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CGTaylor

When to set up domicile and change address

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We have not ordered the motorhome nor have we put the house up for sale yet, but we are only 2 months from doing both. Do we need to wait until we do those two tasks before we set up our domicile and begin the change of address process? I’ve seen some posts about changing address a few months before hitting the road. I worry about applying for financing and insurance, or closing on a house while changing addresses. 

Thoughts?

Greatly appreciate it. 

‘Thanks

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We waiting until our house sold and closed before we set up our mail service (SD) they then helped us register and plate the vehicles in SD.  (We didn't have to be present) and 1 month later we made the trip to establish residency , got our drivers licenses, insurance etc.  You can use a mail service without declaring a different residency.  If it were me I would wait until later to change your address.  It is easier to get financing while you are still living in the home and you are not yet full-time.   We financed our coach 1 year before actually moving out of our house and going full-time.  We rented the house for 4 years before selling it.  We used mail service only during that first four years and remained residents of our original home state during that time.

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I think it's best to set up your mail service at least 3 months in advance but you don't have to change all the addresses then nor do you have to change domicile then. It just gives you time to watch your incoming mail for places you might have overlooked otherwise. You do want to change most addresses at least a month before you actually move, though, then file a change of address form with the post office to catch anything you missed. BTW, most magazines print mailing labels 3 months in advance so if you want to keep getting them by snail mail consider getting your new address 4 months out and notifying magazines right away.

If you are financing a rig it is best to do that while still living in your house. We took a home equity loan to buy our rig then paid it off at the house closing.

After closing we drove to our new domicile state in our new rig and did all the changing domicile stuff there.

But, there are many, many ways of doing all this so whatever you choose, I'm sure will be right for you.

Linda Sand

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We started changing our address 6 months in advance and had no problems. When we hit the road we then changed domicile, the house hadn't sold yet. For the closing on the house everything is done electronically  so your address has no impact.

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The only possible tricky part I can imagine might be with state taxes.  If you're still living in State A, but claiming State B (which has no income tax) as your domicile, State A may figure you're trying to evade taxes, and come after you. 

Of course, some states are more aggressive about that than others, and it might also depend on the time of year - as in the end of one tax year or beginning of another.  Probably best to talk to an accountant, or a service like H&R Block about such things

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54 minutes ago, Optimistic Paranoid said:

The only possible tricky part I can imagine might be with state taxes.  If you're still living in State A, but claiming State B (which has no income tax) as your domicile, State A may figure you're trying to evade taxes, and come after you. 

Of course, some states are more aggressive about that than others, and it might also depend on the time of year - as in the end of one tax year or beginning of another.  Probably best to talk to an accountant, or a service like H&R Block about such things

You aren't a resident of state B until you actually surrender your license from state A, so starting a mail forward wouldn't make you a resident.

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I agree with previous posts that it would be wise to set up your mail service and start changing your mail early, rather than wait to sell the house. If you wait until the house has sold it will mean a big rush to get things changed. Changing where you receive mail does not change your domicile. Before you get too far into things, I suggest that you read this article from several years ago to help understand what your domicile change means and then take a look at this list of things for a TX domicile since any state will have pretty much the same issues. I very much agree with those who suggest you get your new address early. We started ours about 3 months prior to the house closing and a bit longer would probably have helped.

8 hours ago, sandsys said:

If you are financing a rig it is best to do that while still living in your house. We took a home equity loan to buy our rig then paid it off at the house closing.

Unless things have changed, you will get a better interest rate if you do not wait to arrange to finance. While there are companies who will finance an RV for fulltimers, the list of places will be much shorter and in most cases the interest a bit higher. If you will be keeping the same insurance policies you will need to notify them of your change in domicile/address in advance since most insurance rates vary by your location of domicile. I would not change your driver's license or vehicle registrations until you are actually leaving your current domicile since you can only have 1 domicile by you may have multiple residences. Driver's license and voter registrations are an important part of the process, but as the second link I shared points out, there is much more to this.

