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South Dakota or Florida


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We will begin full timing next November.  We have sold our Buffalo NY home and will rent till November.  We are wintering in Florida Dec '18 thru March '19.  We could set up Florida Domicile then but were told South Dakota was better.  Does anyone know the basic differences between the two.  Would a trip to SD be worth it instead of just getting it done in Florida?  We plan to use either for just License, Registration, Voting and Mail Service.  We do not plan on living permanently in either state.  Anything else that I might not be thinking of?  Thanks for your expertise. 

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What was the reason you were told SD was better?  We are in the process of selling our home and will use SD as our domicile.  This is where our mail forwarding service will be located, so it was a no brainer for us.  A couple of things that SD has are 4% sales tax on vehicles (nothing if you've already paid above that amount in another state), 24 hour stay requirement to become a resident and inexpensive insurance rates.....just to name a few.  You need to compare the two and see what fits your needs.  There is plenty of info if you google south dakota vs florida domicile.

Edited by ewacowboy
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I suggest that you take the time to read this article which was published in Escapees magazine before you make up your mind, as well as the article by Shawn Loring on the subject in the member section of the Escapees website.  There are many things to consider as you select a place to call home and no one state is best for As mentioned above,  health care has become a critical part of that choice if you are not yet eligible for Medicare. While Texas has long been my favored state, if I were younger and still shopping for health insurance I would probably look first to Florida. If you are on Medicare, then the supplements available are pretty much the same in any of the states. 

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For some people marriage laws, inheritances, trusts, etc. are also a consideration. But, right now, health insurance for those under 65 is a MAJOR consideration as many companies are reducing their plans. WheelingIt.com wrote about this not long ago and their conclusion was Floria is pretty much it if you are younger but want health insurance while you travel. Only you can determine which items are critical for you.

Linda Sand

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I'm a South Dakota resident but winter in Florida.  As a tourist in Florida, there is an additional tax of 5% on your campground rental fee.  Just something to think about.

And as others have said, if you are not yet on Medicare you may not want to use South Dakota as your domicile.

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On 1/12/2018 at 9:54 PM, oldbutspry said:

Does Florida require you to have a special driver's license if your GCVW is over 26K? 

Texas does, but if you ask anyone who has it I believe that you will find they all agree that getting it is so simple and easy that nobody who is unable to pass the test should be driving an RV..

Edited by Kirk Wood
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Florida residents and non-Florida residents are taxed and treated the same as far as I know.  Since we are Florida residents we might get a discount at Disney, but our taxes are certainly the same.   About the only other benefit if you pick Florida would be if you are a fisherman.  A Florida resident 65 or over never needs a fishing license again.

Our auto insurance went up slightly when we moved to Florida several years ago.  However, our registrations are cheap IMHO.  My last coach, a 37' gas, was just under $60 a year.  I haven't renewed my present coach but I doubt it will be that much more per year.

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Oh yeah, another thing to consider is that Florida doesn't require license plates on the front of the vehicle. Texas and South Dakota do.

Edit: Also, I think I asked this a while back and nobody seemed to know. Is there any reason you and your spouse can't have licenses from different states?

Edited by oldbutspry
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2 hours ago, oldbutspry said:

Is there any reason you and your spouse can't have licenses from different states?

Not exactly but since you need to be licensed in the state where you reside permanently, usually your state of domicile, then it would mean that the two of you do not live in the same state. Unusual, but I'm sure it isn't illegal. 

Edited by Kirk Wood
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3 hours ago, oldbutspry said:

Is there any reason you and your spouse can't have licenses from different states?

Might make it harder to defend your domicile if you are ever challenged by the tax people. Especially if one of you maintains a license in the state you supposedly left.

Linda Sand

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4 hours ago, sandsys said:

Might make it harder to defend your domicile if you are ever challenged by the tax people. Especially if one of you maintains a license in the state you supposedly left.

Linda Sand

Good point, but I don't think it applies to us because our licenses and registrations are already split between TX and FL.  Neither of those states have any incentive since they don't have income taxes anyway.  I would assume it's carefree switching between states that don't collect income tax?

I'm thinking it would be good for my wife to have a South Dakota license so she could legally drive everything in an emergency.  And she wouldn't have to worry about passing a test.  I guess she could pass the test but not sure since she doesn't have any experience backing trailers.

I'd just as soon keep my Florida license but to upgrade it I would have to drive truck & trailer all the way to Florida.  Mind you, we bought the truck not long ago but haven't got a fifth wheel yet.  But the bother involved probably means I should just get a Texas Class A license for myself.  Maybe I could switch states later when we start traveling and it is convenient.  If you have a Texas Class A, would they make you retake the test if you switched to a Florida license?

 

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12 hours ago, oldbutspry said:

I'd just as soon keep my Florida license but to upgrade it I would have to drive truck & trailer all the way to Florida.  Mind you, we bought the truck not long ago but haven't got a fifth wheel yet.  

 

Are you talking about a Class 8 truck?  If so, THAT is where Fla SUCKS!!  2 things; according to Fla statutes, if it has a 5er hitch on it, it can NOT be registered as an RV.  I know it has been done, but it is illegal.  There are several threads on that topic.  2d, getting insurance for it, if registered as a PRIVATE truck, could be problematic.  When I was shopping for insurance on a Volvo as a private truck in Fla, my independent agent went thru 40 companies and none of them was willing to insure it without "commercial exposure".  Apparently Fla insurance laws have issues with Class 8 private trucks.  2 companies would cover it at HIGH cost AND ONLY when it was towing the 5er or going to get fuel/going to a shop for service or something like that.  No grocery runs or sightseeing trips in it.  The agent told me if I was in another state, the companies would have had no problem covering it.  Again, I know people have done it, but how they get away with it, IDK.

I actually considered changing my domicile to SD just for the truck.  

Edited by remoandiris
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12 hours ago, oldbutspry said:

I'm thinking it would be good for my wife to have a South Dakota license so she could legally drive everything in an emergency.

Would you then set up some sort of address in SD for her to use to have the license issued? All states require that you have an address in that state to be issued a driver's license. 

12 hours ago, oldbutspry said:

I'd just as soon keep my Florida license but to upgrade it I would have to drive truck & trailer all the way to Florida.  Mind you, we bought the truck not long ago but haven't got a fifth wheel yet.  But the bother involved probably means I should just get a Texas Class A license for myself.  Maybe I could switch states later when we start traveling and it is convenient.  If you have a Texas Class A, would they make you retake the test if you switched to a Florida license?

What state do you now live in? I don't think that anyone is quite sure what the issue is? Do you both have licenses from FL now but are presently residing in TX? You will need to have a TX address to get any type of TX driving license. Are you upgrading your tow truck to pull a fifth wheel, or just starting to RV, or...............................? 

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16 minutes ago, jrizzo12 said:

Why did my thread get hijacked to Texas?  Please stay on the topic of differences that you found between South Dakota and Florida only.  I am not interested in Texas and it is easy to start another thread.

LOL ... You really think this might have been the only thread on the internet that didn't get hijacked ? 

And , beside , a little extra knowledge for comparison and/or reinforcement never hurt . ;) 

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