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The order that Barb describes is the ONLY order that is supposed to work anywhere in Texas when moving into the state, because:

 

1)You must sign an affidavit stating that all of your registered vehicles are registered in Texas in order to obtain a Texas drivers license.

 

2) You cannot register those vehicles in Texas without first having them inspected in Texas. In conjunction with that first inspection, the inspection station will issue a VIN certification slip that is required to complete the registration process.

 

As Jack and Barb both stated, once you're registered, you won't be asked again about it. Given that Texas law requires their residents to have all vehicles registered there, whether they subsequently verify it or not, I suspect that it would be best to obtain a drivers license from the state in which you elect to register your vehicle(s), should you no longer wish to register in Texas.

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I went to the DPS web site and couldn't find an affidavit that stated that all vehicles must be registered in Texas. I did find one that requires proof of residency. One form of proof is an unexpired vehicle registration. Is that the one you're referring to?

 

If I owned residences in Texas and also in another state, wouldn't it be reasonable to be able to register a vehicle in the other state, if that was where it was primarily stored and used?

Here is a link to the affidavit I found: https://www.txdps.state.tx.us/internetforms/Forms/DL-5.pdf

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The affidavit that I'm referring to is provided by the DPS at the time of application for a Texas drivers license in conjunction with moving into Texas, upon which the applicant affirms that he or she has registered all owned vehicles in Texas. It has no other usage, so far as I know, so it most likely isn't available online.

 

While Texas requires that you affirm that you've registered all owned vehicles in Texas, I'm sure that in the case someone that owns two residences, and owns a vehicle garaged at their "other" residence, an exception would be made, since that vehicle isn't intended for operation on Texas highways. Lots of folks are in that situation, and it's done all the time.

 

I live in a subdivision comprised primarily of travelers, mostly RVers, in south Texas. Plenty of my neighbors are registered and licensed in South Dakota, because that's where they're domiciled. It works and it's legal, because they spend less than six months in Texas. None of them that I know of, however, are domiciled in Texas and carry South Dakota licenses and registrations. If that were to become a commonly used method of evading the new common inspection/registration law, however, I suspect that South Dakota-domiciled Winter Texans will be seriously inconvenienced, as every LEO in Texas would then view a South Dakota registered vehicle as a potential scofflaw Texan. This is why it's essential that Texas changes the new law to provide an exemption for Texans traveling and/or working out of state under the new process, just as currently exists under the existing inspection law.

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This is the best suggestion I have seen so far. These only remaining questions are relevant rules about Texas allowing me to return the state periodically with a South Dakota plate and a Texas mailing address. Also, I wonder how insurance would work. I plan to study this approach as a 'Plan B'.

 

In addition, there are NO inspection (emissions or safety) and it appears that registration fees are less expensive. I plan to contact my insurance company to see how a SD registration would work with a principally garaged address in Texas.

 

The SD DMV is extremely easy to deal with (Clay county being the recommended office). Everything is done by mail. No vin inspections when purchasing a new vehicle, no emissions, etc. I've bought/sold SD titled vehicles that have never been in the state.

 

Insurance is a little grey, but no more than any full timer who really has no primary garaged address.. Most SD residents use their mail forwarding address as the "garaged address" which you could as well. You will want SD insurance, regardless of your DL state.

 

just curious on which state you would use for your drivers license because the questions I was asked when applying for my Texas DL was: Do you have any vehicles? and Are they all registered in Texas?

I know that the pdf file "Becoming a Texan" put out by Escapees says to get your license plates/registrations prior to your DL because Texas wants all of your vehicles registered here. I'm also not sure how SD would feel if you had SD license plates but a Texas DL should you ever be stopped or in an accident there.

 

Just food for thought,

 

Phil

 

I'm sure all states say their residents must register their vehicles in their state, but that is because 99.9% of people live/work & own property in the same state. One state generally has no jurisdiction to impose taxes/fees on property with out of state nexus. For example, TX can't impose property tax on an out of state rental property owned by a TX resident.