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6 hours ago, ewacowboy said:

You aren't a resident of state B until you actually surrender your license from state A, so starting a mail forward wouldn't make you a resident.

While everyone responded to the original poster by saying go ahead and set up your mailing service, the QUESTION was "When to set up Domicile and change address?"

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8 minutes ago, Optimistic Paranoid said:

While everyone responded to the original poster by saying go ahead and set up your mailing service, the QUESTION was "When to set up Domicile and change address?"

That's because setting up domicile and changing address are two separate things. We encourage changing address early but not setting up domicile until you actually hit the road. And we encourage you to do the latter anytime except year end so you can file part year taxes in the state you are leaving to make it clear you ARE leaving.

Linda Sand

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I'm starting this process now myself, though I suspect I may have to adjust the plan.

Living in WV currently. Have subscribed to the mail forwarding service. I'll get my Forester insured (in TX), registered, and plated next, then get my DL and voter's registration. For the military's purposes, this should be enough to allow me to change my home of residence/domicile to Texas. I hope to have this done by mid September.

Next year I should take delivery of my RV in the spring, take it to Texas for TTL purposes, then sell my home in WV and hit the road in October 2019.

If I have grokked this correctly, my pay should be exempt from state tax, but I'll still be paying property tax (on the house) to WV. Vehicles will be under TX DMV regs, and once the house sells, I'll be "free".

My RV plates will say "WV SKP" :lol:

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For Texas you will need to get everything inspected before registration. If you are living in your WV house and plan to return to WV be aware of its residency laws. Most states have a certain number of days in state and then you are a resident. 

I would just change my address now and when you have the house sold go to Texas and declare it your domicile. 

I am not sure how state residency and domicile works with the military................

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1 hour ago, Allentc2 said:

My RV plates will say "WV SKP" :lol:

So, you are planning to change your domicile from WV to Texas but your license plate will say WV? Ummm. Probably not a good plan. To me, that's a clear indication of where you consider home.

Linda

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1 hour ago, sandsys said:

So, you are planning to change your domicile from WV to Texas but your license plate will say WV? Ummm. Probably not a good plan. To me, that's a clear indication of where you consider home.

Linda

I highly doubt a vanity license plate is going to affect where you call home.  I've seen many vanity plates that should have landed the owner in jail! :)

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5 hours ago, sandsys said:

That's because setting up domicile and changing address are two separate things. We encourage changing address early but not setting up domicile until you actually hit the road.

Exactly! 👍  Changing domicile is a process that involves a series of actions and which has no single definition except by a court. No one activity causes the change nor is there an exact definition of what it means. 

4 hours ago, Allentc2 said:

My RV plates will say "WV SKP"

If you are thinking of a TX license plate with those letters, I just checked and it is available.

image.png.347172c1f64f521e3925ede33094b154.png

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3 hours ago, sandsys said:

 To me, that's a clear indication of where you consider home.

Linda

Ummmm....."WV SKP" = WV escapee. Meaning I finally got away from there. LOL Sorta opposite of considering it home, doncha think?

I do get where it also could be 'read' as "WV Escapee member". :)

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2 minutes ago, Allentc2 said:

I do get where it also could be 'read' as "WV Escapee member".

I wouldn't take it that way if on a TX license plate. I had a friend when we lived in WY whose career forced him to move to CA. He got a vanity plate from the state of CA which read "BIG WYO." He said it showed where his heart was. 

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2 hours ago, Kirk Wood said:

I wouldn't take it that way if on a TX license plate. I had a friend when we lived in WY whose career forced him to move to CA. He got a vanity plate from the state of CA which read "BIG WYO." He said it showed where his heart was. 

That's the way I read WV SKP. WV is where his heart is. Not a good thing if you are trying to convince WV that you no longer live there and convince your new domicile state that you do not plan to return to WV.

