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What Does a Nomad Use for a Physical Residence Address

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Nomads need a physical, residence address like this one in this sample of a Real ID compliant Drivers License. How can we get one? Notice the Gold Star in the top right corner. That means its Real ID compliant.

This is the 4th in a series of 5 post about the practical details of 1) how to chose a state of residence, 2) how to get mail on the road 3) the legality and morality of vandwelling. In today’s post we’re going to talk about how to get your drivers license and specifically what you will use for a residence address when you apply for it and for insurance on your car, van or RV.
The first thing to understand is that you can have two kinds of addresses:

  1. Physical Residence Address: That’s the physical place you reside at (like 1234 Main Street, Anywhere, USA)–that’s the place where your car is parked and you sleep there–it’s your home.
  2. Mailing Address: That’s where your mail goes (for example, PO. Box 1234, Anywhere USA). Your mailing address can be a Post Office branch, a friends house or a Mail Forwarder, but you don’t live, sleep or park your car there regularly–it’s not your home.

For most Americans, those two are  the same thing, your mail goes where you park and sleep–but not for all of us. Their are towns in America without mail delivery and everyone in that town has two addresses, the physical address they live at and the mailing address where their mail goes. In fact it happens so often that nearly universally businesses and government agencies make provision for you to have two addresses: 1) a Physical Address 2) Mailing Address.
For example, when you contact your vehicle insurance company or go into the Department of Motor Vehicles to get your Drivers License (DL), they will both ask for a residence address and if that is your mailing address. If you’ve already got your mailing address, you’ll answer “No, that’s my mailing address.” and then they’ll ask you for a residence address. For people who live in a home, that’s easy to answer but for full-time vandwellers or RVer, it’s a very difficult question to answer!  Why?
Because for a full-time nomad, you don’t live in that state, or any other–you live at Nowhere, USA!! Your car, van or RV is your “residence” and wherever you are parked at that moment is your “home” and for most of us it changes all the time.   In fact, the majority of us are rarely in the place we claim to be our home state and permanent residence. So when you are at the DMV or talking to your insurance agent and they ask for your physical residence address, you don’t have an answer! You don’t reside there and you have no intention of ever residing there.
How do you get your Drivers License (DL) or vehicle insurance when you don’t have a Physical Addess in the state?
For a very long time you could just use your Mail Forwarding address as both, Resident and Physical Address but that’s generally no longer true. With the  passage of the Real Id act, the Federal Government is forcing the states to crack down on how they issue Drivers License (DL) and nearly all them do an automatic computer search that shows that the address you gave them is for a business (it probably specifically tells them  it’s a mail forwarder) and not for a residence. Once that comes up they’ll insist that you give them a residence address. What will will you do then?
The bottom line is that all nomads need to have an address memorized that you claim is the physical address that you live and sleep at in your state of residence. And not just for your DL  or auto insurance, there are many situations where they will ask for a residence address and you have to give them one. You’ll know that you don’t actually live there, but you’ll tell people you do.
At the bottom of the post I’ll give you specific suggestions on how to get a Residence Address, but before we do we have to talk about the Real ID act because it changes everything.

The Real ID Act

The Constitution is set up in such a way that we are 50 sovereign states under one Federal Government. It lays out what powers the Federal Government has, and turns everything else over to each sovereign state to decide for itself. In many ways we’ve all seen how that in specific issues that can be a real pain in the butt and sometimes we wish there was one Federal law that covers all the states. However, it’s very important to keep that balance of power because it shifts the power to the most local level possible. You may well have a City Council-person or State Representative living in your neighborhood and you can walk over and knock on the door of the person making decisions about your life and tell her or him what you think. That’s how a Representative Democracy works best!!
One of those things the Federal Government has little control over is Drivers Licenses–those are controlled by the states. But we saw during the 9/11 Terrorist attack on the Twin Towers just how badly that’s working. The 19 terrorists involved in 9/11 had 30 different forms of legitimate, state-issued ID, including multiple Drivers Licenses for several of the pilots. There are so many people flying on airlines, that if you have a legitimate form of ID, you go through the normal security we all go through. But if there is anything suspicious about your ID, you go through enhanced security. If those terrorists had not had legitimate state issued IDs it’s possible (or even likely) some of the attacks would have been prevented. For more information on that, see this page:
Ever since 9/11 the Federal Government has been trying to get the states to enhance their security so that getting a Drivers License was more difficult for terrorists and other bad guys, but many of the states would not voluntarily do it, many refuse to this day. Congress does not have the power to order the states to do it, but it does have control over who is allowed into Federal Facilities such as:

  • Airports and Airliners
  • Military Bases
  • Federal Buildings
  • Nuclear Power Plants

So in 2005  Congress passed the Real ID act that said to enter into any one of those facilities (for example to go through security and enter an airport or fly on an Airliner) you must have one of these two forms of ID:

  1. A Drivers License that is issued by a state that is compliant with the Real Id act or has an extension from the TSA.
  2. Some form of acceptable Federal issued ID such as a Passport.

