choosing a domicile for
full time rving

You’re selling your home or leaving your rental and transitioning into the full time RV life! YAY for you! Full-time RVing is an incredible lifestyle. However, when leaving your sticks and bricks home for a home on wheels you’re also leaving behind a permanent address. That’s where choosing a domicile comes into play. In the RV world, your domicile means the state you call “home”, or the residing state that is considered your home base. The RV domicile state you choose determines how much taxes you pay, what laws affect you, and other important factors. In this video and post we’ll go over the top 3 domicile states for RV’ers and explain why those three states are the top choices for full time RV life.

things to consider in choosing a Domicile

  1. Taxes
  2. Health Care Options
  3. Vehicle Registration & Driver’s License Renewals
  4. Vehicle Laws (Weight, Emissions, Inspections)
  5. Voting
  6. Homeschooling

Taxes

Since you no longer have a permanent home determining the your domicile state, you have the freedom and flexibility to choose a state that has better tax rates! Most people choose a state that has no income tax but it’s also important to see if the state taxes personal property like a recreational vehicle as well. There are 7 states that do not have income tax. While there may be no income tax it’s also important to see if that state has inheritance or estate taxes.

  • Florida
  • Texas
  • South Dakota
  • Nevada
  • Wyoming
  • Washington
  • Alaska

Health Insurance Options

Every state has different health care plans available to them and unfortunately not all states carry the same insurance plans. I won’t go into too much detail here, but ultimately as an RV’er you want nationwide PPO coverage, ideally with in and out of network coverage. Some states have better plans than others, especially if you have major medical conditions. If you want to learn more about what plans and options are available for RV’ers take a look at our recent blog and video post.

Vehicle Laws (Weight, Emissions, INspections)

Does the state you are interested in choosing as a domicile require annual vehicle inspections for emission laws? Some states require annual inspections – meaning you would have to plan on returning to your home state each year. Also research if your domicile state requires you to have a special license if your vehicle is over a certain weight or size. While you’d have to have a pretty big rig for this to apply, it’s something to take into consideration.

Vehicle REgistration and drivers license

If you’re switching your domicile state, you’re going to have to get a new drivers license and register your vehicle(s) in that state. It’s improtant to choose a state that makes this process relatively easy while also allowing for online renewals. No one wants to drive all the way across the country just to stop in at the DMV!

Voting

If you like to partake in our democracy and vote, it’s important to know if your county will allow absentee voting. Learn what the process is for becoming a registered voter and getting an absentee ballot beforehand.

Homeschooling

Full-time RVing as a family is becoming more and more popular! If you are going to have school-age children on the road with you, it’s important to know what the state requirements are for homeschooling. Some require you to use a set curriculum or register your child each year. Others require state-mandated or standardized testing. Know what your state requires beforehand!

Liz & Dennis

Liz & Dennis

ESRV Team

We’re two travel loving, real estate investing, foodies exploring North America as full time RV’ers. This blog is where we share our lessons learned, tips and tricks, and favorite places to eat, see, and RV across North America! We hope it helps you find your wanderlust, plan and prepare for RV life, and get out on the road!

 

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Now that you understand the major factors to consider before choosing an RV domicile, let’s discuss the top 3 states most RV’ers choose as a domicile and why. These are not the only options by any means, they are simply the most popular choices because they positively address a lot of the factors to consider when choosing a domicile.

Top 3 domicile states for full time rv’ers

Taxes

  • No state income tax. You’re not taxed on your income from social security, pensions, nor is their estate or inheritance tax.
  • No property tax on your recreational vehicle.

Drivers License & Registration

  • Can renew your vehicle registration and driver’s license online
  • Higher vehicle insurance rates than other states

Vehicle Inspections

  • No special licenses for RVing regardless of weight
  • No emission laws

Health Care Options

  • Out of the three options, Florida is the only state with nationwide PPO in and out of network plan with ACA. That means you can get nationwide health care even if you have major medical conditions or pre-existing conditions. Other states have nationwide plans, but not with the ACA, which means they may deny you coverage if you have major medical concerns.

Voting

Home Schooling

  • Must file an intent to homeschool (only have to do this once)
  • Must provide and be able to prove up to 180 days of instruction and keep a running portfolio and work samples of the curriculum taught and your child’s work
  • Child is required to be annually evaluated by a teacher with a valid teaching certificate or take a standardized or state-mandated assessment.

Mail Forwarding Services with address in that state

Taxes

  • No state income tax. You’re not taxed on your income from social security, pensions, nor is their estate or inheritance tax.
  • No property tax on your recreational vehicle.

Drivers License & Registration

  • Can renew your vehicle registration and driver’s license online

Vehicle Inspections

  • Requires a class B non-commercial license for any vehicle over 26,000 pounds or a Class A license required for multiple vehicles with combined weight over 26,000 lb (which for very large Class A’s such as a 40ft or longer this could apply)
  • Requires most gas vehicles in certain counties to pass a vehicle emission test

Health Care Options

  • Nationwide PPO plans in and out of network (although none with ACA) meaning it can be more challenging to find a quality health care plan if you have major medical issues or pre-existing conditions.

Voting

Home Schooling

  • Curriculum is up to the parent but you must follow these three rules
  • Not required to register with school district or state nor provide state assessments such as standardized tests

Mail Forwarding Services with Address in that State

 

Taxes

  • No state income tax. You’re not taxed on your income from social security, pensions, nor is their estate or inheritance tax.
  • No property tax on your recreational vehicle.

Drivers License & Registration

  • Can renew your vehicle registration and driver’s license online
  • Lower vehicle insurance rates than other states

Vehicle Inspections

  • No special licenses for RVing regardless of weight
  • No emission laws

Health Care Options

  • Limited nationwide PPO network health care plans

Voting

  • Can vote by absentee ballot but must apply.

Home Schooling

  • Must file a notification for public school exemption and receive certificate each year
  • Child is required to take an annual local or state assessments such as standardized test

Mail Forwarding Services with address in that state

 

Hopefully, after finding this blog you have a better idea of what considerations should be made when choosing an RV domicile as well as the pros and cons of the top 3 RV domicile states. There is no “perfect” state, although I personally feel Florida is one of the better options because of the current health care plans available and the fact that they don’t have emissions testing or special licensing requirements. Before your choose your next domicile, think about if you have friends or family you can use as a permanent address in a low taxed state before applying for your own address with one of the domicile and mail services listed above. I would love to hear what state you end up choosing and why in the comments below!

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