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You’ve Got Mail

April 26th, 2011

An unusual mailbox in Miami, FL
I have always been a resident of Florida. I had always planned to be. That is, until I realized how much I could really be saving as a resident of South Dakota. Turns out, my car/house insurance could be cut in half. Neither Florida nor SD have state income tax or yearly vehicle inspections so that’s a wash, but it would cost half as much to register my truck each year in SD. Unfortunately, all the stuff we heard about health insurance being cheaper doesn’t seem to hold true. The prices were comparable to our current plans in Florida (which btw have gone up 50% in the last three year w/o any claims.).

We have been pretty happy with our current mail forwarding service. They are only $15/mo for up to five mailings a month whether they are scheduled or on demand. They discard all junk mail and only send us items that are first class or higher. We can also call and see what mail they have for us at any time of day. We are bit leery of switching to another. As far as I know, there are seven mail forwarding services to chose from. So, now we get to the true point of this post: Are any of our readers residents of South Dakota? Do any of you have experiences or opinions on the mail forwarding/residency services in South Dakota.

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8 Responses to “You’ve Got Mail”

  1. We’ve been SD residents since 2007 and use MyDakotaAddress.com in Madison as our mail/residency address. Aside from a couple of mix-ups with them sending mail to our previous address on file, instead of the current one, we’ve been happy with them. Terri there is super friendly (she even brought out firewood to our campsite when we ended up staying in Madison for a week) and responsive to our residency & mail needs. We also like SD in general for mail, as Priority Mail is usually always 2 days to everywhere in the US as it’s so centrally located.

    Haven’t tried any of the other services, so our experience is completely anecdotal.

    We initially selected SD because we needed to register and pay sales tax on a new vehicle purchase, and SD only charges 3% sales tax. That’s proven to be a big savings for us, as we’ve switched out tow vehicles and trailers a couple of times.. and will be soon again.

    If you end up in SD and want a referral to a vehicle insurance agent, we’re working with an agent who specializes in full time RVers up there.

  2. Brent says:

    Don’t have any experience to share with you but very curious to learn what you find out and decide. We have a decision coming up on residency as well.

  3. Nicole says:

    MyDakotaAddress is our service also. Very happy so far. Madison is a cute town. We enjoyed all 15 hours or so that we stayed there!

  4. Linda says:

    We use MyDakotaAddress for mail forwarding only and have been very happy with them. They are a little low-tech — their online form has been sick a lot lately — but you can also email and they’re very quick. And, as Cherie said, they’re very friendly & responsive.

  5. Brian says:

    I’m also using mydakotaaddress.com. Terri is very helpful and has even scanned a copy of a letter I needed to see. I’m about to register my car there (via mail) and may get the drivers license sometime this summer. Overall, very happy. Kinda funny that I can do all this stuff (minus drivers license) without ever having to step into the state of SD. I guess I’m a “virtual resident”…

    Hope you guys are traveling well!
    ~young brian from RTR 2011

  6. Mrs. Cyberhobo says:

    Mydakotaaddress.com has worked really well for us, too, and I was really impressed with the help Terri gave us in getting everything lined up to get all of our vehicles licensed and our driver’s licenses ready to go. It’s a small town, so it took all of 1.5 hours to take care of all of it once we got there and that was including a computer crash at the driver’s license division. Our car insurance went down quite a bit, and health insurance went up somewhat. As far as ongoing service, I think Terri is amazing. I don’t know what happens to that place if she gets sick! She’s never gotten our mailings wrong and we have moved around A LOT in the last 9 months. She even corrected a wrong zip code I provided her with once.

    One additional bureaucratic item if you’re working freelance is the need to obtain a business license. Since my husband does all his work online, and he is legally in SD, he has to file sales tax reports. However, if the clients are outside of SD, the services are not taxable. The net result is that I have to file a quarterly earnings statement with zero taxable. This can all be done online at the South Dakota Department of Revenue, Business Tax Division website (http://www.state.sd.us/drr2/businesstax/quest/quest.htm).

    One fun side note: It doesn’t take long to meet other people with your same home address!

  7. Ashley says:

    I was thinking of doing the same thing a few years back and Mydakotaaddress.com was recommended very highly by people at the time. Good luck with everything!

  8. jenn says:

    Wow! Seems like, if you are going to get a South Dakota address, MyDakotaAddress is the way to go. Not a negative review in the bunch. Thanks to everyone for your feedback.

    After running all of the numbers, we have decided to remain Florida residents. For us, it all boils down to the points noted below. We calculated the following figures using American Home Base as our Florida address and MyDakotaAddress as the South Dakota address.

          It turns out that our $1000ish a year auto/camper (Florida) insurance would only be reduced by about $80 a year in SD. Not the 1/2 price reduction everyone else experienced.

          Our registration would go down significantly. It is currently $185/yr in Florida. It would be $75/year in South Dakota.

          We would have to find a new health insurance provider. Humana doesn’t do business in Madison, SD. None of the comparable plans that with providers that do service in that area were any cheaper than our current ones.

          Our mail service, while HIGHLY recommended, would cost us $36 more per year.

          We would have to travel to Madision, SD sometime within the next year.

    So as of right now, the $230 savings are not worth the hassle nor the 1400 mile trip from our current location to Madison. If/when we do pass through South Dakota, we will most likely make the move.

    Thanks again to everyone for your input. I am sure this post will be helpful to others in the future as they contemplate making the same choices.

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