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Texas DL with SD registrations


ICPete

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After two years of being domiciled in SD it looks like we have to "move" to TX for health insurance coverage. We live in the fifth-wheel full time and don't own any real estate.

 

I've been told by two sources (both of whom work for popular mail forwarders) that we can keep our motor vehicles registered in SD, even though we will get TX drivers licenses.

However the Texas DPS site that talks about getting your new license states that all vehicles must be registered in TX before applying for the DL, or sign an affidavit stating you don't have any vehicles to register. But perhaps that is only for full-time TX residents??

 

Does anyone know if this is indeed permissible, i.e., we will not get "special attention" if stopped by a LEO and show SD registrations with our TX licenses? We do plan to spend a small amount of time in Texas each year, most likely, but probably not more than a month at a time. Anything I have found on the Texas Drivers License website seems to say you must register vehicles in Texas.

 

My main reason for wanting to keep the existing SD registrations is really the fact we've paid for up to a year on an HDT, two trailers, a 2013 car, and a motorcycle, so I hate to lose the months I already paid for. Our insurer is Blue Sky and they have told me they don't care which state the DLs are in; not sure whether the rates would change if we changed the state of registration/garaging. Also I suspect we would have to pay several % of sales tax upon registering the vehicles in Texas, and of course I'd just as soon not have to spend time and money on vehicle inspections.

 

Oh, and I have spent about four hours now searching these forums trying to find an answer to this specific question, with no luck. Plenty about the pros and cons of SD vs TX vs FL etc, and stories about getting the DL and so forth, but not about this particular twist.

 

Anyone out there actually doing DL in TX and registrations in SD?

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I'd advise following the TX DMV's requirement and register anything you are going to bring into Texas in Texas. If you have a vehicle that will be garaged in another state and not be brought into Texas then I believe that would be acceptable to leave licensed in the state where it is primarily kept.

 

We had our truck and fiver registered in SD as that was our domicile but we had a car that stayed in Arizona most of the year, that was licensed in AZ as their rules required. The SD DMV folks had no problem with that but cautioned that if we were stopped in SD with the AZ plates and SD driver's license it would be a problem that would have to be sorted out, they had no idea what would be involved and we didn't pursue it since the car was never going to be in SD.

 

Maybe just do one vehicle in Texas and keep the rest out of Texas until it is time to change plates? Not sure that really meets the rules but it should avoid a Texas traffic stop raising any questions.

 

Read up on the TX vehicle inspection rules too, you don't want to get caught up in that either.

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I must agree with Stanley's post on the answer, but just in the past week there has been a post on another thread which says that you can do this and legally so. I strongly suggest that you at least take the time to send an email to Shawn Loring, a TX attorney & Escapee who has offered to advise members for free in an article in the Escapee's magazine. Everything that I have ever read on the subject points to the need for vehicle registrations of fulltimers to be in their state of domicile, but I do not know of any court cases and I am not an attorney.

 

 

In our travels we chat with a lot of people who seem to have found a good solution to this--they choose a Texas domicile through the Escapees, and register their vehicles in South Dakota. Our SD Medicare is fabulous, but we know the problems those under 65 are finding. And South Dakota vehicle registration (ours was completely handled for us by Americas Mailbox) has no VIN inspections or any other kind of inspection and no proof of insurance before registration. Since you're traveling all over, you can legally do this--neither Texas nor South Dakota apparently cares.

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I can say in February 2014 we could not apply for a Texas DL until we signed a statement that all our vehicles were registered in Texas. When I inquired about the requirement I was told it was an attempt to stop people from evading taxes.

 

I could sign it with only one registered but that would be stating I own no other and would be making a false claim.

 

I did not have to worry about paying sales tax as I came from Washington State and had already paid too much in Texas standards.

 

That is my experience.

 

John

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" However the Texas DPS site that talks about getting your new license states that all vehicles must be registered in TX before applying for the DL, or sign an affidavit stating you don't have any vehicles to register. But perhaps that is only for full-time TX residents?? "

 

That can only apply to vehicles "garaged" or based in Tx. Its not only legal, but required to register a vehicle where it is primarily garaged, which is not always in your home state. But applying that to a fulltimer with no permanent garage and no property in either state, does seem a bit of a stretch.