The law has slowly been phased in over the last 11 year trying to cox the states into complying and give them and the public plenty of time get the new Drivers License. But time is running out and most of us will want to get a Real ID drivers license soon. On October 1, 2020, if you don’t have a Real ID compliant Drivers License (it’ll say right on it, Non-Compliant or it will have have a Gold Star on it) you must either show them a Passport or you can’t fly on an Airline in America. See this website for Frequently asked Questions about REAl ID:

These are samples of 4 different Drivers Licenses and three of them have a Gold Star that says they are all compliant with real ID and will get you into an airport and onto an airliner. The Idaho DL does not have a Gold Star and it will not get you into an airport or onto an airliner. That person must bring his passport in order to be able to fly. Notice they all a physical, residence address!!

These are samples of 4 different Drivers Licenses and three of them have a Gold Star that says they are compliant with Real ID and will get you into an airport and onto an airliner. The Idaho DL does not have a Gold Star and it will not get you into an airport or onto an airliner. That person must bring his Passport in order to be able to fly. Notice they all have a physical, residence address!!

How Does Real ID Impact Nomads?

It requires you to bring in a lot more documents than you ever had to bring in before.  In two categories:

  1. You have to prove citizenship to get a Compliant ID. You’ll almost always need to bring in your Birth Certificate and Social Security card. Every nomad should have them and carry them with you in the rig. If you don’t have them now, get them.
  2. Proof that you actually reside in the state. That means something like a rent or utility receipt.

There is still a lot of latitude in what the states require, so you’re going to have to do a Google search on each state you are considering to see what their requirement are; just search on “state drivers license requirements” substituting the name of the state. Here I’ll give you the page link for the Big 4 States:
South Dakota:
Nevada is very typical of what most states require, so here is a print screen of it’s requirements for proof of residency to get a DL:

Basically, for a nomad to get a Real Id compliant DL in Nevada, you have to pay a months rent at an RV Park, take the rent receipt and register to vote using that address. Then you take the rent receipt and the voter registration to the DMV and get your DL.

Basically, for a nomad to get a Real Id compliant DL in Nevada, you have to pay a months rent at an RV Park, take the rent receipt and register to vote using that address. Then you take the rent receipt and the voter registration to the DMV and get your DL. That should work in most states. Double-check with your state.

Basically all the states work something like this: for a nomad to get a Real ID compliant DL, you have to pay a months rent at an RV Park, take the rent receipt and register to vote using that address. Then you take the rent receipt and the voter registration to the DMV and get your DL. The exception is South Dakota, who only requires you to spend 1 night in a motel or RV Park and to sign an affidavit swearing you are a Resident of SD and your absence is only temporary.
One big issue people are very concerned about with Real ID is if it’s being used to create a National data-base of US citizens and track our movement? According to this question and answer from the Department of Homeland Security, the answer is no:

Q: Is DHS trying to build a national database with all of our information?

No. REAL ID is a national set of standards, not a national identification card.  REAL ID does not create a federal database of driver license information. Each jurisdiction continues to issue its own unique license, maintains its own records, and controls who gets access to those records and under what circumstances. The purpose of REAL ID is to make our identity documents more consistent and secure.

So, now let me finally answer your main question, “What am I going to use for a Physical, Residence Address?

