Special Limited Time Offer – Join Today and Receive our RV Foundations Course FREE for One-Year! Valued at $127. Offer ends July 4th!

Domicile for RVers

Ultimate Guide for Residency and Domicile as a Full Time RVer

Domicile for RVers

One of the most important areas of concern for full-time travelers is where to call “home,” often referred to legally as “domicile.” When you live in an RV full-time, who cares? This article is a detailed exploration of questions about residency, domicile, and all their ramifications.

How 'Most' People Establish Domicle

Normally, when you establish a domicile you do so without much thought. It is based primarily on where you have your home.

So, a “normal” couple sells their house in one state, buys a house in another state, thereby establishing their domicile in the new state.

For example, let’s say you decide to move from California to Texas. You sell your house in California, buy a house in Texas. After you have been in your new home for a short time, you change your vehicle registrations, driver licenses, and all other documents and relationships to your new state of Texas. You have, therefore, changed your domicile to Texas.

The reason it is so involved is because you, dear friend, are not normal.

When Your Domicile Claim Becomes A Problem

Ultimate Guide for Residency and Domicile as a Full Time RVer 1

It is a problem when your old state claims you have never left that state, that your domicile is still, say, in California. If you fail to prove that you have really moved to Texas you may owe back taxes, plus penalties and interest.

It is a problem when you are in an accident and the vehicle and health insurance companies in your new state claim that you lied to about being “domiciled” here; and, as such refuse to cover your losses or your liabilities.

It is a problem when you die and your will, during probate, is challenged in a state you did not realize was still your domicile.  As a result, the laws of a state to which you assumed you were no longer connected alters the distribution of your possessions to your loved-ones

It becomes a problem when you are sued in a place you did not realize you were domiciled. In many states, the courts of the state in which you have domicile (whether you know if or not) have jurisdiction over lawsuits affecting you.

It becomes a problem when you want to run for a political office and cannot do so because you aren’t actually domiciled in the state where you are trying to run.

Domicile vs Residence

Domicile and residency are often confused and used as interchangeable terms; and, yet, they have very different definitions.

A domicile is a legal connection with land. Unfortunately, there is not one universally accepted definition.

However, a working definition of this term is “the place to where you permanently live and during temporary absences, the place where you intend to permanently return.” You have only one domicile, at any given time. And, the term RV domicile is almost a misnomer because it is not dependent on the structure/vehicle in which you dwell.

That brings me to the other term—RV residency. A residence is a structure or a vehicle—a place in which you can dwell. Black’s Law Dictionary defines a residence as “…the place where one actually lives, as distinguished from a domicile…a house of other fixed abode; a dwelling…

In short, while you have only one domicile, you can have countless residences. As such, RV residency pertains to dwelling in an RV.

A key component of the definition of domicile is the legal concept of intent. Back in the early 2000’s when George W. Bush was running for president, he asked Dick Cheney to find him a suitable running mate. Cheney looked long and hard for this running mate before deciding the obvious best choice was himself, Dick Cheney. So, George W. Bush announced that Dick Cheney would be his running mate. There was in instant and loud cry of protest. The United States Constitution clearly states that the president and vice president cannot be domiciled in the same state.

At that time, George W. Bush was governor of Texas and Dick Cheney ran Halliburton and lived in Dallas, Texas. As soon as the protest began, Dick Cheney announced to the world, “I am now domiciled in Wyoming!” And, thus, Cheney changed his domicile from Texas to Wyoming. He stated his intent to make it his home. Needless to say, it helped that he already owned a house in Wyoming and had been a Congressman from Wyoming before taking the job with Halliburton in Dallas. For the purpose of being a running mate to George Bush, though, all he needed to do was to state his intent. His staff then helped him make the obvious, but necessary changes so that his vehicles were registered in Wyoming, his drivers license was changed to Wyoming and his voter registration was changed to Wyoming. That’s how easy it is when you have residences in several states.

Ten Steps to Establishing Domicile

Ultimate Guide for Residency and Domicile as a Full Time RVer 2

You can only have one domicile and it will remain the state from which you have “moved” until you have taken the necessary steps to change it to your new state—presumptively, Texas, Florida, or South Dakota, for reasons we will address below. And, while we outline the ten most common steps you will need to take, this is not an exhaustive list.

Courts reserve the right to look at all of the elements of your life when attempting to identify your domicile. Your actions will typically speak louder than your words when your status is challenged. So, we encourage you to take as many of these steps as you reasonably can.

However, it is also important to note that one-off factors are not likely to destroy your domicile election. Courts will evaluate the totality of your circumstances, giving more weight to certain factors. So, don’t worry if you cannot take all of the steps we explore below.

An important note: there is no perfect state for domicile, you will give up something to get something, in every state. As such, choosing a state becomes an incredibly personal decision. It may be most important to you that you pay as little sales tax as possible, while someone else may favor low insurance premiums. One gentleman chose Alaska because he found their hunting and fishing laws to suit his lifestyle.

Download these free Domicile Guides and Checklists to help you establish domicile when you hit the road!

