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Old 17-05-2024, 14:45   #31
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Re: Considering a Liveaboard life - Residency

Many of the above “legal address” questions have been solved by SBI, so call them. One of the greatest services they perform for me is filtering out bulk mail, accurately called “junk”. In my last months before moving onboard I monitored my mail to shift important things to electronic and tell various magazines or groups that I didn’t want their mailings. I found that over 90% of what I pulled from my mailbox went immediately to the recycle bin in the garage. SBI does that daily task for $20 a month. I may keep it after moving back to land!

I added their scanning service (doubles the cost) and find that I only ask for a mail shipment about once a month. Typically, I contact whoever sent me something and ask if we can do this business electronically in the future, saving everybody money because you pay for every SBI shipment.

BTW, the comments about SBI is convenient if you’re in Florida don’t make sense. They forward your mail to wherever (that’s the point). I went to Green Cove Springs for a day to sign up for things and get my drivers license changed, but that was it.

As far as Kettlewell’s comments about the database of addresses, very true. Occasionally financial institutions balk because SBI is a registered mail forwarder. I found a conversation with customer service cleared that up.
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Better to trust the man who is frequently in error than the one who is never in doubt." -- Eric Sevareid
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Old 20-05-2024, 06:49   #32
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Re: Considering a Liveaboard life - Residency

I lived aboard for more than 15 years and ran into exactly your situation. Before we started cruising, we had a mail box in Virginia and all of our "government" stuff was through there. A year or so before we started moving, we went to SBI and, with their help, we established "residence" in Florida. We got driver's licenses and got onto the tax and voting roles in Clay County (home of SBI). Their location became our "physical domicile of residence" and we were able to use that for everything for more than 15 years. We swallowed the hook a few years ago and now have an actual domicile in Maryland, but I retain my SBI account and use it for some business purposes.

SBI has been doing this for decades so they can walk you through every step of getting set up. They are very good at it.

I will say that Clay COunty got a little snarky about voting rights a few years ago. I don't know if it got sorted out but what it basically came down to was that there were a lot of people who were able to vote in Clay county elections who did not live there. It didn't affect me because the only time I voted was in Federal elections (I didn't feel like it was fair for me to vote for Clay County elected officials, but...).

Last thought - we did not identify ourselves as "liveaboards." We told people we were "long-term cruisers." A lot of marinas had rules against "liveaboards" but no problem at all with a "transient cruiser" who stayed for months at a time. We literally spent all summer in a marina every year that did not allow "liveaboards."
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Old 20-05-2024, 07:03   #33
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Re: Considering a Liveaboard life - Residency

Originally Posted by Subcook69420 View Post

I've had it....and I truly believe that I can actually pull this off. I'm a Navy I have sea time under my belt, but maybe not to this caliber, I'll admit that. Story for another day.

Here's the question :

How does one pull off state residency ? For example..... I have to renew my license/state issued ID. We all know they will not send to a PO Box (that some marina's will provide). Some fun facts :

- No, I have no family to piggyback residency off of
- Once I move out, and onto the boat, I wouldn't even have a connection to
the current state.
- I'm currently based out of NH, USA ... to keep the marina's/slips at bay, I
have the intention of doing 6 months out of the yr in the New England
Area (northen, Ma...NH,.....and southern Maine, ME. -- figures crossed,
approaching a marina for a liveaboard slip...hopefully this theory works,
but I think that's a convo for another thread.

All that said, I'd love to here stories, and proven techniques to hear how folks get beyond this barrier. I'm a service connected 50% disabled vet, we can all assume on that note that the feds will want a, " Permanent address". Make sence ?

Any ideas ? If this applies to you...thoughts, insights, and ideas are very much encouraged.

Thank you,


Book Living Aboard Your RV, 4th Ed. has an entire chapter on choosing a "home" address.. There is a lot to it, such as being called for jury duty and all sorts of insurance rates, fees and legal rights. One of my friends is a Marine vet with partial disability. He depends on VA medical care, which he found very difficult/impossible as he traveled, especially iaccess to prescription meds. I hope you will near from other cruisers in your special circumstances.
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Old 20-05-2024, 13:36   #34
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Re: Considering a Liveaboard life - Residency
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Old 23-05-2024, 08:26   #35
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Re: Considering a Liveaboard life - Residency


I've just signed up for St Brendan's Isle and learned that if your boat or RV is registered in the US and you are a full time live aboard you can get a Florida driver's licence issued using St Brendan's Isle address, even though it is only a post box service. St Brendan's Isle service can provide you with instructions on how to do this.

unfortunately my boat is flagged in Ireland, so I couldn't take advantage of this (don't want to put my boat's EU-VAT paid status in jeopardy) so I had to find a friend of a friend in Florida to let me use their address for my Florida driver's licence. Interestingly the Florida DMV let me put my SBI address on file with them for correspondence, though this does not show up on the licence itself.

So, yes, you can do this!
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