 

SD will have no issues if you are stopped in SD with SD tagged tags and a TX drivers license. Read the link I posted earlier. SD has issued multiple memos on the subject of out of state resident registration. Carry a copy of said memos in your glovebox if necessary.

 

I would be more "nervous" about driving around TX with a TX DL in an SD tagged vehicle in your name. This is a common scenario in the NW, where WA residents will purchase/register their cars in OR due to having no sales tax and extremely cheap registration. WA has cracked down on this, but it is obviously a tax evasion scenario because OR residents garaging their cars in OR, should register their cars in OR. This senario is a bit different though, since you would be a TX resident with an Out of state vehicle that is only temporarily in-state. This whole problem revolves around TX residents who are very rarely in TX, so this really shouldn't be a large concern.

 

 

I went to the DPS web site and couldn't find an affidavit that stated that all vehicles must be registered in Texas. I did find one that requires proof of residency. One form of proof is an unexpired vehicle registration. Is that the one you're referring to?

 

If I owned residences in Texas and also in another state, wouldn't it be reasonable to be able to register a vehicle in the other state, if that was where it was primarily stored and used?

 

Here is a link to the affidavit I found: https://www.txdps.state.tx.us/internetforms/Forms/DL-5.pdf

 

I would like to see the affidavit if anyone has a copy of it. They really have no jurisdiction over out of state property, and I bet the TX DMV would agree (once you found the right person to talk to there).

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Here's summary (with citations) for some of the SD laws for registration:

  • You do not need to be a resident to register a vehicle (from Sherri Miller at the SD DMV):

SDCL 32-3-18 and SDCL 32-5-3 requires an applicant to provide either a South Dakota driver’s license number (SD DL) or Social Security number (SSN). Applicants who list a SSN and do not have a SD DL must provide a photo copy of a picture ID (e.g., out-of-state driver’s license, tribal photo identification, military ID) for each applicant listed on the application. The photo copy of the ID must be submitted along with the application.

  • If you are a non-resident, you do not need to register a vehicle kept/operated in SD with SD, provided you comply with the registration requirements of your home state (SDCL 32-5-46).
  • A non-resident may register a vehicle with any county in the state (SDCL 32-5-2).
  • If you are a resident, you are not required to register all of your vehicles in SD, only vehicles operated in SD (SDCL 32-5-2).
  • You may designate an agent for the purposes of registration/titling (SDCL 32-5-2).
  • You can have a vehicle registered in SD, but retain title in another state (SDCL 32-5-4.1). This often happens by default if you change registration to SD while the title is held by a finance company; you'll want to retitle it though if you're moving from a state with an ad valorum tax.
  • Anyone possessing the title or renewal certificate is authorized to renew the registration (SDCL 32-5-151).
  • Registration month is based on your last name (SDCL 32-5-2.2), so all vehicles you register in SD will need renewed at the same time.
  • SD previously had an inspection requirement (SDCL 32-21-1), but it was repealed in 1979. (The state also previously had an income tax, repealed in 1943).

There is a limitation on the reciprocity for vehicles operated in SD by nonresidents contained in SDCL 32-5-48, and they'll consider you a resident for registration purposes after 90 days (SDCL 32-5-47). But again, that still only affects vehicles operated in SD.

 

The excise tax on the sale of a vehicle is 3%, with a credit for tax paid to another state. (SDCL 32-5B-1)

 

Every other driver's license renewal can be done by mail (SD 32-12-43.1).

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So, do you think I would be able to register my vehicles in South Dakota still using my Texas address or would i also have to create a South Dakota address?

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So, do you think I would be able to register my vehicles in South Dakota still using my Texas address or would i also have to create a South Dakota address?

 

Yes, you can register vehicles in SD to a TX address.

