Join Date: Jul 2002
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Official Address While Cruising
This is also addressed on the SSCA Bulletin Board. To recap, start ''backwards''...meaning start with where you wish your legal residence to be. Contact your local tax assessor and Registrar of Voters. These are the two agencies that are key in maintaining residency. Yes, I''d talk with your tax assessor even tho'' you don''t have real property any longer. Ask each what they consider first-tier proof of residency, match up the things they both mention, and try to line as many of those up before you leave. E.g. insure your Driver''s License won''t expire while you''re gone, or return to the DMV office, explain you''ll be offshore for an extended period while needing driving privileges, and ask for a fresh renewal. (We did this with no problems in Florida). Probe around the issue of potentially using a mail forwarding address out of state to confirm this won''t present a problem. Confirm with the Registrar that you are legally registered, be sure you have a current Voters Card. (Yes, it will be for a precinct that no longer ''fits'' since you don''t live in that same neighborhood...one of those gray areas, but it''s the card & verification on the rolls that''s key right now).
Your vessel document will reflect your mail forwarding address and is an area where procedureal rules can confuse ''perceived'' legal residency (e.g. by a local marine policeman in FL waters when being shown a Document showing a FL address, altho'' it''s your mail forwarding address). So...you don''t offer that kind of paper to the authority asking for it, when it would cloud the issue. Better to offer a Voters Register Card or DMV License. Your U.S. Passport will not indicate - nor can it help you maintain - state residency.
One last thought: it''s a good idea to each carry a Power of Attorney for the other partner when offshore; makes it totally possible to act on behalf of jointly owned property or for a female to be given full authority in countries (e.g. Hispanic ones) where this may not be a norm. The P/A text can refer to your legal residency, as well. This might help with the ''perceived residency'' issue.
Good luck. Getting the legal stuff organized and financial arrangements locked down while the entire U.S. infrastructure is still available to you is crucial to an enjoyable open-ended cruise...but tough to accomplish!