I have several answers  and suggestions for you, but it’s going to depend on your circumstances:

  1. If you need to get a Real ID compliant DL, follow the instructions of your State and do whatever they require to get a Real ID Drivers License. For most of us that will mean renting a spot in an RV Park for either 1 night (in SD) or 30 nights in most other states. That will become your residence address on your DL and you will use it whenever you are asked. Here’s a sample of what mine might look like in Pahrump, NV: Golden Nugget RV Park, Space 175  Pahrump, Nv  89041
  2. If you don’t need a Real ID compliant address, drive around and look at the houses for sale in your homebase, find one that is empty–use that address as your address. None of your mail should ever go there, it will go to the mail forwarder. The new people that buy it wont know who used to live there so if any of your mail ever does ever go there, they won’t know the difference. Neither the DMV or insurance company will do anything to verify you live there. All they care about is if it is a legal, residence address and not commercial.
  3. If you haven’t moved out of your house yet, but will soon to move into a van or RV, and you are not changing states–go down right now and get a Real ID compliant DL while it’s still easy. Then, when you do move out, just keep using your old address, don’t change it. No one will ever know because all your mail will go to your forwarder and if any does go to the old address, they’ll just return it to sender.

I know that’s long and complex but really isn’t that hard, we just have to jump through the hoops. None of us want to have to throw money away on a months rent at an RV Park, but it’s just the cost of living the free nomad life in a world at war with terrorists.
As far as I’m concerned, if the Real ID causes us a little extra cost and work to comply, it’s still a great deal if it prevents another 9/11–and it might! Don’t write in and tell me they are setting up a national database to track our every movement unless you can send in hard proof of that. Until I see proof, I don’t believe it.
Now, go out there and live the life of your dreams!!

I’m making Videos on my good friends James YouTube Channel. See them here:
Here is a video we shot of my good friend Becky from and how she lives in her Casita trailer:

Thanks for supporting this site by using these links to Amazon. I’ll make a small percentage on your purchase and it won’t cost you anything, even if you buy something different.



  1. Cae

    I was just speaking with AAA for car insurance and they told me that they just need to know where the vehicle would be “garaged” as I wanted to keep my old address in another state , but insure the car for the new address in a different state.

    • Bob

      Cae, so where did they want the address? Were they okay with garaging it in the old state?

      • Cae

        They did not care. Only wanted to know basically where would the car being “living”. I said I commute between states with it. So I chose the cheaper one.

        • Bob

          Thanks Cae.

  2. Jim

    Bob, Aren’t you going to put the info about the summer RTR on the ‘gatherings’ section? Thanks

    • Bob

      Jim, it is there. If you hover your mouse over Gatherings it’s a drop-down menu. It’s the only one so it’s a litttle hard to see.

  3. Al Christensen

    Sometimes a cooperative friend or relative will let you use their home for physical address and residency purposes. (Heck, a really cooperative one might even act as your mail forwarder.) Have them do up a “rent” receipt for a spare room, the garage, potting shed, pool house, dog house, whatever. Then stay out of trouble during your nomadic life so they don’t somehow get sucked into it.

    • Calvin Rittenhouse

      I’m not on the road yet, and I’m blessed with excellent friends. I agree that this is the best way, but be careful who you rely on. The only real string attached is that I might want a different state one of these days.

      • Bob

        Thanks Calvin.

    • Bob

      Al, yes, I assume a rent receipt from a friend in a receipt book would do the trick.

      • raz

        why use a friends address? use somebodys that you don’t like. then when the cops show and shot a bunch of people and dogs, other than the dogs. woohoo.
        ice cream. raz

        • Bob


  4. Lucy

    Oh boy, things can get complicated for you nomads.
    Bob, your blog is surely a treasure chest of information, great & clearly presented material !!
    Very informative to every body, nomadic & stick-and-bricks – living people as well. Thanks Bob !
    My regards, Lucy.

    • Bob

      Lucy, it’s the war on terrorism, they are trying to catch the underground and in many ways we are like them, so we get caught in the same web.

      • Calvin Rittenhouse

        I know people who “own” houses. That’s complicated.

        • Bob

          Calvin, if they top paying for their property taxes we’ll found out who really owns it when they are out on the street.

  5. Canine

    I’m really frustrated at some of the information I’m getting. I swear I was referencing some authoritative sources, but now I’m not sure! I’ll look into it a bit more. Thanks for the info. Very appropriate.
    Establishing residence in Montana is a bit of a cluster. I see what the law says, but it seems to work a bit differently in real life. The law is harsh, but reality is a bit more reasonable, although, I couldn’t tell you exactly how that works. Another frustrating subject for me.

    • Bob

      Thanks Canine!

  6. Mitchell

    I really like this series, Bob. Very timely for me. Great idea using the house for sale address! You’ll probably hear from some people who think that’s wrong but…

    • Bob

      Mitchell, that’s why the morality post came first!

