Setting Up South Dakota Residency for RVers (Pt. 2)

This is the second half of a series for full-timers who are planning on making South Dakota their state of residence. If you missed the first half please read it first.

Disclaimer: This information was correct to the best of my knowledge when this post was published in November 2012, but laws and prices (and links) change all the time. South Dakota no longer holds quite the cost advantage for becoming a resident as it did in 2012 when I first “moved” here, but it’s still not a bad option. If you’ve noticed any discrepancies between what I’ve written below and what you’ve found to be true since then, please let me know so I can update it. Thanks. Last updated 9/18/17.

What you need for mail forwarding:

I’m arranging these all in a bulleted format so that you can copy the text into your favorite processor, print it off, and cross out things as you complete them.

  • The company’s agreement/order form (each company’s is different, for My Dakota Address they use this (this link is a direct download, the rest of these are not) one. Filling it out is pretty self explanatory, basically you mark off which package you want and then agree to their terms and services by signing on the dotted line. If you’re paying by card that information also goes on this form.
  • Postal Form 1583. Also called the USPS Application of Delivery of Mail through Agent. Please read the directions for filling this out. My Dakota Address had a sample one posted up to show what you needed to fill out where, that can be found here.

Postal Form 1583 essentially gives your chosen mail forwarding company permission to handle your mail, but you’ll need two forms of identification and to sign it in the presence of an Agent or Notary Public for it to be viable. If you don’t fill this form out right it’ll delay your mail forwarding.

Directly on the form it’ll tell you what forms of identification you need to take with you for the Agent or Notary to see, but I’ll post them here too:

“valid driver’s license or state non-driver’s identification card; armed forces, government, university, or recognized corporate identification card; passport, alien registration card or certificate of naturalization; current lease, mortgage or Deed of Trust; voter or vehicle registration card; or a home or vehicle insurance policy. A photocopy of your identification may be retained by agent for verification.” Also, at least one of the forms of identification needs to have your photo on it!

I used my driver’s license and my vehicle registration card. At this point in the process you aren’t a South Dakota Resident yet, and your forms of identification (and your address that goes into box 7a) will be your old address. Notice that it also says photocopies may be retained. What I did was got photocopies of these two things (along with the photocopied stuff I needed for vehicle registration – see below!) at Staples before going in to the notary, it cost about $2.00.

You can do a google search for Notary Public in your city to figure out where to find one. I went to a U.S. Post office for mine. Fill out the form and take your 2 forms of identification (and photocopies) in with you, and sign the form in the presence of the notary. They’ll sign the line they need to, then send it out to where it needs to go. Congratulations! Step 1 is now complete.

If all you need is mail forwarding and you aren’t switching to South Dakota as your domicile you don’t need to go any farther than this.

What you need for vehicle registration:

  • If you’re going to have the mail forwarding company get the title and registration for you, you’ll need to fill out a Power of Attorney form, if you’re going to do it yourself in person, you won’t need this.
  • The SD Application for Motor Vehicle Title and Registration. One per vehicle/RV, trailers/5th wheels use this form too.
  • The original Title, or Manufacturers Statement of Origin (if new) properly transferred in your name for all vehicles. The make, model, and color should be on this.
  • A Bill of Sale, or purchase order or sales agreement for all vehicles. (For the purchase price and proof that you’ve already paid at least 4% excise tax in another state – if you haven’t you’ll be sending in more money too.)
  • Something official that shows the dry (empty) weight of the vehicles, as the dry weight is what the license fees are based off of. The Title might have this, the Bill of Sale might too. If it’s nowhere in those documents you’ll need a photo of the VIN sticker, in RV’s this might be on the outside or inside, in passenger vehicles you can usually find it on the driver’s side door. A copy of a brochure for the RV that lists the dry weight in a specs section would work too.
  • The current odometer reading for all applicable vehicles
  • Your driver’s license. If you’re mailing it in you’ll need to mail a copy – you can photocopy this when you’re getting your 2 forms of identification for mail forwarding done.
  • If you do not have your South Dakota driver’s license yet, you’ll also need your Social Security card (or a copy if you’re mailing it in (this brings the total number of photocopied things needed for this project up to 4) and a SD Affidavit Claiming Lack of Residence Post Office Address.
  • However much money you owe. See Part 1 for the list of fees.

