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Kona
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Discussion Starter #1
Trying to figure out how to get a legal address for a live aboard arrangement where we will travel around the US East Coast. This is tougher then I thought with drivers license and everything else involved. Does anyone have ideas on this matter? We will not stay at live aboard marinas.
Thanks
 

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Telstar 28
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I would recommend you look at either one of two things:

1) Use a family member's or friend address as your legal address, and have them forward the necessary mail to you. This is probably the best option.

2) Use a mail forwarding service as your legal address.
 

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Some people use a Post office box in their home town for an address.
But a sibling's, cousin's or parent's address would be good also. Because you may need them to forward any mail you may receive.
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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What do you mean by a 'legal address' ?

Residence, domicile, mailing address...they're all different and depending on what and where you do it, you may find yourself needing to file tax bills, or getting sent notices for jury duty as well.

Assuming your boat is documented or registered SOMEplace, logically that should be the one same address.
 

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Easiest way is, like already mentioned, to have a relative/close friend forward your mail. I change addresses every three months, and no two are ever the same, so my mail goes to parents and then forwarded to me. Never had a problem.
 

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There has to be an answer besides "use a fraudulent address".

I live on a boat and have been looking for the correct answer but every thread says "use a fraudulent address"...

I want the legal answer !
 

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Nobody here has advocated using a "fraudulent address". For purposes of receiving mail you can use any address you want and people here have suggested a number of different alternatives, such as a relative or a mailing service.

For the purposes of determining a "legal address" or the "state of your legal residence" then that is usually the place at which you reside, hold a drivers license or ID card, pay taxes, are registered to vote,etc. But that is not always the case. Many, many people have a legal state of residence that differs from where they actually live, for example those in the military, college students, people on temporary work assignments, and cruisers. In these cases the state of legal residence is determined by factors such as where you hold a drivers license, where you pay taxes, where you are registered to vote.

If you want more information do a google search "determining state of legal residence"
 

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The town of green cove springs fl knows full well what the "residents" of st brendens isle are up to and provide support to them to become legal residents of their community with driver licences, voter reg, etc.
you can become a full fledged resident of clay county / green cove springs with nothing remotely illegal involved
 

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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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I just went through having my DL renewed here in FL. I do have a PO box for a mailing location; but as I live on a sailboat, we don't have a 'permanent' address. You know the drill - bring in 2 pieces of mail from some official entity that you received at your physical address (not the PO box). After explaining that I don't have a physical address - at least one that doesn't move, it was suggested that I use a relative's street address. There's the 'fraud' that was referred to. Well, I had thought about this and had decided that this was the time to finally make a stand, home Land Security notwithstanding. The gals at the DL bureau were great! They issued me a new DL and listed me as 'homeless' . My mother is so proud!

Melissa
s/v Cheechako
 

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I'm surprised a large live aboard state like Florida doesn't have a more formal process. You would think a slip # could serve as a primary resident like an apartment does. Heck someone can rent an apartment for 90 days and have legal residency and leave and disappear almost as quickly as someone with a boat.
 

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Thank you all for your replies !


I just went through having my DL renewed here in FL. I do have a PO box for a mailing location; but as I live on a sailboat, we don't have a 'permanent' address. You know the drill - bring in 2 pieces of mail from some official entity that you received at your physical address (not the PO box). After explaining that I don't have a physical address - at least one that doesn't move, it was suggested that I use a relative's street address. There's the 'fraud' that was referred to. Well, I had thought about this and had decided that this was the time to finally make a stand, home Land Security notwithstanding. The gals at the DL bureau were great! They issued me a new DL and listed me as 'homeless' . My mother is so proud!

Melissa
s/v Cheechako
I'm not homeless !

Homelessness describes the condition of people without a regular dwelling. People who are homeless are most often unable to acquire and maintain regular, safe, secure, and adequate housing, or lack "fixed", regular, and adequate night-time residence.

wikipedia.org/wiki/Homelessness

My anchor does not slip therefor my home is "fixed" !!!!!

What is the official definition of homelessness?

There is more than one “official” definition of homelessness. Health centers funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) use the following:

A homeless individual is defined in section 330(h)(4)(A) as “an individual who lacks housing (without regard to whether the individual is a member of a family), including an individual whose primary residence during the night is a supervised public or private facility (e.g., shelters) that provides temporary living accommodations, and an individual who is a resident in transitional housing.” A homeless person is an individual without permanent housing who may live on the streets; stay in a shelter, mission, single room occupancy facilities, abandoned building or vehicle; or in any other unstable or non-permanent situation. [Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C., 254b)]

Homeless ain't right.
 