  7. Linda Sand

    Just a reminder that in South Dakota your name needs to be on the motel/campground receipt. If there are two of you, get both names on the receipt.

    • Bob

      Thanks Linda, I’d heard that before but forgot.

    • Bob

      Thanks Mike.

  8. BeckyIO

    Filming that video was a blast Bob, and it came out so well!

    • Bob

      Thanks Becky, you have natural star power!!

    • John Bruce

      You were great.

  9. Sandy

    Great post

    • Bob

      Thanks Sandy!

  10. Maxine Brunebjerg

    Thanks so much Bob. You are doing a fantastic job to help us all. Some uf us do need it spelled out in big and you are doing it.
    Hug to you.

    • Bob

      Maxie, I need it spelled out big so once I finally figure it out, I just pass it on.

  11. John Bruce

    Bob, you are writing an important concise account of the situation. It is going to attract many readers.
    There aren’t many guides like this on line.

    • Bob

      John, Real ID is so new, most people haven’t gotten it all figured out yet.

  12. raz

    i’ve not had a real address since the 60’s. i go to the banks and have them put and address on my statement. then file a change of address with po. when i get my statement, well then i go back to the bank and change the address to my po box. some of the stuff i learned when i had a draft board.
    you are RIGHT. don’t argue with the poor slobs at the license branch. be nice they will help you in some cases, not all.
    ice cream. raz

    • Bob

      Thanks raz, good ideas.

  13. Stanley

    Thank you Bob , there is my answer at #3 … Mom is 94 and still drives herself to church every day and is doing well . And things can change in an instant for any of us . I am planning to be an urban stealth camper here in Los Angeles if things go that way . #3 solves a real head scratcher for me . Now to figure out van registration , insurance etc. , I guess I should keep it all in state here in CA. It would be cheaper to do it all in SD and re visit every 5 years but I would have a SD plate on my van , not so stealthy then is it as I move around the west LA area . As in Santa Barbara they may be starting here in LA a plan to gather approved places to park and sleep overnight , we will see . Will you have these five articles with one link for later ? Thanks again , Bob

    • Bob

      Stanley, another reason to regiter in CA is they are famous for giving tickets to people who spend a lot of time or work there but have out-of-state plates. If you spend a lot of time in one place a beat cop could notice and pull you over.
      I don’t think I can put them in a list on the blog, but I’m shooting a video for each topic and I will put them altogether as a Playlist.

      • Linda Sand

        You can put them all together under one category like you did for solar, etc.

        • Bob

          Yes, they are all under the “communications” category, but there are many others there, not just those 4.

    • Lucy

      Stanley, I heard LA county is tough on nomads, there are way ‘ too many ‘ homeless & the crime rate is very high, moving north to Ventura co. or further north to Salinas area could be more advantageous to van-dwellers, RV’ers etc. It’s just a friendly suggestion.
      Good luck on your oncoming project.

  14. tj

    hard proof? how about strong circumstantial evidence?
    the states are not sovereign over issuing driver’s licenses any longer. all of the sensitive documents and data and biometrics you hand over to your state dmv gets electronically turned straight over to a multinational, foreign-based, privately owned, for-profit corporation.
    they own the face recognition cameras at dmv and they designed and produce our licenses. that’s why your license gets mailed to you now, instead of being handed to you.
    le groupe safran, as with all corporations, is beholden only to it’s shareholders. their website displays it’s sales in euros. one of safran group’s many companies is the one that the state dmv’s in the u.s. contract with. it’s called morphotrust usa.
    morphotrust, in turn, “partners with many federal agencies, law enforcement agencies, and commercial businesses” besides the dmv’s, including “the fbi, the department of state (70 million passports annually) the department of defense (200 million photos enrolled)”, and the tsa. morphotrak, morpho detection, and morpho n.a. are it’s other north american companies.
    safran also does massive business in europe, africa, asia, and the middle east.
    “MorphoTrust USA is part of Safran, and is the trusted partner for all US states as well as many federal agencies and commercial businesses” from ” initial vetting and enrollment of applicants, capturing and matching biometrics, data verification, document authentication, scanning and storage.”
    click around the morphotrust usa website and read about their “complete mva”, “morphotrust officer 360”, “abis”, “arrest and custody 360”, “offender id”, and “investigator” programs, to name a few. then peruse the safran site and read about their global aerospace, defense, and security dealings.
    then google “aamva”, see how they figure in.
    it’s not speculation to say that massive databases are being compiled. the companies who are compiling them are proud to deliniate for you their ability and success in being paid by governments and companies all over the world, large and small, for compiling the data, and then using it to track and control.