 

Just make sure you read the non-resident section on the SD DMV website in detail. There are some extra things that non-residents have to send in (affidavit, copy of DL/SSN card).

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Which office were you renewing in when asked those questions? It must be something quite new as neither Pam nor I remember any such questions when we renewed our licenses a couple of years ago. Were those questions on some form, or just asked by the employee who was doing the paperwork?

Chrystal City and it was by the employee behind the desk who processed all of my paperwork as she checked off a questionnaire that I then signed. It was not for a renewal, it was for my initial DL when establishing residency last month.

Edited by wingerphil

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The order that Barb describes is the ONLY order that is supposed to work anywhere in Texas when moving into the state, because:

 

1)You must sign an affidavit stating that all of your registered vehicles are registered in Texas in order to obtain a Texas drivers license.

 

2) You cannot register those vehicles in Texas without first having them inspected in Texas. In conjunction with that first inspection, the inspection station will issue a VIN certification slip that is required to complete the registration process.

 

As Jack and Barb both stated, once you're registered, you won't be asked again about it. Given that Texas law requires their residents to have all vehicles registered there, whether they subsequently verify it or not, I suspect that it would be best to obtain a drivers license from the state in which you elect to register your vehicle(s), should you no longer wish to register in Texas.

#2 is not true. My RV was first registered in Texas in 1996, while I still lived in another state. I completed my registration completely by mail. I obtained my Texas drivers license in 2006. As of this date I have never had a vehicle inspected in Texas. However, I do not travel in Texas, and have not traveled in Texas more than about 15 days in the 18 years as a Texas resident..

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#2 is not true. My RV was first registered in Texas in 1996, while I still lived in another state. I completed my registration completely by mail. I obtained my Texas drivers license in 2006. As of this date I have never had a vehicle inspected in Texas. However, I do not travel in Texas, and have not traveled in Texas more than about 15 days in the 18 years as a Texas resident..

I suspect this is an excellent example of why the law has been changed ...an 18 yr resident whose vehicles have never been inspected in Texas!

 

I also registered my vehicles by mail w/o inspections a year or two before we returned to Texas after my retirement from military. The vin verification I believe was part of the registration by mail process. As I recall, we had to show registration & inspection proof to get our TX dl in Livingston.

Edited by AFChap

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Chrystal City and it was by the employee behind the desk who processed all of my paperwork as she checked off a questionnaire that I then signed. It was not for a renewal, it was for my initial DL when establishing residency last month.

Thanks for the info. We moved to TX some 11 years before we went on the road so I really don't remember much of what we were asked and most likely it is different now anyhow. We have changed TX counties since then, once from Tarrant to Polk and three years ago from Polk to Smith but that process is very simple and in the first case was just done by mail. Changing counties seems to be pretty easy probably because the rules are actually set by the state even though the work is in a county office.

I completed my registration completely by mail. I obtained my Texas drivers license in 2006. As of this date I have never had a vehicle inspected in Texas. However, I do not travel in Texas, and have not traveled in Texas more than about 15 days in the 18 years as a Texas resident..

I suspect that AFChap is correct in this but there are also things about this which have been changed by the federal laws since 9/11 because this is a clear case of reasonable questioning the validity of the claimed domicile. Consider this definition from "The Law Dictionary."

That place in which a man has voluntarily fixed the habitation of himself and family, not for a mere special or temporary purpose, but with the present intention of making a permanent home, until some unexpected event shall occur to induce him to adopt some other permanent home.

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I suspect this is an excellent example of why the law has been changed ...an 18 yr resident whose vehicles have never been inspected in Texas!

 

I also registered my vehicles by mail w/o inspections a year or two before we returned to Texas after my retirement from military. The vin verification I believe was part of the registration by mail process. As I recall, we had to show registration & inspection proof to get our TX dl in Livingston.

