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How Long Can I Stay Without Getting Hassled


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Just wondering if there is some information or website on how long you can stay in a state, maybe work a little without them bugging you to become a resident and getting tags, drivers liscense etc??

 

We have been wintering in AZ since '07. AZ says you have to get an AZ drivers liscense to work there. I am not doing that.

 

My wife and I plan on retiring in a few years and plan on becoming SD residents. We would like to stay on the Oregon Coast in the summer and AZ in the winter. I would be nice if we could get some partime jobs to add to our retirement funds. Just don't want state/local governments make me to become a resident.

 

How do others do this without getting hassled by state and local governments????

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Each state has different rules, but since we are building a house in AZ, we looked into it. Their rule is: if you work here, you live here and must become a resident. there is one exception, for temporary seasonal work but I don't know of anyone who is successfully working in AZ and not becoming a resident. A shame because I wouldn't mind a part time job in the winter, to keep me busy, but I don't want to move my residency. We can stay in the state up to 7 months a year and not become residents.

 

Other states are different.

 

Sue

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I have a friend that went fulltime and they worked in Oregon part time. At the time they were "officially" residents of California. They did not become residents of OR. They did not have to get OR driver licenses. They absolutely loved the work. They worked at some fish hatcheries. They got a free place to park very near their work. I don't know if they got a salary or not. It was perfect for them. They had plenty of time off to do as much sight seeing as they wanted. Good luck. Dennis

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Each state has different rules, but since we are building a house in AZ, we looked into it. Their rule is: if you work here, you live here and must become a resident. there is one exception, for temporary seasonal work but I don't know of anyone who is successfully working in AZ and not becoming a resident.

This absolutely the best response thus far. I do know people who have been RV work-campers in an AZ RV park for several years now and they report that so long as you stay less than 6 months, the enforcement folks will not bother you. I suspect that would be quite different if you were to accept any kind of full-time, permanent position as nearly every state has a short period in which you must get local driving license and vehicle registrations in this situation. Many states that have a lot of temporary RV workers just ignore their own laws for the group if you do not overstay what they consider to be a reasonable period of time.

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I agree, most but not all states, make a distinction between folks who are just here visiting the state vs folks that are here working at a paid job. Most states say if you're here for more than 6 months (180 days) then you're automatically a resident, regardless of what you're doing or not doing while here; but as soon as you do something that indicates you're here for more than transitory purposes, like take paid employment, enroll children in school, register to vote, apply for state benefits, etc, then you are required to become a resident immediately.

However in the real world there are often deviations from what the law requires and what many folks get away with. Just like exceeding the speed limit, you may or may not get caught. If you and your job are very low profile, you don't draw attention by violating other laws and you don't piss off your neighbors to the point they report you to authorities, then you may never be questioned by the tax authorities about residency.

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the 180 day rule is in general correct. States are different in their enforcement of that rule. Florida for example. We winter in Florida. We do just to be on the safe side stay under the actually 183 day rule for domicile. We work part time in Florida also during the winter. Florida is lax in enforcing the rule because of the thousands of snowbirds that bring in Millions of $$ each year. Our domicile is in Ohio. We have a S &B, It is furnished, We pay taxes and the utilities are in operation. We vote here or do absentee from here.

Our vehicles are all registered in Ohio. We demonstrate no intent to leave the State or establish domicile elsewhere.

 

Do your homework. Ask questions.

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This would be called seasonal work, most mobile RV repairman in the Yuma area in the snowbird season run license plates from all over. We also have a lady in our park that is a resident of Iowa, works at Walmart in her home town in Iowa, then transfer to Walmart in Yuma fro the snowbird season.

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You may call it seasonal work and yes, we all agree lots of folks do it and never get questioned. However that doesn't mean the law allows it. Some states do recognize seasonal work as an exception to residency requirements, some do not, and even those that do usually have some very limited definitions of "seasonal work". Az for example only recognizes "agricultural field work" as seasonal. Read this link from the Az DOT page, scroll down to "Resident Definition"

No one disagrees that the enforcement varies widely from state to state, but when the question is asked, advising what the law states would seem to be most appropriate answer.