Phew! Done with that part. You’ll notice you have more work to do if your mailing it in before going to South Dakota to get your driver’s license. Since I had time before going to Coffeyville to work, and wanted to get residency set up before I starting working, I did my vehicle registration in person. I also went to the DMV to get my driver’s license first so that I’d have less paperwork to deal with.

If you’re going to go do your vehicle registration in person, you can find out where to go at each mail forwarding company’s website, but it’ll be at the county treasury, which for My Dakota Address (Lake County) was located in the court house in the heart of Madison. If you need somewhere nearby to stay in your RV, I’ve heard good things about Lake Herman State Park.

If you’re going with Alternative Resources, the closest State Park to Sioux Falls is where I stayed, Big Sioux Recreation Area, which I wrote about here. I don’t see a sate park close to America’s Mailbox, but Custer and the Black Hills aren’t too far away.

What you need for a driver’s license:

For the driver’s license, you do need to make an appearance somewhere in SD. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be the county where your mailing address is. Check places ahead of time because many DMV offices in SD are only open certain days of the week, the one in Madison for instance was only open on Tuesdays, not good for my case since I arrived on a Wednesday – hence why I stayed in the Sioux Falls area since their DMV is open 6 days a week. Here’s what you need to bring with you:

  • It’ll cost $28 for a new or renewal (it needs to be renewed every 5 years) Class 1 (non-commercial) driver’s license.
  • One of the following to prove identity, date of birth, and lawful status:
  1. Certified U.S. birth certificate issued by State or County (hospital birth certificates are not acceptable)
  2. Valid unexpired U.S. Passport
  3. Certificate of Naturalization
  4. Certificate of Citizenship
  5. Valid unexpired permanent resident card
  6. Valid unexpired employment authorization document
  7. Foreign passport with valid unexpired U.S. Visa with I-94
  • If your name is different than the name on your identity document, you will need to bring additional proof of your legal name. Acceptable documents for proof of a legal name change are a certified marriage certificate (issued by a state vital records agency), a certified adoption document, or a certified court order authorizing a name change (such as a divorce decree).
  • One of the following to prove Social Security number:
  1. Social Security card
  2. W-2 Form
  3. SSA 1099 Form
  4. Non-SSA 1099 Form
  5. Pay stub (must include name and social security number)
  • Normally you’d also have to bring two documents to prove your residential address, but being full-timers we don’t have those. Instead we need to fill out the Residency Affidavit form (both check boxes need to be marked “Yes”) along with one piece of mail received at your SD mail forwarding address, plus:
  • One document that shows a recent temporary address within South Dakota for at least one night. Being RVers for us this’ll be a campground or RV park receipt, again it can be anywhere in the state not necessarily the county where your mailing address is or where you’re getting the license from.

Note: You’ll also take a simple eye exam at the DMV, where you’ll read some letters off to the examiner.  No other driving test or vehicle inspection is required in South Dakota.

And there you have it! You are now a South Dakota resident, congratulations. I hope this made the process a little less intimidating for those of you who are thinking of joining the ranks of full-timing South Dakota-ians….Dakota-ites…., bah, whatever.

Now, a bit about my personal experience with registering Cas in South Dakota and the 3% excise tax, as promised in Part 1. (Note, South Dakota’s excise tax is now 4% which I’ve mentioned above and in part 1 , but it was 3% when I first wrote this article and as this is a telling of my personal experience back in 2012.)

South Carolina is unique in that it doesn’t charge any sales tax at all on trailers, instead it charges a property tax which is based on the listed value of the trailer ($1,100 for my 1999 Casita) instead of the actual purchase price ($8,995, a big difference). South Dakota’s sales tax is 3% based on the purchase price, so I had to cough up a good deal of money. I had researched all of this ahead of time though and knew to expect it. This was why all the registration fees for me ended up being so high. At least I won’t have to keep paying them year after year like I did the property tax in South Carolina.

