It’s been over 5 years now since I became a resident of South Dakota and hit the road as a full-time RVer. It sure flew by fast! I have had many awesome adventures and seen so many wonderful sights all over the US. I have to say, I have enjoyed every minute as a full-timer and never want to go back to being a landlubber. I still love the open road though I don’t drive quite as long now and I stay places longer.
So it is, the state of South Dakota wished me a happy birthday this year by ordering me home to renew my driver’s license. EEK! South Dakota in the winter… in the snow… I DON’T THINK SO! Note to self, next time choose a home state that is warm in the winter for your winter birthday or at least one that will renew by mail. Not only do they expect me back there this month, they also want a ton of paperwork to prove I am a US citizen for the Homeland Security guys since they are going with that national ID/license crap. I fully expect to be stopped at the border and asked to show my papers. Papers please. Zieg heil. I also have to prove my RVer residency there again by providing a campground receipt for one night there. Sheesh. I can see this is going to be a real pain every 5 years and am considering switching to Florida eventually which I love in the winter and would get certain discounts as a Florida resident. For the time being though, I have to go back to South Dakota.
Calling South Dakota proved fruitless so I emailed their driver bureau with info on my situation. They were actually pretty decent about it. They emailed me back a form to request an extension and a form for my doctor to fill out to verify I am physically able to drive. I was a little put off by the doctor form since I didn’t need that when I got my license the first time and nothing has changed since then. Maybe my upcoming birthday which makes me a certain senior age triggered it. I don’t know. It’s a darn good thing I kept my previous doctor who had no problem filling out the form and faxing it to them. Anyway, South Dakota granted the extension until the end of June and emailed me the document I needed so I have time to get all those papers together and drive up there in warmer weather. At least there, you can handle it anywhere in the state unlike Texas where you have to go back to the county of residence.
I hope this lesson helps others when choosing a home state. Consider the time of year your birthday is when choosing. If you are a winter baby, you need a southern residence. If you are a summer baby, choose a nice cool northern state. You might also want to consider tornado and hurricane seasons. Be sure to check if they renew by mail. Apparently, not all states do. Otherwise, be prepared for a hassle every 4-5 years.
See also: Where Is My Home?