 

I know there are thousands of Tx residents who own seasonal homes near my summer home in the CO mountains who keep a spare vehicle stored at their Co home and have it registered in Co, as required.

I'm not involved with Tx, but I have 3 homes and vehicles in different states. My primary home, my DL and most of my vehicles are SD, but I have a Jeep kept/reg/insured at my CO home, and a spare pickup kept/reg/insured at my NM ranch. All 3 state DMV's have told me that's the required & proper way for non-resident property & vehicle owners in their state. I've never had an issue with LEO when stopped and show a SD DL and a CO or NM registration. I assume they can easily verify that I own 10 vehicles in 3 diff states.

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I can say in February 2014 we could not apply for a Texas DL until we signed a statement that all our vehicles were registered in Texas. When I inquired about the requirement I was told it was an attempt to stop people from evading taxes.

 

I could sign it with only one registered but that would be stating I own no other and would be making a false claim.

 

I did not have to worry about paying sales tax as I came from Washington State and had already paid too much in Texas standards.

 

That is my experience.

 

John

This was our experience as well.

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If you register your vehicles in TX, you will pay NO sales tax on vehicles curently registered in SD. You WILL pay a "new resident" fee of $90 on each vehicle, if you want to call that a tax.

Does the $90 Fee apply only to motorized vehicles or FW and TT as well?

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Looks like it was a false alarm; my insurance agent called me today and said he didn't realize yesterday which month my policy renews. Apparently that makes a big difference, and we should be able to keep the same policy another year. So Texas will have to wait...

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  • 4 months later...

After reading this thread I thought I'd use y'all as a sounding board so here it goes. It seems odd to me that any insurance company in SD engaged in the business of providing health care insurance can deny coverage to anyone claiming to be domiciled in that state... physical address or not... verifiable or not.

 

The ACA law requires that everyone apply for and be covered by a health care policy or pay a fine, they call it a tax but everybody knows what it is. Also, an insurance company can not deny coverage to a person based on pre-existing conditions so how can they deny someone because they don't have a physical address?

 

How do the homeless in SD acquire health care insurance? Certainly they have no verifiable physical address! Does that mean they don't live there? Are there no homeless folks in SD? I know those are rhetorical questions but I thought I'd ask anyway.

 

l should think that any insurance company in SD refusing to sell a policy to anyone who claims to be domiciled there is leaving themselves wide open for legal action by the federal government.

 

Thoughts?

 

Phil

 

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There seems to be some confusion between Registering and Titling. I can have my truck and trailer TITLED in Kansas and then the tax registration folks will REGISTER ONLY in Texas, leaving the title in Kansas. Armed with the Registration Only form, I then went to the Department of Public Safety and got my Texas driver's license. The DPS just wants to make sure I own the vehicle, have insurance, look like my photo ID, have my birth certificate to prove that I was born, and at least two government agencies believe I live at my address.

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Phil,

 

Homeless are usually covered by Medicaid - which is an entirely different set of regulations. And often they use the address of a shelter or other agency providing help. The ACA is based upon people buying insurance from private companies and the companies can limit where you get care or where you live to qualify. The address requirements is because a lot of companies are forming very tight networks that they have negotiated costs with that are limited to specific zip codes.

 

Barb

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Phil,

 

Homeless are usually covered by Medicaid - which is an entirely different set of regulations. And often they use the address of a shelter or other agency providing help. The ACA is based upon people buying insurance from private companies and the companies can limit where you get care or where you live to qualify. The address requirements is because a lot of companies are forming very tight networks that they have negotiated costs with that are limited to specific zip codes.

 

Barb

Barb,

Thanks for the reply. I guess that makes sense up to a point. The problem is as I see it, as we all know not everyone fits into a nice, neat little box. Folks domiciled in SD who do not have a physical address are being forced into non-compliance with the law through no fault of their own. Sounds like discrimination to me. Those folks either end up paying the fine on their tax return and not having health care coverage through the ACA or are being forced to move out of state.