If and when, a rational argument can be made, that justifies spending over $1200 in fuel costs, so that I can pay the state of Texas a $34 tax for a totally unnecessary inspection sticker, while I don't use the highways in Texas, I will listen. Otherwise, none of this makes any sense.

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If and when, a rational argument can be made, that justifies spending over $1200 in fuel costs, so that I can pay the state of Texas a $34 tax for a totally unnecessary inspection sticker, while I don't use the highways in Texas, I will listen. Otherwise, none of this makes any sense.

The thing is they don't need to justify it to anybody and it doesn't have to make sense. It's their sandbox so they make the rules.

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If and when, a rational argument can be made, that justifies spending over $1200 in fuel costs, so that I can pay the state of Texas a $34 tax for a totally unnecessary inspection sticker, while I don't use the highways in Texas, I will listen. Otherwise, none of this makes any sense.

"Resident" normally means you do spend at least some time there ...I suspect someone's rational argument for being a resident of a state they are rarely or never in would make as much sense to the lawmakers as their law makes to you. :). I would presume the point of the law is that there is in fact a safety inspection requirement, and too many residents (both those who spend time in the state and those who do not) are dodging the requirement. When enough people abuse the system long enough, the keepers of the system react. It is not a very stringent inspection, but it does ensure a vehicle has workings lights, wipers, and brakes.

 

This kind of issue is exactly why we never seriously considered SD when I retired in VA and we started fulltiming ...we knew any visits to SD would be few and far between (and they have been). We did consider FL, but chose TX because we knew our travels would take us to or through the state at least yearly w/o really going out of our way.

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It is their sandbox because we let them have it. Same for justification. We "could" make them justify. I don't see this happening but it has occaisionnaly. The more the public gets involved the more likely it is to happen. I may not believe in Unicorns but I want to.

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Garages where inspections were done were subject to break-ins by persons looking for blank inspection stickers. So they lobbied for something to be done. IT vendors made the case to DMV/DPS individuals that one database could take care of everything. None of these groups thought about people who travel or businesses who have a large part of their mobile inventory out of state, were paying attention at the time to say that the 90-day before was an impracticable window for their groups.

 

Instead of trying to give reasons why you think this is a stupid law, come up with some ways to make if function better. Has everyone sent in their ideas - like having a place on the online renewal form where you certify, under penalty of perjury, that you have not been in the state during the previous 90 days and can not get it inspected, but that you will have it inspected upon returning to Texas.

 

Barb

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Instead of trying to give reasons why you think this is a stupid law, come up with some ways to make if function better.

Barb

 

Since all inspections do is insure that vehicle lights are working for one moment in time, the whole vehicle inspection bureaucracy should be eliminated saving much money and wasted time for all involved, and let law enforcement do their job and cite vehicle equipment violators.

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Doesn't matter what we think about the law, it is there and it is to our benefit to offer some suggestions so that we don't have to make repeated trips back to Texas for inspections since the registration dates on the MH and car are 6 months apart. Otherwise we will be forced to "move" and we really don't want to do that if we can avoid it.

 

Barb

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We are traveling from Mesa to Dallas. During the drive, I have had some time to think about this. I already sent my suggestions to the front office. AlthoughI like the one about self affirmation better than mine.

 

I also wonder if we are going about this the wrong way.

 

About 12 the states require a safety inspection and the rest don't. That means that if you live in one of the states that requires it, you'll keep your vehicle's safety equipment in working order so you'll pass the required inspection. If you're from a state that doesn't have inspections, you either have other motivations for keeping the equipment in good order, such as the desire not be in an accident, or you don't bother.

 

If enough people don't bother, I would imagine that accidents or other events related to faulty safety equipment would be occuring at greater frequency, If these events occurred at the same relative rate between states that require inspection and those that don't, wouldn't that imply the inspection doesn't accomplish this goal?

 

If there is no difference, perhaps inspections need to be eliminated, rather than coming up with a method to excuse those of us out of state at the time needed. Texas is all about personal freedom and less government intrusion. Wouldn't this be the best solution (other than the profit centers for the government and the inspection stations)?