 

http://azdot.gov/mvd/driver-services/driver-license-information/proof-of-identification-age-and-authorized-presence

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You may call it seasonal work and yes, we all agree lots of folks do it and never get questioned. However that doesn't mean the law allows it. Some states do recognize seasonal work as an exception to residency requirements, some do not, and even those that do usually have some very limited definitions of "seasonal work". Az for example only recognizes "agricultural field work" as seasonal. Read this link from the Az DOT page, scroll down to "Resident Definition"

No one disagrees that the enforcement varies widely from state to state, but when the question is asked, advising what the law states would seem to be most appropriate answer.

 

http://azdot.gov/mvd/driver-services/driver-license-information/proof-of-identification-age-and-authorized-presence

Thats what I read and caused me to ask the question in the first place. Work 1 day in AZ and youare a resident. I kow a number of people who "work under the radar". They usually sell "stuff" at flea markets.

 

I understand many states are broke and are "pushing the envelope" raising revenue. My wife works on the "slope" (Prudhoe Bay/Deadhorse, AK oil fields) 2 weeks on and 2 off. So basically works 6 months out of the year. About half of the people working up there are from out of state. I often wondered where those out of state people deal with state residensy. Alaska doesn't have any state income tax, and we get the perment fund dividend.......can't be out of state more than 180 days to collect it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thats what I read and caused me to ask the question in the first place. Work 1 day in AZ and youare a resident. I kow a number of people who "work under the radar". They usually sell "stuff" at flea markets.

Several years ago I did a great deal of research on this subject, with the intention of writing a story on the it for Escapee's Magazine. I actually made contact with 23 different states, including most of the "snowbird" attracting states and most northern summer retreat hot spots. The result of that research was that I found it impossible to write any sort of article which would be accurate because so many states have laws which differ from their practices, especially in areas of high seasonal visitor traffic. While AZ is a shining example of this enigma, they are far from the only one. I actually visited by phone and email with officials in Mesa, Yuma, Tucson, and at the AZ capital to try an get some official to state something specific on the practices in AZ regarding working winter residents and every one of them simply quoted the laws which only exempt agricultural workers and insisted that all others are treated the same way and that no winter residents were ever allowed to work in non-agricultural jobs at all if the enforcement officers are aware of it. I even sent copies of news stories from AZ papers to the AG's office spokesman that demonstrated a clear ignoring of the issue with winter visitors and he continued to insist that no enforcement officer of the state ever just ignored the issue of winter people holding seasonal paid positions and claimed that the AZ AG's office aggressively enforces every aspect of those laws to all people who accept any payment for work outside of the agricultural workforce if they become aware of it.

 

While AZ is probably the best example of this sort of "ignore the issue" approach, it is by no means the only state which does this and in fact most states do it at least to some degree. Only in TX was I able to get an officer of the government to agree that no effort was being made to enforce such laws when the economic benefit a community receives exceeds any lost tax revenue and that official declined to be quoted. He did state that TX laws on the subject are vague in that area and that most officials have no interest in changing the laws and that TX does very little to enforce the laws unless the employment in question is permanent. He then asked me, "why spend effort to change something that isn't a problem for anyone?"

 

I did not find even one state that had a law that an RV work-camper could point to and so feel certain that they would not be required to register vehicles and get a driver's license in a state because of seasonal work there. Most are less clear in stating that you must do so than AZ is and AZ is a leading example of selective enforcement of such laws, yet most states could make a case to require RV work-campers to get driver's licenses and vehicle registrations in their state if they should choose to do so. Few state laws are as clear on the issue as AZ, but some such as CA get pretty close. Yet both of those states and pretty much all others do have an active market of businesses who seek and depend upon RV work-campers that would not exist if their laws were ever to be aggressively enforced.

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Several years ago I did a great deal of research on this subject, with the intention of writing a story on the it for Escapee's Magazine. I actually made contact with 23 different states, including most of the "snowbird" attracting states and most northern summer retreat hot spots. The result of that research was that I found it impossible to write any sort of article which would be accurate because so many states have laws which differ from their practices, especially in areas of high seasonal visitor traffic. While AZ is a shining example of this enigma, they are far from the only one. I actually visited by phone and email with officials in Mesa, Yuma, Tucson, and at the AZ capital to try an get some official to state something specific on the practices in AZ regarding working winter residents and every one of them simply quoted the laws which only exempt agricultural workers and insisted that all others are treated the same way and that no winter residents were ever allowed to work in non-agricultural jobs at all if the enforcement officers are aware of it. I even sent copies of news stories from AZ papers to the AG's office spokesman that demonstrated a clear ignoring of the issue with winter visitors and he continued to insist that no enforcement officer of the state ever just ignored the issue of winter people holding seasonal paid positions and claimed that the AZ AG's office aggressively enforces every aspect of those laws to all people who accept any payment for work outside of the agricultural workforce if they become aware of it.

