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Howdy folks! Seeking wisdom from those who've gone before us....

 

My wife and I (and our two furry dependents) live outside Denver, CO and we just went under contract on the sale of our home. We own a vacant building lot in another town in the same county here in Colorado but we do not intend to build on that for a year or more. Our goal after we close on the sale of our home in January is to be nomads in our 5th wheel for at least 4-6 months. We both work from home or "virtually", so as long as we have Internet access, we're OK (we've got a bundle of doo-dads to help with that!)

 

So my questions arise from the pseudo-Colorado residence condition we have. Both hour DLs and our vehicle registrations (including the RV) are in Colorado. We have Colorado PO Boxes for our respective businesses (neither of which are Colorado licensed businesses), but we plan to avail of a mail forwarding (re-mailing) service to ensure we get our mail in a relatively timely manner wherever we're stationed these next few months. Our vacant building lot has a mailing address, but no cluster box and no on-property mailbox. So I am unsure how the mail forwarding works and if we should change all of our accounts to the vacant lot mailing address and have the mail forwarded from there. Is this a legitimate way to claim residency in Colorado, via a vacant parcel of land?

 

Additional factors that may make a difference in any of your recommendations:

- My wife's name is on the deed of a property in Texas she, her sister and her dad share. Her sister has a residence on it and lives there full time. Could we state Texas residency based on my wife's name on the deed?

- My wife's parents live in Washington State and we are considering buying a small home there temporarily AFTER our 4-6 months of travel, until her folks retire and move in 3 years. Neither Washington nor Texas have state income tax, so they both look attractive from that standpoint, but I am not sure if we should go through the effort of claiming residency in either and changing our DLs, registrations, plates, etc. Besides, we sort of like being from Colorado! :)

 

What did I miss?

 

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I would think the easiest would to get a domicile address in Washington, if possible, if that's where you think you'll settle after your 6m. Then change everything to a mail forwarding service in Washington or use the wife's parent's address for all your mail to go there. You'll have to check with Washington state on their residency requirements.

 

Sorry, I don't know anything about Colorado and vacant lots/mail forwarding services. Hopefully, someone will know.

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First of all, welcome to the Escapee forums! We are happy to have you join us.

 

I suggest that you start your research by reading this article from Escapee's Magazine to get a bit more information about what domicile means. In order to answer your questions you must consider the laws of CO as well as those of the state that you choose to move your domicile to. TX, SD, & FL are all very easy to be accepted into as a resident but you also must get free of the laws of CO and that will be more complicated. CO is one of the most aggressive states for legal actions toward people who attempt to register vehicles in a less costly state and avoid taxes, while not actually removing themselves from the state. Land ownership does not require legal residency as many people own land in more than one state, but it can complicate things. I doubt that you can use your undeveloped lot as a legal residence without a means of receiving mail there, but it may be acceptable as every state has their own laws and regulations. The best place to start would be at the CO department of motor vehicles and department of revenue since those are the two agencies most likely to object if you move to another more tax friendly state and they are the first ones to look at your address used. Most states do not allow the use of a mail forwarding service or a PO box for driver's licences or vehicle registrations. TX, SD, & FL do.

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