They were also going to charge me a late fee for not paying the required sales tax within 30 days of purchasing it too (I bought Cas in March, and it was now September) which would have cost me an extra $100, not fun. I was prepared for this as well though and explained how the rule in South Carolina was different and had brought my property tax sales receipt from South Carolina to prove that I had paid their version of the tax a mere four days after buying it, well within the limit. I didn’t have to pay the excise tax on the truck at all since I had already paid at least 3% for that in South Carolina.

This brought my total for driver’s license, vehicle registration, plates, and all related taxes to $382.  Without the 3% excise tax on the Casita, it would have been $112.15.

As before, if you spot any broken links or errors please let me know and I’ll fix them.

UPDATE 5/16/17:

Can you believe it’s that time already? I renewed my SD driver’s license in Rapid City today, and like the first DMV visit four years ago (your SD license expires on your birth date, not on the day it was issued so it ended up being less than five years in my case) it was a quick and painless process. To renew your driver’s license as a full-time nomad you need:

  • Your current driver’s license
  • To fill out an application (found at the DMV) where you’ll provide, name, address, Social security number, date of birth, etc.
  • A filled out Residency Affidavit with both boxes checked “Yes”
  • One receipt showing you’ve spent at least one night in South Dakota within the past year (hotel, campground, etc.)
  • One document proving your mail forwarding address in South Dakota, dated within the past year.
  • $28 license fee
  • You’ll also have to pass an eye exam on site.

EVERY OTHER RENEWAL you have the option to renew your driver’s license online instead of in person (which I could have done this time), but you still need proof that you’ve spent one night in South Dakota within the past year, so you’ll want to plan ahead of time. Also if you go this route, you’ll need to pay to get an eye exam somewhere and send in the findings to the DMV.

UPDATE 9/18/2017:

Aaand license plate renewal time! This year my truck cost $78.40 to renew and the trailer was $60.80 (including Lake County’s wheel tax and applicable fees). I find the easiest way to renew your license plates as a full-timer is online, the website is Sign up for an account using info from your SD driver’s license and the site will list your registered vehicles and walk you through the renewal process.

* * *

Interstellar Orchard turned 1 yesterday! One year ago yesterday was the last day of a one week vacation from the dreaded Job. I’d taken the vacation just to get the blog ready; finishing up the initial posts, getting pictures cropped, and figuring out fonts and layouts. The first six posts went live around 8:30 pm, shortly before I needed to be in bed to go back to work the next day. I was super nervous, what kind of response would I get, would anyone care at all?

As of 3:07 am today there are 93 posts, 56,520 total page views, and 1,143 comments. I call that a successful first year. Thank you all so very much for being a part of this amazing community, it wouldn’t have been possible without you.

* * *

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  1. Patti davis on July 22, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Just changed our residency to South Dakota. Very easy mostly. We didn’t need anything for our vehicles other than registration and title from our previous state. Our fifth wheel has a balance so the lady at my Dakota Address helped by requesting necessary info from the lender. When it came time to get our licenses a little different story. You must have your marriage license for ALL marriages if you have been married more than once. The state has the enhanced ID license so they need to see paperwork on any and all names you may have used. Didn’t find any info on having my marriage license so my husband was fine but I can’t get the hard license until I receive my marriage license. We had birth certificates and social security cards, needed those.

    • Becky on July 31, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      Good to know Patti, thanks for sharing your experience!

  2. Ken Curry on July 16, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Our 5th wheel and truck are not ours, yet. Still making payments and titles being held by financial institutions.
    You wrote the following: The original Title, or Manufacturers Statement of Origin (if new) properly transferred in your name for all vehicles. The make, model, and color should be on this.
    Does this mean we cannot register in SD?

    • Becky on July 17, 2017 at 4:45 pm

      I’m not sure Ken as I didn’t have to deal with that. Fastest way to know would be to inquire with the SD DMV and ask. Good luck!

      • Ken Curry on July 17, 2017 at 5:37 pm

        Thanks, Becky! We’ve got lots more homework to do before we go FT but we’re planning on it soon.
        We took a 3 month trip cross country and are planning 6-7 months next year and if we survive that, then it’s FT👍
        Oh, and we love your blog. Hope you don’t tire of posting your adventures. Perhaps we’ll bump into you at a campground along the way. Safe travels!