    • Bob

      Thanks tj.

      • James

        I live in arizona and I have no problem receiving my plate the instant I pay for it with title then I just walk out. No waiting.

  15. Tammy Grenon

    I have two questions:
    I currently live in my home state of N.C. where after researching we do not have the Real ID, and will not have it until 2018. So, how does this affect me getting a license in NV?
    AR was not listed in your blog, I was wondering why? Are there issues?
    In my researching it seems to me that AR has less hoops.
    Loving your blog and videos….a wealth of knowledge.

    • Bob

      Tammy, it won’t have any impact on your getting a DL in any other state. The past won’t matter when you get a new DL in a new state, they will ask for current proof of your present residence in that state before they will give you a new DL.
      My problem is time, there are 50 states and I couldn’t research them all, I don’t have time–plus it changes so fast it might all be different by the time you went to get a DL there. I only covered the few states most RVers choose.

  16. Steve

    Some clarity please: Once you have your 30 day receipt do you have to wait 30 days prior to appling for a driver’s license? (Nevada ) Thanks Bob

    • Bob

      Steve, I’ve never done it, but I’m almost certain you do not.

  17. Mike

    Ataboy Bob, love your latest video, tell folks the truth and they will hate you for it, because change is scary…. Show them a better way and their envy will create jealousy, the most destructive emotion.
    Fear of authority is overwhelming for most humans, they would rather give in to the wolf than risk the fear associated with something new and better. Stray away from the herd and oh my, its terrifying, I feel so good with the herd, opps there goes george eaten by the wolf, to bad, at least it was not me. Hey I got an idea…lets kill the wolf….oh no, I could never do that, I’m only a chicken dressed up like a sheep.

    • Bob

      Thanks Mike!

  18. David H.

    pardon, test to see if comments will show if I post

    • Bob

      David, it did.

  19. Calvin Rittenhouse

    In case you need to know the, comments show up on my Windows 10 tablet, but not on my Android tablet.

  20. dharma

    Am assuming you’ve rec’d other replies re: not being able to read the comments. I’ve tried 3 different browsers and none of them allow me to read comments. The other problem I’ve had is on your last post (morality), I could read 95 comments but not the 112 I last saw as available.
    Sorry to take up space w/ this. Great post, as usual!

  21. GreenTiger

    rather than the paid receipt for 30 days at an RV park, could you make your own rent receipt at the address of your choice? do they keep a copy? do they verify?

    • Bob

      GreenTiger, I don’t know but I can’t imagine that they have the man-power to verify it. You probably could get away with it but that is just something far outside my comfort zone–I would never do that. But you could go ahead and try.

  22. John Smith

    Really appreciate your invaluable series on the practicalities of mobile living! Given your rejection of rampant consumerism, however, I find the credulity with regard to surveillance to be ironic. “[I]t’s still a great deal if it prevents another 9/11” just doesn’t cut it. Most of the programs predate 9/11. That event “changed the world” only insofar as it provided a pretext for vastly expanding their share of tax dollars. False arguments of a national database do not negate the reality: if every state has a searchable database, and the feds (and others) have access to all of them, what’s the difference? As an example, I was asked by *Canadian* border police which other states I’d had a drivers license in, besides my current one. Why do you suppose they wanted to know that? Don’t get me wrong, I’m merely saying the security complex ought to be subjected to the same sort of critical thinking as the peddlers of our consumer goods.

    • Bob

      Thanks John, I very much appreciate your comment, but we’ll have to agree to disagree. Until someone comes up with hard proof I do not believe that there is a national database.

  23. W. Kay

    Hi Bob, I have been planning a nomadic lifestyle and have been reading several different blogs. Yours has been the most helpful to me. Thanks for providing the info that I will need to make my transition as smooth as possible! wkay 🙂

    • Bob

      W. Kay, I’m delighted you’ve found it helpful, that’s my goal!! My camp is always open to you.

  24. Allan b

    In Washington state we still have a choice to get a real id drivers license, or a regular one. As I already had a passport I just got the regular ( non real Id) flavor. Use the passport when flying or going out of the country.
    Another great bunch iof info Bob, thanks.

