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Paperwork dilemma...how to register a TT and TV


ffoil

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Hi,

 

One year ago we sold our home in Connecticut, took the kids out of school, and moved aboard a sailboat and have been sailing since. We have a CT mailing address and drivers license. We've just hauled the boat out in Puerto Rico for hurricane season and want to buy a TV and TT and spend 3 months travelling the American West and BC but we have no intention of driving back to CT at any point. (Rental seems cost prohibitive for that length of time.)

 

Our question: How can we go about registering a TT and TV outside of CT? We've spoken with an AZ dealer who said we could register the TT in AZ, but is that true if we have no residence there and have CT drivers license?

 

Another Indiana dealer said that we could possibly register a TT in CT without necessarily going back there. But registering a TV would require an emissions inspection for CT so not sure how we can handle that.

 

Does anyone have any good ideas for how we can go about getting this done? (We are not trying to avoid sales tax and will pay tax to whichever state we can register a TT and TV.)

 

Lastly, if we buy from a private party can we get temporary tags from the DMV in whichever state we buy the TT?

 

Thanks,

Andy

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to the Escapee forums!

 

In order to register a vehicle you must have an address in whichever state you wish to register it that is acceptable under that state's laws. Since you have a CT driving license, it would seem that you must then also have an address in CT, so it would seem to me that logic would suggest the use of that address to register the vehicles in CT. Unless CT is different than most states, you are required to maintain a legally acceptable address in the state for driving licenses to remain valid.

 

What most of us who live full-time in RVs with no fixed home do is to pick a state which accepts a mail service for use in registering vehicles and maintaining a driving license and we make that our domicile, or our legal residence. Once we have chosen which state that we wish to use, we then move our legal activities and often most of our other business contacts to that new address in whichever state we have chosen. There are 3 states which are most popular for the fact that none have any state income tax, require physical presences period, and all accept mail service for vehicle registration & driving licenses. Those three are TX, FL, and SD but there are several other states which do accept mail service address for such use, such as NV, TN, and AK.

 

Lastly, if we buy from a private party can we get temporary tags from the DMV in whichever state we buy the TT?

Probably yes, but it will depend upon the laws of whatever state you make that purchase in and their laws. I am sure that you will need a valid address somewhere in order to get those temporary tags.

 

What address do you now use in order to receive mail? It would seem that your mailing address would probably be where other things should be done. If you do not have an address in CT, how have you kept your driving license valid?

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Kirk,

 

Thanks for the great information. Much appreciated. We use my brother-in-law's address as our mailing address in CT and presumably our residence once we sell the boat and move into his basement!

 

If we use our CT address then we have the problem of emissions inspection and the complications (impossibility?) of trying to register the TT and TV in CT from afar.

 

I guess another option to would be to fly to TX and establish a mailing service and get TX driver's license (Or one of the other states you mention.) Do you think that can be performed quickly (i.e. within a week?) We'd then hunt for a TV and TT in that state.

 

Also, what is a "mailing service". Is simply having a PO Box at a USPS location enough?

 

Thanks,
Andy

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I guess another option to would be to fly to TX and establish a mailing service and get TX driver's license (Or one of the other states you mention.) Do you think that can be performed quickly (i.e. within a week?) We'd then hunt for a TV and TT in that state.

 

If you use the Escapees mail forwarding service (you must belong to the club), you can get everything done in a day...inspection, driver's licenses, and vehicle registrations (also, registering to vote). The only fly in the ointment would be if you need a non-CDL Class A driver's license (if the GVWR of your tow vehicle plus the GVWR of your travel trailer equals 26,001# or more and your travel trailer weighs 10,000# or more). With a travel trailer, that's probably not likely. However, if you did need an upgraded license, you might have to wait for a day or two in order to take the driving test...depends on how busy they are.

 

 

 

 

Also, what is a "mailing service". Is simply having a PO Box at a USPS location enough?

