Along the Natchez Trace

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Becoming a Texan - Part II

A couple of weeks ago I wrote that Bill & I decided it was time to change our residency from Ohio to Texas.  A lot of reasons - taxes (both now and our estate) being high on the list.  But more than that, though we still own property in Ohio it isn't likely that we'll ever move back there.  We spend more time in Texas than any other state, whether it be down in the Valley (where we'll probably eventually retire to) or at Celeste's house (Bill loves puttering around her place).

We have 4 kids, but at this time they live in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Texas.  Our grandkids live in New York, Michigan, California and Texas.  My siblings live in Ohio, but my brother spends most of his time in North Carolina.  Bill's sister lives in New Mexico.

So many folks we know want to be close to family when they retire.  Well, we retired in 1996 (Bill) and 1997 (me) and we see our family more now that we live "on wheels".

All that aside...  we made the decision to change to Texas.  The past couple of weeks haven't been easy.  After finding that we needed the title to our vehicles (NOT just the registration as the website stated), I mailed the $30 check to our home county in Ohio and they sent copies out immediately.  (you don't suppose they are happy to get rid of us, do you?)

Okay...  what's next?  The vehicles need a safety inspection.  Got that!  ($15.50 each)

The requirements say that we need to have a photo of the rig and a weight slip stating its weight.  So one morning last week, Bill filled the water tank, and we went to have the propane tank filled as well...

This woman was the attendant....  did everything just as it should be done.

We then gassed up.  Got lucky...  with our 12c discount at HEB, gasoline was $3.07 a gallon.

Bill wanted everything topped off so he'd know exactly what our weight is at full capacity.

Off we went to the local stone quarry....
We're very slightly overweight.
If I were to get rid of a few books....  or maybe 3 pair of shoes (horrors!)
we're be right on the money.

We'll work on that later.

Okay...  now we have the inspection stickers and the weigh slip.
Bill wants to keep his CDL.
He has to get a (DOT) approved physical.  He does, at the approved "walk-in" clinic.  He walks out with his wallet $85 flatter.

We got it all together!
We head off to Hood County to the DMV!

The clerk there starts working on the paperwork.  Page after page of signing this or that.  She comes to our Livingston, Texas address.
Uh OH!
Says, you have to get your license plates in the county where you reside.  

We explain that we are located at our daughter's house in Somervell County, but were told that that county doesn't have a DMV.
Well, she says...  they do.  You can't get a driver's license there, but we'll have to get our plates there.  AND...  there's a place on the form that we can fill in Celeste's address as our temporary place of residence.

Okay...  a 25 mile drive to the Somervell County DMV...
(A lot of buildings in Texas look like the Alamo)

Boy!  Do we have a rough time there!
Nope...  can't do it...  Livingston's in Polk County and she says we'll have to go to Polk County to get it done.
Finally, after some slick talking (I didn't say anything untruthful) we can get our plates there!
Here's Bill....  signing on the dotted line.

This place didn't want or need that photo we were told we needed.  They did use the weigh slip.

I wrote a check for $410.75 to pay for both the car and the rig.

Whoopee!  We now have Texas plates!
Our windshields are all but obliterated in various stickers now.  (That one in the lower left is actually our registration to travel in Mexico).  I found it interesting that the tags are the same...  no special tag for motor homes.  But that's good...  now I stand a chance of remembering what they are!

So, now Somervell County does not have an office for driver's license...
It's back to Hood County for that...
We think we're finally on the last leg of this little adventure.  That box that Bill's carrying under his left arm contains all the paperwork  we need. 

We have a great clerk helping us.  She even suggests that he show her his discharge papers from the Air Force so that she can put "veteran" on his license.
(the reason for this is that veterans often get discounts at various places)

That machine on the left is for "thumb print" identification.  He still had to take an eye test, and still had to get his photo taken.

I did all this too...  except Bill's was a bit more complicated because he also got his CDL.

My driver's license cost $25
(If I wanted to transfer my motorcycle endorsement, I could have for an additional $16.  I doubt if I'd ever kick start one of those suckers again so declined.)

Here he is...  Texas' newest citizen!

If we'd had all the correct information to start with, this process may not have taken so long.

The total cost came to $652.75

That included everything, including the weigh slip and the physical.

We can renew our driver's license on-line until age 80.  
We can renew our license plates on-line, but have to have an annual inspection.

Is all this worth it?

Well, we can get a "Blue Bonnet" pass for Texas State Parks now giving us a discount on camping and entrance fees.  (there is no charge for the pass)

I know I didn't include everything...  eg. we got Texas insurance on our vehicles, and I probably left off some other stuff, like listing all the documents we had to have to prove who we are.  

But...  now our vehicles sport brand-new Texas license plates.
Bill & I are both carrying a temporary driver's license until our "real" ones arrive in the mail.

One funny thing is...  they take your picture without you wearing your glasses.  I've worn glasses for 60 years... I don't even LOOK like myself...  or maybe I just look like I do when I first get up in the morning!

Did I really become a Texan to look like I just crawled out of bed?

That's All For Today!


  1. That's quite a complicated process, but at least you're done with it. Ya'll have fun now, hear?

  2. It's interesting to know what it takes to change your state of residence. I'm glad I will be staying here in Minnesota!

  3. now you had better work on your yeehaws and y'alls to complete the conversion...

  4. I'm exhausted just reading it! The Office of Foreigners isn't looking so bad anymore.

  5. Welcome to Texas! I did all of this in Polk County last November. I renewed my plates online a few weeks ago for a 3 year period. I just have to stop somewhere for the annual inspection now. Even though I had the RV weighed at the Escapees in Livingston - when I went to get my plates and handed them all of the paperwork, the registration form shows the empty weight of the RV???not sure why.

  6. Whew, that made me tired just reading about it! Glad you have all that behind you. We've been home less than a week; we had such a great time the past 6 1/2 months. I could easily be a full-timer!

  7. So am I reading this right? You didn't have to take the actual written test? Your license
    was just transferred over to the new Texas one?

    "Bill's was a bit more complicated because he also got his CDL.

    My driver's license cost $25
    (If I wanted to transfer my motorcycle endorsement, I could have for an additional $16. I doubt if I'd ever kick start one of those suckers again so declined.)"