Linda

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just got driver license yesterday in Florida after setting up domicile via ESCAPEES Florida process.  Took one hour at DMV just over the border from Georgia, in Fernandina Beach FL.   The only problem we had is that the ESCAPEES process needs to have the number listed as a LOT and not as PMB or # for the domicile address.  Everything else is good for having two addresses.  Mail forwarding in TX and domicile in FL.  No problems.

 

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17 hours ago, sandsys said:

That's the way I read WV SKP. WV is where his heart is. Not a good thing if you are trying to convince WV that you no longer live there and convince your new domicile state that you do not plan to return to WV.

Linda

I suspect being a member of Escapees means you "see" SKP as meaning "the Escapees RV club"....not simply the word "escapee". Joe Blow, driving behind me, having never heard of the organization, would think "Hah, this dude bolted from WV to come to Texas."

And as mentioned, I doubt state DMVs or tax departments try to glean the secret messages of license plates. LOL 

Funny "NSFW" story.....my first motorcycle was a sport bike and I had the attitude usually attributed to a young male with a crotch rocket. I decided I wanted vanity plates. I figured the typical DMV worker wasn't classically educated so I'd try to sneak a suggestive one past the censors. Imagine my surprise when FEL8ME came back rejected. 😂

 

Edited by Allentc2

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On 7/11/2018 at 10:15 PM, CGTaylor said:

We have not ordered the motorhome nor have we put the house up for sale yet, but we are only 2 months from doing both.

You may also want to consider sales tax and vehicle registration implications of changing domicile now or later.  It may or may not weigh in your decision.

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On ‎7‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 10:15 PM, CGTaylor said:

We have not ordered the motorhome nor have we put the house up for sale yet, but we are only 2 months from doing both. Do we need to wait until we do those two tasks before we set up our domicile and begin the change of address process? I’ve seen some posts about changing address a few months before hitting the road. I worry about applying for financing and insurance, or closing on a house while changing addresses. 

Thoughts?

Greatly appreciate it. 

‘Thanks

I'm sure you have already went through the thought process of "when will the house sell" after putting it on the market.  We didn't start actually changing over our address until a contract was in place for the house being sold and all the buyers inspections were completed, in other words about 2 weeks prior to closing.  The house sold in 10 days so the whole process was quick.  On the other hand we have friends up north that haven't sold their home after several months of being on the market.  I wouldn't want to have any of my addresses changed until I knew for sure what my "moving out" date was.

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With so little physical mail I don't see any problem getting the address change done way ahead of time. This is a time consuming process and you don't need that on top of everything else that is going on when you sell.

When we are in a location for a while we have our mail sent to us every 2 weeks but are thinking of going every 3 weeks since nothing much we have to act on comes in the mail.

If you change your address all you are doing is changing your mailing address, not your domicile.

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What if you throw the need to setup health insurance into the mix?  Does that change the timing on setting up a domicile? I assume setting up healthcare in a new state requires your house be sold and the domicile already be established.. 

Edit: I'd thought about putting the house on the market and then "moving" in our RV to the state we intend to domicile in. The problem is I'll be at my current job until the house sells or a couple months afterwards.

 

 

 

Edited by mds1

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38 minutes ago, mds1 said:

What if you throw the need to setup health insurance into the mix?  Does that change the timing on setting up a domicile? I assume setting up healthcare in a new state requires your house be sold and the domicile already be established.. 

You are pretty much right if doing it properly. You can set up a new mail forwarding service address at any time, as where your mail goes is only one tiny part of domicile and by its self doesn't change your domicile. That same thing is true for vehicle registrations, driver's license and pretty much anything else. Domicile is the combination of many things and the more that you mover from your present state to the state chosen for domicile, the better it will hold up if it is ever challenged. To buy health insurance or any other kind of insurance in another state while you continue to live where you are now will require that you claim to have moved now. You may never be caught, but there is risk involved, as well as the issue of personal ethics. That bothers some people and doesn't bother others. 

If you continue to live and are employed in your present state you have not met the legal definition of changing domicile to another state. 

Edited by Kirk Wood

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