 

No, a PO Box at a USPS location will not be enough. For one thing, the USPS will not forward your mail to you as you travel around the country...they only forward to ONE address, not multiple. You will want a mail forwarding service that provides you with a street address and that will forward all your mail in bulk as you request it. While you may be able to use your brother's address as a mailing address, you will still need a Texas address in order to get driver's licenses and register your vehicles.

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Linda,

 

Thanks for the info. You make it sound super easy!!

 

So if I become an Escapee member and sign up for the mail forwarding service, what will I provide to Texas DMV location as my proof of TX address?

 

Secondly, if I find a TV and/or TT outside of TX, will I be able to register them from afar or do I need to be present in TX? Or do I need to provide power of attorney? My TV won't be 5 years old or newer so I will most definitely need an emissions inspection?

 

Thanks,

Andy

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So if I become an Escapee member and sign up for the mail forwarding service, what will I provide to Texas DMV location as my proof of TX address?

 

It's been 17 years since we first established domicile in Texas and things have changed since then, but I don't recall providing any type of proof of our address. Go to this URL and download the booklet, "How to Become a Real Texan" which will answer many of your questions:

 

https://www.escapees.com/images/pdfs/texan.pdf

 

Also, you can call the Livingston DMV (Kirk can provide the address and telephone number) with any questions you may have...they're used to working with fulltime RVers using the Escapees mail forwarding address.

 

 

My TV won't be 5 years old or newer so I will most definitely need an emissions inspection?

 

No emissions testing in Polk County, which is just one of the advantages of using the Escapees mail forwarding address. The inspection in Polk County is pretty simple and takes maybe 10 minutes. And you don't have to return each year to Texas for an annual inspection. The law was just recently changed and requires you to sign a form saying you are out of state...we are no longer fulltimers or Texas residents, so I haven't kept up with all the details, but someone else here can give you more information and provide a link to the URL where you can download the form (or you may be able to do the whole thing online).

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Also, you can call the Livingston DMV (Kirk can provide the address and telephone number) with any questions you may have...they're used to working with fulltime RVers using the Escapees mail forwarding address.

For Tax Billing Information and Auto Registration:

Rainbow's End RV Park which they own. Each member of the mail service, some 15,000 of us have a street address on Rainbow Drive, Livingston, TX. Under TX law that address is legal and acceptable for all lawful purposes in TX or any other business purpose. Escapee's address service is the only one which has been tested through the courts up through the supreme court and upheld in all cases.

 

There are other mail services both in TX and also in several other states that can be used but none have the complete support system which Escapees RV Club has. I suggest that you take a close look at what this would do for you. In addition, I believe that CT has an income tax which TX does not. You can even register to vote at the same time as you get your driving license, using that same address. One of the major advantages to domiciling in Livingston is the fact that no professional person, businessman, or governmental official will ever ask you what a fulltimer is, or how we live. All of them already know and work to get our business. In Polk Co., TX the Escapees who domicile there make up more than 20% of the registered voters and so have a major influence and economic impact upon the community. There is no place that is more RV friendly than Livingston, TX.

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If one is living in a TT and not traveling, I assume it has to be registered. But does it need to be tagged if not on the road? - jb

That depends upon what state the RV is located in. Texas charges sales tax on the purchase of an RV and so does not require that it be registered or licensed when parked on private property and never towed. But this does vary by state. Some states do require the licensing of RVs, park models and even of mobile homes even when not moving on the highways. That is usually because they charge a personal property tax as part of those fees. Since TX has no personal property tax on vehicles there is no need to license them when not being used on the public roads. If you plan to live in NC with yours then you will need to check with the NC motor-vehicle department.

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Thank you everyone for your responses. Using a power-of-attorney, we can register a vehicle/trailer in CT using a proxy. Also, we discovered there are plenty of states that have reciprocal agreement with CT for emissions inspection so if we buy a TV we can do a VIN verification in place of an emissions inspection when we first register the vehicle and then when CT emissions gives us a testing date we can perform that test in a reciprocal state. Seems like we won't become Texans (yet!).

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