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How to change to domicile to another state to make roadschooling easier?

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Hi, I have just started full-timing. I homeschool my kids, but I have heard about changing your residency to a more lax state, like Texas for example. Can you explain how to do that?

 

TIA :)

 

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If you do not have any home address, you will then need some address somewhere in order to register and insure vehicles and to hold a driving license, along with a number of other issues. You will also need some way to get mail and to pay your taxes and a host of other things. You must have an address in order to have health care insurance and any other type of insurance as well. Insurance premiums are based upon where your home, or domicile is. I suggest that you read this article from Escapee's magazine about choosing one as a good place to start. I also suggest that you download a copy of How To Become A Real Texan from the Escapees website. In addition, there are currently two threads active on the forums which address some related questions. One is on Driver's License & Registration and the other is about Question of Domicile and I believe that you may find them all to be helpful.

 

After that feel free to come back and post any questions that you still have.

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Hi Kirk, Thank you for sharing this information with me. I do still have one question and that is about homeschooling while on the road. How will that work? I have always homeschooled and am registered as such with my home state, but with use now traveling I rather switch to a state that doesn't require so much, Texas to be exact. How do I switch my domicile for this purpose only? Also will I need to let my current school board know when I do switch? I am somewhat confused on how this works, but I have heard that people do it all the time. I just some more indepth how-to.

 

Thanks again!

 

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Here is how we handled it. Two months before selling the house we signed up for our mail service, St. Brendan's Isle in FL.

Then we we started the process of changing our address for our utilities, bank with new checks, insurance statements, and everything else. You will need some of these documents with the new address later. Do not change your address with the post office yet. While waiting to make to official move we simply had the mail service periodically send our mail back to our house.

When we sold the house we then notified to post office but by then most of our mail was already going to the mail service. Next step for us was to go to Florida and register to vote, get drivers license and register our vehicles. Took about three hours including a lunch break. Here is where you will need "proof" of residency. They will want some official documents with your new address on them, the may be utility bills, insurance documents, bank statements, etc. Even though our utility was Indianapolis Power and Light it had the Florida address and so was acceptable. If you go to the mail service web site they will most likely have a detailed description of what you need as TX might be slightly different.

Remember you will need to change things like Last Will and Testament, medical authorizations and such as these are only recognized if they are from your official domicile state. Your medical insurance will most likely change as well.

All in all its a pretty simple processes long as you have the necessary documents.

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How do I switch my domicile for this purpose only?

 

I have a concern with what you seem to be saying here........ You can't change your domicile for education without changing it for everything. As several of those articles point out, you may only have one legal domicile for any/all purposes. If you want to educate your family under Texas laws, you need to move your domicile here with is what the booklet How to Become a Real Texan explains. But you must move all of your domicile and legal address to Texas in order to do this.

 

On the education side of things, I suggest that you drop a private message to Kinsa and discuss the TX education issue with here and home schooling here as she does it and also spent a year on the road doing so. Better to get advice about Texas from Texans who have done what you are looking into.

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Kirk is right. You can't claim domicile in a state solely for the purpose of education choice. You have to basically "move yourself" to that state entirely before you can claim the education options of that state. Just think of it as any other move: you can't send your kids to the local school unless you live in that school district. So you need to "move" yourself to Texas in order to homeschool under the Texas laws. To do that, you would have to change your vehicle registration, voter registration, etc. to make it seem as though you truly do live in Texas, even though you'd be absent most of the time. Kirk explains the process well in his posts above.

 

For us, we were already Texas residents when we sold everything and hit the road, so all we had to do was open up an Escapees mailbox out of Livingston and update the address on our vehicle and voter registrations, and we were good to go. As for homeschooling in Texas...

 

If your children have never been in PUBLIC schools IN TEXAS, then there is no notification that you need to do here in Texas. Texas is considered a "no notification" state as far as homeschooling goes. So unless you are withdrawing a child out of a Texas public school, there's no other paperwork you need to do. As for withdrawing your children from your local oversight in the state you reside in now, I can't speak to that. You will have to find out how to do that in your own state. http://www.hslda.org/ might be able to help with that.

 

The Texas law states that you have to teach five subjects, using visual materials, in a bona fide manner: math, reading, spelling, grammar, and good citizenship. For good measure, once you switch your domicile to Texas and start homeschooling under Texas law, I recommend joining Texas Home School Coalition, just in case you run into "good intentioned" neighbors along your travels. http://www.thsc.org/

 

You need to proceed with traveling with caution. In many states, if you are in-state for more than "X" number of days, then you suddenly fall under the compulsory attendance laws of that state. That could get a little sticky at times if you aren't careful. That's just one of those weird situations to keep in the back of your mind.

 

I will say, though, that in our 15 months on the road, we never encountered any problems as far as nosy neighbors reporting us or over-anxious campground owners. I know of one situation where a homeschooling family was kicked out of a campground once the local school calendar started in September because the campground owners were afraid they would be harboring truant children (I still shake my head at that), but otherwise I know of no problems. Not to say they don't exist.

 

I hope this helps to answer some of your questions. Let me know if I can help in any other way.

Edited by Kinsa

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Thank you everyone for your help :)

@ Kinsa, I do have one question. What would be considered the "X" number of days, that you suddenly fall under the compulsory attendance laws of that state? This confuses me as if for example, I am under Texas law, but I decide to go to Florida for the winter months. If I am there too long will I have to let my children be tested or have a teacher evaluate the work done while in that state?

