We Are New Fulltime RVers, What Do We Need To Know About Residency?

by Kelli
(Savannah, GA)

Hi! My partner and I are planning to start fulltiming for his work (I'm a freelance writer and will be doing that from the road). We've purchased a nice, used motorhome and have not yet picked it up or registered it.

We've read about registering RVs in different states to save on income tax, but have also seen warnings that everything has to have the same address on it!

My questions are this: (1) If you go fulltime, do you have to register the RV in the same state as your driver's license, and if so, how do you go about that if it's a different state from your current state of residency?

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(2) Also, how does the mail forwarding service address tie into this? Does that also have to be the address on your driver's license and the RV registration?

I'm confused about where to start - how do I get RV insurance if it isn't registered yet, and do I need to get my license changed first? And if I need to get my license changed, do I need to get a mail forwarding service address first?

Help please! Thank you very much!


ANSWER Hi Kelli, I know you have a lot of questions about becoming a fulltimer. Let's see what we can do to help get them answered. I am going to answer the questions that I can and then I am going to provide you some links that will answer the rest of your questions.

First and foremost you need to get insurance on the RV before you move it. Yes, you can get insurance on the RV, even though it is not yet registered in your name. Just let the insurance company know that you are purchasing the RV from a
private seller and that it has not yet been registered in your name. Usually they will cover the RV for a certain period of time before requiring proof of ownership.

Here are a couple of things you need to keep in mind, make sure that you get insurance from a company that specializes in RV Insurance. Read this article from our RV Lifestyle Articles section on what you need to know. RV Insurance Companies, An Informative Review.

It is important that you let the insurance company know that you will be full-timing in the RV you are insuring. Unfortunately, some insurance companies may not cover the RV if it is being used as a primary residence.

Let’s address your residency, license, tax and registration questions. There is a lot you need to know before deciding what state you should claim as your home, etc. I have found a lot of information on the internet that should answer those questions.

Special Note: All of the links that I provide below will open up in a new window, so please make sure that you have turned off your popup blocker.

Changin Gears has a great article on Changing State Residency.

My Prime Years also has a 2 part series on Changing Residency when full time RVing. Part 1 and Part 2.

myRVparks Has a forum post What State is best for a new full timing? This post also has an excellent list of Mail Forwarding Services.

I would also urge our visitors to share their expertise on this subject by clicking on the Click Here To Post Comments link at the bottom of this page.

I am sure that once you get through all of this red tape, you will be able to enjoy full timing in your RV.

Good Luck on your new adventure and Happy RVing.

RVing Al

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