Change in Domicile

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We are officially South Dakota residents and it feels a little funny.

After travelling through Colorado and Wyoming we arrived at Box Elder, South Dakota to make the final change on becoming South Dakota residents.  We had to stay one night in SD so we stayed at the place that is our mail forwarding company and the following morning we went to get our SD driver’s license.  Getting a license in SD is a little different than Minnesota.  We needed our old license, proof of our Social Security number and our passport along with the receipt that we had stayed overnight somewhere in SD.   We filled out the application just like you do in MN, had the eye test, picture taken and paid the $20 and out the door we walked with our new license in hand.  No waiting for weeks for it to come in the mail.  Our license plates were waiting for us in our mail box at the mail forwarding place and after Joe put them on the truck and 5th wheel we were official.  Even if everything says South Dakota we will always be Minnesotans.

Here is a little information about changing your domicile state.  When we first started talking about changing our residency we sought out people who had already done it so we could ask questions – why they changed, why they picked the state they did, but most of all how hard was it to make the change (paperwork).  When we decided on South Dakota and picked Americas Mailbox we asked many questions to both the business and people who used the forwarding service.  Everyone told us that it was so easy.  People told us that they just went to Box Elder and Americas Mailbox help them with everything.  Or they said they talked to Americas Mailbox over the phone and within a few days it was taken care of.  Well either these people like paperwork a lot more than I do or they are lying.  Americas Mailbox was helpful in the fact that they have everything you need to know on their Website or if you can’t find it you can email them or call them.  But I have to say it was not that easy.  There is a lot of paperwork involved.  Copies you need to send, originals that have to be sent, things that have to be notarized and money.  It is not inexpensive.  You have money just to set up the mail forwarding service.  Then you need money in the account for when you want your mail forwarded.  Americas Mailbox wants you to have $250 in your account and not let it go below $50.  We started off with $150 in our account and before we had any mail forwarded to us our account was already down to $39.  Then you need money orders to the county for your license plates for your vehicles, money to the forwarding service to get your plates (out of our account) and money to get your driver’s license.   These are things that when we first started talking to people about making that change from MN to another state that no one mentioned.   Of course we knew the forwarding service would cost but just didn’t anticipate all the other costs.  I don’t believe it would have made a difference because we would have done it no matter what but it would have been nice to be forewarned.  And I have to say that we would not have been able to do this on our own.   Americas Mailbox provided us with everything we needed to make the change and they are the ones that took care of all filled out paperwork to make the official change with the state of South Dakota.  There were many times that I got a little testy filling out paperwork and looking through our files for papers we needed to send in.  Again, I only say this because I wish someone would have been a little more honest with us.  And Joe reminds me that there should be a lot of paperwork involved in making changes like this so people can’t easily steal your identity (but he also reminds me that he didn’t help me fill out the paperwork). So if you are thinking of changing your domicile be aware there is a lot of paperwork and cost involved.  And don’t forget all the businesses, friends, insurance company, magazines and everyone else that you have to notify that you have changed your address.  Your premiums on your insurance might go up as ours did for the truck.  There is a lot involved in making this change.  Things we didn’t think about.  We still haven’t notified our health insurance company about the change.  I’m a little worried.

We are done and don’t have to visit our new home state for another 5 years when we have to renew our driver’s license but we already know what we need – one night stay, passport, old license, social security card and a $20 bill.

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