1. Acquire Your New Address

The first step to establishing your domicile is to acquire your new address. This address will be used on all your papers that ask for your “permanent address.” Since we are affiliated with Escapees, we will use their address for this purpose. You can acquire an address from Escapees, enabling you to connect with Texas, Florida, or South Dakota, before you arrive in your new state, either online or by mail.

2. Have Your Vehicles Registered In Your New State

Once you have this new address, you will need to register your vehicles in your new state. For Texas, before you can register the vehicles, they need to be inspected. Both inspection and registration are easy in Livingston, Texas, partly because it is a small town (one hour northeast of Houston) and partly because it has been the headquarters of Escapees for over forty years. As such the local officials are accustomed to helping RVers.  Sumter County, Florida, and Pennington County, South Dakota, are increasingly RVer friendly areas. Here are some resources, by state, to help you begin your vehicle registrations:

3. Turn in Your Old Drivers License and Acquire Your New State's Drivers License

Once you have registered your vehicles, the next step is to turn in your driver license and acquire your new driver license. Depending on the size of your RV, however, you may need to take a non-commercial DL, so it is important to understand the requirements of your new state of domicile. Test. Here are some resources, by state, to help you begin your driver license requirements and begin your applications:


4. Complete an Affidavit of Domicile and File it with the Court

An Affidavit of Domcile is a sworn statement that you file with your county testifying that you intend to domicile in a new state. Please note, this document is not a magic instrument that will cure all of your potential domicile issues. However, it is another step that you can take to establish your intention, at a time when no threat of a challenge looms above. When your domicile is challenged, in any of the ways described above, there may be a presumption that you will do or say anything to avoid that challenge which could call into question the sincerity statements you make during that challenge about your intent.

  • As a service we provide our Texas clients, you can have our office prepare an Affidavit of Domicile for you. We then notarize that document and file it with the County Clerk, establishing a public record of your intent.
  • If you are considering Florida as your state of domicile, you should complete and file the Florida Declaration of Domicile. You can find a free version of that document here.
  • If South Dakota is calling you home, you can find South Dakota’s version of that form here.

5. Register to Vote

Domicile determines where you are eligible to vote. For most United States citizens, voting is a constitutional right.

Once you have completed the steps in #4, and if you have met the other requirements to register to vote, you will become eligible to vote in all elections (local, state, and federal) from your new county of domicile.

Another important note: creating a domicile connects you to a county as well as a state. While we often discuss the elements of establishing and maintaining a domicile in terms that relate to state-level considerations, there are times when the factors you will consider exist at the county-level.

As you probably are aware, lately, the right to vote has been a “political hot potato”. Escapees has worked long and hard to protect your right to vote where you are domiciled. It is one of the defining points for why you can only have one domicile because you can only vote in one place.

Because of your lifestyle, it is clear to the county clerk of Livingston, Texas, for example, that you will probably be voting absentee. The clerk will periodically send emails concerning absentee voting to those domiciled in Livingston, Texas. However, it is your responsibility to follow the steps necessary in a timely fashion to preserve your right to vote. The same concept rings true in Florida and South Dakota.

6. Have Your Estate Planning and Other Legal Documents Created in your State of Domicle

Every state is subject to the “Full Faith and Credit” laws of the United States Constitution. These laws state that if you have papers drawn up in another state that need to be interpreted in your state of domicile, the courts will be bound to do so.

In other words, if you move from, say, California to Texas and you have spent a fortune having California lawyers draw up your trusts and powers of attorney in California, Texas will honor those documents. However, following the example for a moment, you can find yourself in a situation where a Texas court is struggling to apply the substantive (and possibly the procedural) laws of California–that could cause lengthy, expensive problems in probate.

As a best practice and  as further proof of domicile, having your estate planning documents prepared, updated, or even re-written in your state of domicile will help you prove that you really left one state and formed a connection with your new state of domicile. In essence, changing these documents tells the world you “intend to call your new state home” to the end, that you “intend to die in that new state.”

7. Be Physically Present in Your New State

There is a disturbing case out of Minnesota. A Minnesota couple, the Sanchez’s, sold their house in Minnesota where they had been domiciled, bought an RV and left the state. They spent a week in South Dakota doing the steps above. They got their new South Dakota address, they registered their vehicles and they got their drivers licenses. Then they left South Dakota and spent the next 1 ½ years traveling all over the United States.

Minnesota taxing authorities sued them, claiming they were still belonged to Minnesota. The Sanchez’s argued that they hadn’t been back to Minnesota, had no ties there, no house, nothing. But when the Sanchez’s also admitted they hadn’t spent any time in South Dakota, they lost their case. They had to pay back taxes, plus penalties and interest.

So, the moral to the story: it isn’t enough to choose a new state, go there for a week, fill out the paper work and then take off with no intention of returning to your new state of domicile. This is a tricky step on your path to creating and maintaining domicile.

There are exceptions to the following, but in most circumstances there is not a certain number of days you must be in the state or away from the state in which you domicile. However, you must, from time to time, visit your new state to show you intend to call it home.

As such, choose a state of domicile that will be part of your normal travel pattern—even if choosing that state causes you to pay more in taxes or insurance premiums.

