5 Tips to Declare a Domicile State

Fulltime RVing families have the opportunity to declare any state in the union as their domicile or residency state. With all the choices, this freedom and flexibility can leave the decision-maker in a state of confusion. While the choice is by no means a permanent one, determining the best option for declaring a domicile state the first time will save time, money, and lots of headaches.
In this Roadschool 101 series, topics like residency, physical address changes, and mail forwarding are discussed in great detail.  This week, the Road Trip Teacher shares the top five facts to be considered when choosing a state of residency:

Five Fast Facts About Declaring a Domicile

1)  State Income Tax.  These states are free of a state income tax:

  • Alaska
  • Florida
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Wyoming
  • Alaska

2)  Homeschool Laws. Consistently, the states that rank best for homeschool freedom and recognize parent autonomy in education are:

  • Alaska
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Missouri
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas

Note:  For fulltime RVers, the status for state income tax and homeschool laws are the top two considerations when choosing a domicile state. A quick comparison of the states that are the best fit in each of these areas above shows three options that overlap in each category:  Alaska, Florida, and Texas. Therefore, we will discuss only these three states for the remaining evaluation of this important subject.

3)  Driver and Vehicle Registration.  Ease of vehicle registration and driver’s license renewal are important factors in this decision-making process. Alaska, Florida, and Texas are all fairly equal in this category. But, Alaska’s remote location makes it the obvious choice to cross off the list next.

4)  Annual Vehicle Inspection. Florida has no annual vehicle inspection while Texas does have this requirement. The caveat is that if you are out of the Lone Star State, you do have one week to get the vehicle inspection in Texas.

5)  Health Insurance Rates.
On the part of the controversy regarding health insurance rates, Texas provides a better, more economical option.  Florida statistically has an aged population; therefore, it has one of the highest health insurance rates in the country.

Florida Wins the Domicile Debate

While these five areas of concern are the most common considerations, a family’s unique circumstances are the priority. All things considered, the majority of roadschoolers that make up the fulltime family community, pick between Texas and Florida. In the end, Florida seems to win this overall debate when the Florida Residency Rates for theme parks are factored into the decision.   Overall, a thorough research of choosing a domicile by evaluating state income tax, homeschool laws, driver and vehicle registration procedures, annual vehicle inspection requirements, and health insurance rates should provide a clear answer for choosing a state for residency for the immediate future.

To listen to this Roadschool Moms’s take on choosing a state domicile, hit replay from this episode of Roadschool Moms over at iTunes!

Mary Beth Goff is a solo homeschool mom who loves to have the wheels rolling under her family’s feet. Feeling the need to hit the road, she travels fulltime across the country with her children for the roadschool adventure of a lifetime. She strives to incorporate Mother Nature, National Parks, and out-of-the-way spots along the way. Her love of history has fueled many road trips including all of Laura Ingalls Wilder home places. Mary Beth’s passion is sharing the beauty and education offered by exploring America’s backyard. She is the creator of the educational website Road Trip Teacher, writer at Diary of a Road Mom, and co-host on Roadschool Momsradio.

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