 

It seems there are more reports showing there is no connection between inspections and accidents.

 

A quick Google search brought up some links This first one is particularly insteresting:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CEIQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.whec.com%2Farticle%2Fstories%2Fs3263610.shtml&ei=zXc7U6TrCY-1sASj7IHwBQ&usg=AFQjCNEPPAS90XvxbMlieO05q_BRGK01Tw&bvm=bv.63934634,d.cWc

 

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CFQQFjAF&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.phillymag.com%2Fnews%2F2012%2F03%2F15%2Fneed-vehicle-inspections-pennsylvania%2F&ei=zXc7U6TrCY-1sASj7IHwBQ&usg=AFQjCNFVlcqCl-QmP-ff_-PbJ-i6P-Ddgg&bvm=bv.63934634,d.cWc

 

I wonder why the legislature didn't just eliminate the inspection entirely. Maybe we should ask them to justify inspections at all?

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One of the things that has to be remembered is that Texas does not meet air emission standards for its major cities, which is why emissions testing has been instituted. So that part of the inspection system isn't going away. And the idea of having everyone get an inspection probably makes sense as far as DPS officers are concerned - everyone has a current inspection sticker, so they don't have to figure out who lives in a air emission problem county and who doesn't.

 

Barb

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Garages where inspections were done were subject to break-ins by persons looking for blank inspection stickers. So they lobbied for something to be done. IT vendors made the case to DMV/DPS individuals that one database could take care of everything.

Mind sharing your information source on this statement?

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One of the things that has to be remembered is that Texas does not meet air emission standards for its major cities, which is why emissions testing has been instituted. So that part of the inspection system isn't going away. And the idea of having everyone get an inspection probably makes sense as far as DPS officers are concerned - everyone has a current inspection sticker, so they don't have to figure out who lives in a air emission problem county and who doesn't.

 

Barb

 

Let's see if I have this right. For the convenience of DPS officers when they do a traffic stop, every vehicle in Texas should get a safety inspection, even though there is no public or private benefit for doing so. This way, just in case you're from a county where an emissions inspection is required, the officer won't have to look it up, while he is looking up everything else about your registration.

 

For those who live in non-attainment counties (the ones that require emissions tests), wouldn't a better solution be to require them to pass an emissions test as a requirement for registration? Then we could do away with the inspection sticker, eliminate an unnecessary test and expense, and get emissions tested where they are needed.

 

Isn't this a better solution?

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Bottom line for us is, our hope is that the lawmakers come up with something that will allow us to stay Texas residents .I don't have much faith in that .if not then, we are off to South Dakota. I don't want to leave escapees .They have been great to us .But don't want to have to return to Texas each year .

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Escapees Mail Service—New Home Base Option Plans

 

We appreciate all the comments, suggestions, and information that have been shared on this thread over the past weeks and we want you to know that your concerns have not gone unnoticed.

 

You will soon see an article in Escapees magazine (May/June) that talks about our new “Home Base” option plans, but we wanted to share it with you first!

 

Escapees Mail Service in Livingston, Texas will continue to be the main processing center, but we will offer additional “Home Base” services in several other states for full-time RVers who prefer a legal domicile elsewhere.

 

We expect to bring our first Home Base service online in Florida (Sumter Oaks, Bushnell, FL) in just a few months. Once that is up and operational, we anticipate branching out to other states and will be looking seriously at South Dakota.

 

Establishing and/or maintaining a legal domicile is a challenge that many full-time RVers face. We have had a long association with Loring & Associates, PLLC, and we’re working on even more convenient ways to make domicile consulting and estate planning easily available for those who need it.

 

We are still working out the details, but welcome your comments. Feel free to contact me at homebase@escapees.com.

 

SKP Hugs,

Cathie Carr, President

Escapees RV Club

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