Remember, there is no perfect state of domicile. Opt for a state you intend to frequent over one you will never visit regardless if that state provides some advantage.

8. Create Professional Relationships in Your New State

One of the factors that Minnesota cited when they challenged the Sanchez family’s South Dakota domicile election was the professional relationships the Sanchezs’ maintained in Minnesota. Minnesota was able to discover the number of times the Sanchezs’ visited doctors and dentists in Minnesota. And, as you can guess, they maintained no such relationships in South Dakota.

The lesson here is that, as best you can, you should establish and maintain relationships with professionals in the county in which you domicile.

As noted above, establishing a domicile connects you with a county, as well as a state.   As such, your doctors, dentists, accountant, financial planners, mechanics, and even your lawyers should practice in the county of your domicile. Here again, reasonableness comes into play. If your cousin is your accountant or your doctor is a county or two away from your county of domicile, you may be able to successfully defend why you opted to maintain that relationship. Again, courts are going to evaluate the totality of your circumstances. If you have a significant number of relationships in your new county of domicile, one-off relationships maintained elsewhere may not matter too much.

One of the many state-specific programs most of us are subject to is health insurance. Health insurance changes state to state. This includes Medicare Supplements for those over 65. So, just because you had a great supplement in the state from which you came does not mean the same supplement is available in the state you are now calling home.

In fact, for programs like the Kaiser program in California, we have had many a person tell us that they want to “become Texans” but “keep their Kaiser insurance.” That is not possible. You will have to find health insurance in your new state of domicile. Also, we advise that you also find local doctors, dentists, even veterinarians that you will visit on a regular basis to show that you really mean to call your new state home.

9. Create Social Connections in Your New State

Next, we advise that you also establish social connections in your new state of domicile.

In one case out of Minnesota, professional NBA referees were targeted because they tended to travel often and were rather free to call any state home. One referee had a home in Minnesota and a home in Florida and claimed that Florida was his domicile. Minnesota taxing authorities sued him alleging that he was actually domiciled in Minnesota. He showed that he had quit his tennis membership in Minnesota and joined a tennis club in Florida. The court determined that he must, indeed, be domiciled in Florida because “you can’t play tennis remotely.”

With that in mind, we urge you to join local clubs. If you were, say, a Rotary Club member in the state from which you have “moved”, join the local Rotary Club. Visit the local library and obtain a library card. If there is a church home, join that as well.

10. Move Your Storage To Your New State

When we ask people about the stuff that wouldn’t fit into their RV, where that is stored, many say, “back home.” In order to show that you have really left that state behind, it is also recommended that you move that stuff to your new state.

At first, this may seem absurd, since you may not be sure which state you intend to call home. However, it is yet more proof that you really have moved to a new state or it indicates that you really still have an intent to return to that state you have left.

Which State is the Best State for Domicile?

Download these free Domicile Guides and Checklists to help you establish domicile when you hit the road!

We often are asked this question. “Just tell us where we should domicile.” 

As much as we wish there was a magic formula to use to answer this question, there isn’t one. This is a personal question. It depends on you, your lifestyle, and your family.

However, there are factors to consider when making this decision. We recommend that before you choose a new state for domicile, create a spreadsheet with everything you are now receiving that is state-specific, including such factors as sales tax, personal property tax, income tax, health insurance, vehicle insurance, all such factors and then compare it to those costs in other states.

Sometimes the benefits you get from health insurance, for example, far outweigh the price you pay in income tax. Here are factors to consider:

  • Ease of dealing with the state: One of the factors to consider is how easy is it to deal with this new state you are calling home. For example, how easy is it to register your vehicles? How easy is it to obtain a driver license? What about voting absentee?

    One of the obligations of domicile is jury duty. In some counties, if you are under a certain age, you will be summoned for jury duty. You may be able to claim that you are unavailable once, but the next time you will be mandated to appear.

    Because Livingston, Texas has been the headquarters of Escapees for so long, the district clerk’s office works with fulltime RVers to accommodate the lifestyle. The district clerk asks that you notify the court when you might be in the area so that they can put you on a jury panel. Other ease-of-dealing-with-the-state issues include how accessible medical professionals are and what the conceal and carry laws are.

  • Know About the Local Taxes. There are seven states without income tax. They are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, Texas, Wyoming, Washington and South Dakota. Two states, Tennessee and New Hampshire, collect income tax on interest and dividends, but not wages and salaries.

    There are also five states that do not collect sales tax: Alaska, Montana, Delaware, New Hampshire, and Oregon.

    Even though Alaska doesn’t collect sales tax, the counties of Alaska can collect sales tax and they do. So that needs to be explored. There are also state inheritance, gift and estate taxes. These have changed somewhat lately, but also differ greatly from state to state, so please explore this before choosing that new state of domicile.

  • Know How Your Assets will be Protected and Your Vehicles and Your Health will be insured. Every state differs in terms of health insurance, vehicle insurance and asset protection. You may have a very good Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) program in, say, Virginia, but when you change your domicile to South Dakota, under their BCBS program you may find you have much less coverage at a higher price.

