2012 June 14-16 Box Elder, South Dakota
We departed Wyoming, just a little bit sad because we really didn't want to leave, but on a mission. We were headed to Box Elder, South Dakota, to establish a SD address, register our motorhome, and become legal residents of the state, so that we could have state IDs and register to vote. Our desire to get it done ASAP stemmed from the fact that our PA motorhome registration would expire on July 31, but more importantly, that our vehicle inspection would expire on June 30.
We choose South Dakota as a home state because of certain tax advantages, but had we more fully investigated the motorhome registration aspect, we may have chosen differently. The cost to register the motorhome in SD turned out to be more expensive than registering it in PA. $140 in SD, vs $85 in PA. Of course, we weren't going to be close to PA when our inspection sticker expired, so that was a whole different consideration. According to some people (no one employed by PA Dept of Transportation) we could've called, explained that we are traveling and the requirement of the safety inspection sticker would've been waived. I didn't receive this advice until we were in SD, so it seemed foolish to even call PENNDOT at that point. Plus, I have never had the state of PA move swiftly or efficiently on any motor vehicle related item in the past, and this hardly seemed like to time to trust them.
In any case, we chose to use a service for mail forwarding, vehicle registration, and getting our SD IDs that is located in the southwestern area of South Dakota. We were a little disappointed in the RV Park at the site, but were pleased with the kindness of the owner. She allowed us to borrow her car to go to the DMV to get our driver's license/ID, which was certainly more than required! We arrived on Thursday, in mid afternoon, but waited until Friday morning to go to the DMV. Then, spent what seemed like a long time filling out forms and getting our rig weighed. Plus, a stop at an ATM because the vehicle registration had to be paid in cash, which had not been explained to us previously. In fairness, our paperwork was handled by a relatively new (two weeks) employee, and I think she was still on the beginning of the learning curve. In any case, it turned out to be a good idea that we had allotted more than a single day in Box Elder, and that we had arrived on Thursday. Turns out the DMV operates on a ten hour, four day work week and are closed Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
We left Box Elder, SD as new residents, complete with a new address, license, ID, and registration. And even though there are now SD plates on the RV, when people ask where I'm from, I still say, "Pennsylvania".