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I would say three months. Notify your correspondents during that period. Then when you are ready to cut over, file the forwarding request with the Post Office. You wait on that because you want it to last as long as possible.

 

Keep in mind that you can leave a forwarding order with the Post Office when going from a normal mail address to a box service, but you cannot use a forwarding order to move from a box service. So choose wisely. :)

 

We've tried to cut our physical mail to the absolute bare minimum.

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I agree with Gannet -- a minimum of three months. That will give you some time to be sure everything is working OK and to make all the changes of address you need to make (credit cards, bank accounts, IRS, Social Security, etc.)

 

In fact, start making a list now of everyone you need to inform of your new address...it'll come in really handy when the time comes that you must make the address changes.

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Yep, about three months is what we did as well. By the time your ready to leave the S&B about the only thing that should be comming direct to the old address is advertisements. When you will no longer be at the house you will need to file a "Change of Address" with the post office, not a forwarding address.

Be sure to change the address for your utility bills early. I don't know about Texas or SD but to claim FL as your domicile you will need a utility bill with the FL mailing address. Even though the bill was for Indianapolis Power And Light it had the FL mailing address and was accepted.

Also, check the web site for the mail service you chose. They should have all of the information needed to claim that state as your official domicile.

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We were almost 4 months from starting our Escapee mail box/address until we actually began to travel, but doing so allowed us to see that our mail was working and everything was ready. It also allowed us to not file the usual change of address with the USPS so our junk mail didn't follow us.

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We did not give a forwarding address to the Post Office. This stopped all the junk mail we were getting. We have been fulltime for 7 years and have not had any problems. We were very diligent about notifying everone about our new address and have had no issues. We use the Escapee mail service in Livingston and they have never made a mistake, the Post Office has but not Escapees.

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Most states do require a certain amount of time to prove you are a resident. These requirements got harsher after 9-11. To Declare Domicile and break with your old state, one of the recommended steps is to obtain a driver's license in the new state and turn in your license in the old state. Most states require residence for a period of time to obtain a driver's license. Remember residency is different from domicile. A residence is where you presently are, a domicile is your official state where you vote and are licensed and registered.

 

We set up our mailing service in Florida in Sept. last year and started the Declaration of Domicile in Florida in Jan. this year.

 

We have also changed everything to paperless as Newt suggested. This includes all monthly billing, magazine subscriptions, bill paying, etc.

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In Florida, and I assume Tx. you need to show a physical address to obtain a driver's license. In our case we used the physical address of our mail forwarding service to go through all the domicile steps. A few months after we officially became Florida residents we bought a lot and changed our official address to the lot. We still maintain our mail service for when we travel. While we are in Florida we are allowed to suspend our mail service.

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How long before fulltiming should I start my escapee mail service?

 

I'm not sure if we will use South Dakota or Texas as a domicile state.

 

Janet

Most folks go with a mail service in the state of their domicile. I can't speak to the amount of time question but I am curious why you would use an escapee mail (TX) address if you "reside" in SD? Just asking...

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  • 3 months later...

Kevin H are you referring to the two addresses that escapee mail users in South Dakota must use?

 

One in South Dakota for driver license, insurance & all other state related stuff. Then the livingston ,TX address for all other mail?

 

It's strange and I hope its not a problem with proving domicile state. It almost easier to use Texas as a domicile state.

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Change everything you can to paperless. It's convenient full timing to do all the business you can on the internet. If you don't have a multifunction machine, fax, scanner, copy etc, get one. They come in handy.

 

Newt

We started getting everything setup as auto pay or paperless 6 months ahead, that way you know it works before you head out. Also eliminate all your landlines at the same time so you can also workout any problems that may come up with them before you are on the road. We still maintain a home base but everything is setup year around and our home base is are mailing addresss. We only have our mail forwarded ever 2 to 3 months because we just don't need it anymore because after 8 years everything is paperless, we have gone as long as 8 months with no mail. It takes a while but it can be done. Be very careful when it comes to changing your address for your health insurance, it can be a problem if your not on medicare.

 

Denny

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One in South Dakota for driver license, insurance & all other state related stuff. Then the livingston ,TX address for all other mail?

 

It's strange and I hope its not a problem with proving domicile state. It almost easier to use Texas as a domicile state.

Escapees have vetted the method and I am sure know the legal ramifications of the process that they use. One thing to also consider if you are not yet of Medicare age is the large choice of medical plans in TX versus the very limited ones in SD. There are good reasons for TX being the most popular state and it has been recognized more than once by Good Sam as the most RV friendly state. Livingston, TX is probably the only community that everyone knows how fulltimers live and solicit our business. And I'd bet it is also the place where fulltimers have the most political clout. :)

 

The fact is that while domicile does require an address, there is no requirement that the domicile address be your mail service address. For example, many people in all states register vehicles & driving licenses to a domicile address but use a PO box for their general mail.

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If you mean SD is cheaper, the only thing that is significantly less there for most people is sale tax, but I'm not so sure that I would base my choice of home base solely on what is cheap. There are some pretty important issues that are determined by domicile in some situations and the health care choices for those not yet on Medicare are much better in TX.

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I thought it was cheaper but now I'm not so sure.

cheaper- vehicle insurance & registration

 

When we were fulltimers, we were domiciled first in Texas and then in South Dakota. We changed domiciles before we bought a new RV because of the difference in sales tax.

 

As far as vehicle insurance and registration, *we* found it pretty much a wash...there was really no appreciable difference in auto registration fees and not all that much difference in insurance rates, although our fulltimers insurance did go down a bit in SD vs TX (but certainly not enough to make that the determining factor).

 

If we were going to become fulltimers today -- AND -- if we were under Medicare age, I would NOT choose SD because there really is no good choice for under-Medicare-age health insurance in the state for fulltimers.

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