    The same is also true for your vehicle. Before choosing a new state for domicile, find out exactly what you now pay for your vehicle insurance and then explore what that same coverage will cost in the state where you might domicile. Sometimes, registration of your vehicle is less, but insurance is greater.

    For asset protection, you should determine whether there are good retirement plans available in that state and explore whether the state is a community property state, is personal property exempted. What about homestead exemptions, will they affect you? All of these factors will help you determine the best place to “call home.”

Domicile For RVers

Ultimate Guide for Residency and Domicile as a Full Time RVer 3

In law school, the study of domicile usually lasted one class session.

However, for the full-time RVer, the issue of your domicile becomes a very interesting one. In fact, it is one of those subjects ripe for final exams as the law students attempt to break down how to create and maintain your domicile when you choose the roaming lifestyle. This is certainly an evolving area of law. 

The good news: not too long ago a person read one of our articles after receiving a letter from the California taxing authorities claiming that he was still domiciled in California. He responded to the letter by claiming that he lived in Texas and then giving our ten reasons why he was now domiciled in Texas and not California. The California taxing authorities agreed with his analysis.

Though there are many common factors to consider in most situations, there are ample variables that make establishing domicile a unique process to each RVer.

Ultimate Guide for Residency and Domicile as a Full Time RVer 4


K. Susie Adams | SKP #134068

K. Susie Adams has been a lawyer for over 30 years, spending 15 of those years working as a trial lawyer. She also taught legal writing at the University of Houston Law School. From 2011–2016, she was executive director of Childrenz Haven, the Child Advocacy Center of Polk County, Texas. Susie and her husband, James Frost, reside in Livingston, Texas.

Ultimate Guide for Residency and Domicile as a Full Time RVer 5


Shawn Loring | SKP #76442

Shawn began his career in the financial services industry, after graduating from UCLA with a Bachelor of Science in international economics. He remains a partner with Multigenerational Wealth Strategies, LLC, and a production group leader with Securities America, Inc. 
Shawn received his law degree from Southwestern Law School, where he was on the Dean’s List. Shawn is currently licensed to practice law in California and in Texas. And, he remains a partner at Loring & Associates, PLLC. 

Was this post helpful? Pin it to Pinterest!

Ultimate Guide for Residency and Domicile as a Full Time RVer 6

Get Expert Advice

Escapees cannot, and does not, offer legal advice. Instead, we sought out qualified legal advisors who can!
To help you understand your legal options, we recommend contacting Escapees Commercial Partner, East Texas Legal, for a free consultation. They specialize in domicile and estate planning issues that RVers face.

81 Responses

  1. I’m pretty sure that I read this entire article some time ago, was it updated with new information?

    1. Yes, we review and update our legal and financial articles periodically to ensure that the information is still accurate. Thanks for reading!

  2. I am 89 years young, lifetime in Washington State, going full time in Sept. As of yesterday I signed up for a Senior RV park in Salem OR. My account informed me that if I call OR my new domicile it will cost me about $480.00 per month in OR State income tax so that is OUT!! After reading all this great info (provided by my accountant) my knee jerk is to stay a WA resident. At my age I probably wont be traveling for many more years and then would probably return to WA. I could use my Grand Daughter in WA as my address.
    First, I need to become an Escapees member. And then what do you think of my, decided in the last 1/2 hour, plan??
    Thank You
    Bob Beers

    1. Bob:

      Yes, the very first thing we recommend when people ask us about where to “domicile” is to ask yourself if it’s best to stay domiciled where you have been domiciled. It keeps everything “simple” as your domicile “stays where it has been” until you take the steps above to change it. So, if you have an address in Washington that you can use as your permanent address, then keep that. You can use Escapees mail service for your mail, but the permanent Washington address for your vehicle registration, driver license, voting right etc. Keep it Simple and have fun!

  3. Great article. I would like to establish a domicile in Nevada. Does the club have any plans to establish the same services there?

  4. Thank you for the info on domicile. We are full time work campers. Is the domicile issue resolved if we buy a investment property in/around Livingston?

    1. Bruce:

      Buying property in or near Livingston, Texas really does (almost) seal the deal for a Texas domicile claim. You still need to show that you visit on a regular basis, and are “connected”, but owning property takes you “that much closer” to the “normal” family that sells their house in one state, moves to the new state and buys a house. The RVing lifestyle makes it trickier, but buying real estate is very helpful to the proof.

  5. Very interesting read on the Minnesota case with the Sanchez family. After reading the court document there was nothing they could have done other than rent an apartment or buy a house in SD. Although, the dissenting view at the end was interesting.

    Have you been able to turn up any other cases?

    What happened after the court case? Even after the dust settled….they were still considered residents of Minnesota.

    Could you reach out to the Sanchez family? I know it was a while ago but I’m sure they have some valuable information to share.

    1. Every time we give a talk at RVing gatherings, I ask if the Sanchez’s are in the audience. So far, no one has responded. Yes, I would like to know “the rest of the story” since right now it is just a “cautionary tale”. The problem is that the burden of proof is on the Sanchez’s and it is expensive to keep fighting a domicile issue. If anyone knows any more about their case, please share.

      1. We are currently domiciled in Louisiana. Plan to move in with our daughter in Tx. If we change our DrLicense etc would that be sufficient to change domicile?