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Here is something I found working on this, lets keep this discussion going:

Freedom of movement under United States law

Freedom of movement under United States law is governed primarily by the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the United States Constitution which states, "The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States." As far back as the circuit court ruling in Corfield v. Coryell, 6 Fed. Cas. 546 (1823), the Supreme Court recognized freedom of movement as a fundamental Constitutional right.

-Wiki

U.S. High Court Reverses California Welfare Statute / Lower benefits for newcomers called illegal bias

"Citizens of the United States, whether rich or poor, have the right to choose to be citizens of the state where they reside," wrote Justice John Paul Stevens in the court's decision. "The states, however, do not have any right to select their citizens."

He added that "the right to travel embraces the citizen's right to be treated equally" and assures new residents the same privileges and immunities.

--------

Let the discussion continue...
 

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My boat has been my family's only residence for more than forty years. This residence has moved from many marinas, different anchorages, different states and countries. For many years I used temporary marina addresses and moved to different PO Boxes. For the past eleven years I've not required constantly changing my address and I've been verry pleased with the consistant use of my St. Brendans Isle address. My St. Brendans address in on my drivers license, IRS forms, voter's registration, passport,.... everything! It's very convenient for those of us that own nothing that is off the boat.
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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"I'm surprised a large live aboard state like Florida doesn't have a more formal process."
Sure they do. All the states will recognize "At sea, aboard The Ark" as an address. The problem in every state is that is neither a street address, nor a fixed address, nor a mailing address.
Every agency in every state, and the Fed, sets their own definitions for their own purposes. The Florida DMV literally sets a definition of "residence" FOR THEIR OWN PURPOSES in issuing licenses and registration, and that's how they word it.
Florida won't issue a driver's license without a POSTAL address in Florida. But there are homeless folks who won a major lawsuit some years ago and got their voting rights with a residence "Under the second bridge on the xx causeway" because that's where they lived. And up in New York, there are so many homeless folks who get their welfare and other funds sent to "General Delivery, GPO #1" that the main post office has one service window set up just for General Delivery service. Which every USPO offers.
Would Florida accept that as a residency? Well, probably not, but that's a valid mailing address.
Bear in mind, folks, that in the US you originally didn't have a right to vote at all unless you were a male LAND OWNER. If you owned land, you lived there, residency was no problem. We don't have any formal national or state policy that says you can be a resident of "somewhere that-a-way" as opposed to a fixed location, AFAIK. You live on a boat? You're a vagrant, what else is new? Get the USPS to deliver mail to you, and you're a resident.
 

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"Florida won't issue a driver's license without a POSTAL address in Florida"

Not so. I was told that if I did NOT have a PO box , then the address on my license would be "in care of general delivery", and still listed as homeless.

You all need to understand, I WANT this designation - am getting further and further off the grid. But, I have to say, I was VERY surprised that they allowed me to get a DL without a physical address. Oh, they did try..."is it a houseboat?; is there one marina you stay at more than others?" etc. And they concluded that I was homeless per Fl's definition.

Melissa
s/v Cheechako
 

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██▓▓▒▒░&
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Melissa, "General Delivery" *is* a postal address. It refers to a specific post office location, and once upon a time, that's how all mail was "delivered". To a post office, not to a residence or cluster of boxes.

Not all post offices are "post offices" some are "stations" or have other status. A "Main Post Office" always offers general delivery holding, but apparently the lesser facilities have some options as to whether they will or won't offer it.

In Europe the same concept exists, you have mail sent to "Poste Restante" meaning more or less "resting mail" at a postal facility. For US travelers overseas for many years, that and American Express offices were the two ways to get your mail and parcels.

Dave, no state can require you to be a resident of that state and I'm pretty sure the Republic couldn't require you to reside in any state either. US citizens normally have dual citizenship, one in a state and one in the Federal Republic. They are conferred differently and put different requirements on you. But really, Comrade, back when it was being KGB you would have been better informed about these things before being given a "US" identity. (VBG)

Matter of fact, a US citizen might be a resident of one of 50 states, 11 insular possessions, OR the District of Columbia. So there are at least 12 "I'm not a resident of any State" types of US citizens, even among the citizens who live in or on US soils.
 
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