Can You Use An RV Park As A Permanent Address?

The allure of living in an RV full-time has grown in popularity, with many individuals seeking the freedom of the open road and a minimalist lifestyle. Yet, one persistent question arises for those considering this nomadic lifestyle: Can you use an RV park as a permanent address?

The notion of settling down while embracing the transitory nature of RV living raises intriguing legal, logistical, and practical challenges. In this article, we delve into the possibilities and limitations of establishing an RV park as your permanent address, exploring the intricacies of residency, mail handling, and the role of domicile states in making this unconventional dream a reality.

The Appeal of RV Living

The Appeal of RV Living

Before delving into the details of using an RV park as a permanent address, it’s essential to understand why people are drawn to the idea of living in an RV full-time. The following are some of the key factors that make RV living appealing.

Flexibility and Mobility

  • RV living allows you to change your location frequently, exploring new places and experiencing different environments.
  • You can avoid the monotony of a fixed home and adapt to changing circumstances, like following good weather or pursuing job opportunities across the country.

Minimalist Lifestyle

  • Downsizing to an RV forces you to simplify your life, reducing clutter and material possessions.
  • A minimalist lifestyle can lead to reduced stress and expenses.


  • Living in an RV can be more affordable than maintaining a traditional home, especially if you’re debt-free and avoid mortgage payments.
  • You may also save on property taxes, utilities, and home maintenance costs.

Community and Adventure

  • RV parks offer a sense of community, allowing you to connect with like-minded individuals.
  • The nomadic lifestyle can lead to exciting adventures and new experiences.

The Challenge of Establishing a Permanent Address

While the idea of RV living is intriguing, it’s essential to address the challenge of establishing a permanent address. The term “permanent address” implies a fixed location that is officially recognized for various purposes, including legal documentation, tax obligations, and receiving mail.

Legal Considerations

Residency Requirements 

PointLegal Considerations of Residency Requirements
1Equal Protection Clause: Residency requirements must not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, ensuring equal treatment under the law.
2Durational Residency: Some laws require a specific length of residency before certain rights, like voting or running for office, can be exercised.
3In-State Tuition: Residency requirements often affect eligibility for in-state tuition at public colleges and universities, governed by state laws.
4Voting Rights Act: Residency requirements must comply with the Voting Rights Act to prevent discriminatory practices against minority voters.
5Employment and Benefits: Residency requirements can impact eligibility for government employment, social benefits, and other state-specific privileges.

Each state and municipality has its own rules regarding residency requirements. These requirements typically involve a minimum number of days you must spend within a jurisdiction to establish residency. For RVers who frequently travel, meeting these requirements can be challenging.

Driver’s License

Your driver’s license often reflects your legal residence. Establishing residency in a particular state can affect your ability to obtain or renew your driver’s license there.

Mail Forwarding Services

Many RVers use mail forwarding services to receive their mail. These services can provide you with a stable mailing address, but they may not fulfill the requirements of all government agencies and financial institutions.

Legal Documents

Establishing a permanent address is essential for receiving important legal documents, such as tax notices, court summons, or government correspondence.

Taxes and Financial Considerations

Income Tax

Determining your state of residence for income tax purposes can be challenging for RVers. Some states have no state income tax, while others may require you to pay taxes if you meet their residency criteria.

Property Taxes

RVers are generally exempt from property taxes, which is an advantage of this lifestyle. However, the lack of a permanent address might complicate your ability to take advantage of other tax deductions and credits.

Using an RV Park as Your Legal Residence

While it may be technically possible to use an RV park as your legal residence, there are limitations and considerations to keep in mind:

Residency Requirements

As mentioned earlier, you may need to meet specific residency requirements to establish legal residence in a particular state or municipality, and this may affect the cost to build an RV park. This typically involves spending a minimum number of days in the jurisdiction.

RV Park Policies

RV parks often have their own rules and policies regarding how long you can stay. Many RV parks offer short term stays, which may not align with the requirements for establishing legal residence.

Proof of Residence

To establish legal residence, you may need to provide proof of your address, such as utility bills, lease agreements, or voter registration. RV parks may not always provide these documents.

The Role of Domicile States

Many full time RVers choose a domicile state, which becomes their legal residence for tax and legal purposes. The choice of a domicile state can greatly impact the feasibility of using an RV park as a permanent address. Some common domicile states for RVers include South Dakota, Texas, and Florida.

South Dakota as a Popular Domicile State

South Dakota, in particular, is a popular choice for RVers for several reasons:

No State Income Tax

South Dakota does not have a state income tax, making it an attractive option for those seeking to minimize their tax burden.

Residency Requirements

South Dakota has relatively lenient residency requirements, allowing RVers to establish residency more easily compared to other states.

Mail Forwarding Services

South Dakota offers mail forwarding services specifically designed for RVers, which can provide a stable address for receiving mail.

Vehicle Registration

South Dakota is known for its favorable vehicle registration process, which can result in cost savings for RV owners.

Establishing Residency in South Dakota

To establish residency in South Dakota, RVers typically follow these steps:

Choose a Domicile Address

RVers often use the address of a mail forwarding service, an RV park, or a friend or family member as their domicile address in South Dakota.

Spend Time in the State

RVers may need to spend a certain number of days within the state to meet residency requirements.

Obtain a South Dakota Driver’s License

Once you’ve established residency, you can apply for a South Dakota driver’s license, which can serve as your primary identification.

Register Your Vehicle

RVers can take advantage of South Dakota’s favorable vehicle registration process, potentially saving on registration fees and taxes.

Register to Vote

Registering to vote in South Dakota further establishes your legal residency.

Set Up Banking and Financial Accounts

RVers can open bank accounts and obtain insurance in South Dakota to further solidify their residency.

The Role of Mail Forwarding Services

Mail forwarding services play a crucial role in the RV lifestyle, as they provide a stable address for receiving mail and legal documents. These services often have physical addresses in states like South Dakota, Texas, and Florida, where RVers can establish residency.

Choosing the Right RV Park

If you intend to use an RV park as your legal address, it’s essential to choose the right park and be aware of its policies. Consider the following when selecting an RV park.

Long-Term Stays

Look for RV parks that offer extended stays or long term leases. Some RV parks are designed for full-time RVers and provide more flexibility in this regard.

Mail Services

Inquire if the RV park provides mail services or can accept mail on your behalf. Having a stable address for receiving mail is crucial.


In the world of full-time RV living, the dream of using an RV park as a permanent address can be a complex and challenging endeavor. While the lifestyle offers incredible freedom and adventure, it often necessitates creative solutions to establish a legal residence. 

The choice of domicile state and the use of mail forwarding services play pivotal roles in making this unconventional dream a reality. With careful planning and a clear understanding of the legal and logistical considerations, it’s possible to turn an RV park into a more permanent address, allowing individuals to experience the best of both worlds – a life on the road and a legally recognized place to call home.

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