  6. Does the Florida Declaration of Domicile have to be notarized by a Florida notary public or will a notary in another state work as well? If it must be sworn before a Florida notary, will a remote online notary satisfy this requirement?

    1. The notary just says “you are you” so I assume a notary outside of Florida will be fine. I know this is true in Texas and I am not practicing law in Florida, but I assume the same is true there.

  7. May have a problem; stopped fulltiming in 2005; bought a double wide on leased land in View Point Golf & RV Resort, Meaa AZ; always stay less than 7 months their residency requirement; am in Canada, now; will be in Austin late Sept and could come to livingston for a consultation…bob paige(bobgpaige@gmail.com)…SKP #13803

  8. I want to buy a house and live in MT, yet domicile in So. Dakota. Do you foresee any legal issues with this plan if I follow the steps you’ve provided?

    1. We are Nebraska residents with a UPS mail box and difficulty changing our address on our drivers license to that but we directed to the state department of motor vehicles director and after a short visit and explanation was issued a new drivers license with my UPS address. My driver’s license from Nebraska has-been in compliance with the parrot act for years and has the star on the front. We are full-time in our RV for ten years, NE born and bred and lived there until going full time. Now spend two to 6 weeks a year there. Have all of our our insurance and taxation there in the tax me state. But we have income property there that would be taxed there anyway. My recommendation if you want to stay Arizonans, go talk the state DMV. They are the people charged with compliance with the patriot act.

  9. We will be getting a South Dakota address through Escapee’s in a couple months. Then buying our vehicle and 5th wheel after that. Then about 6 months later going full time.

    While physically living in Colorado we want to buy, (paid in full) register and license our truck in South Dakota and also get South Dakota drivers license at that time. A couple months after that buy our 5th (with a loan) and register it in South Dakota as well. Our income will be from our jobs in Colorado. Do you know if there any legal issues with doing this and if financial institutions will make a loan in this situation? We have excellent credit ratings.

    Thank you

  10. We currently live in TX and have all our lives. Now going full time RVing soon.
    We want Escapees for mail service.
    Domicile – since we are already Texas residents do we still need to file the domicile affidavit in Livingston County?

  11. Darren Pederson – I am not a professional offering this advice, just a Full time RVer with a little experiene in your situration –

    When we jumped off a cliff in 2014 and decided in mid-air to buy an RV and hit the road, we had a very small IRA and a small medical settlement for an on-the-job accident my husband had suffered. We bought our truck with our IRA money (a 2013 one ton) and found the 5th Wheel of our dreams – but it was $8,000 more than we had in cash. No problem, we assumed we could take out a $10,000 loan to pay the difference, taxes and licensing – but banks will not make loans on RVs if you tell them you are going to be full time residents in the RV. (They think the mobile lifestyle makes it easier to default on the loan). If you do intend to take a loan, do it on the vehicle, not the trailer. Or, if you do apply for a loan on the trailer, do not admit that you will be full-time travelers (makes the lender very nervous!)

    1. Hi Elizabeth!
      I reached out to our Member Services Team for the answer to your question.
      We often refer RVers to Doyle Estes in South Dakota. His email address is doyle@esteslawfirm.com. We also have a contact in Florida, but the person who has their information was out this week. I will be back in the next few days with that info for you, too!

  12. Kathi,

    Thanks so much for responding and the great information. This changes our timeline and how we will go about purchasing our 5er and truck. Thanks again.

  13. I already am a Texas resident and want to use escapees for mail service and drivers license and registration in Livingston. Yes we are full time. What do I need to do to make this happen

    1. Hi Diana!
      You’ll get the most complete answer by giving our Member Services Team a call at 936-327-883. They can help with these questions and more and make sure you have the necessary documents in order before making those changes.

  14. Hi we live in Arizona but went full time in July. We like it here they don’t tax Social Security here and we have good insurance. Vehicles are registered at our old address same as drivers license. We have a UPS mailbox but apparently they don’t accept that as a residence. Any suggestions as we don’t want to relocate

    1. To find mail-forwarding services (who would then offer you an address), a Google search should yield a few options. We are unfamiliar with the companies available there, and as such, cannot recommend any one of them in particular.

  15. The link for the FL Affidavit of Domicile in this article is no longer working. Can you provide one that does? Thanks so much.

  16. Can I keep my rental property in Ca and still have a domicile in Texas or do do I need to sell it.

    1. Because we are not legal experts, we at Escapees refrain from offering legal advice. I encourage you to reach out to Shawn or Susie at 800.260.1615 to get a detailed answer to your question, as there are often unique variables and nuances to consider.

    2. Yes, you can have rental property in one state and your domicile in another state. However, in a state like California, which is very aggressive at questioning your claim of domicile outside the state, you need to carefully follow all the Ten Commandments of Domicile. You need to keep detailed records of your dis-attachment from California and keep all records of your attachment to Texas so if and when you receive the California tax letter questioning your claim of Texas domicile, you can prove you really did move to Texas despite that California real estate.

