We just spent our last night in Arizona for a while. For a variety of reasons, we are moving to Texas.
One of issues that RVers have while traveling full-time on the road is domicile. Simplified, domicile is the status or attribution of being a lawful permanent resident in a particular jurisdiction. A person can remain domiciled in a jurisdiction even after they have left it, if they have maintained sufficient links with that jurisdiction or have not displayed an intention to leave permanently (i.e. if that person has moved to a different state but has not yet formed an intention to remain there indefinitely).
Because we do not have a permanent address, we have been using my mother-in-law’s address as our domicile/physical address. This is not sustainable in the long term – we do not plan to retire to Bullhead City if we decide not to travel full-time.
Texas is one of the few states that does not require an actual physical address to establish domicile. We have already done one of the steps required, and have obtained an Escapees mailing address in Texas. This is where all of our mail goes while we are on the road – and we can have them mail it to wherever we are.
Vehicle registration taxes and fees
The state of Arizona taxes our RV as a high priced vehicle, and bases it off of MSRP. For example, our fee for September 15, 2019 to September 15, 2020 was $2400. This amount is down from the $2700 it was the year before. The day we drove our RV off the lot it was $4000. Ouch. My Jeep Wrangler, which we just renewed, was $219 for 1 year. The good thing is that as soon as we register both vehicles in Texas and fill out an online form, we’ll get a prorated amount back from Arizona.
We like Texas
We have been to Texas multiple times, and we’ve always loved the people and experiences we’ve had there. We almost moved there in 2010 – we put our house on the market in Oregon, and both Bob and I were interviewing for jobs in the Austin area before I received my job offer from my then employer (Sage). It took us a while, but we’re finally making the move 10 years later.
Our current plan is to arrive in Livingston, Texas on March 9 and stay for 2 months while we handle all the residency, domicile, and registration stuff. Not that we expect it will take that long, but we also want to establish our community connections. We need to change insurance, see new doctors, and do all the stuff you normally do to make life easy. We have some tentative travel plans after that, but we are going with the flow for now. We have plenty of bucket list items, both places and experiences, to do over the next few months. Next Saturday, we’ll be at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, seeing Maren Morris in her Rodeo Houston debut headliner concert before her baby arrives.