Changing our Domicile

How to Change your Domicile

Good morning! We are now officially residents of Texas, having sold our home in California and most of our belongings. Here are the 5 steps we took to beome Texas residents:

Mail Forwarding Service with Escapees

Escapees is a company that we chose to use to help us establish a mailing address in Texas. This allows you, for a fee, to have your mail delivered to your very own address! Once the mail is delivered, the Escapees Mail Forwarding Service will scan your envelopes and send you an email letting you know that you have mail. You get to see the envelopes and then you can choose to either have the envelope destroyed, opened and scanned, or forwarded to an address of your choosing.

Having the “mailing address” is proof that you live in Texas…but there are other steps you should take to make sure you are “officially” a Texan. We traveled to the headquarters of Escapees in Livingston, Texas in order to take care of the next three items: vehicle inspection, vehicle registration, and obtaining our driver’s licenses.

Vehicle Inspection

This was a quick stop at the local auto shop to obtain a $7 certificate stating that our vehicle was operational. This took about 15 minutes since there was no one in front of us. The shop workers were very knowledgeable and friendly, too.

Vehicle Registration

This step was a little more cumbersome. First, we had to find the County Tax Office which was not the same one as the driver’s licenses office. Our gps took us around the block a couple of times but eventually we found a place to park our rig and walked on over. We filled out the application and needed the following items:

  1. Proof of Texas residency (which was our Escapees mailing address)
  2. Proof of Texas vehicle insurance (which also had our Escapees mailing address listed on it)
  3. Proof of vehicle weight (we used the CAT weight we had done earlier, however the clerk said we could have used a brochure from the RV sale)
  4. Total cost – $196

Finally, we received our new license plates and the year “sticker” which we were told to place on the inside left front window. That was different from California, where we just put it on the plate. New state, new procedures!

Driver’s Licenses

Next stop, the local Department of Public Safety to obtain our driver’s licenses. We each followed these steps:

  1. Fill out an application
  2. Show proof of citizenship ie. birth certificate or passport
  3. Show Social Security Card or some other document with your social security number on it
  4. Take a new picture
  5. Pay $25

Register to Vote

We filled out the forms at the place where we registered out vehicle. Now we wait for everything to arrive to our Mail Forwarding Service so we can have the paper copies of everything official! The lady in the Escapees offices told us that there are over 10,000 addressees receiving mail and the US Postal Service has given us our very own zip code. So, if you see anyone else using the 77399 zip code, you’ll know we are all escaping with Escapees!


Last thing to do…practice saying y’all

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We are a retired teacher, Louisa, and a retired physician assistant, Michael, married for 39 years, who want to help busy travelers begin and maintain a healthy life-style while on the road.


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