Along the Natchez Trace

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Becoming a Texan - Part 1

I was born in Ohio...  went to school in Ohio....  got married and had little Buckeyes....  went on to live another life, but still in Ohio.  Bill was born in New Mexico ...  after a 4 year stint in the Air Force, he went to school in New Mexico and upon graduation, ended up in Ohio for his work.  We're both Ohioans...  either by birth or circumstances.

Even though we haven't lived in Ohio since 2001 we have maintained our Ohio residency.  
Our Absentee Ballots
The November Presidential Election

Since 2001 we have changed our mailing address to the Escapees mail service in Livingston, Texas.

We have continued to be Ohio Residents...
We pay Ohio Income Tax
Vote in Ohio

Until a couple of years ago, we continued to have all our medical, dental, and optical needs taken care of in Ohio.

We just never saw the need to change all that...

Well, my doctor quit her practice; Bill's doctor passed away....
Our CPA suggested we finally take that Ohio Tax Refund that's been hanging out there because it didn't look to him like we were going to return.  It just seems like it's time to make the move.

So while we were in Ohio recently, Bill got on the internet to see what all would be required to change our vehicle registration and to change our state residency.  He even went to the safe deposit box to retrieve whatever necessary documents.

When we were here in May we started making changes.  We already had established our medical needs here.  We had already opened an account with a local bank.  Hey, we already had library cards at the libraries in the 2 closest counties.
We changed our auto and motorhome insurance to a Texas company.

We arrived back in Texas last Thursday.  We started the process the very next day.
It's become a very thorny situation. 

We started by getting our vehicles inspected.  Texas requires a yearly inspection and this must be done before even applying for Texas license plates.

That took 2 trips to town...  the inspection station we went to will do motorhomes only at 8:00 in the morning.  However, the fellow that told us that wasn't there the next day and the ones on duty said they couldn't do it.  After some "discussion", they did.

Now we have a nice new "we passed" sticker on both the Scion and the Lazy Daze, at a cost of $15.50 each.

Wildflowers in bloom....  things are looking sweet.

Okay...  ready to head to the Dept of Motor Vehicles.

Remember that I said that Bill had researched all this before we left Ohio?  Well, a few tiny items were left off of that website.

We had our Ohio vehicle registration, our proof of insurance and those lovely inspections stickers.  
Just like the website said.

But....  hmmmm...  where's the title? the clerk asks...
We don't carry the title with us, we answer.
We point out that the website says "title OR current state registration".
Oh...  we have to have the title if there's no lien on the vehicles, she says.

No...  she insists!

We have no liens...  but no titles with us.
Another sticky situation....

We figure we're screwed...  no way are we going back to Ohio at this point.

We head back to our daughters house figuring we'll have to put all this on hold.

I make a phone call to the DMV in my Ohio home county...  tell her we've lost the titles (don't ever tell the truth to authority!) ...  and ask how do we get duplicates?

That lady was SO helpful...  told me the website to get on...  what form to print out...  that we must get it notarized...  where to mail it (along with a stamped, self-addressed envelope...  and a check for $30.00), and when they get it, they'll make copies and send them out.

I printed out the forms, Bill & I filled them out...  took them in to the local bank (where we have an account) had then notarized, and I stuffed all that into an envelope and walked across two parking lots to the local Post Office and mailed them out.

Another beautiful wildflower...
Does EVERYTHING have stickers on it in Texas?

Bill got on the Escapees forum last night and pulled up (another) list of things you have to do to change your residency to Texas.  

According to that list, the photo of our motorhome and the weight slip can be satisfied by the brochure from the company that made it.  We keep everything, and Bill will check to see if we still have that original brochure from Lazy Daze from 2001.

But, of course...  that's no guarantee that we still won't have to get our rig weighed locally...  take a new photo...  all that stuff.

Purple and Yellow are the "in" colors this season!

We're taking this one step at a time...
First... get vehicles registered and new plates...
Second...  get our driver's license transferred 
Third...  breathe in...  breathe out....
Forth...  let out a big sigh!

I've titled this "Part 1" because I have a feeling it's going to take a while to accomplish all we want to do.

In fact, in preparation for our Texas driver's license, today we got the info as to where Bill can get a physical to satisfy the requirements for his CDL.

(DOT has a specified place...  only costs $85)

Did I mention that if we changed any info on the title of the rig, someone (us) would have to pay sales tax?

Oh my...  the list goes on.

There's always something out to get you!

Don't know when I'll move on to Part II
I have a feeling it won't be real soon.

The good thing is that we have until January to get it all sorted out.  
We can enjoy our family here...  and quite a few sunsets between now and then.  I'll let you know how this progresses.

That's All For Today!


  1. Bureaucracy at work!! Hope it all works out for you without too many more hassles.

  2. Did you keep a buckeye to remind you of when life was simple?

  3. I guess those are a few more reasons I'm glad I chose SD for my residency. :(

  4. I did all of that in Polk County in Livingston, TX last November. Luckily everything I own is with me in the RV so I had all of my papers. Make sure you take social security cards, birth certificates and passports when going for your drivers license. I saw them turning away a lot of people. And you have to have the license plates before you can get your drivers license. But I just renewed my plates online for 3 years and it was easy and the sticker came in the mail in about a week. I don't have to do another inspection until I cross state lines back into Texas again.

  5. My, what an ordeal you have to go through! Your photos are lovely though!! LOL

  6. It's a lot more work than I'd ever consider just to become a 'Texan'.

  7. Oh, bureaucracy is the same all over the world! And the DMV? Well, they got their parting shots at me before we left the country. I think I wrote parts 1, 2, and 3! I hope it's smooth sailing from here on it for you!

  8. It is a hard, cold fact that any instructions provided online will leave something out--every time, without fail! Are you quite sure you want to be a Texan?

  9. Holy moley! Stick with Ohio. At least there your vote will count for something.

  10. Hmmmm. Maybe I'll just leave my State of Residency in Washington State after all. No state income tax, no vehicle inspections in the county where I used to live and keep my residency while I'm out of the country. I have renewed my Jeep's plates via the mail and online since I've been gone. My uncle wanted to know when I was going to change the plates to MO, which is where it is stored and he drives it for me occasionally. I said I wasn't since I didn't live in MO, and never have. If I was to change residency, I'd go back to Tennessee, again, no state income tax and a lot of counties that don't have vehicle inspections.