for PTI? Although I totally agree with you about never wanting to register anything in California again, I believe a 13 footer can get PTI which is pretty cheap and then only something like $10 every five years.

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Old 11-27-2008, 11:16 PM   #3
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Trailer: 2005 16 ft Scamp
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yeah, I am getting a 16 or 17'...
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Old 11-28-2008, 07:43 AM   #4
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Trailer: 17 ft Casita Spirit Deluxe
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This might help:

2003 Casita SD 17'
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Old 11-28-2008, 12:00 PM   #5
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Welcome to FGRV.

It sounds like your solution to the California budget crisis is to become a resident of another state. If you do, that doesn't mean you have to stay out of California. Take your time and do your research before you make decisions about a "home state". The internet makes research a lot easier. Become aware of the advantages and disadvantages of different factors as they apply to you personally. Then consider everything as a whole and you will arrive at a good decision.

Here are a few things to consider:
<blockquote>1. Whether or not a state has an income tax on residents
2. Physical address requirements
3. Taxes and fees on vehicle registrations
4. Sales tax rates that may be charged on a vehicle at the time of registration (even a used vehicle already taxed in another state)
5. Requirements to have a vehicle present in the state for an annual safety inspection (may require an expensive trip to the state to meet a useless bureaucratic requirement)
6. Driver's license requirements
7. Difficulty and expense of dealing with the state's DMV
8. Annual personal property tax rates (personal property includes vehicles in most states)
9. Vehicle insurance and health insurance requirements and costs

</blockquote>Others will be able to add to this list.

The costs of these things vary greatly from location to location, sometimes even within states. Most fulltimers settle on Texas or South Dakota for their declared state of residence. Neither has a state income tax and depending on what your income is that can save you plenty of money every year. There are other states that also have advantages. You may get tapped for sales tax on your purchase price for a new or used vehicle when you register in most states. I read somewhere that Texas will charge sales tax on a vehicle registration transfer from another state if that vehicle has been owned for less than six months. You will need to double check that. You will need to get a driver's license in your new state and surrender your California driver's license. You will probably need to switch the registration of all of your vehicles, or at least your tow vehicle, to your new state. At least when you leave California you won't have to worry about smog tests on your vehicle anymore. You can get an Escapees address that will fulfill residency requirements in either Texas or South Dakota. Do some google searches. There is lot's of info available on all of these subjects.
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Old 11-28-2008, 02:04 PM   #6
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The key to this full time business is to pick a state for domicile and then get EVERYTHING in that state (plus I would advise filing a Changed- or Non-Domicile form with Calif -- Depending on the timing, they might send a tax request to your old address; if it comes back to them, they will file a tax lien on you and mess up your credit, plus cost for lawyer time -- Happened to friend of mine when he sold house and moved out-of-state). If you "bridge" between two states by having conflicting documents, your old state has grounds to include you in their tax system.

Also, some states, Calif included, can draft you into their tax system, regardless of your domicile, if you meet their physical presence test (usually six months).

Do a lot of reading on RV.NET Full Time Forum and the Escapees Forum for more about all this.

SD and TX make it easy -- Simplistically, you park in RV park, use that as physical residence to establish mail service, which then becomes your domicile address, then get DL, tags, redo insurance, voter registration, etc.

I used Florida as domicile when I left there to Full Time, however, if I were going to Full Time again, I would use Escapees in TX because they are also a powerful, court-tested organization.
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Old 11-28-2008, 03:40 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the good info, I don't know anything about Escapees, but will google as soon as I am done thanking you all for the excellent help, yet again. You are a wonderful bunch on here and I have a feeling with all your help I will be fully prepared and much more knowledgeable when I head out in April. Thanks again!
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:13 AM   #8
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since you'll be in Texas, anyway, that's a logical choice, with the TX advantages ... however, you will need to 'safety-inspect' your trailer and vehicles periodically, also ($$ and a hassle) ... best state to register in, these days is South Dakota ... google 'america's mailbox', has lots of good reasons to register there ... I did ...

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