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You Must Have A Permanent Address

After multiple “glitches” we dealt with during the sale of our Hawaii home, we assumed, wrongly, that the next step, buying a truck, would be easy. Guess again!

We arrived in Washington state with Hawaii drivers licenses, but our mailing address, and new permanent address, is going to be in South Dakota. Following everything so far?

Jan found a beautiful Silverado that is perfect for our new RV lifestyle. We arrived on Saturday, and early Monday morning we showed up at the dealership, all ready to sign the papers for our new truck. The first thing we did was take a test drive. It was total love at first sight! And this is where the plan went off the rails!

We are buying in Washington, but going to license and pay taxes in South Dakota. No problem! Do we have SD licenses and a domicile there? No, that’s where we are headed next. Do you have a permanent address anywhere? Well, no, we just sold our home in Hawaii. Sorry, if you do not have a permanent home today, and you don’t have Washington drivers licenses, we can’t buy this truck.


Without a permanent address, you can’t purchase a vehicle. We spent several hours trying to figure out what to do. Well, what we subsequently did is in the “gray” area of the law. Our car insurance has a Washington address. Our youngest son lives in Washington. With those two items, we realized that we could qualify to get a Washington drivers license. Using our son’s address, we can establish a local domicile. Now we qualify to buy a vehicle in this state.

All well and good, right? Well, this legal navigation came at a cost. First, a drivers license in this state is $87 for each of us. Ka-ching! Now that we are Washington residents, we “qualify” to pay Washington state vehicle tax! Ka-ching! Ka-ching! In South Dakota, we would have paid 6% sales tax. In Washington, it’s 10.5%.

Now we will have to get new drivers licenses in South Dakota, but won’t have to pay more sales tax, just a transfer fee. As we now know, becoming a full-timer sometimes requires fortitude and determination.

Now we have our Silverado. It drives like a dream, and we are getting used to the challenges of parking and driving in narrow streets with a long bed crew cab. There is a lot of technology in this truck we never dreamed of in our previous 2003 Silverado! Lots to learn!

It’s ours!

We will have about 3 weeks of experience driving just the truck before we hook up the fifth wheel. Having pulled various trailers in the past, we don’t expect it will take too long before we are comfortable driving hooked up.

The big decision left is to find a name for this beauty. So far, it’s “Big Red”, a rather obvious choice. that will be the working name until we find the right name. We will have this truck for a long time, so names are important! Or so says our grandchildren. It must be true!

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