    • Bob

      Allan, that’s actually prety common right now in many states. What I don’t know is how long it will last. They may always offer two kinds or eventually may only offer Real ID compliant ones. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  25. Vanholio!

    Vanholio has used a UPS store private mailbox as his “physical, residential address” before. That was before Real ID, but I doubt the states have good databases of all the private mailbox company addresses. It also occurs to me that you could use other proofs linked to the PMB, such as bank accounts and other bills, and you’ll be good. But I haven’t tried it recently, just thinking ..

    • Bob

      The UPS store is listed as a commercial business, and it will come up that way in every phone database. It will not be acceptable as a form of
      residence address under Real ID.

  26. Mike

    Hi Bob, I recently found your video on Enigmatic Nomadic’s youtube channel on the Morality of Living in a van or RV. I agree with you on the negative impact of consumerism, especially on those who manufacture it. I strongly recommend a documentary called “Mardi Gras, made in China”. It will break your heart to see how the beads are made for Mardi Gras for the city of New Orleans. The workers are basically slaves to the company. All aspects of their life is controlled by the company. And I mean ALL. It will completely change your attitude towards celebrating Mardi Gras with beads. Thanks!

    • Bob

      Thanks Mike, I really appreciate your comment, it’s terribly sad how much misery and suffering our lives of luxury is causing around the world.

  27. Peggy

    We are going to do this this summer

    • Bob

      I think you’ll love it Peggy!

  28. Peggy

    too much too pack but it is doable

  29. Jeff

    Bob, the time in research you put into your videos and blog posts is very much appreciated. Thank you.

    • Bob

      Thank you Jeff!

  30. Lynne (WinnieViews)

    The 30-day (or any day) motel/RV receipt rule is not required for Florida. I didn’t even need to bring my vehicles with me! I was spending the winter in New Mexico and needed to change my domicile to Florida last December to get a nationwide PPO health plan. I flew to Florida, and within just 1 hour the next day, got my new DL, vehicle plates, voter registration, etc. My official residence is now the Escapees RV park in Bushnell, FL and mailing address is their mail service in Texas. While having both addresses in the same state would be preferable, this system has worked out well so far, and all of my 6 financial institutions have accepted my new addresses (some wouldn’t take the box number, but Escapees still figures that out if mail comes to me with just a street address).
    Here is the blog post I wrote in December with full details on my “move” to Florida:

    • Bob

      Lynne, did you take in two documents with the address at the RV Park? What two did you take in? Does your drivers license have a gold star?

      • Lynne (WinnieViews)

        Escapees said to bring the Welcome Letter & Letter of Acknowledgement from the Florida Home mail forwarding service I signed up with them for. But the FL DMV clerk preferred to use 2 pieces of mail that showed my new FL address (in my case, these were emails that I printed out)– both were insurance quotes for my new FL vehicle & RV insurance. I could have also brought them a cell phone bill too — anything that shows the new FL address.
        My FL Drivers License does show the gold star on it. Florida was one of the first states in the country to migrate to Real ID.

        • Bob

          Lynne, then that does make it one of the easiest states to become a resident. Sadly, they don’t offer Expanded Medicaid for the low income–although they may have something else. Or (to the best of my knowledge) a nationwide health plan on the Exchange.

  31. Russ Hallberg

    9/11 was an inside job. The alleged hijackers had nothing to do with it, other than being patsies. Homeland Security is, in fact, tracking people. Whether they are using the information or not, they still have the database. 9/11 was an attack against the American people by their government. We are probably the last generation who will enjoy the nomad lifestyle.

    • Bob

      Thanks for your thoughts Russ.

    • Bob

      That’s very good, thank you Eric! Bob

    • Marilyn Ferguson

      I just renewed my NY driver’s lic. but it does not have a star on it. Why is that?

      • Bob

        They may still be issuing icenses that are not Real ID compliant. Somewhere on it it should say either “Not for use for Federal ID”, or that it is for use as Federal ID.

