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Welcome, EverywhereMan. As you have learned here, what best fits you may not be what best fits me. One factor that hasn't been mentioned is what State are you leaving? If you are in Washington, Florida may not be the best choice for you. In our case, we were leaving SW MO, so SD and TX were both about the same distance. TX has a vehicle inspection requirement that SD doesn't. We were in OK when the plates on the Foretravel were expiring, so we simply registered it via our mail service in Sioux Falls. The Jeep didn't expire until later, so we switched it ourselves when were went to Sioux Falls to register to vote.

There are several threads on this subject, so read as much as you need to before making a decision. As for what's involved, we found that switching to SD was very easy. We actually ran into a couple of problems in registering to vote and they were quickly resolved. The first one was that we couldn't actually register to vote when we got our driver's licenses, even though we filled out the forms. That has to be done at the voter registration office, which is right across the hall from where we registered the Jeep. The second one was that we stayed at a State park a few miles south of Sioux Falls. Unknown to us, that park isn't in Minnehaha County, so we were initially registered to vote in Lincoln County. A night at the Fair Grounds in Sioux Falls got us another receipt, and the next day we went in to the voter registration office and got our voter registration changed to Minnehaha County.

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Just transferred my driver license to Texas and 2 weeks later found out that because my motorhome weighs over 26,000 pounds, I have to take the same written and driving tests that CDL truckers have to take. A guy at a rally told me that he got a $275 ticket for having a Class C license rather than a Class B. So now I have to take the 2 CDL tests - what a bummer. No one recommending Texas as a domain state ever mentioned that.

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24 minutes ago, RV Vagabond Jerry said:

Just transferred my driver license to Texas and 2 weeks later found out that because my motorhome weighs over 26,000 pounds, I have to take the same written and driving tests that CDL truckers have to take. A guy at a rally told me that he got a $275 ticket for having a Class C license rather than a Class B. So now I have to take the 2 CDL tests - what a bummer. No one recommending Texas as a domain state ever mentioned that.

It's a NON CDL class A license.  It is NOT in any way commercial.  It's 10 questions, a vision and driving test of your vehicle.  If you're not comfortable doing that, then you probably don't need to be driving.

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What Jim said is correct. Also the term exempt class A is used on the application form.

Test is not difficult. Read page 3 of the Texas Drivers Manual 2017  - What you will need is a regular Class B License NOT a Class B CDL

And you might want to read through this thread which helps you understand the most recent testing procedures.

Edited by TreyandSusan

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9 hours ago, RV Vagabond Jerry said:

Just transferred my driver license to Texas and 2 weeks later found out that because my motorhome weighs over 26,000 pounds, I have to take the same written and driving tests that CDL truckers have to take. A guy at a rally told me that he got a $275 ticket for having a Class C license rather than a Class B. So now I have to take the 2 CDL tests - what a bummer. No one recommending Texas as a domain state ever mentioned that.

No one ever mentioned that?  It's a big part of the discussion on this forum, probably dozens of threads about it.  What State did you transfer from?  There's a good chance that your old State had a similar requirement.

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At a glance I'd say that Jerry is a new member of Escapees RV Club as well as a new member on this forum, given his member number & number of posts, so it's fair to assume he didn't see all the domicile related comments on the various threads. I read his comment, "no one recommending Texas as a domain state ever mentioned that", as describing conversations unrelated to this forum (he found out about it at a rally, after visiting the DMV). There just may be a large number of people driving rigs that weigh over 26000 pounds that are unaware of the Class B requirement.

Edited by rm.w/aview
more info

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11 hours ago, RV Vagabond Jerry said:

Just transferred my driver license to Texas and 2 weeks later found out that because my motorhome weighs over 26,000 pounds, I have to take the same written and driving tests that CDL truckers have to take. A guy at a rally told me that he got a $275 ticket for having a Class C license rather than a Class B. So now I have to take the 2 CDL tests - what a bummer. No one recommending Texas as a domain state ever mentioned that.

Jerry, I think you will find that if you want to know ANYTHING about Texas, in terms of RVing, THIS is the place to be.  I'm sorry you didn't find out about this forum some time ago, you could have had all your questions answered and your worries set aside.   Lots of us have our exempt A or B licenses.  Just takes a little bit of reading for the written part and the driving, well as someone said, if you can't pass the driving test, you shouldn't be driving a big rig.   

