August 23, 2011

Permanent Addresses

The size and complexity of our society has made it beneficial for people to be associated with a permanent address. For commerce, politics, education, etc it is necessary to categories citizens within districts, counties, states, and so on. 

We are, for all intents and purposes, nomads living within a sedentary society. The key word here is “within”. While each of us has the option of pulling out of society for good, the fact that we choose to live in vehicles has tied us to the rules of a culture built on the ideal of private property. That means that in order to vote, register our vehicles/homes, or have a driver’s license we have to somewhat adapt our transient lifestyles to fit the rules of a less transient nation. On the bright side, however, this gives us options that others don’t have: It’s all about the research.

Picking A State
Because you just need an address, not property, you can choose the state you'd like to claim residency in. There are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for your ideal state.
  • Car Insurance:
TIP: This is your home your insuring, so don't cut corners; cheapest is not always best. Just think of the money you're not paying in rent! To have your car totaled would be like having a car accident and having your house burn down in the same day. Insure accordingly!
TIP: A few years ago my sister claimed residency in Colorado but worked in Vermont and New Hampshire. Come tax time she had to file in all three states. Remember this while working on the road and plan jobs accordingly.
Obtaining Residency
Once you pick a state you need to establish an address there to be deemed a legal resident. There are a few ways to do this.
  • Set up a mailing address: Check out yesterday's tips
    • If you know someone in the state, ask to use them as your perminent address
    • Use a mail forwarding service that allows you to use them as a street address, like FedEx, UPS, or any number of RV friendly companies. 
  • Get a driver's license in that state
    • TIP: Bob Wells (the awesome van dwelling guru) points out that when picking a state it's helpful to find one that allows you to register your vehicle and renew your license online. Check out his helpful tips! 
  • Register to Vote
    • Remember that you don't have to be in state to vote in elections. Check out the Declare Yourself Website for voter regulations, state by state election info, and absentee requirements.
This is by no means all the info out there, so do some research and find a state that works for you. Remember that it's often easiest to establish residency and get things like PO boxes before you give up the sticks and bricks. Good Luck!


  1. Hi Ash,
    Don't forget Horace Mann ins. I almost never see or hear it mentioned and it is by far the cheapest I have ever found in a lot of looking...


  2. Thanks Bri, good tip! Here's the address people:

  3. I studied this for quite some time when I planned to become a full-time RVer. Texas, Florida, and South Dakota have no income tax, and South Dakota in particular makes it easy to do business online. Also, an organization called Escapees, headquartered in Livingston, TX, puts in a lot of work helping full-time RVers; they're worth knowing about.


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