  17. We will be selling out home in CT in September and setting out as full-timers for at least 2 years. We are escapees members and our plan is to domicile in TX as we are more likely to settle there than SD or FL. That being said, we really DON’T know where we will ultimately end up. If we do settle in TX in the long run, it would possibly be in San Antonio, not Livingston, as we have friends there. My question is: will there be domicile issues if we register vehicles, drivers license, etc., with a Livingston address and then establish our connections with doctors, dentists, etc., in San Antonio? Reading all these cases about people who were sued by their previous states because they do not look like they are truly domiciled is making me nervous.

  18. If you were to use the Livingston address for domicile (therefore choosing Texas as state of domicile), would you have to get a dentist/doctor in Livingston, join local clubs/churches in Livingston, etc. also, or would doing so in the state of Texas be sufficient? For instance, if one were to show the intent of domicile in Texas but has recommendations of doctors/dentists in Houston instead, is that suitable? Thank you!

    1. Using professionals in the Houston area should be ok. Many Livingston locals use medical and other professionals in nearby towns and cities 🙂

  19. We are current Texas residents and are domiciled here. My question is, if we sell our house here and full-time rv can we still use our existing address for DL, auto reg, etc. or do we need to use an escapees address or a family members address? Thx for the help.

    1. If you no longer own the property at the address you intend to use, you probably don’t want to use that address for domicile. Financial institutions, government agencies (like TXDOT) and others will want record of your ‘permanent’ address and may send sensitive materials to that address from time to time, even if you are set up to receive most communication via email or phone.

  20. Hi, looking for some domicile advice.
    We sold our house and will be going full time Sept. 1. Currently we live in Michigan and our son will be attending University of Cincinnati as a freshman this fall. We will be renting a storage unit near him and will probably visit him frequently. I think we should make our domicile be in Ohio but I’m not sure that is the smartest idea. We aren’t retired yet and pay for our own health insurance.
    Do you have any advice as to why or why not we should do that?
    Thank you!

    1. Though there are many commons factors to consider in most domicile situations, there are ample variables that make establishing domicile a unique process to each RVer. If you would like to discuss the specifics of your situation, please reach out to your attorney for advice.

      If you don’t currently have an attorney, give Loring & Associates (the authors of this post) a call at 800.260.1615 to schedule your free consultation and they will do their best to answer your questions!

  21. Currently we live in MI, both have a few firearms and our CCP. I read somewhere that in SD you can not use the Escapees address to purchase firearms (not sure we will be purchasing anymore) but it brought up the thought on transferring CCP. Also does TX have the same restrictions on address as SD?

    1. Dawn: Sorry for this late response. You should have no problem registering firearms and purchasing firearms in either South Dakota or Texas using the Escapees address. Since the Escapees address is allowed as your permanent address on the driver license in both states and since the requirement for firearms allows you to use your driver license as identification to purchase the firearms, then there should be no problem. If you have any problem in this regard, please let us know.

    1. Hi there!
      Yes, you can contact us at 936-327-8873 and we can try to help! (Our phone number is at the top of the page if it’s easier to tap there.) If your questions are more in-depth than we’re able to advise, we can connect you with a trusted attorney who specializes in domicile.

  22. Am retired and living in Va right now. In January we are purchasing our 1st RV and plan on traveling the country as full timers. I want to change my domicile back to Fla. Will be keeping our house in Va but plan on letting our son and daughter live there. Would that have an effect on us transferring domicile to Fla?

    1. Though there are many commons factors to consider in most domicile situations, there are ample variables that make establishing domicile a unique process to each RVer. If you would like to discuss the specifics of your situation, please reach out to your attorney for advice.

      If you don’t currently have an attorney, give Susie and Shawn a call at 800.260.1615 to schedule your free consultation and they will do their best to answer your questions!

  23. Robert: There may be a problem if you change your address to Florida, but still have the house in Virginia. The question can’t be answered without us also considering “the rest of the story”. If you would like to give us a call, we can walk you through the process of changing your domicile to help you determine if you meet the legal criteria. K. Susie Adams, Loring & Assoc. 800-260-1615.

  24. I have lived in Florida for 40 years
    Have recently sold my house and bought a rv
    I have a virtual address here in Florida were I receive my mail
    Do I have to set up a domicile here also

  25. We are selling our home in Phoenix this week before moving to Washington to live in a 5th wheel camper on my wife’s brothers property. It’s possible, the fiver won’t be moved for a while and just used as our summer home before we travel to Nebraska to spend September and October at my sisters house. In November, we might spend a month in Boulder City, Nevada at my wife’s sisters house before looking for an RV park back in Phoenix to spend the next six months, before we return to Washington for the summer of 2022. We are trying to figure out where to domicile and it seems like the best choice would be Bend, Oregon, where another of my sisters lives. Arizona wanted $1200 to register the camper. Washington State wanted $4300. I think Oregon wants just over $300. Plus we plan to buy a new truck to pull the 5th wheel, this summer and would like to register it in Oregon as well and save many thousands more. We may even get drivers licenses there with my sisters home address as our address. I’m retired from California corrections and get our health care from Cal-PERS. We have essentially spread ourselves out over many western states and don’t think there will be any domicile issues with any of them. We are both retired and do not work. I receive a tax free disability pension from Cal-PERS, a small check from the state of Arizona, and social security. Even though we will spend summers living on the north side of the Columbia River, just over the Oregon State line, we will probably do most of our shopping in Astoria, Oregon. I plan to call and schedule a consultation to discuss our plans to register our camper and a truck in Oregon, and what sorts of things we might want to do to be part of the Bend community.

