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Old 10-20-2013
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Re: Live aboard legal address

This is an apples and oranges discussion that, although the original post is 6 years old, is still a pertinent and oft thought question.

Legal Address is to where mail is delivered, that's it.

Legal residence is (per Blacks Legal Dictionary):

legal residence
noun
(law) the residence where you have your permanent home or principal establishment and to where, whenever you are absent, you intend to return; every person is compelled to have one and only one domicile at a time; "what's his legal residence?" [syn: domicile]
Bold added.

a boat is indeed legally a residence, per the legal definition of 'residence'

residence

noun
1.
the place, especially the house, in which a person lives or resides; dwelling place; home: Their residence is in New York City.
2.
a structure serving as a dwelling or home, especially one of large proportion and superior quality: They have a summer residence in Connecticut.
3.
the act or fact of residing: during his residence in Spain.
4.
the act of living or staying in a specified place while performing official duties, carrying on studies or research, awaiting a divorce, etc.
5.
the time during which a person resides in a place: a residence there of five years.


So, when the question comes up - (especially from law enforcement) your address is to where your mail is delivered, your residence is your boat.
If they want to mail you a ticket or a summons give them the address, if they want to find you in person, the residence (and then sail away).
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