Friday, March 28, 2014

Establishing Residency in FL

It's official!  We are residents of Florida.

Why did we chose FL as our new home state?  Primarily due to the tax advantages for retired folks. And our financial advisor is licensed in this state (as well as PA).

How did we accomplish this in just one month?  The answer is with  just a little planning...

- About three weeks before we left Pennsylvania, we purchased a mail service (myRVmail). They provide a physical address in Florida that we use for all of our snail mail.
- We completed the USPS change of address forms with the effective date of the new address to coincide with the date we left PA.
- The mail service provides a website that we access to see what mail we have received (listed by sender). We decide whether the piece of mail is something we want shredded or mailed to us. On demand, the mail service will send a package of the mail we want to the address we provide (the current RV resort where we are staying).
- We replenish the account with funds to mail the packages (kind of like EZ pass accounts). This is working out great for us.
- Several folks have asked us how we like the Crestview, FL, area (that's where the address is), and the real answer is that we have never been there. And do not have plans to visit!

Drivers Licenses
- The FL DMV is so darn efficient, it was amazing (particularly in comparison to PennDOT!!) We were required to provide our current PA licenses, passports, social security cards (I could not locate mine, but they accepted a W2 form instead), and two pieces of mail with our Florida address.
- They gave us an eye exam, took our photos, and issued the licenses.
- At the same time, they processed our voter registration (cards have arrived at our FL address).
- No long wait either! Nice!

Vehicle Registration - There were a few steps to this.
- We contacted a local insurance agent in St. Augustine who found the best deal for auto insurance on the Mini Cooper (comparable to what we had on our policy in PA).  Purchased that insurance and cancelled the existing policy.
- The motor coach policy had to be re-issued because we have changed our status to full-time RVing. This improves the coverage limits for contents, etc., resulting in some increase in cost. (A heck of lot cheaper than our home owners policy!)  We'll get nice refunds on the cancelled policies for both the car and the motor coach.
- There is a lengthy checklist of stuff (current registration, sales receipt to prove the vehicle was purchased more than six months ago, proof of insurance, etc.). They also require verification of the VIN # for the vehicle. For the Mini Cooper they verified it in the DMV parking lot. For the motor coach we needed to have the sheriff come to the RV park to complete a form for verification of the VIN number.
- We left with the registrations and new license plates.

PS  John was not very happy giving up our PA tags, but it will be so much easier for us with our new lifestyle to be registered in FL. No annual vehicle inspection and drivers licenses are renewed every 8 years.

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