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Best state to register out of state? Possibly Florida or Texas?


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I work in IT contracting and thus due to the unstable nature of the job, always bounce from place to place with no idea where I will be in 6 months. It's called perma-temping.

I got stuck in DC metro area for a while but that's about to change or so it seems. My next gig will take me either to Florida or Texas, not sure which. I would like to register and title my shuttle bus in one of these states.

Probably Florida. Can I do so remotely from Northern Virginia? I do not want to register it here due to VA's annual car tax (which is substantial) and annual inspection.

And whatever for if it's very likely I will end up in FL (but any other state where it's super easy is not out of the question). Please advise. Anything but VA. I am not married to VA in any way, do not have any property here or anything.

though Texas is another very strong possibility, I just do not know at this point. 

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Escapees mail forwarding offers TX, FL or SD as Domicle options. Some of the advantages of using SD is that you only have to spend 1 night to get a driver's license good for 5 years and you can renew your vehicle registration by mail, no inspection needed. Additionally,  your insurance premiums will be less in SD. If you ever purchase another vehicle, the sales tax is only 4%. And there is no income tax in SD

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2 hours ago, Twotoes said:

And there is no income tax in SD

Not exactly true. Federal income tax is the same every state.  There are 7 states that have no state income tax; Texas, Florida, South Dakota, Nevada, Alaska, Wyoming, & Washington.

Neither FL or TX have any requirement for you to spend the night there to get your driver's license but you just use the mail service address. In FL the driver's license is for 8 years while in TX it is for 6 years, both longer than SD. Both FL and TX also allow vehicle registrations to be renewed online. The TX vehicle inspection is waived until you return the vehicle to TX. 

There are many things to consider when you select a state for domicile while fulltime. The most important issue is where the vehicle will be located for extended periods as any vehicle is subject to the laws of the state in which it is located at that time. Every state has a time requirement after which they require vehicles to be registered, insured, and subject to taxes in their state and most limit that to about 6 months, unless you are employed and typically when employed it becomes 30 days.  Registering a vehicle in one state does nothing to protect you from the laws of any other state while that vehicle is kept in their state. All states accept the registrations of all other states when vehicles are passing through or are in the state temporarily but they also have time limits, after which vehicles become subject to the local laws if the remain there. 

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3 hours ago, Twotoes said:

Some of the advantages of using SD is that you only have to spend 1 night to get a driver's license good for 5 years

To clarify this point.  You need to produce a SD hotel or campground receipt dated within a year from when you are renewing your license.  It doesn't actually have to be from the trip during which you actually renewed the license.   If you have such a receipt you can  renew the license by mail or online.  There's also a form that your out-of-state eye doctor can complete to satisfy that requirement.

Edited by docj
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I spent a lot of time researching the differences between TX, FL, SD and such.

All of them require DL in that state. There are 7 states where you can register a vehicle without having a DL from that state and neither of the 3 are in that list.

TX is not an option as they require annual technical inspection. You gotta go there. Too far for me. FL is much closer. You do need a DL to register apparently. The rest looks straightforward. No annual car tax like in VA. Actually that will look much better, if I get pulled over, my DL matches my tags and hence no problem. 

No annual inspection in FL.  No car tax. Cheap registration. Cheaper than VA. I am looking at this gig in FL and it's 50/50 at this point if I move there or not. 

Not sure what advantages SD has over FL.  FL is much closer to me, from mid-atlantic and I go there in the middle of the winter when things get brutal here, which they sometimes do. 

I think I will register the vehicle in VA for now but the next time I go to FL, will set it up there.  VA sales tax is 4% versus 6% in FL. And once I apply for a title, since I already own it, I can't image they will charge me their 6% a second time? Since it's just a transfer, or am not understanding something?

 

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4 hours ago, Twotoes said:

Escapees mail forwarding offers TX, FL or SD as Domicle options. Some of the advantages of using SD is that you only have to spend 1 night to get a driver's license good for 5 years and you can renew your vehicle registration by mail, no inspection needed. Additionally,  your insurance premiums will be less in SD. If you ever purchase another vehicle, the sales tax is only 4%. And there is no income tax in SD

 

good points. Montana has all that and more, no sales tax at all.  I think a SD or TX or Montana tag would look pretty strange in mid-atlantic region but FL is kind of passable. Lots of FL tags here. Nothing surprising at all.  Just take 95 north/south and you are there.

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1 hour ago, etcetera said:

 

I spent a lot of time researching the differences between TX, FL, SD and such.

All of them require DL in that state. There are 7 states where you can register a vehicle without having a DL from that state and neither of the 3 are in that list.

TX is not an option as they require annual technical inspection. You gotta go there. Too far for me. FL is much closer. You do need a DL to register apparently. The rest looks straightforward. No annual car tax like in VA. Actually that will look much better, if I get pulled over, my DL matches my tags and hence no problem. 

No annual inspection in FL.  No car tax. Cheap registration. Cheaper than VA. I am looking at this gig in FL and it's 50/50 at this point if I move there or not. 

Not sure what advantages SD has over FL.  FL is much closer to me, from mid-atlantic and I go there in the middle of the winter when things get brutal here, which they sometimes do. 

I think I will register the vehicle in VA for now but the next time I go to FL, will set it up there.  VA sales tax is 4% versus 6% in FL. And once I apply for a title, since I already own it, I can't image they will charge me their 6% a second time? Since it's just a transfer, or am not understanding something?

