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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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Old 01-24-2011
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Question Legal Residence

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.?
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Old 01-24-2011
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There is a difference between a liveaboard and a full-time cruiser. Liveaboards can often use their marina as a legal mailing address and such. Full-time cruisers can use a mail forwarding service like St. Brendan's Isle.

Most states require some proof of residency—often something as simple as a utility bill at an in-state mailing address.
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Old 01-24-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
There is a difference between a liveaboard and a full-time cruiser. Liveaboards can often use their marina as a legal mailing address and such. Full-time cruisers can use a mail forwarding service like St. Brendan's Isle.

Most states require some proof of residency—often something as simple as a utility bill at an in-state mailing address.
We use Saint Brendan's Isle as full time cruiser's, but we also used SBI while living aboard at the dock too. At some marinas that don't post that they allow liveaboards you can be accepted if you do not use their address. We also found that it was far easiewr for us to change marinas at whim without the hassle of requiring an address change when all our mail and official residence was with St. Brendan's. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 01-24-2011
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Ditto on St. Brendan's Isle. That's who we used while cruising.

1) You can sign up for their scanning service where they will scan the envelopes of every piece of mail that comes through. You can then, via a web browser, put it in a queue for when you are ready for them to ship the mail, have them throw it away, or scan the inside contents of the mail and post it as a PDF.

2) They will be fully responsible for every piece of mail that comes through.

3) They can file your USCG documentation on your behalf if you are out of the country.

4) They can help you set up residency in FL. This is helpful for things like voting - if you move out of your house, what's your residence and where do you vote? You can also get a driver's license once you've set up residency. Residency is a strange thing - if you don't set up a mail drop, whose jurisdiction are you under for paying taxes (ugh), voting and other areas that require residency.
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Old 01-25-2011
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Having a Florida residency has two major benefits and one major drawback. On the good side, there is no state income tax, and you will not get hassled by the local constabularies for having out-of-state stickers on your boat (this is a big-deal in the Sunshine State). On the bad side, if you register a car, here, there is a one-time environmental impact fee of $500 for your first registered car.

On the other matter, I am considering starting a snail-mail forwarding service. There is a mountain of permits and regulations to abide, but I am wondering if there would really be a big enough market to justify all the bureaucratic torture.

Please let me know if, theoretically, you might be interested. I live in Charlotte County, Florida.


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Having a Florida residency has two major benefits and one major drawback. On the good side, there is no state income tax, and you will not get hassled by the local constabularies for having out-of-state stickers on your boat (this is a big-deal in the Sunshine State)..........................."
There's cetainly no question that Florida has no state income tax, but evidence that local enforcement agencies are biased against boaters with an out of state registration is subjective and annecdotal. I've cruised in Florida with a Maryland and with Florida registration with frequent anchoring since 1972 without question form any authority. I know some have had some negative experiences, but I doubt if it's a result of their registration. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Since you are required to have a street address for many purposes - USCG Documentation for one - we use a UPS Store. According to our instructions, they forward first class mail only, either on a regular schedule like once a week, or on demand. When in transit we just tell them to hold it. When we arrive at a destination we call or email and have them send a packet to us.

Works for us.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainForce View Post
There's cetainly no question that Florida has no state income tax, but evidence that local enforcement agencies are biased against boaters with an out of state registration is subjective and annecdotal. I've cruised in Florida with a Maryland and with Florida registration with frequent anchoring since 1972 without question form any authority. I know some have had some negative experiences, but I doubt if it's a result of their registration...
Ah, yes. I often suspect that he untold "story behind the story" is probably the more interesting part when I see one of these little tales of tales of woe.
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The only place I ever had a problem over registration was in Honolulu, our home port. I was cited for not displaying state registration numbers...

...On my DOCUMENTED VESSEL

I had to go to court and explain the rules to the prosecutor who stood there with a blank look on his face while the judge laughed at him.

Dismissed!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vega1860 View Post
The only place I ever had a problem over registration was in Honolulu, our home port. I was cited for not displaying state registration numbers...

...On my DOCUMENTED VESSEL

I had to go to court and explain the rules to the prosecutor who stood there with a blank look on his face while the judge laughed at him.

Dismissed!
LOL... I bet that prosecutor felt like an idiot... he certainly looked like one.
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