Arvie Becomes a South Dakotan!

30 01 2011

Our Californian RV has become a midwesterner! We recently got our South Dakota plates and registration in the mail, and The Mount Rushmore State plates totally kick California’s plates’ butt. Oh, and our insurance costs went down 34%. No complaints there either.

Ayo Changing The Front License Plate

Ayo Changing The Front License Plate

In an attempt to get more familiar with the RV’s new Madison, SD address, I was listening to recordings of the South Dakota accent. I have to admit that it was a bit disappointing to find out that South Dakotans sound just like everyone else.

South Dakota Does It Right. Nice Design!

South Dakota Does It Right. Nice Design!

In case you were wondering, the advantages of registering in South Dakota are a cheaper excise tax on vehicles (3%, no sales tax), no required emissions testing or vehicle inspection, and cheaper registration fees. (Along with the huge benefit of being able to register from out of state as a non-resident.) We may become South Dakota residents down the road, as the state doesn’t levy an income tax. This may become relevant in the next couple of years as we’ll probably begin to slowly convert our 401(k)s to Roth IRAs.

Finished Product (The License Plate, Not Ayo)

Finished Product (The License Plate, Not Ayo)

*Wordpress has been kind of funky with it’s picture crunching. If the above photos are fuzzy, click to see full-size non-fuzzy versions.

posted by yair

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15 responses

30 01 2011
Froggi Donna

Welcome from some other residents from Madison, SD…..LOL!

30 01 2011
rach g.

South Dakota doesn’t charge an income tax? How is that possible?

30 01 2011
Stumpy and Cyndi

Welcome to South Dakota, Arvie!

31 01 2011
jayhorowitz

@Froggi & Stumpy

What a coincidence that so many other RVers are from such a small town of 6,450!

@rach g.

Residents still pay Federal income tax. Seven states don’t charge state income tax, but most make up for it in property taxes or sales taxes. I’m not sure how SD does it, though, because their other taxes are reasonable / low.

31 01 2011
Christy @ Technosyncratic

Our RV (Mayhem) is registered in California, and the sales tax and registration fees stink! We were thinking about going with a different state, but our business is registered in CA, so… not really doable. Le sigh… not having state income tax sounds pretty sweet as well. 🙂

31 01 2011
jayhorowitz

Have you checked into that with a lawyer-type? If it would work out, changing the business registration along with your registration and residency might be a cheaper option – even with the upfront costs.

The state income tax thing would suck for us even more, because NYC levies a city tax as well. Ridiculous.

31 01 2011
Matt

Welcome fellow SDers. If you’re ever in our hometown of HOOKER pour one out for the homies.

31 01 2011
jayhorowitz

Awesome. Really, really. Awesome.

Also, totally didn’t know that you were from the middle of nowhere. Wikipedia hasn’t even really heard to Hooker, SD.

1 02 2011
Diana

Welcome to South Dakota! Whoops, someone already said that. But I find them to be very friendly and love the fact that they understand RVers.

1 02 2011
Pidge

Would you happen to know of a site where I could go and learn more about changing my State of residence? Thanks for all your great comments on my site.

1 02 2011
jayhorowitz

Check this site out. It’s one of the first ones I looked at when we were thinking about RVing and I liked the way they organized things.

http://www.rversonline.org/FTHomeState.html

1 02 2011
Marie Weber

We just started using the mail service in Madison, SD, also. Allthough we own a home in SD and my husband has relatives, we feel the need to use a mail service. We pay about $800.00 a year property tax on a house that does not sell for $15,000.00. Oh well.

I am from the south and the things I hear in the SD. If you say something is price-ie, they say it is spend-ie. Also, they say ‘Yep you bet ya’, a lot.

1 02 2011
jayhorowitz

Phew, at least their English is different, if not their (our?) accents 🙂

Do you use the SD home, or does it just hang out there? If not, why keep it and its tax annoyance?

26 12 2012
RV Renovators

This is great advise for any avid RV’er. There are several states with benifits like these.

23 01 2015
Adam Brie

Hello. I now live in california and still work here. i was thinking of legally establishing SD residency and register my vehicules there as California prices are killing me. Is this considered legal? Like driving my car here in California with SD license plates? May be later like you, I will claim SD for my income tax once i work there or retire.
Happy for you Arvie

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