 

Thanks again for all the help, I really appreciate it :)

 

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Thank you everyone for your help :)

@ Kinsa, I do have one question. What would be considered the "X" number of days, that you suddenly fall under the compulsory attendance laws of that state? This confuses me as if for example, I am under Texas law, but I decide to go to Florida for the winter months. If I am there too long will I have to let my children be tested or have a teacher evaluate the work done while in that state?

 

Thanks again for all the help, I really appreciate it :)

 

 

I'm not completely clear on this point, but I do know that it varies by state. Just imagine if little Jimmy went to visit Aunt Suzy's house in another state. After being at Aunt Suzy's house for "too long", he would be required to enroll in the local public school under that state's compulsory attendance statute. It's pretty much the same thing with RVers. If you are in-state (I believe most states make it 30 days or so?), then you would technically be required to enroll in the school in that state. If that state is a high regulation state with regards to homeschooling, then you could get "caught" and have a headache to deal with. However, if you move around a little bit, no one's really the wiser, know what I mean? All that said, I have never known this issue to actually bear out in real life. It's more of a theoretical "it could happen" situation.

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RVer4Life, you are looking at a wonderful opportunity for your family. This will take some thought and prayer as you find the best State for your new domicile. The easiest way to handle things is to cut all ties with your current State. As far as your current school district is concerned, all you need do is tell them that you are moving to a new State (whichever one you pick). They don't need to know, nor do they care, what you will be doing there.

 

Probably the easiest way to avoid running afoul of any school regulations is to not stay in one place for more than a couple of weeks. If you move to a new location every 7-10 days there should be no problem. You should research the laws in every State you visit before you set foot in it.

 

One caveat: NEVER tell anyone you are working, as that will trigger residency requirements. Those include, but are not limited to, vehicle registration, drivers licenses, home-school laws, etc. You are visiting the State.

 

Enjoy the experience. We homeschooled our three children and wished we could have done so while seeing the country.

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I currently reside in Virginia, homeschooling my children under the religious exemption laws. There is no state oversight as to what is taught and no testing or portfolio requirements. As military, we can claim residency pretty much anywhere, so we use my father-in-law's address in Oklahoma. I will be retiring soon and we plan to take the RV and launch a cross-country trip lasting perhaps about 2 years to see the United States and Canada...

 

So, could we keep Virginia as our state for homeschooling or would we have to switch to Oklahoma? What if we are "settled" in a state for a period greater than 3 months or so before moving on? Do we have to comply with that states laws and if we are in the same area register with that school district?

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Another option is that you register the children under an umbrella program of which there are several to choose and may cost a pretty penny, so they are considered private school kids.

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wow. thank you all for these replies! I have not even thought about residency issues or anything and we were set to RV full time in less than 6 months. Kirk...I will read the articles you suggested...thank you again!!

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Ok,

So I just moved my family back from the Philippines, just moved us in the  RV to my land in La.

Currently claim Wa. as home state, DL, taxes, etc. 

My kids (6,8,9)  were in private school in the PI and have never attended public schools in the US, I want to keep it that way as long as possible, plan to do some traveling but not for a while, although that can change easily.

So as long as no one is trying to be a do-gooder, and I don't stay in one place to long in a restrictive state, I should be good right?

This makes things tricky when you are trying to establish friendships for the kids and Adults.
 

Any suggestions?

And what is this umbrella private schooling?

Also, when it comes to HS diploma/college, how would that transition work?

thanks

Mark

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Welcome to the Escapee forums. As long as the state of Washington is satisfied with your address and you keep your registration, licenses, and insurance active there, you should have no problem. 

3 hours ago, Mark123 said:

And what is this umbrella private schooling?

Heere is a pretty good answer to the question.

Quote

An umbrella school is an alternative education school which serves to oversee the homeschooling of children to fulfill government educational requirements. Umbrella schools vary greatly in what they offer and cost. Some offer group classes, a defined curriculum, sports, field trips, standardized testing, and more.

 

You might find the website I am home schooling to be helpful to you. 

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My thinking is that because the kids have never been in the US system, no one would know either way right?

what do you mean by "Satisfied with your address"?

Looking at the individual state requirements, some say mandated subjects required but no assessment required, and a 1 time notification .
If subjects are mandated but no assessment, how can they control that?



thank you for your reply,
 

very Much appreciated

 

Edited by Mark123

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11 hours ago, Mark123 said:

what do you mean by "Satisfied with your address"?

Each state has their own set of rules about what is a legal address and most state that it must be a physical place and do not accept a mail forwarding service address. That is one of the reasons that so many choose to use TX, FL, and SD as their domicile when RVing full time. I don't know what the current law in Washington is, but I did locate this in a news story from 2007:

Quote

Under the policy change, acceptable forms of identification are home-utility bills dated within two months of the date of application for a license, home-mortgage information or voter-registration cards.

 

They will probably ask for some type of proof of address.

11 hours ago, Mark123 said:

Looking at the individual state requirements, some say mandated subjects required but no assessment required, and a 1 time notification .

I would take it that this is a question of state school requirements and I have no personal experience with that issue and only know what friends with home-school experience have told me, so I'm probably not the best source. If someone on the forums who has experience does not respond, here are some places that you can probably find answers to most of your questions. The X-scapers are a group within the Escapee organization which consist of families and folks who are still working while the majority of us here are retired and work part-time, if at all. There are a few here that do still work and we love to have them join in, but you can probably get more and better help on home school issues from the X-scaper side of our club. 

X-scapers on Facebook                       X-scapers website

Families on the Road

Newschool Nomads

 

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This subject seems to come up a lot and may come up even more as the Escapees/Xscapers draw in more and more younger families.  Perhaps it's time to consider a separate forum for home schooling? 

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