  3. Patti davis on June 1, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    We have been full time for almost four years and would like to change our address to South Dakota. Our first concern was health insurance but found my husbands retirement offers a blue cross blue shield option that should work. Our other concern is our money. We use a financial advisor from So Cal, however they then invest through Charles Schwab which is nation wide. Do you know if either of these things will create a problem.


    • Becky on June 1, 2017 at 8:31 pm

      Hello Patti.

      My article about health insurance can be found here: If you’re retired though it won’t do you a lot of good. I’d recommend visiting Kyle’s page at, it’s specifically for RVers and has a lot of great info.

      When it comes to financial stuff you’ll want knowledge from someone who is certified to offer legal advice. I have no experience with investing and know nothing about the laws surrounding it. My advice would be to contact your financial adviser, explain the situation and see what they say. If they don’t know, they may be able to put you in touch with someone who does.

      Best of luck to you!

  4. Barb Brower on May 8, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Thank you so much for posting this information. I do like to see it in writing.

    We have been RVing for 3 years now, and just sold our Illinois home. Thankfully. So we are now able to go full time. And will be so happy to change our address to South Dakota.

    Question: How long do we have to acquire our drivers license? once we make SD address change and vehicle registration?

    • Becky on May 9, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      It’s a gray area Barb, there is no set date, but just know that having vehicles registered in one state with DL in another looks fishy to authorities so I’d minimize the time between as much as you can.

      Best of luck to you, have fun out there!

  5. Amanda Blake on February 10, 2017 at 11:33 am

    We are looking to make SD our home state in the next few months when we start full timing. We are coming from SC as well. We are buying a new 5th wheel and 1 ton truck to start our travels with as a traveling nurse. My question to you is regarding transferring of vehicles. SC charges 3% up to a max amount of $300. So would we only get credit for the $300 or would SD see the 3% number and only charge us 1% as the new amount in SD? I really do not want to pay 4% of roughly the 100K we are getting ready to spend on a truck and 5th wheel. We will be transferring our tags from our current SUV and camper so we will be able to bypass the property tax issue in SC. We just want to make sure we are prepared financially if we have to shell out an extra 4K in the beginning. Thank you so much for the information in your article!

    • Becky on February 13, 2017 at 8:35 pm

      It’s been a while since I went through the process now Amanda, but I’m about 90% sure it was based on the actual dollar amount. When I switched in 2012 SC didn’t charge a sales tax at all on trailers, just a yearly property tax. That’s why I had to pay so much more for switching to an SD residency. I believe this had something to do with the size (weight) of my trailer which technically counted as a cargo trailer instead of a recreational travel trailer, your 5th wheel may be different. But I did pay significant sales tax for buying my truck in SC, so I didn’t owe anything on that when I moved to SD.

      If I were you I’d call the SD treasury department and/or DMV and ask them, they should be able to give you a solid answer.

  6. Susan F Payne on December 2, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    Good info. Have the house in CT on the market and then looking to RV full time. We were thinking of TN as residency as we would be through there frequently. One child who gave us one well loved grandson, living in CT so we will be in the northeast for most summers. It appears that SD would be an easier haul. I just don’t want to be doing all the work to establish us in SD in the cold.

    • Becky on December 2, 2016 at 5:16 pm

      Glad you found this helpful Susan and I hope whatever you decide for a residency state, it goes well for you.

  7. Artie on November 29, 2016 at 9:32 am

    I too am a newby and your site is very current. I too use Your Best Address and they have handled everything. Forms filled out for the D/L and calculated the registration fees for our RV (still waiting for the plates). But they are full service and very price competitive. My license shows the office (physical address) with a suite number (my PO Box number). So far no mail has been forwarded which is fine with me. Just wanted to say that SD allows 45 days to register the vehicle. Then it goes into a late fee. Another FYI is that Your Best Address has at their disposal a Notary which makes everything very handy. Hope that this info is helpful. Best to you and your blog.

