When you live in your RV full-time home may be where the heart is, but it is also where you park. I LOVE this lifestyle because of the spontaneity, freedom, and sense of perpetual adventure. Some people like living without any firm roots set anywhere because they are free to explore and go as they please. Full-time RVers do not settle down in a geographical community. Rather, they develop a unique community through online forums, communities, and camping clubs (my tribe is the XSCAPERS). With a worldwide network of virtual contacts, these full-time travelers can set up temporary roots anywhere they desire.
As exciting as this all sounds, there are issues when it comes to residency. And before you ask, you need residency if you want to vote, register your car, file taxes, or get health insurance. The system is not set up to accommodate RV nomads which is where problems can arise for freedom seekers. The good news is that there is a way to establish residency and still live in your RV and travel the country.
How To Set Up Your Residency?
The first thing you need to understand is that residency is about the state you actually live in. The residency laws for each state are different, however, most have a clause about living in the state for a certain time period before you can claim residency. The whole purpose of living out of your RV is to avoid being in one place for too long, hence the problem.
The simplest solution is to reach out to a friend or family member that is willing to let you use their address for residency. This way you have a physical address for mail, driver’s licenses, tax information, and registration. Some people do not want to place this burden on friends and often they do not have people willing to help. There are numerous mail forwarding agencies that will set you up with a street address, so you can get residency. I have been using Escapees mail forwarding service and I reside in Texas. You do, however, need to spend a little bit of time in this state to take care of the paperwork and legal documents. You need to get a driver’s license in person as well as register and insure the vehicle, so plan to spend some time in the chosen state to handle your affairs.
There are three states that support full-time RV living; South Dakota, Florida, and Texas. They are popular because they offer savings when you choose to establish residency within them. These three states do not have state income tax as well as low-level rates for vehicle registration and insurance. Of course, if you are attached to a particular state, you can use one of the methods above to set up residency wherever you like.