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Old 31-05-2008, 08:33   #1
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Boat as Legal Home in Connecticut/NE

I have been trying to figure out how to establish my sailboat as my primary legal residence in Connecticut. The issue of drivers license, auto resgistration, bank accounts, etc. seem to create a difficult problem. Anyone have any advice, comments, etc.

Also, I found an interestiing article about liveaboards in Essex, CT. It seems that there is a growing need and concern. See the following article:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C00EEDB1438F934A25756C0A9679482 60&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=3

Jim
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Old 31-05-2008, 12:24   #2
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Do you live aboard your boat in Connecticut? Do you keep a car there? If so, then you already have the driver's license, auto registration, etc. that you need. If not, then are you still living on land somewhere other than Connecticut? If so, where do you spend the majority of your time?

I read the article, and it looks like the good folks in Connecticut really have their shorts in a wad. Unfortunately, when the vast majority of the public feels that full time liveaboards are not a desireable element in the community, the writing is on the wall. But that just might be limited to the Essex area. Is that where you were wanting to live?
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Old 31-05-2008, 13:00   #3
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The article says there may be 100 liveaboards in the state.
OOOHHHHH....the horror.
It is too bad they won't focus on something a little more important.
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Old 31-05-2008, 13:18   #4
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Quote:
it looks like the good folks in Connecticut really have their shorts in a wad.
Imagine people living on boats. No telling where they have been. I mean they could have come from any where. I hear they talk funny too. Better watch your kids.
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Old 31-05-2008, 14:25   #5
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I have come to believe, after YEARS of encountering this type of BS, that these sorts are just jealous... or angry... or fearful... or greedy... or just plain ol' crabby!!

mm
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Old 31-05-2008, 15:00   #6
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In California, since they tax the living bejeezus out of us anyway, I asked the county assessor, and found out that I can file for a homeowner's exemption on my boat when it serves as my full time residence. This reduces its valuation a little bit for the tax bite.

But, overall, in my transient lifestyle, my accountant has advised me that if I earn wages in a state, have a place to live there, and use that address on my federal and state tax returns, that's a pretty big step in terms of the "straight face" test of residency. Registering to vote (free) also helps.

Car registration, drivers licenses --- those things seem to "support" but not define --- diff. places have different rules as to when you must transfer that stuff over. To date, because of my transient nature, I maintain my Wyoming DL and plates, and local official inquiries have told me this is fine in that my "residence" is mobile.

For what it is worth.
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Old 31-05-2008, 15:14   #7
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I work overseas. I used to use the inland address of my good friend who was also my financial controller when I was on a project out of the country. Living on the boat between assignments just worked well for me. Then I fell between assignments for 4 years (no real income). During that time, it first came home to me how my simple life was only simple for me. The world didn't know how to handle me. Because my friends address was 80 miles from the marina, when I got jury summoned 2 years in a row, I could not get the court to understand (or care) that her address was not my residence. I fixed the problem by putting the marina address on my drivers license.

Now I'm oveseas again. My boat is in dry storage in Mexico. Life is good... and cheap. But I get annoyed when the Aussie gov, or my US employer, or my health insurance thru this employer or anybody else who wants to know where to catch up to me ask for my permanent residence, I simple write "I maintain no permanent residence".

As far as bank accounts, car rego, ect. goes, they seem to be happy with my P.O. box. Sometimes I admit that I depict it like an apartment number, but I get by.

Problem now is getting my mail forwarded in a timely fashion. It seems US customs holds it up for 6 weeks. That's for mail leaving the US!! Just another ramification of the world situation we must endure I suppose.

Oh, and one more problem. What does a guy working overseas whos' floating home isn't near his cars do with 2 cars (his other treasures/toys) he can't use? The "treasures" part is the real problem.
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Old 31-05-2008, 17:28   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windsaloft View Post
To date, because of my transient nature, I maintain my Wyoming DL and plates, and local official inquiries have told me this is fine in that my "residence" is mobile.

For what it is worth.
I have a friend whom maintains Wyoming plates also.
I cannot remember the details he told me many years ago but it is one of the few (only?) state that makes it easy (possible?) to never have to worry about producing a permanent address.
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Old 31-05-2008, 17:57   #9
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Regarding residency, there is another term you will want to look up:

Domicile.

Residency and being domiciled somewhere are two legally different things, and come into play here.

Don't have the time to support the post with links or additional info, sorry. Look up both. They are different.



Quote:
Originally Posted by windsaloft View Post
In California, since they tax the living bejeezus out of us anyway, I asked the county assessor, and found out that I can file for a homeowner's exemption on my boat when it serves as my full time residence. This reduces its valuation a little bit for the tax bite.

But, overall, in my transient lifestyle, my accountant has advised me that if I earn wages in a state, have a place to live there, and use that address on my federal and state tax returns, that's a pretty big step in terms of the "straight face" test of residency. Registering to vote (free) also helps.

Car registration, drivers licenses --- those things seem to "support" but not define --- diff. places have different rules as to when you must transfer that stuff over. To date, because of my transient nature, I maintain my Wyoming DL and plates, and local official inquiries have told me this is fine in that my "residence" is mobile.

For what it is worth.
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Old 31-05-2008, 18:59   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssullivan View Post
Regarding residency, there is another term you will want to look up:
Domicile.
Residency and being domiciled somewhere are two legally different things, and come into play here.
Don't have the time to support the post with links or additional info, sorry. Look up both. They are different.
"Basically the terms “domicile” and “legal residence” refer to the same place – the state you consider your permanent home. On the other hand, your “residence” is simply where you are living at a particular time."
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Old 31-05-2008, 19:01   #11
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[quote=Harriet;167546]Do you live aboard your boat in Connecticut? Do you keep a car there? If so, then you already have the driver's license, auto registration, etc. that you need. If not, then are you still living on land somewhere other than Connecticut? If so, where do you spend the majority of your time?

No, I don't live aboard. I spend most of time in Connecticut.
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Old 31-05-2008, 19:18   #12
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You need to establish a residency in a state and not on your boat. You do this by having a mailing address and it can be as simple as a post office box. That is all you need for auto, etc.
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:05   #13
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Originally Posted by Jimske View Post
Also, I found an interestiing article about liveaboards in Essex, CT. It seems that there is a growing need and concern. See the following article:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C00EEDB1438F934A25756C0A9679482 60&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=3
I would imagine that a lot has changed in Connecticut laws since this article was written. If you take a look at the article byline ....

By ANDREE BROOKS
Published: May 17, 1981

There has been a creeping bias against live aboards in the last decade or so which I'm sure has influenced recent laws in Connecticut as it has here in Florida.
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Old 01-06-2008, 07:20   #14
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When I moved aboard in MD a few years back, they wouldn't accept a PO Box as "official" residence address.....so I used my home marina address for drivers license, voting card (but PO Box was fine for taxes....go figure!) and that worked fine. Alternative if you don't have/plan to keep a permanent marina slip would be to use a friend's/relative's address.
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Old 23-08-2008, 08:54   #15
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We use St Brendan's Isle forwarding service in Green Cove Sprigs, Florida. It is a maill forwarding service for cruisers and RVers. It establishes a residence in Florida which has multiple tax advatages.
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