    • Becky on November 30, 2016 at 4:59 pm

      Good to know Artie, although the 30 day limit I was talking about was for paying the vehicle registration taxes after purchasing, which I was “late” for by about six months as I bought the trailer in late February and didn’t pay the tax (as it wasn’t required in SC) until I arrived in SD in September. I’m not sure that I ever mentioned the due date for registering the vehicle, I probably should somewhere in there.

      Take care!

  8. Amy on November 13, 2016 at 8:37 pm

    We own a travel trailer, which is registered in SC, and are looking to purchase a class A within the next 6-12 months. Ww would like to establish our domicile in SD, but don’t want to pay the sales tax on our current trailer, which we will sell when we find our new rv. Can we do this is stages? First, set up a mail service, then register the new rv within 30 days of purchase? We could then drive the new rv to SD to get our licenses. (our SC licenses are good for another 10 years)
    Also, when we establish our domicile in SD, do we need to change the address on alll our credit cards etc? (We are currently using a private mail box in SC).
    Thanks for all the good info!

    • Becky on November 14, 2016 at 6:48 pm

      As far as I know you can Amy, as long as you do it in that order (mail forwarding comes first, then registration, then driver’s license). It’ll create a grey area for a while though if your vehicles are registered in one state while your DL is in another where your domicile isn’t clear, I wouldn’t draw it out longer than you have to (as soon as you get your new RV).

      And I highly recommend once you become a SD resident that you move as much stuff as possible to SD, again because if your residency isn’t clear there can be fines and penalties involved if you get pulled over by the cops or in other legal matters. You’re welcome!

  9. Mike M on June 26, 2016 at 6:08 am

    What about auto insurance? Are your vehicles/belongings covered?

    NY requires a certain level of liability coverage on all motor vehicles (trailers are covered under the tow vehicles policy).

    What do you do for coverage?

    • Becky on June 26, 2016 at 9:15 am

      My truck is insured through Geico and isn’t really different that a normal auto policy. Since the price you pay for car insurance is often based partly on how much you drive (in addition to your driving record and level of insurance you want), an RVer that drives a lot may have to pay quite a bit, but my commute to and from work was so long when I lived stationary that my policy is a bit less than it use to be (plus the truck is getting older, and older vehicles cost less).

      If you get a full-time RVer policy, those will often cover the belongings inside the RV to an certain extent, but I opted not to cover mine (I really don’t carry much of value).

  10. Rich L on May 25, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Here’s a question I haven’t yet found an answer to: what to do about banking? I’ve had my current account with a local (Utah) credit union for over 25 years. They serve me well, and lately I’ve found that all my activity is accomplished online, and I only visit a real teller when I have no choice, i.e. once or twice a year. Now I plan to become a full-time RV-er, and am thinking of establishing my domicile in SD. So does it cause problems leaving my account here, or is there some compelling reason I should move my banking business to SD?

    • Becky on May 26, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      As long as your credit union is okay with you being a member while living out of state, it’s fine to keep the same one. Except for the problem is one you’ve already mentioned yourself: what do you do during those one or two occasions a year when you need to stop in a branch and your bank is states away?

      I personally started banking with Wells Fargo, which is nationwide so when I need to find a branch I don’t have to go far. Banks aren’t as friendly and accommodating as credit unions so it’s not a perfect solution, just the one that works best for me.

  11. betty on November 29, 2015 at 9:17 pm

    I dont think I am understanding it right, We are reaserching the same thing, coming from Montana. So my truck is 20YO this year, we bought it 8 years ago, thus if we go and become SD residents they are going to tell us that we have to pay late fees going back 8 years ago because we didnt register it wihtin 30 days of buying it even though we were not even residents of SD at the time, and MT does not issue sales tax so we would not have a receipt for that. Is that right?

    • Becky on December 1, 2015 at 7:24 pm

      “They were also going to charge me a late fee for not paying the required sales tax within 30 days of purchasing it too (I bought Cas in March, and it was now September) which would have cost me an extra $100, not fun. I was prepared for this as well though and explained how the rule in South Carolina was different and had brought my property tax sales receipt from South Carolina to prove that I had paid their version of the tax a mere four days after buying it, well within the limit.”

