How We Roll
**One side note: we use Walgreens for prescriptions. They are located everywhere (at least everywhere we’ve been so far) and once you’re in their system, they know you no matter where you are.
So for now, our home base is in Washington, but our address is in Florida. And we don’t live in either place. Maybe being itinerant will become easier as more people start living on the road like we do. Maybe not. In any case, we are figuring things out as we go.
As it turned out, we didn’t need to prove residency to get our driver’s licenses. But the Department of Licensing did need a Washington address to mail the licenses to. They said the law won’t allow them to mail WA licenses to an out-of-state address for anyone except military personnel.
So we had to impose on one of our children and have the licenses mailed there. That forbearing soul will also receive any voter ballots sent to us and have to forward them to us, since we are now registered to vote in Washington. But there was one more glitch. Mail carriers generally won’t deliver mail to an address if the name on the mail doesn’t match their customer’s name.
An agent at the local post office said to fill out a mail forwarding form. When I looked it up online I found the form asked for an address to forward from. I called again and explained in detail why we couldn’t use the form and why we wanted to receive mail at the address in question. The agent I spoke with that time asked for the address, then our last name. Then he said, “OK. Done.”
What? That was too easy. I told him the DOL agent had said to write our name on a card and tape it to the inside of the mailbox. He said that was a good idea. So that’s the plan. We’ll see if it works.
I even got medical coverage in WA, though I entered my Florida mailing address on the application. I used the same reasoning as for the driver’s licenses; we would be visiting WA regularly, so annual checkups would be more convenient there than anywhere else.
I looked for mail-forwarding companies that would give us a street address in Washington but I couldn’t find anything comparable to our Good Sam address in Florida. I found a few options, such as UPS, but everything I found was twice as expensive as our Florida-based company. So, Florida it is.
Now back to the drivers’ licenses. We were worried that we might not be allowed to get Washington State driver’s licenses if we couldn’t prove residency. We thought about using a family member’s address or the address of the property we own (and rent out), but we didn’t want to essentially ask someone to lie for us. Also we are planning to sell the house as soon as the market recovers sufficiently.
So all we needed was a permanent mailing address. We were so proud of ourselves when we found out how to obtain a permanent address through Good Sam. But the address we got is in Florida, because that’s where the company is physically located (we stopped by there when we were in Florida). Not all states have such companies and a post-office box won’t do. Packages can’t be mailed to a PO Box and you can’t use one for a driver’s license address.
Wrong. Everyone in this country (maybe the world, I don’t know) wants to know WHERE you are. Even Facebook wants a zip code. Twitter and LinkedIn want an address. The cell phone company and the bank want a mailing address though we do all transactions electronically. Even the Wifi company wants an address although they know we bought the jetpack because we live on the road.
So, since everyone needs to know where we are, we knew we needed a home base. We decided it should be in Washington State for several reasons. We own property there. Our credit union is there. I incorporated my LLC there. (When you set up an LLC, you have to pick a location…there are no itinerant LLCs.) Also we have a lot of family in Washington.
We had licensed our motor home and car in Washington while we were still in Chicago (we had no problem doing that…they readily accepted our money) and planned to get Washington driver’s licenses when we were there in the summer. We figured it would be good to get them in a place we would go to on a regular basis. It would make renewal handier, and after all, Washington is our home base.
At first we thought being itinerant would be a piece of cake. You just move into your motor home, organize your belongings, let people know what you’re doing, and hit the road. Right?