How to Become a Florida Resident As a Full-Time RVer

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Many full-time RVers sell most of their possessions, including their homes, to embrace a nomadic life. Because their physical address changes constantly, it’s common for nomads to change their residency. Sunny Florida is one of the friendliest states for full-time travelers.

Today, we’ll show you how to become a Florida resident. Grab a pair of sunglasses and sunscreen; you’ll be a Floridian before you know it!

Let’s get started!

Pros of Being a Florida Resident As a Full-Time RVer

One significant benefit of becoming a Florida resident is that Florida is one of nine states that doesn’t have a state income tax. In the 41 other states, income tax is typically between 1.5% to almost 5% of a resident’s income. However, that’s not the only tax benefit. The Sunshine State also has some of the lowest sales and property taxes.

Many people overlook one benefit, which is the various discounts available to Florida residents. The Sunshine State has many theme parks and other popular tourist attractions.

Whether you want to visit the large mouse in Orlando or hop on a cruise ship at one of the ports, Florida residents often get special discounted rates. 

Entrance to Universal Orlando where Florida residents get a discount on admission

Cons of Being a Florida Resident As a Full-Time RVer

One of the most significant cons of being a Florida resident is the massive fees you pay when establishing residency. There is an initial $225 registration fee per vehicle, plus the standard registration costs.

When you add a couple of driver’s licenses, you could be looking at nearly $1,000. This catches many by surprise and is an expense that is easy to forget.

Many see the intense summer heat and potential for hurricanes as a con. However, we’re only giving it partial credit. If you’re a Florida resident and a full-time RVer, you can pack up your RV and hit the road during the summer or until the hurricane passes.

However, if you’re planning to spend the winter months in Florida, expect crowded campgrounds and RV parks. Florida is a popular place for many snowbirds during the winter.

Pro Tip: Book your campgrounds early if you plan on wintering in Florida. Here are The Best Florida Keys RV Parks you’ll want to check out!

How to Become a Florida Resident

There are a few critical steps you should take to become a Florida resident. Doing these in the proper order will save you time, stress, and money. Follow these steps, and you can make the transition as smooth as possible. Let’s take a look!

Obtain a Florida Address

You’ll need a physical address in Florida to establish residency. If you’re not purchasing a house or renting, you’ll need to sign up with a mail service. They can provide you with an address for receiving essential documents like vehicle registration and tax documents.

One of the most popular options RVs choose is joining Escapees. They’re an RV club with decades of experience handling domiciling and many other aspects of full-time RVing. They provide guides to make it incredibly easy to make the transition. Also, if you have any questions, they’ll help you along the way.

Keep in Mind: Another popular state that full-time RVers like to claim domicile in is South Dakota!

Florida Declaration of Domicile

One of the first steps you need to establish your domicile is completing the Florida Declaration of Domicile and Certification of Address. These are legal documents that declare your intentions to domicile in Florida. Here is an example declaration for Broward county.

You can print out and complete these documents, but they require a notary’s signature. Make sure you bring your driver’s license or other proof of identity and complete all the information in advance.

However, do not sign the documents until you are in the presence of a notary.

Florida Residency Documentation and Filing

You’ll need to appear in person at a convenient DMV location to become a Florida resident. They will ask you to surrender your old driver’s license and bring a passport or birth certificate and a Social Security or Medicare card.

The DMV will also need to see proof of your residential address, typically provided by the mail service or a utility bill in your name at the new address.

You’re also likely going to need to register vehicles too. Bring the out-of-state registration, proof of insurance, and a bill of sale if you purchased the vehicle in the last six months. Many DMV locations offer vehicle and driver’s license services. However, if you want to save time, make sure the location you visit provides both services.

Naples, Florida downtown street empty road with roadside sign signpost for directions to driver license office for renewal or people who relocated

How Many Months Must You Live in Florida to Be Considered a Resident?

If you live in Florida for more than 183 days (6 months), you’re considered a Florida resident for tax purposes. This is typically only an issue when transitioning to Florida from a previous state where you may need to pay taxes.

Once you establish your domicile in the state, you don’t have to worry about counting the days you spend in Florida unless you’ll be spending more than half the year in an individual state that requires income tax.

A person at the beach in Florida surfing

What Do I Need to Obtain a Florida Driver’s License?

To obtain a Florida driver’s license, you must visit a local office. You’ll need to pass a vision test and present a primary identification. Your primary identification could be a birth certificate, passport, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Certificate of Naturalization, or Certificate of Citizenship. Any of these documents will do!

You’ll also need to show proof of Social Security. This can be through your actual card or many tax forms, including a W-2 or paycheck stub from your employer.

Two documents that show your proof of residential address are also required. Proof of residence can be a utility bill, W-2 form, or other documents. Be sure to bring any documents to support name changes if that applies to you.

Can You Establish Residency In Florida With a PO Box?

No, you cannot establish residency in Florida with a PO box. The DMV doesn’t recognize these as actual physical addresses. This is often why full-time RVers use services that provide them with a physical address than a PO Box.

What Do Full Time RVers Do About Mail?

Full-time RVers will still need to receive mail and essential tax documents. Mail forwarding services will receive your mail for you and hold it until you tell them when and where to send it.

Some services will even digitally scan every piece of mail that comes in, and you can request they open the letter and scan it. This process can ensure you never miss an important piece of mail while on the road!

Keep in Mind: Do you know how to get your mail as a full-time RVer? Check out This Mail Service for RVers Is the Largest, But Is It the Best?

A U.S. mailbox in front of house in Florida

Now You’re a “Permanent” Florida Resident

Once you have your domicile set up, you’re a full-fledged Floridian. You can start taking advantage of the discounts for Florida residents at the local attractions.

If tourist traps aren’t your thing, grab your chair and sunscreen and head to the beach. You’ll love being a Floridian, whether you’re only staying during the winter months or year-round.

If you’re considering Florida for your domicile, where do you want to spend most of your time in the state? 

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