      I didn’t have to pay the late fee for my Casita because I explained how the law in South Carolina was different and brought proof that I’d registered the trailer according to SC law a mere four days after buying the trailer. If you explain how the law in Montana works (maybe bring a printed copy of the law taken from the Montana DMV website?) and your current registration which shows you’ve paid all the applicable fees for Montana you should be alright Betty.

  12. Steve on August 26, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Becky Thanks for all the valuable information. Looking to purchase my new RV in the next month or so.. looks like the sales tax has went up to 4% of the purchase price this year if I’m correct.
    So if I have this right lets say I’m purchasing a RV for $100K and it has a GVWR of 26k.. I will need $4000 for sales tax and $468 yearly for tag plus wheel tax, and about $1600 for insurance (this was a estimate).
    I have a campground receipt from Sturgis, I will still need my SD – DL.
    I plan to live in my RV for the next year in NC before hitting the road. Still have a full time job for the next year.
    Steve recently posted..Hot Springs and Jenny LakeMy Profile

    • Becky on August 26, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      Your math is correct for the registration and tax Steve, I really wouldn’t know for the insurance. Enjoy your last year in NC and hope to hear from you on the road soon. 🙂

  13. Sparr on August 22, 2015 at 9:38 am

    Your instuctions and link to are outdated. I was recently very inconvenienced to find out at the last minute that there is a new affidavit (note the change from 000 to 001 in the URL) which also requires a piece of mail or receipt from the mailbox forwarding service, not just the campground/motel receipt.

    • Becky on August 22, 2015 at 10:38 am

      Thanks for the update Sparr! I’ve edited the original post to reflect this new information.

  14. Kay on August 21, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    This information is worth thousands!! Greatly appreciate all of the time, energy and research that you have put into posting it. Your bloggers also have only positive feedback!
    We are getting ready to head off to Amazon in Sept. So this is timely

    What did you mean when you stated that we should make our SD Residence “look more like” it is true. Those are not the words that you used, but I know you will know what I mean.

    Like: Insurance Company, Bank Account??

    Thank you kindly,

    Kay Morris

    • Becky on August 22, 2015 at 10:37 am

      Hello Kay and welcome to IO!

      What I mean by that is, try to do as many things out of South Dakota as possible. Like yes: insurance, bank, doctor, phone bill, dentist, etc. The more of your “business” you do in South Dakota the better, that way other states can’t try to claim you as a resident.

      Some states like California and Georgia are aggressive about residency, they’re hurting for money so if they can try to peg you as a resident who hasn’t payed their dues for vehicle licenses etc. they’ll try.

      Hope this helps!

      • Bobby on July 9, 2016 at 10:12 pm

        Yes that’s correct about Georgia, I used to live in Georgia for long time. The reason I suspected, is over the foreigners come here to settle down. Many are on green cards. Several reasons might be different. Now I live in north Alabama for 16 years. These started in 2010 to prove that u are reside in this state, like certified of birth, San card, etc. I had no problem when the new law passed. I don’t have to prove all that they requested for. Because all my name is on files in their computer.
        Glad I learn something. I might try this in Alabama if it didn’t work out then South Dakota will be next in the list.

        • Becky on July 10, 2016 at 7:34 pm

          I hope Alabama continues to work out for you Bobby, thanks for sharing. If all else fails, South Dakota remains an easy (and relatively cheap) state to be a “resident” of.

  15. Vanlifecrisis on August 16, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    some people mentioned having to take the written exam for the license (but not driving), did they just require an eye exam or both?
    Vanlifecrisis recently posted..11 days till freedomMy Profile

    • Becky on August 16, 2015 at 10:04 pm

      Just an eye exam when I did it in 2012 Van (my South Carolina license was in good standing which may have something to do with it), it’s possible it’s changed since then though. Best of luck getting on the road!

  16. tupelo on March 26, 2015 at 11:56 pm

    Fine job. Thank you.
    Check for typos the paragraph beginning with “South Carolina is unique . . .”
    Seems like you probably intended that to say “South Dakota is unique . . .”

    At the end of the same paragraph, it says, “year after year like I did the property tax in South Dakota.”
    Seem like that line should have ended with “South Carolina” instead.