Barb

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23 minutes ago, Barbaraok said:

Jerry, I think you will find that if you want to know ANYTHING about Texas, in terms of RVing, THIS is the place to be.  I'm sorry you didn't find out about this forum some time ago, you could have had all your questions answered and your worries set aside.   Lots of us have our exempt A or B licenses.  Just takes a little bit of reading for the written part and the driving, well as someone said, if you can't pass the driving test, you shouldn't be driving a big rig.   

Barb

The Class A or B is not a CDL and is not that hard to pass.  A written test over a bit of the CDL book...mostly length, weight and lighting restrictions on the larger rigs and where to place cones when on the shoulder.  The driving portion is not bad and very frankly, if you cannot pass the exam, you need to park the rig.  Not being harsh, just realistic.

We run across a lot of Texas RVers that are ignorant of the license requirements.  The RV and truck dealers are not going to tell you and risk a sale.  If you get stopped or in an accident, most of the local LEOs do not even know of the requirement for the license based on weight.  But a state trooper will most likely know and you will receive a citation for the wrong class of license.

The biggest hassle is taking the test and getting scheduled for a driving test.  The best place to do this is at the DPS office in Livingston.  The understand the RV requirements.

So, welcome to Texas and learn the Texas life style.

Ken

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One thing that I particularly enjoy about being domiciled in a small town in SD is the ease with which "official" things can be taken care of.  Last year, for example, we purchased a car in TX and told the dealership that we wanted it registered in SD.  I offered to take the registration package from them and have Terri at MyDakotaAddress walk it down the block to the Lake County Office where such things are taken care of in SD.  "No need to do that" I was told by the dealership's rather arrogant Business Director.

60 days later I returned to the dealership to obtain a second set of temporary tags since the first set were expiring.  A week or so later, Terri emailed to inform me that the registration package was deficient by ~$100. I gave her my credit card information and the plates were shipped the next day.  They were sent to the dealership (because it had initiated the process) but when I went to pick them up a few days later I was sheepishly handed a check reimbursing me for the $100 I had had to pay.  I didn't gloat too much but I did remind the business staff that I had volunteered to handle the process.B)

In 2016 we traveled to SD to renew our licenses and decided it would be fun to go to Madison for the renewal even though we could have done it anywhere in the state.  It turns out that DPS license bureau sets up in Madison every Tuesday morning in the basement of the DPS building.  Everyone sits around in one big room chatting with each other until their name is called.  Didn't take more than ~an hour or so and we met some nice folks in the process.  The best of small-town Americana.

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On 11/2/2017 at 10:41 AM, rm.w/aview said:

 leaning to SD as well. The only number I haven't uncovered is the cost to register vehicle(s). 

Today's discovery: Registering my truck ($108) & trailer ($90) in SD, excluding fee schedule I've yet to obtain, will cost more than twice as much as registering my truck ($50.75) & trailer ($45) in TX. I was able to get TX fee schedule and adding these to the cost = TX $119.50 vs SD $198 (no fees added). 198-119.50=78.50 minimum savings with TX. Regarding (car) insurance rates for comparative purposes; SD is $260 below national average & TX is $188 above national average... (annual rate fees of course). These averages favor SD by $448

Edited by rm.w/aview
more info

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It seems that whenever someone mentions selecting any state as their domicile, some forum contributors will join in and give reasons why you should abandon that state and domicile in the state that we chose. Many people make the selection based mostly on cost and convenience and seldom compare the possible legal ramifications.  In my opinion, the best choice of domicile is a personal thing and should be chosen based on personal factors beyond what we typically share with the public. 

Edited by Kirk Wood

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3 hours ago, rm.w/aview said:

Regarding (car) insurance rates for comparative purposes; SD is $260 below national average & TX is $188 above national average... (annual rate fees of course). 

As a specific example, we have two vehicles insured by Progressive.  One is a 2014 CR-V (our toad) which is insured with SD rates and the other is a 2015 Hyundai Elantra which is garaged on our property in Rockport TX.  The Elantra is newer but less expensive than the CR-V. We have excellent driving records (no tickets, no accidents) and the TX vehicle's insurance is twice the SD rate.  Works out to $400-500 per year difference.

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47 minutes ago, docj said:

As a specific example, we have two vehicles insured by Progressive.  We have excellent driving records (no tickets, no accidents) and the TX vehicle's insurance is twice the SD rate.  Works out to $400-500 per year difference.