  26. Excellent article and excellent thread. David and Susie, we are in somewhat of a similar boat. We are former residents of CA who moved to the East Coast 15 years ago. We are now retired and planning a nomadic life for a few years, spending time in our RV and traveling out of the country. Part of our RV travel time will be spent in CA, where we have owned an inherited property for the past few years (we have not lived in it, it has been a rental property since inheriting it, and we have consistently paid CA income taxes on the rental income). We are soon eliminating all contacts with the East Coast (selling our house, closing bank accounts, etc) to travel. What are the chances of CA challenging us, if we file income taxes based on part-time residency in CA (based on our time there in our RV and claiming the rental property income) and use a SD mail forwarding address in SD on the tax return? Are mail forwarding addresses “red flags” to CA?

  27. K. Susie and Shawn, thank you so much for taking the time to author this very complete article and educate us all on this important topic. I had no idea! Your article really pulls it all together nicely and is super-informative. This has been a great resource and extremely helpful!!!

    Best regards,
    — Steve


  29. It appears the link for the S.D. Affidavit of Domicile in this article is broken. Could you provide a link to the pdf file? Thanks very much.

  30. We own a house in Hawaii, and one in California. We’re about to sell the house in CA, and trying to figure out how we deal with the challenges that creates. No way we can take our Sprinter Van and car to HI and get them inspected, so would it make sense to register them in Washington, where my daughter lives?

    We are also thinking about buying a ski house up in Canada as our only fixed property on the Continent. Anyone figure out how to register cars in Canada? I think they only allow 90 day visit with a vehicle, so parking the cars up there sounds like it would be difficult.

  31. My question is a bit different. We have been residents of Florida for 30+ years, owning a house and raising 5 children. We also own a vacation home in Ohio.

    Last month we sold the Florida home, and bought an RV. We will be traveling in the RV and spending time around the country seeing sites and visiting our adult children/grandchildren. However, will we also spend 4-6 months at the vacation home in Ohio.

    How do we keep Florida as our Domicile? We do have adult children in Florida too (not the same town or county as where we sold out home) they are willing to let us use their address. But not sure how that works? Would we need a rental agreement with them, to prove domicile in Florida? We still have our DL, voter’s registration and car insurance. Do we just change the address to our’s sons home? even if we do not live there?

    Thank you very much.

    1. Hi Sharon!
      You can reach Susie and her team at Loring and Associates http://www.loringlaw.com/
      They will be better able to answer your questions, including information specific to your situation, over the phone. They offer free consultations for Escapees members! 🙂

  32. We have just gone Full Time in our RV. We are from Colorado. For now, we have our address listed as our daughter’s address in CO. We have our cars registered in CO, drivers licenses in CO, insurance, wills all written in CO, registered voters in CO, medical care, etc. all in Colorado. We intend to spend 3 years on the road, and will be returning to CO every 6 months. Based on everything I see here, should we just leave things the way they are, with the exception of utilizing a Mail Service? Do we need to “claim” domicile in that situation? It seems like a lot to do and lots of movements, and changing insurance and doctors, etc. and if we choose to come in off the road within a year or two, we would have to do it all over again. Any insight will be appreciated. Thanks much!

    1. Hi Cathy!
      You can reach Susie and her team at Loring and Associates http://www.loringlaw.com/
      They will be better able to answer your questions, including information specific to your situation, over the phone versus in public website comments. They offer free consultations for Escapees members! ?

  33. I have been following a group in Facebook about moving to Florida. One member just moved and was told by the tax collector in her county (not Polk) that vehicle registrations are by appointment only now and the earliest one is in February. She moved there December 10 so that’s a pretty large backlog. Has Polk County instituted this same policy? and if so, any idea the current wait for an appointment? Thanks!

    1. Sorry, Anthony, but I’m confused by your question. You said you read this in a group about moving to Florida, but it sounds like you’re asking about moving to Texas?
      Our addresses in Florida are in Sumter County. Polk County is where our Texas headquarters and mail service are. Which state/county do you mean to ask about?

      Regarding their backlog, you can reach out to the Polk County Tax Assessor’s office here to see what it currently looks like: https://www.co.polk.tx.us/page/polk.County.Assessor.Collector They are very familiar with Escapees members.

      1. Thanks Georgianne, I am considering both FL & TX but confused the counties in my previous post. I understand that folks domiciled in FL still use the TX location as the primary mailing address except for state-specific mail for FL, which gets shipped to TX. Is there an option to pickup state-specific FL mail in-person at the Sumpter Oaks campground if one is staying there or in the area when the mail arrives?

        1. Sorry for the delay in answering you, but I wanted to check with our Member Services Team before I misspoke.
          There isn’t an option to pick up mail at Sumter Oaks. Because mail is forwarded on to TX, we don’t have a sorting or distribution center there for mail.