    • tupelo on March 27, 2015 at 12:04 am

      Correction. After reading it again, the paragraph begins as you intended, talking about South Carolina, but at the end of the paragraph, it still seems like you meant to say, “year after year like I did the property tax in South Carolina.”

      • Becky on March 27, 2015 at 12:23 pm

        Good catch tupelo, you were correct about the end of that paragraph.

        Glad you found this helpful!

  17. Frances on January 10, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    I realize you started this a couple of years ago, but there’s a LOT that has changed since then. When we did our research 9 or so years ago, we chose Americas Mailbox and we’re REALLY glad we did. They completely did the vehicle registrations (and renewals) for us and we never had to fill out paperwork or worry about a thing. We’ve actually never seen a negative comment about them online.

    They have a vehicle insurance agent on staff, a campground right there (hotel rooms too) and they’re still owned by fulltimers, which we find very comforting!

    Frances and Bill

    • Becky on January 13, 2015 at 10:29 am

      Heya Frances,

      I’m glad that America’s Mailbox has worked out well for you. The three big players in SD all seem like good companies as I mentioned in part 1 of this article. 🙂

      I also mentioned in part 1 about how all of those companies will fill out those forms for you, for a fee. At the time I posted this, My Dakota Address charged $20 per vehicle for that service, and America’s Mailbox charged $30, I imagine it’s changed since then. It’s a great service if you don’t want to worry about the paperwork, but on my limited budget, saving the money was in my best interest. I explained how to do all of it without paying someone for others like me who’d rather save a few bucks.

      Welcome to IO, and keep enjoying the open road!

  18. Bob Lew on October 7, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Speaking of insurance….how have you handled your vehicle insurance? Seems that some companies won’t write insurance for full-timers.

    • Becky on October 13, 2014 at 12:29 pm

      Some won’t Bob, but some do. I used Poliseek to get my vehicle insurance, it ended up being through Blue Sky which does insure full-timers.

  19. Becky on October 4, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Hello Jim and Sharon, and welcome to IO!

    For me as a working age full-timer, I’d say that Health Insurance is the #1 most challenging part of living this lifestyle. The ACA has really shaken up the health care industry, and the pieces are still settling back into place. I had had a high deductible plan through Coventry (found on when I started RVing, but that goes away at the end of this year and I’m going to have to find something different.

    Nina over at Wheeling It wrote a very good blog on this topic back in March which I linked to: and I’d recommend checking that out for newer info on obtaining health insurance. If you’re retirement age, it sounds like getting on government programs for your health insurance (medicare) is the way to go.

    I hope to have more info to share on this subject soon as I start looking for a solution for myself for next year. I’ll have to enroll in a new plan by December 15th, so I’ll know by then.

    I know this probably isn’t as concrete info as you’d hoped for, but I hope it helps! Congrats on the upcoming lifestyle change, and I hope we’ll get to meet on the road someday soon! Good luck on your house sale. 🙂

    • Timothy Kendrick on October 24, 2016 at 12:42 am

      For anyone of the Christian faith, there is a great alternative to health insurance which is exempt from the ACA requirements. It is a medical need sharing program where the organization simply informs you each month of a need and you send a check directly to the person. Once a year instead of sending money to another member, you send payment to the organization for admin cost. It costs about 1/2 to 1/3 what you would pay for similar insurance. I don’t know of any medical need sharing programs for other groups.

      • Becky on October 24, 2016 at 8:39 pm

        Heya Timothy. This comment is older and I have an ACA plan now with a significant tax credit because of my earning bracket, I’m paying less now than I was in 2014 although I don’t have true nationwide coverage:

        But thanks for sharing, this might help others looking for HI solutions!

  20. Jim & Sharon Kille on October 3, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Hello Becky,

    My Wife and I have been planning on going full time for the past 11 years! We just traded in our 17 year old Motorhome, (lots of fun times) and bought the one that we can comfortably live in on the road or park it and live in it where ever we decide to flop and drop!

    Selling our foundation house in the Spring and planning on traveling; meeting people, seeing all the breath-taking places that we have only seen pictures of, or read about; doing some work camping along the way, inspiring others, (like you 🙂 ,and having lots of tales, to pass down to our Great Great Grand Children!