 

While AZ is probably the best example of this sort of "ignore the issue" approach, it is by no means the only state which does this and in fact most states do it at least to some degree. Only in TX was I able to get an officer of the government to agree that no effort was being made to enforce such laws when the economic benefit a community receives exceeds any lost tax revenue and that official declined to be quoted. He did state that TX laws on the subject are vague in that area and that most officials have no interest in changing the laws and that TX does very little to enforce the laws unless the employment in question is permanent. He then asked me, "why spend effort to change something that isn't a problem for anyone?"

 

I did not find even one state that had a law that an RV work-camper could point to and so feel certain that they would not be required to register vehicles and get a driver's license in a state because of seasonal work there. Most are less clear in stating that you must do so than AZ is and AZ is a leading example of selective enforcement of such laws, yet most states could make a case to require RV work-campers to get driver's licenses and vehicle registrations in their state if they should choose to do so. Few state laws are as clear on the issue as AZ, but some such as CA get pretty close. Yet both of those states and pretty much all others do have an active market of businesses who seek and depend upon RV work-campers that would not exist if their laws were ever to be aggressively enforced.

Thanks for the info Kirk. We have a lot of seasonal workers here in Alaska during the summer. I think the state chooses to ignore them like you are talking about. However, a few years ago some governent official decided to nail seasonal workers in Skagway. It didn't go over too well and I haven't heard anything since.

 

I am a truck driver, and would have to get a AZ CDL if I worked there, unless it was agricultural related. Not gonna play that game.;-) We did spend a few years selling at flea markets. Had a AZ business liscense and did everything above board......nobody bothered us. Guess the state & county liked the sales tax $$$ we turned over to them. Lots of out of state plates at flea markets and Q.

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I saw it written in the Arizona driver's license guide book: if you live in AZ for seven months of the year then you are considered a resident. (We took an AARP over 55 driver's class while wintering in AZ and that's how I happened to read it.)

I don't know how or who would prove that I stayed in AZ for seven months - it seems odd, but that's how it is.

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I worked 2 winters in MS and the employer actually has a snowbird status where you can take an approved leave for up to 1 year and then come back to your job without having to reapply. I filed state income taxes in the state where I am a resident and a non-resident tax form in MS. I was in the state for 6 months plus a couple weeks, but kept my employment dates to just shy of 6 months. Best thing was - when I got back from leave, I found out that those months I was away counted towards my annual raise. I did not have to physically be there and work 12 months to get the raise. House sold this summer, and we are now residents of S Dakota.

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I saw it written in the Arizona driver's license guide book: if you live in AZ for seven months of the year then you are considered a resident. (We took an AARP over 55 driver's class while wintering in AZ and that's how I happened to read it.)

I don't know how or who would prove that I stayed in AZ for seven months - it seems odd, but that's how it is.

The RV park we winter at in AZ sends a monthly report to the county of the RV's parked there. Thats how the county can prove our RV was there more than 6 months and can charge us property tax. In our paperwork it also has our expected "arrival and departure" date. I don't know if that goes to the county or not????? BUT that could be a way of getting caught.

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The RV park we winter at in AZ sends a monthly report to the county of the RV's parked there. Thats how the county can prove our RV was there more than 6 months and can charge us property tax. In our paperwork it also has our expected "arrival and departure" date. I don't know if that goes to the county or not????? BUT that could be a way of getting caught.

That would be my answer too. I know that many RV parks report the license plates etc of the rigs staying in their park to the county.

Its not a perfect way for them to figure it out because, we , for example, rent the spot for the season but we aren't actually THERE the whole time. There was another thread about this recently.

 

I am not sure WHY the RV parks report this information. Is it required that they do so, or do they want to?

 

?

 

Sue

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That would be my answer too. I know that many RV parks report the license plates etc of the rigs staying in their park to the county.

Its not a perfect way for them to figure it out because, we , for example, rent the spot for the season but we aren't actually THERE the whole time. There was another thread about this recently.

 

I am not sure WHY the RV parks report this information. Is it required that they do so, or do they want to?

 

?

 

Sue

From what I understand it is required by law in La Paz county AZ where our RV is.

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