  34. I am a new escapee member. I own property in Okalossa County, Florida which I bought when I was in the USAF and have been renting out for the last 20 years. I am leaving my job in MD and and my lease here is up at the end of April. I intend to full time for a while. The tenant has a lease until at least Jan 2023. Can I use my Florida Address to redomicile and get my FL drivers license and registration or am I better off using the Escapees Mail forwarding address?

    1. We recommend you speak with a legal professional regarding the specifics of your situation. From the article above:

      “Though there are many common factors to consider in most situations, there are ample variables that make establishing domicile a unique process to each RVer. If you would like to discuss the specifics of your situation, please reach out to your attorney for advice.

      You are also welcome to give us a call at 800-260-1615 to schedule your free consultation and we will do our best to answer your questions!”

  35. I’m a recent full-time RVer, most recently a resident of Washington state. I’ve found lots of info on TX, FL, and SD being the most popular domicile options, but I’m trying to find information on any potential downside to keeping Washington state as my domicile. My husband is a 100% disabled veteran and gets his medical through the VA, but health insurance is a big deal for me as well as dental and vision for both of us. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Tim!
      Those three states tend to be popular due to rules around domicile and the lack of state income tax. However, as you’ve mentioned, there are lots of factors to consider when looking for the best state to call home, including health insurance, vehicle/RV insurance, ability to prove your intent to reside there, etc.
      Asking your question in an online group/forum such as https://www.facebook.com/groups/rvtofreedom or https://www.rvnetwork.com/ would likely provide some first-hand experience from others in your situation.

  36. Thanks for this helpful guide! Question: I am using the SKP mail forwarding service at the Texas address and am going to establish domicile at the Florida address this November. I know I need to give the Florida address to my employer, my financial institutions, and my RV insurance provider. Should I use the Florida address for all of my mail needs? When (if ever) should I use the Texas address?

    1. You should use your Florida address for any state-specific items like your driver’s license, auto and RV registrations, voter registration, etc. Definitely call our Mail Service folks for any other questions you have since they are very helpful and will guide you through the types of items you can send through your Texas address and for ones you should use your Florida address. Thanks for asking!

  37. What I did not see adressed here is, many places require a physical address. I belive all financial institutions and insurance companies require a physical address. Correct me if I am wrong, but I do not believe they will accept the domicile you are talking about.
    Any advice for places that require a physical address?

    1. Hello Frank! The use of a PMB address by a financial institution depends on their interpretation of the Patriot Act. Most will allow you to use the physical address of a friend or family member as the address of record for the account and use the PMB address as the mailing address for the account. If you’re an Escapees mail service user, you also have more information on your member dashboard here https://member.escapees.com/members/MyMailService/CIP.aspx/. Thanks for asking!

  38. I’ve lived 100 miles from Livingston for 33 years. Livingston would be a good choice, obviously, for my new domicile (I have rented, never owned, a home for 11 years and in this community for three decades). I’m assuming changing domicile to Livingston would be fairly simple since we are in the same state – or should I not make that assumption?

    It seems the domicile change to Livingston would be simple since I am not coming from a different state – I’m well-established as a Texan, having lived in the state for 39 years. The only professional relationships I would maintain in this community 100 miles from Livingston is my doctor (a specialist who has clients from Houston and other places who may be moving her practice to San Antonio) and my mechanic – who is retiring soon anyway.

    We do have a business concern that we will change the physical address to a community in the Midland area, though it is an entirely online service, and preferably the registered agent address to the Livingston address.

    I hope I haven’t made difficult something that should be simple by asking in such detail. Thank you!

    1. Hello Duke, thank you for your question. You already have established domicile in Texas since you have lived there for so long. Your new address will be in Livingston and all you’ll have to do is a change of address with the Escapees Mail Forwarding Service if that’s the route you decide to go. You can email specific questions to mailservice@escapees.com or call 936-327-8873 and our very knowledgeable folks in the mail service department will be happy to help!

  39. omg this article sucks. I read what felt like 10 million words and STILL don’t have an answer to the question of how I’d set up a legal mailing address. Please consider a “reader’s digest version” for those of us who just want an answer and couldn’t care less about the background of the issue, yadayadayada.

    1. Hi Joe, thanks for your feedback. An ultimate guide is going to always be longer than a “Reader’s Digest version.” That being said, you are more than welcome to take a look at our mail service information page on our website at escapees.com/mail-service. If you have any specific questions after that, you can contact our knowledgeable folks in the mail service department at mailservice@escapees.com. Or, you can call at 936-327-8873. Have a great day!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Limited Time Offer

Join Today & Receive RV Foundations FREE!

$127 Value!


Sign up for Escapees RV Club News and Never Miss a Thing!

Find Your Community at Escapees Events!

Learn to RV with Escapees!

Whether you’re a part-time or full-time RVer, you can learn to RV with our in-person and online training. 

RVers Boot Camp is your in-person opportunity to learn directly from RVing experts.

RVers Online University allows you to learn at your own pace from the comfort of your own home or RV.

Never miss a post.

Sign up for Escapees RV Club News now!