  32. McRod

    So to sum up your article, go rent a place and use its address or lie about the address you live at.
    I can understand the need to accomplish the goal, but maybe there are a few traditional thought processes that need challenged.
    1. How about getting involved with community leadership everywhere you go and challenge the idea that an address is needed for a drivers license…what for? An Address doesnt prove who you are, and its not like anyone from the government comes knocking on your door. Simply providing your cell phone number is all thats required if they want to contact you and/or know where your physically located. Think about that. Its a problem of archaic processes that dont change over time.
    2. If your going to encourage people to lie on a government document, which is probably subject to penalties, how about just not apply for a new license and just keep the old one? You’ll at least be encouraging people to probably drive more careful in fear of being stopped w/o a license. Really, when do you use your license? When you whip it out people arent checking its expiration, their looking at the pic to make sure you are who you say and maybe check age (tobacco, alchol and firearms laws.) I guess Im saying, some may rather not get one if they have to lie to get it.
    I personallt dont use my license anymore, i use my passport card instead, which doesnt have an address on it.


      Actually, when you need to show ID to purchase alcohol it can’t be expired.

  33. Tina

    Does living on LBM for a few months count as an address? If you pay the fee to stay as long as possible?? To be able get a job etc, one does need a home address. Any other way thats cheap, and NOT in a trailer park. Rather stay for a while than use a false address. Thanks!

  34. M_&_M

    hi bob,
    my fiance and i were wondering if you could help us out on a relevant situation but with just a bit of a twist..
    for someone who admitted to a felony he or she didnt commit to save someone elses rear end,…and they have to live with a physical and residential address for the sake of the parole officer..and with a gps monitor bracelet on them- but for gps only, not house arrest- how would we go about doing that??
    im just wondering bc we are currently living with family members but they arent the best to say the least..but we were thinking about buying or trading for an RV thats drivable and living out on our own with our 3 dogs……what do you think??
    ((***ADDITIONAL INFORMATION**- we also have to stay in the same state we are currently in and our mailing address and residential address has to be in the same state AND county we are currently in..))

  35. Lori

    One other way of proving residence in NV is if you have a relative who is willing to sign a Resident Affidavit stating that you live there and don’t pay rent. This is what I plan on doing.
    Someone also suggested that if you need an inexpensive place to set up residence, consider Coyote Howls. Although you might not want to stay there 12 months due to the extreme summer weather, you can get a year ’round residential address plus a place to set up an 8×10 utility shed to store stuff, should you choose. You’ll know you have a place to stay every November-February or there abouts and a permanent AZ address. I believe the primitive sites are around $550/year which is an amazing deal.

  36. Kathleen

    Bob, Thanks for your really great videos that cover very important topics in today’s world.
    I saw your video on How to Choose a Residence State and you mentioned that you have domicile in NV but register your vehicle in AZ. Is that still OK with both NV and AZ in 2018? Also, do you need a Driver’s license in AZ for registration? Is a DL proof of residency?

  37. bryan rosner

    several insurance agencies have told me that if I don’t actually LIVE at the garaging address, then they can deny claims for car accidents if we are nomadic. What to do?

    • Sharon Bice

      Hi Bryan, just read this thread but did not see an answer to your question, did you ever get one and what was it? Thanks. Sharon

  38. Tyler Flood

    I get the info, but what if I am a vandweller and do not want to think about things like that, can I be punished for that by law in any way (say, if I say I don’t have a physical address when asked)?

  39. Terri

    What about getting cell phone/internet service? They told me they must hook it up at a physical address.
    Anyone know anything about this?

  40. Sherri

    I have been wondering the same thing. Are there any potential vehicle insurance issues involved with being nomadic?


    I did not understand the part about; “mail will go to the Mail Forwarder” ? How ?
    How do I make it to go to Mail forwarder ?

  42. Eddie

    “Q: Is DHS trying to build a national database with all of our information? No… REAL ID does not create a federal database of driver license information. Each jurisdiction continues to issue its own unique license, maintains its own records, and controls who gets access to those records and under what circumstances.”
    This is absolutely not true. REAL ID requires all states to make their driver license records available to all other states. The only practical way for the states to meet this requirement is to put the records into SPEXS S2S, a nationwide database owned by American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), a private organization. AAMVA is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act or the Privacy Act, and there’s no legal reason why they can’t do pretty much whatever they want with the data. And ***even if you choose to get a non-REAL ID driver license, your data still goes into AAMVA’s database;*** see
    By letting this database be run by an NGO, the DHS can claim there’s no *federal* database, but while technically true, it’s obvious prevarication. There’s plenty of evidence out there (way more than I can put in this comment) if you just take the time to Google it. No offense, but please do your research before presenting the DHS’s statements as truth.

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