Although we travel full-time in our motor home, we are required to have a domicile. You may call it “home”, “where you stay” or “homestead”, but the government authorities insist you have a “domicile” on record.
Your home and domicile can be 2 different places – and for RVers who travel full-time that is often the case. Our “Home” is where we park it – that is, our RV IS our home. But our “domicile” is Lebanon, Tennessee – that is where we get our mail, have our driver’s licenses and vehicle registered, etc.
For those who live in an SNB (a stick built home NOT an RV) the two addresses are often the same. If you live in an apartment or mobile home park, but get your mail at the Post Office – that is similar to how us full-time RVers handle it. Our RV is our home and it rolls with us – our mail and correspondence gets sent to a physical place and we catch up with it as we can.
Terry and I are spending the Memorial week near Nashville, TN – hence can run by our UPS Store in Lebanon to pick up our mail and Amazon orders that we had sent there. If we were not going to be physically in town, we would have the UPS store forward our mail to the RV Park where we are staying. This way, we can also restock groceries in our favorite local health food and grocery stores, stop by the been-there-forever farm stand for fresh locally-grown tomatoes and visit with our local RV repair shop.
Changing domiciles – nowadays – can be a real PITA. You used to be able to go into the post office, get your new address, drive to the DMV, apply for a new license and then start notifying everyone “I’ve moved!”…. well, it is no longer that simple. You have to show PROOF to everyone of who you are and where you choose to be domiciled – and of course, because it’s all handled by the Department of Homeland security now, each department has different documents they want you to provide.
If you have a commercial driver’s license like Terry and I both do that makes it even more difficult, in addition to the DOT requirements you already need to meet. My last trip to DMV in TN to change from Arizona took 4 different trips and the desk clerk STILL screwed up my mail-to address from the information I had written on their application ! Even the clerks are confused about the process and what CAN and can NOT be used for ID as well as addresses.
You can apply for a voter’s registration card online and mail it in, but everything else that uses that same Voter ID card for proof of who you are, must be notarized and validated. It’s the craziest policy I’ve ever seen in 40+ years of driving, but “it is what it is” and we have to deal with it ~ just like many other parts of our life that are being regulated more and more by our public “servants”. (Do you hear a little sarcasm in there?” Yes, it’s VERY frustrating dealing with “them”!
If you are considering RVing full-time, I highly suggest you join the Escapees RV Club – it was started by a couple who chose early in life to live in an RV as they worked around the country, so they kept in touch with a mimeographed letter to friends and family. We didn’t have email and social media back in the 1980’s! Joe & Kay Peterson were pioneers in the RVing full-time area ~ they are the founders of The Escapees Club ~ and now have a 3rd generation of Petersons (and spouses) along with many other employees & volunteers operating the membership club. In my humble opinion, Escapees is THE BEST RV club for anyone who is interested in this lifestyle we have chosen.
They also have their own mail processing center in Texas (soon to be expanded into Florida & South Dakota) and offer LOTS of knowledge to members on the subject of RVing. It doesn’t matter whether you are RVing in a tent, van, pop-up, travel trailer, fifth-wheel or million dollar motor coach, The Escapees Club welcomes you with a warm SKP hug.
If you do decide to join Escapees, please tell them SKP # 90684 referred you. I get a lamplighter pin to add to my name badge :) Thanks! and SKP hugs to you and yours. Happy RViing!