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willyj41 02-19-2010 09:24 PM

Home port
If your boat IS your home and you have no "dirt home", how do you establish a "home" for driver's license, voting, local taxes, etc?

sailingdog 02-19-2010 10:21 PM

You can get a PO box at one of the mail drop companies and use it as a mailing address for legal documents and utility bills. Most counties and states will accept a mailing address for utility bills as proof of "residency".

Melrna 02-20-2010 10:44 AM

I don't think most states will let you use a PO Box as an address. I use my marina's address for that. There are some Rental mail box places that use a real address that you might be able to get away with.

AlanBrown 02-20-2010 01:49 PM

(From a previous post)

"I used MCCA Mail Forwarding in Palm City, FL as my official address for a number of years. From this address I obtained my FL drivers license, registered and insured my boat and automobile, and even used it when I renewed my passport. Never had a hassle.

I think the key to all this is being able to show a street address. A P.O. box is not a street address. However, you can have your mail sent to a mailbox rental place for which you will have both a street address AND a box number.

This method always worked for me."

Not sure MCCA is still doing business. If not, consider St. Brendan's Isle. They've received consistently good reviews from cruisers.

Architeuthis 02-20-2010 02:33 PM

Having worked in remote areas and lived in work camps that are not considered residency I know how much a problem this can be.

You likely need a street address to claim residency somewhere.

Residency can be a big deal. Maybe not so much in the States but in Canada you will find multiple jurisdictions wanting to claim you for taxes, no jurisdictions wanting to accept you if you have medical problems, and all jurisdictions wanting you for census. Having been there, I’ve been very careful to always have an address.

Then there are insurance issues, work issues, hiring, licensing, and so on.

I would suggest that even if you have to rent off a relative get a street address and try not to change it. That way when someone boards your boat and demands papers, and they will, you are seen as a person from somewhere.

eryka 02-20-2010 05:08 PM

Check out St Brendan's Isle, a fabulous mail forwarding service in FL that caters to cruisers, they know about residency issues and can help. As others have said, you need a street address and they give you one, not a PO box. Sorry I can't send a link (google them) my internet bandwidth is limited here in Paradise (currently in the Bahamas out islands)

chef2sail 02-20-2010 07:12 PM

I love your avatar. Hope all is well with you and Dan. Our 54 inches of snow has started melting. You sure picked the right time to get out of Dodge.

eryka 02-20-2010 09:20 PM


Originally Posted by chef2sail (Post 572038)
I love your avatar. Hope all is well with you and Dan. Our 54 inches of snow has started melting. You sure picked the right time to get out of Dodge.

I can't even visualize 54 inches of snow in MD. Wait - our boat draws 4'6" - that means, if we'd stayed in MD and put the boat on the hard, the snow would come up just to the boot stripe - gaaack! Better where we are. Went snorkeling today around some of the minor blue holes just off the beach here (south end of Eleuthera). Tomorrow, diving the famous "wall", 50' to 1500' in a sheer drop off. Forecast 72 degrees, wind 15 kt from the NW. Hard to believe that we'll be headed back to FL in less than a month and back to Annapolis by May ... I'm sure hoping the snow has melted by then!

PS - thanx for the thoughts. The avatar photo was taken in late Jan just off Black Point in the Exumas.

nailbunnySPU 02-22-2010 09:47 AM

In Maryland I've found a marina address works.
Rarely some things will throw a fit that it's a commercial address and not residential. Rarely.

remetau 04-16-2010 11:15 AM

Last year we were told by the DMV that Florida will no longer take a mailing address for driver’s licenses and that they now require a physical address. We use St. Brendans Isle for our mail service and we don’t have a physical address since our boat is our home and we try to stay out of marinas. Luckily we were in Key West renewing our registration and driver license information when we were informed of this bit of Floridian insanity, because in Key West there was a woman who knew of a little secret way around it. Our boat is documented and registered with Florida so our documentation number is our registration number. She informed us that since our boat is documented and registered in Florida, then it could be used as our physical address. So now on our driver’s license, our address shows as our D number and that’s it. In the system, the non-printable part of the address shows “In Boot Key harbor”, our location.

For everything else, we use our St. Brendans Isle address.

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