We have a legally registered car!
Yesterday our license plates arrived from South Dakota. This might seem like a simple thing, but it's actually been a long and complicated project.
We first thought we could register our car in California since we technically "live" in California, but no, we couldn't do that because California wants all cars to be tested for emissions, and we will be in Georgia for a couple more months, and can't get the smog certificate here.
Then we thought perhaps we could register a car in Georgia, but to do that you need a Georgia drivers license, and to get one you need proof of residency; as in a lease agreement, a power bill, or mortgage papers.
Then we considered using a popular mail forwarding service in Florida to get Florida residency and a Florida Drivers license, but we would have had to register our boat there even though we have federal documentation. That's because Florida actually just wants their sales/use tax which would be a lot of money in our case. If our boat was 30 years old it would qualify for the annual antique boat fee of $6.25, but it was built in 1990.
Then our smart cruising buddies, Steve and Debbie, came to our rescue and suggested the mail forwarding service they use in South Dakota. Very popular with RVers, this service will register your vehicle without you having a South Dakota drivers license or even being there.
So we sent in our information and got an address in a couple of days. Then we bought the car and got a temporary Florida tag. Then we scanned and mailed all our documents to the mail forwarding service, they ran it all to the proper authorities, and Voila! we received our plates yesterday.
Admittedly, it took a while because we had to send lots of forms and documents to them, but it was all done rather painlessly and I would highly recommend Americas Mailbox in Box Elder, South Dakota as the best option for cruising sailors and RVers.
Thank you SOOOO much Debbie!