    I have been looking into getting a South Dakota residency for some time now, even have all the paper work for doing so from long ago! Of course things have changed and it was refreshing to find your blog with up-to-date information to help me put this part of going full time in order!!

    One of the next big things I will need to get a handle on; is securing/buying health insurance, which I already have a ballpark cost, for where we live now (South Jersey). Just need to find out now; how having a SD Residency will play into this necessary requirement. Any ideas?

    Good Travels,

    Jim & Sharon Kille

  21. Kathi on May 15, 2014 at 8:24 pm

    I’m a newcomer to your wonderful blog, and wanted to let you know how helpful this post was for me – We are just beginning to wrap our heads around what it is going to take for us to retire to an RV, and the South Dakota domicile info is fantastic! You’ve saved me hours of frustration (’cause I’m not the best online researcher in cyberspace).
    Just wanted to point out that the Postal Form number you noted is incorrect – it is actually 1583 (not 1853) but I don’t mean to sound critical – you noted the actual form title, so I found it with that on the USPS site.
    Again – THANK YOU for all the info – and I have enjoyed your posts tremendously – hope you get your service problems worked out quickly!

    • Becky on May 16, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      So glad this helped you out Kathi! And good catch, there was bound to be an error in there somewhere with all of the info. At least the link went to the right thing. I’ve rearranged the numbers so they’re correct now.

      Oh, and welcome to IO!

  22. Becky on November 18, 2012 at 4:38 am

    You’re welcome Marcia!

  23. Marcia on November 16, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Happy One Year Anniversary and many thanks for the (inter)stellar job you’ve done on explaining the SD mail, registration and residency process.

  24. Carolyn on November 16, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Looking forward to following you in year 2!

    • Becky on November 16, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      Looking forward to sharing the adventure with you all. 🙂

  25. Randy on November 16, 2012 at 8:36 am

    I have been reading your blog since early Oct. because I also work at Amazon. It’s interesting to get another persons perspective of the work. I became a resident of South Dakota last Dec. I just want to mention that I use “Your Best Address” as my mail forwarding service. They are in Sioux Falls and I am pleased with their service.
    An interesting side note to the drivers license. If you have a CDL (commercial drivers license) they will not let you use your mail forwarding service as an address. CDL licenses need an actual physical address not a P.O. box. They used the address from “a recent temporary address within South Dakota for at least one night” on my license, so the address on my drivers license is a hotel in Sioux Falls, while my wife’s is our mailing address. It causes a little bit of confusion at times when I need to show a photo ID and the address on my license does not match my mailing address. Also, when we registered to vote, they would not mail the voter registration card to a P.O. box, so my voter registration card went to that hotel in Sioux Falls. Since we voted absentee, it wasn’t a problem.

    • Becky on November 16, 2012 at 4:16 pm

      Oooh, thanks Randy. I’ll add that into the post for other people with CDLs. This is why I always ask if anyone knows more, because invariably someone will have experience with a part of the process that I didn’t.

      I think I’ve heard of Your Best Address before, but I didn’t actually know anyone who used it to ask if it was any good so I didn’t include it in the post. Thanks again.

  26. Todd on November 16, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Congratulations–It took most of that year for me to find you but no worries, I’m hooked.

    • Becky on November 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm

      As I said before, I’m glad to have you on board Todd!

      Well that’s one good thing about blogs, everything from the past year is still all here for the reading. The trick is usually finding the free time though, isn’t it. 😛

  27. Gary on November 16, 2012 at 5:31 am

    OHH Happy An-ni-ver-sary, Happy An-ni-ver-sary…..Happy An-ni-ver-sary….H-A-P-P-Y AAANNNIIIIVVVVERRRSSSSAAARRRYYY BECKY. And mmmaaaannnny mooooorrrre !!!!

    • Becky on November 16, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      Haha, thanks Gary. I think you had a little too much fun typing that out? Nah, no such thing as too much fun…

  28. Kristin on November 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Yay!! Congrats on the first year anniversary! Your blog is a great find and it’s one of my favorites. Thanks for sharing all your experiences and information. 🙂

    • Becky on November 16, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      Thanks Kristin, and you’re welcome. 🙂