Jun 28, 2006, 2:54 PM
Post #21 of 58
The topic of this thread is very closely related to one that immediately follows it (if you see the threads the same way I do) about "Changing States." All of this is of extreme interest and importance to me. I have gone 'round and around on these inter-related topics as I contemplate and plan my own move to Mexico early next spring.
Re: [NEOhio1] Car registration and state income tax liability
| Private Reply
I differ from many of you in that I do not care at all about ever voting again. I got an "absentee" ballot recently for the California primaries and just threw it away. I have come to the conclusion that voting only encourages them (the politicians).
But I am very intersted in these topics: avoiding California entanglements, especially income taxes, once I leave the state; establishing a new state of legal domicile/residence; car registration; auto insurance; driver's license; and foremost: banking. I have been reading and have done a lot of research on these topics. I had hoped, when I began, to get some CLEAR and DEFINITIVE help and ideas from posters here on MexConnect, but it seems we all have slightly different situations that make it almost impossible to arrive at any clear answers or conclusions, at least for me.
I have concluded, nevertheless, that it would be dishonest and probably illegal for me to claim that I am a resident of any state when I do not live there at all, do not own land there, do not rent a dwelling there. So many of you still have houses in Ohio, California, New York, or your kids do, or you in some way have some legally justifiable connection with someone close in a US state, or perhaps a Canadian province. What about those of us who are leaving the US to live in Mexico without any of those ties and advantages?
I thought I wanted to have a US driver's license when I lived in Mexico so I could fly back to Boise in the summer, rent a car, and go fishing. Even get an in-state fishing license that way. I thought I wanted to maintain US auto insurance, primarily for the same reason, so that when I drive to Tucson (as I plan to do a couple of times a month), I will be all set with driver's license, tags, and insurance. I certainly do not want to pay taxes on my paltry investment income to any state where I do not live and do not participate and cannot benefit from the services that tax dollars pay for.
Rolly and others on this site have taught me that it is OK to go Mexican. Get a Mexican driver's license. Get my 10 year old pickup truck Mexicanized in Sonora where I will be living. Buy Mexican auto insurance. Buy Mexican health insurance. All these things I intend to do.
When I drive into the US I will have to get US liability insurance (I was amazed to hear they let people continue on into the US without liability insurance and you just pull off at an Exxon station and buy some liability insurance).
The biggest and scariest thing though about not having a US state of domicile and address is banking. A recent thread about Mexican banking and credit cards is enough said on why I cannot bring my retirement money to Mexico. I suspect the Social Security Administration will insist on a US bank to direct deposit my monthly benefits. Even if they don't require it, I refer you back to the Mexican bank thing and to threads on MexConnect about the Mexican postal system. Who would cash a Social Security check for me anyway, in Mexico? I know Boeing, where I have a small retirement, won't send my check to Sonora. So, I just got back from the Citibank branch in Burlingame. So many of you have recommended the Citibank/Banamex thing. I tried to open an account there using my mail forwarding company's address in Las Vegas. They demanded proof I lived at that address: driver's license preferred. I said I lived two blocks away in San Mateo. They said they could use that address to open my new account, because it is also on my driver's license, which they required to see. But I do not want to create MORE connections to the state of California. I want FEWER connections. I did not get into that with them. Nor could I use my sister's address in Boise unless I could prove I live there, i.e. show them an Idaho driver's license with that address, or an Idaho driver's license and a rental contract or some such document. I did not try to argue. What if I don't drive and don't have a driver's license from any state or country? That would send any Californian into a mental tailspin. Don't drive??? Not possible!!!
So, I guess I am shot down. The best I can hope for is to open the Citibank account with my San Mateo address and my California driver's license and then next year when I move, change the address on ALL my credit card and bank accounts, and go through the California-specific girations of filling out declarations of non-residence in California, turnover my license plates, my driver's license, sign whatever is required.
I am not yet in a position to give advice to others here on MexConnect, certainly not about these matters. But common sense tells me that the flimsy attempts some people are proposing and possibly actually doing, of trying to create the air/illusion of state domicile/residence by opening a mailing forward account, or whatever craziness they are doing there in South Dakota, is going to blow up in someone's face when push comes to shove and you cannot prove you live and reside at the mail forwarding place. Your car insurance will not be worth squat.
Once again, I reiterate, we all have slightly to radically different situations. Mine has to be one of least complicate ones and I still cannot figure it all out. Most of you are able to solve such issues as this with money. Fly to Cleveland, drive the Range Rover to San Antonio, take Antonio the Banker on a golf trip to Cabo. Then there is me and my lack of wherewithall. So I am doing what Mamma taught me many years ago: use a little common sense.
And I do appreciate the help and advise of all you here at MexConnect.