 

Wouldn't this qualify as equal protection under the constitution?

 

Where is the ACLU and Eric Holder and the Justice Department when we need them?

 

Phil

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You have to remember, Fulltimers are a minuscule number of people in terms of the general population. And you aren't being forced to live in SD, there are other options where on can have an address that will be recognized and health insurance is readily available. Sometimes tax avoidance in one area can create problems in another area.

 

Barb

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What has happened is that many private companies have just chosen not to sell insurance in some parts of the country for various reasons and many have tightened their requirements for who they will sell to. Thus far even insurance companies have some ability to do this. Each time that you require any company to insure people who cost them more it means higher premiums for those who were already insured. Some of those customers absorb the added cost, but some customers leave to look for less costly coverage. While the new restrictions have helped some people, they have also harmed a lot of people as well. Anytime that you give someone something free or at a reduced cost, someone else must absorb that expense. If it gets too difficult, companies just stop doing business in the problems locations. There are no easy or inexpensive answers to health care issues. If there were, it would have been solved years ago.

 

Barb's point about Medicaid is accurate also. It is an entirely different situation and is intended for those who do not have the financial ability to have health insurance. There are income limits for getting benefits from it and most of us on these forums would not qualify. The situation also changes in a major way once you reach the age of 65 and qualify for Medicare, which is also very different than the situation covered by the ACA.

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This is all interesting. I didn't see where anyone answered the question about the $90. first time fee applied to TT's and 5thW's. The answer is yes. I could look it up but the last time I did it was with a TT and it was only $60. plus other registration fees applicable. So are we sure it is $90. now. Just curious.

 

It doesn't seem as likely in Texas as say NYC but concievably someone may not even own a vehicle and only rent one occaisionally but would still need a drivers license. I wonder what kind of hassle they might have going in for their 1st drivers license. I guess they could take the driving test in a rented or borrowed vehicle. I think some people rent an applicable vehicle to take the CDL test.

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I've got the same issue but Idaho and South Dakota. I emailed our insurance man, and this was his reply:

 

If you register vehicles in SD you will have to cancel the policy here and see if you can get it rewritten in SD. If you leave the registration in ID you can do whatever you want, we dont care about a change in the mail address or what state you have your drivers lic in. We only care about what state the vehicles are registered in.

 

 

So...more confused.....I emailed the Escapees Atty.

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Since we just went through the whole process of moving to TX from SD due to the healthcare issue here it is in a nut shell:

 

1) We established our mailing/ physical address in Livingston with Escapees on March 2nd.

2) We then had our vehicles inspected using our old insurance from SD on March 3rd.

3) We secured new insurance based on our TX domicile so we can then title and register our vehicles on March 4th.

4) We prceeded to register and title our vehicles on March 5th. It cost us $90 for each vehicle to bring them to

TX in lieu of taxes since they were already titled in another state. This did not include the separate registration and titling fees. All totaled it cost us $952 for the whole process for truck, RV and 2 motorcycles.

You cannot secure registrations in Texas without valid insurance showing your Texas address. Insurance companies may not care where you register your vehicles but the moment you move they will revise your policy to conform to the new states requirements and trust me, Texas is more expensive due to uninsured motorists.

5) Once registered we were then able to go and apply for the drivers license on March 9th. Due to the combined weight of truck and trailer over 26,000 lbs plus towing a trailer over 10,000 lbs we needed a class A non commercial license. We needed to study and pass the written test for chapter 14 of the CDL license manual only.

6) We then needed to pass a simple road test on March 18th and March 19th with the rig making a tight right turn from southbound Washington Ave to westbound Church near the courthouse and then 3 hard left turns off of Washington coming off the Rt. 59 feeder road.

 

Note: We waited nearly 2 weeks to take the road tests because of the backlog.

 

Overall the process was not too bad but still cumbersome.

 

We are now Proud Texans!

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