This is the case history example that I've hoped to obtain, short of calling our agent at Progressive and running the numbers. Aside of DMV information, I've had to extrapolate other's information and somehow adjust numbers to relate to us personally, and usually it is still a little vague. A sincere thank you for this information Joel :) Also, I wholeheartedly agree with you Kirk in that it is a choice based on personal circumstance. I've been meaning to get actual DMV numbers from each state and cross reference them with other numbers, so after doing so today and then seeing this thread I'd thought that I'd share, though in the end they're only the "numbered" side of the circumstance. What's funny is the way this enterprise mimics the game at a carnival where the players squirt water into a hole that makes the little cars, labeled SD and TX in this case, race to the top of the riser with this one leading then that one leading. It's a close race, and the winner is... 

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When discussing insurance rates one must consider the city and county you are insuring in. The registration rate may be the same for the entire state but insurance rates will be different all over the state depending on your location in the state. 

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14 hours ago, rm.w/aview said:

What's funny is the way this enterprise mimics the game at a carnival where the players squirt water into a hole that makes the little cars, labeled SD and TX in this case, race to the top of the riser with this one leading then that one leading. It's a close race, and the winner is... 

Twotoes is correct so be sure that you know what county is being quoted. If you are not yet on Medicare, be sure to also look closely at health insurance availability as well as cost. And when you do so, don't ignore FL as one of the possible choices. Even for those of us who are on Medicare the issue matters as the majority of us carry some type of Medicare supplemental coverage and prescription coverage (Medicare part D). And you may need to consider things like estate law if you have significant assets. I always get concerned when too many folks push the choice that they made as good for everyone since it is a rare thing to find an issue that has only one answer that is best for all. 

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When we "moved" from our then residence to our mail service address in the same county, but a different zip code, our vehicle insurance went down about $150 across three vehicles.

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50 minutes ago, Kirk Wood said:

Twotoes is correct so be sure that you know what county is being quoted.

11 hours ago, Twotoes said:

When discussing insurance rates one must consider the city and county you are insuring in. The registration rate may be the same for the entire state but insurance rates will be different all over the state depending on your location in the state. 

 I always get concerned when too many folks push the choice that they made as good for everyone since it is a rare thing to find an issue that has only one answer that is best for all. 

Very true, and thank you both. Seeking & sharing information is all well and good, but one can generalize only so long. Eventually a call needs to be made to get specific information. When I get this I'll share in an effort to help someone that, like me, is looking at Livingston, Polk County, TX & Box Elder, Pennington County, SD. As I view the various threads I haven't seen an "apples to apples" comparison with pertinent information of this nature so I can only assume that it'll be helpful. Of course the choice is our own based on personal circumstance. 

5 minutes ago, Dutch_12078 said:

When we "moved" from our then residence to our mail service address in the same county, but a different zip code, our vehicle insurance went down about $150 across three vehicles.

Wow & Wow! This is a perfect example of the possibilities that exist and why general information only goes so far.

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1 hour ago, Kirk Wood said:

Even for those of us who are on Medicare the issue matters as the majority of us carry some type of Medicare supplemental coverage and prescription coverage (Medicare part D). 

The benefits from Medicare Supplemental (not Medicare Advantage) plans are the same no matter where you buy them.  Part D plans differ in co-pays and premiums but the maximum dollar amount you can pay on drugs is determined by Medicare itself.  Plans are available in all states.

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Our Domicile is Ohio. Where we are registered to vote, where we license our vehicles  and were our drivers license  is issued.Were we  have our primary residence and where we pay property taxes.Where we reside according to Ohio law for more than 183 days.That  does not mean we are actually in Ohio but the S&B is functional the power is on the S&B is furnished our mail is being  delivered there .We can be found there.

One can have a residence anywhere we have had residence in 3  states but our domicile remains Ohio.We have a residence in Florida we pay property taxes . We pay utilities. Our vehicles are registered and plated in Ohio, Our  voting place is in Ohio.We pay Ohio State tax and property tax. Our primary mailing address is Ohio.We forward our mail to Florida each winter.

If in doubt about domicile check with the State in Question.

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Relating to my earlier auto insurance reference, (SD $260 below national average, TX $188 above national average), Ohio is $399 below national average, with Maine being the only state with lower rates.

Average across the states with 1 being the cheapest & 51 being the most expensive:

1. Maine, 2. Ohio, 9. South Dakota, 42. Texas, 47. Florida, 51. Michigan

( from insure.com )

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