 

While each state has its rules, when I moved from Washington state to New York, when registering my vehicle they charged me the difference between the two state's sales tax.

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2 hours ago, etcetera said:

TX is not an option as they require annual technical inspection.

All of them require DL in that state. 

This isn't exactly true. There is a waiver when you reregister a vehicle that is out of state at the time. You do not need the inspection until you return said vehicle to the state of TX. 

Where do you get the DL requirement? Many people who have a winter home in TX, or FL also have automobiles that stay at the winter home and are properly registered in the state where kept. All three states say that a valid driver's license from the state or other valid ID is required.

TX out of state vehicle registration requirements

FL out of state vehicle registration requirements

SD out of state vehicle registration requirements

 

Edited by Kirk W
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3 hours ago, etcetera said:

TX is not an option as they require annual technical inspection. You gotta go there. Too far for me.

 

Just to clarify ..... if you are not in Texas you can self-certify online to renew registrations.  You don't have to go there to get an inspection.

If you would happen to be driving through Texas to get to another state you would have 3 days to do so without having to get the inspection.

You only have to get inspected ( a fast 15-minute process) if you're actually staying in Texas.

https://www.txdmv.gov/node/4813

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4 hours ago, Kirk W said:

This isn't exactly true. There is a waiver when you reregister a vehicle that is out of state at the time. You do not need the inspection until you return said vehicle to the state of TX. 

Where do you get the DL requirement? Many people who have a winter home in TX, or FL also have automobiles that stay at the winter home and are properly registered in the state where kept. All three states say that a valid driver's license from the state or other valid ID is required.

TX out of state vehicle registration requirements

FL out of state vehicle registration requirements

SD out of state vehicle registration requirements

 

It appears you are correct. I think I confused two things. Establishing a domicile in FL and registering in FL. They both can be done but apparently do not have to be.  Scanning the application, they even ask if you are a resident or not. Meaning there is an option to register it if you do not have a FL DL.

https://www.flhsmv.gov/pdf/forms/82040.pdf

 

Can you show me an idiot's step by step guide to registering an RV in FL.

Does this look correct?

https://www.sapling.com/7908565/register-out-state-rv-florida

 

I don't get what they are asking about having my VIN verified by state police in step 3. Meaning here in VA? I am not in Florida, cannot travel there without the tags (Unless I get temp VA tags and go there, which I plan to do over Christmas time frame).  I suppose I could go there now anyway,   for a kind of a fall vacation.

I think the following is just plain incorrect, where it says you must obtain a FL DL.

 

https://www.dmv.org/fl-florida/car-registration.php

 

 

Edited by etcetera
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4 hours ago, 2gypsies said:

Just to clarify ..... if you are not in Texas you can self-certify online to renew registrations.  You don't have to go there to get an inspection.

If you would happen to be driving through Texas to get to another state you would have 3 days to do so without having to get the inspection.

You only have to get inspected ( a fast 15-minute process) if you're actually staying in Texas.

https://www.txdmv.gov/node/4813

 

That makes total sense.

 

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If I register/title my shuttle bus in the commonwealth of VA and then 1.5 months later later register or title it in Florida. Will FL hit me with the full 6% tax on bringing the vehicle into the state?
 

VA tax is 4%, FL tax is 6%. But VA has car tax. My county does not prorate. Meaning if the vehicle was not there on January 1st, I apparently do not get taxes for it next year.

FL site says this. Do I understand correctly FL will charge me only 2% on to of the 4% I will have paid to VA?

https://www.seminolecounty.tax/services/tag-title/vehicle-titled-out-state#:~:text=If a motor vehicle or,be issued by the department.

However, a credit may be allowed for a like tax paid in another state, territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia, against the amount of Florida sales or use tax and local discretionary sales surtax.

I think this answers it:

 

https://floridarevenue.com/taxes/tips/documents/TIP-122235_TIP_19A01-01_FINAL_RLL.pdf

 

Motor Vehicles Purchased in Another State and Brought into Florida Florida’s use tax rate of 6% generally applies to motor vehicles purchased in another state, District of Columbia, or U.S. territory and subsequently titled, registered, or licensed in Florida. Florida law allows a credit to be given to reduce the tax due when a like tax has been lawfully imposed and paid in another state, District of Columbia, or U.S. territory. Credit against Florida use tax and any discretionary sales surtax is given for a like tax paid in another state, 2 whether the tax has been paid to that state, or to a county or city (local taxes) within that state. If the amount paid is equal to or greater than the amount imposed by Florida, no additional tax is due. If the amount paid is less than the amount due as imposed by Florida, only the difference between the two tax rates is due.

Edited by etcetera
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  • 2 weeks later...

We sort of "split the difference".   Our motorhome and Jeep are titled in Montana, to a Montana LLC.

This enables us to avoid paying the property taxes, tag fees, and inspection fees in our home state.   We stayed residents of our home state so as to avoid upsetting our health insurance, physicians networks, etc.

So, yes we still pay state income taxes on SOME of our income, but much less than before.

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On 11/20/2021 at 5:28 PM, sandsys said:

Unless it spends most of its time garaged elsewhere. Then it should be registered where IT lives.

Linda

It could be garaged elsewhere but if there domicile state is elsewhere it really should be registered there. To me your license, tags and insurance should all have the same address. Anything different in my view is trying to skirt the law picking and choosing where and what you want to do with what state.

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