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This May Be a Crazy Question


ezdays

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Here goes -- I plan to retire the end of next month. I will not start my fulltime travels until April 1, 2016. I have been told by the SD mail forwarding company that I can get my truck and trailer tags ahead of time--that I don't have to be SD resident. However, I can't get my driver's license until I am physically in SD and apply for it. Has any one gone through the process of getting your new state tags but continue to use your home state driver's license? I contacted the DMV here in VA and they said as long as I turn in my VA tags I can continue to use my VA driver's license with SD tags and only if I am no longer employed (which I won't be). This sounds strange to me. I have had friends and family say I better be careful because DMV half the time doesn't know what they are talking about. If I get pulled over with SD tags but have a VA license it doesn't make sense that I would not get a ticket. Have any of you done this--getting tags from another state while still using your home state driver's license? Thanks.

 

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I had one state's registration and another state's license many times during my 26 years in the military. Maryland was the only state that sent me a notice that my license should be changed to match the state of registration (military members could get a waiver from that requirement). About 18 months before I retired while living in VA, I registered all my vehicles in TX, and drove on a VA license until we got to TX. As I recall, Texas requires your vehicles to be registered in Texas before you can get a Texas license. But how would they know how many vehicles you have registered in other states? Where you are living/working (and state of legal residency) does have an impact on the reaction if you are stopped. And the SD vehicle registration issue for RVs is a red flag for many states ...don't know that it is for VA. With the answer you got from DMV, and the fact of no longer being employed in VA, I likely would press on, and my explanation if stopped would be, "I recently retired, and am in the process of moving to SD." Perhaps the easy answer is not to get stopped. :)

Paul (KE5LXU), former fulltimer, now sometimer...

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About the same experience as Paul here, lots of years driving with mixed states and the only states that ever cared were the ones I had my license or plates from. Nobody else is getting any tax money from you so they have no reason to care about the mis-match.

 

I'd be cautious about driving in VA with a VA domicile and driver's license and SD plates as they may well take an interest in just what you are doing and if they are missing any possible tax/fee income. Once you are out of VA nobody else is going to care, if stopped in SD once you tell them you are moving there they will be happy to have you.

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It might raise a red flag if your in a small town where you are known. We lived in Blackstone. Our neighbor was stopped after several month by a town LEO and ticketed her for still having PA plates on her car and a VA DL.

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Yup, I would not expect it to be an issue. Many years ago I had just renewed a multi year DL in Indiana; moved to Missouri and got a new DL, multi year as well; 13 months later I was transferred to Atlanta, got a multi year DL again; 11 month later I'm off to IL with a 4 year GA DL! I said the heck with it. Registered my vehicles and drove on the GA DL until it was close to expiring. I expect folks do the same.

 

Usually the only issue with the SD plates is if your home state thinks you are doing it to avoid taxes.

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We just went through the domicile switch from Michigan to South Dakota .

 

We were in Illinois . SD mailed us our new plates in June and we promptly installed them . Mid August we traveled to SD for Drivers License and the required stay for legal residence claims .

 

There wasn't a single time that anyone questioned us on the subject , other than friends noticing the new plates .

We were not in a state that had any claim to taxes and / or fees , so , as has been said , no questions from those authorities .

 

I'd have to think , that with an honest reply to any authority , you shouldn't have any troubles .

Goes around , comes around .

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You won't get a ticket for the mismatch between the plates and the driver's license, but you might get one for failing to register the vehicle in VA. The state of SD will happily accept your sales tax and registration fees, but that does not protect you from the state of VA who probably requires that since you live in VA the vehicles must be registered there. The following quote comes from the DMV website for VA:

 

Register Your Vehicle and Acquire License Plates After you have insured and titled your vehicle, register it at any Virginia DMV customer service center within 30 days of moving to Virginia

I am sure that the same applies to the purchase of a vehicle if you continue to reside in the state for longer than 30 days.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

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Call the DMV twice more. See if you get the same answer each time. Also make sure to document the name of the person you spoke with.

 

Like AF Chap, I almost never had the same DL, plate and ins on my vehicles. For decades I had a PA license, plate from whatever state I bought the car in, and ins for whatever state I lived in. It wasn't until I moved to Fla that all 3 lined up.

