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How and where do liveaboards, who does not own or maintain a shoreside residence, establish a legal residence for the purpose of 1)Taxes, 2)Voting, 3)Driver's licenses, 4)Car registration, 5)Boat documentation, 6)Phone/internet service, 7)Mail, 8)etc.?
Since you don't have a residence ashore, IMHO you get to choose any one of the 50 States. This is our situation too. A short trip to the State of your choice to apply for drivers license and voter registration is all that's required in conjunction with setting up a mail forwarding service anywhere in that State (and if applicable vehicle registration; some States get cranky if your plates and drivers license don't match). A good mail service will forward your mail to wherever you happen to be. The mail service is important since that becomes your official address (ie, domicile for tax purposes). The issue gets a bit more complicated since again IMHO you should register your boat somewhere and display a sticker (even if USCG documented). This avoids hassles. I believe that you can register the boat in a different State than your domicile based upon other considerations such as your cruising area (which may be totally different than your domicile). I suggest using a hail port that matches your State registration and USCG documentation (ie, not your domicile). That way everything is consistent. PM me if you have questions about how we selected our domicile. There are some good sites that list all taxes in each of the 50 States and as mentioned previously, full-time RVers face many of the same issues and a study of the RV site referenced can provide valuable information. Hope this helps.
Last edited by prroots; 01-28-2011 at 05:45 AM.