 

I remember NJ in particular. PA DL, ND plates, and NJ ins. Never an issue except with on base SF who claimed at least 2 of the 3 had to be from the same state. Whenever I challenged them on that topic, they never could produce the reference.

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Thanks for all of the responses. I've lived in VA all of my life and paid all of the taxes required--both house and cars. I think I will call DMV again (like one suggested) and see if I get the same answer. Just don't want to get any tickets since I've never had any. It would only be for three months until I head for SD so I may be able to get by with it. I was trying to check that off my list of things I need to do. Would be nice to at least get the tags but not worth the fine if ever pulled over.

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Maybe it would work to get the plates from SD but not put them on until you are about ready to leave VA? But, i will also say we got our plates in Sioux Falls after waiting in line about 30 minutes and they hand the plates to you right there so getting them can be simple if you do it in person. A benefit of doing it in person is I asked for one that would be easy to remember for checking in at RV parks. I got a good one. Being patient and pleasant when at the clerk's window can pay off.

 

Linda Sand

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Maybe it would work to get the plates from SD but not put them on until you are about ready to leave VA? But, i will also say we got our plates in Sioux Falls after waiting in line about 30 minutes and they hand the plates to you right there so getting them can be simple if you do it in person. A benefit of doing it in person is I asked for one that would be easy to remember for checking in at RV parks. I got a good one. Being patient and pleasant when at the clerk's window can pay off.

 

Linda Sand

 

I'm pretty sure that it's illegal for a vehicle to be registered in two places at once .

 

Agreed . The op would be best off by getting the plates while in SD . Then , there would be no worries about any fines .

Goes around , comes around .

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2 years ago our rig needed to have its CA plates renewed just as we sold our house. We had scheduled dates for moving some of our stuff to SD and to leave CA. So we registered our rig in SD, instead of CA. When we got to SD a couple of months later we got our SD driver's licenses. If we had been stopped I doubt we would have had difficulty since we registered the rig with our new domicile address, which was of course, our mail forwarding address.

Vicki Rains

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We went through this situation this year. We had Missouri plates and licenses. The MH plates expired in April, and we were in OK. I had our service in Sioux Falls handle registering the coach in SD. The plates on the Jeep still had more than a year to go, so we elected to keep them until we were able to get up to SD in July. We left OK with a SD coach towing a MO Jeep, and drove that way to WY, then back to NE, IA, and finally SD. We licensed the Jeep ourselves (saving $25 or so) and got our SD licenses. Never a bit of a problem, but then I was never pulled over, either.

 

Since you aren't going to leave your current State until next year, I'd keep things as they are until then. Even if your plates come due between now and then it will be cheaper to relicense in VA and then move to SD. BTW, if you have owned your current vehicle for at least six months (and paid sales tax on it) you don't owe any sales tax in SD. If it is less than six months you will owe sales tax ONLY if the amount you paid your current State is less than what you would pay SD. Many counties have a $4/wheel wheel tax.

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some counties do not have a wheel tax,those that do are going up up 5.00.the DMV told me last week that if the county does not collect a wheel tax they will not get money from the state for roads.also when you come to SD make sure you have 2 pieces of mail with your current SD address.I have have lived here 4 years now and just went in to get a new license because of address change and had to go home and get the mail.

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Here in Missouri if you establish residency then within 30 days both your drivers license and plates have to be issued by Missouri. Like others said, not an issue unless you are pulled over by law enforcement. I've been a Missouri officer for more than 30 years. I always gave someone a chance to explain their situation, but admit I did not trust most people to tell the truth unless they could back it up with paperwork of some type. Most of the time the person I pulled over was because I saw their car sitting outside a house/apartment for months with another states plates on it. You don't have to be in a small town for an officer to notice this.

 

If your drivers license is not from the same state as your plates (assuming they are registered to you) then you probably will have to explain that to the judge.

 

There are exceptions for active military.

 

I suggest you call the Virginia Highway Patrol to find your answer. Make sure you talk to a highway patrol officer who is assigned to patrol. Or whatever state you are living in at the time. DMV workers are not always up to speed on the law. I work in investigation and have even lost touch with a few of the newer traffic laws.

Mark from Missouri

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