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Old 02-14-2008, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Waldo County
1,220 posts, read 2,623,110 times
Reputation: 1363

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I think there are several issues in this thread. First of all, the real issue regarding drivers' licenses is the matter of legal residence. Where a person is a legal residence determines where the car must be registered. People who have homes in two or more states may well (probably do) have cars that are principally garaged at each location. those cars must be registered in the jurisdiction of principal garaging, but this has nothing to do with the driver's license of the owner. If the owner lives in Maine, votes in Maine, and has homes in five other states, he is a legal resident of Maine, and only needs to have a driver's license from Maine. If that person spends more than six months living outside of Maine...say in Alabama....if Alabama law requires anyone who LIVES IN THE STATE for more than six months to obtain an Alabama driver's license, then that is what must be done, regardless of where the legal residence is.

I haven't read the DMV regulations for all 50 states, but I have read them for more than a dozen and all of them require that anyone who lives becomes a resident of that state MUST have a state issued driver's license within 30 days.

The people who have three or four different residences are not all that common, although there are many who have two homes in different states. Fewer can argue that they are a Maine resident, for instance, when they live in New York, earn the majority of their income in New York, school their children in New York, and vote there.

Someone mentioned insurance on this thread. Insurance is issued for vehicles that are registered and which are principally garaged in one political jurisdiction or another. All insurance companies underwrite pretty much the same way, and a car registered in Maine, will be underwritten by an insurance company having a license to provide insurance in Maine. The car will be underwritten for that territory. Insurance coverage will follow the car, and as far as I know ALL motorvehicle insurance policies issued in the US provide the minimum liability limits for ALL states automatically.

Service people have an exemption by Federal law, and they can maintain a their legal residence in any state that they chose so long as they are on active duty. Thus when I was on active duty, we chose Maine as our legal residence, and actually registered our cars in Belfast where my parents lived in retirement. The reason was that we would escape Massachusetts' horrific excise tax which was about five times what Maine's was at that point in history.

The comment made by one poster about Florida requiring only property damage insurnce is incorrect. The basic form of coverage for ALL automobile insurance coverage written in this country is for LIABILITY insurance, which includes bodily injury and property damage liability. I would guess if your own auto policy had to pay for some of the loss involved in an at fault accident caused by another person, then that person's liability insurance limits were inadequate to cover the amount of the damage or injury.

And although this is off topic, the ex-insurance agent in my must note at this point that an awful lot of people are driving around without sufficient liability insurance. If you think you have enough bodily injury and property damage liability insurance to cover yourself should you cause a serious accident, perhaps you should reexamine the issue. If you are driving carefully along one snowy, icy day, and come over the crest of a hill to find the opposite side of the hill to be glare ice, and there, stopped just over the crest of a hill is a school bus, and you slide into it because you can't help it, can you imagine how far that $50,000 each person/100,000 each accident coverage might go?
In terms of liability insurance ALWAYS plan for the worst case scenario.

Ex-insurance agent hat now off and back into the cubboard to gather dust.
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Old 02-14-2008, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
3,001 posts, read 3,465,896 times
Reputation: 2703
I carry 100k/300k liability. I think it was a ridiculously low dollar amount added to the premium for the extra coverage ($5 maybe?), I had a conversation with my agent about this a few years ago. The cost might be different now.

Personally, I think that requiring insurance on *each vehicle* is an unfair penalty to those of us who own more than one. You can only drive one at a time. My wife and I, between us, usually have 4 vehicles on the road, and we will probably be adding another because the cost of gasoline has got to the point where it is really too expensive for me to be cruising around in my p/u truck with the big V-8 motor if I'm not hauling something that needs it. The thing I have to consider, though, is whether or not the additional cost of insurance, registration and excise taxes comes to more than the cost of the extra gas I burn with the big motor.

I believe that liability insurance should be carried on one's *license*, and applicable to any vehicle driven. No insurance, the license is invalidated. Many people have a license but do not own a vehicle (or register a vehicle in someone else's name because they are "high risk" to avoid extra cost). This places an extra burden on the rest of us by requiring us to pay more for insurance and carrying the costs for them.

By requiring insurance on the license, high risk drivers would not be able to escape carrying their fair share of the costs, and would lessen the cost for those of us taking an extra hit because we own several vehicles that are used at different times for different reasons. Extra, optional coverage for collision/fire/theft/glass could still be carried on a per vehicle basis for those who want it (or need it because they have a loan for the vehicle).
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Old 02-14-2008, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
21,878 posts, read 28,716,100 times
Reputation: 8917
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fort Lauderdale mermaid View Post
I was able to keep my Maine license when I went to the DMV here for my Florida license. My Florida license is only good in Florida though. If I get pulled over in any other state I would need to show my Maine license.
So far, so good, I haven't been pulled over down here. Better knock on wood though, I'm due.
That is interesting.

I have not been to Florida since the Patriot Act went into place, but it is good to know.

My father is a snow-bird currently in Az, and out there folks with multiple residences are given a lot of grief by LEO.

What he does is he has a PO box in Reno, a Nevada DL with that PO box address, and Nv tags. He makes a trip to his PO box once a month to get his junk mail. He keeps all of that junk mail in his rig, as 'proof' that he has never been in the other state for greater than 30 days continuously.

All his real mail gets forwarded to him, from a mail-drop address he uses.

This way he can spend a lot of time at his farm in Mo, or in the winter down in Az, or visiting his friends in Ca. He has never owned a home in Nv.
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Old 02-14-2008, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Waldo County
1,220 posts, read 2,623,110 times
Reputation: 1363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zymer View Post
I carry 100k/300k liability. I think it was a ridiculously low dollar amount added to the premium for the extra coverage ($5 maybe?), I had a conversation with my agent about this a few years ago. The cost might be different now.

Personally, I think that requiring insurance on *each vehicle* is an unfair penalty to those of us who own more than one. You can only drive one at a time. My wife and I, between us, usually have 4 vehicles on the road, and we will probably be adding another because the cost of gasoline has got to the point where it is really too expensive for me to be cruising around in my p/u truck with the big V-8 motor if I'm not hauling something that needs it. The thing I have to consider, though, is whether or not the additional cost of insurance, registration and excise taxes comes to more than the cost of the extra gas I burn with the big motor.

I believe that liability insurance should be carried on one's *license*, and applicable to any vehicle driven. No insurance, the license is invalidated. Many people have a license but do not own a vehicle (or register a vehicle in someone else's name because they are "high risk" to avoid extra cost). This places an extra burden on the rest of us by requiring us to pay more for insurance and carrying the costs for them.

By requiring insurance on the license, high risk drivers would not be able to escape carrying their fair share of the costs, and would lessen the cost for those of us taking an extra hit because we own several vehicles that are used at different times for different reasons. Extra, optional coverage for collision/fire/theft/glass could still be carried on a per vehicle basis for those who want it (or need it because they have a loan for the vehicle).
Remember, the insurance follows the vehicle. If the vehicle is stolen, and thief crashes into a school bus, YOU are protected since you own the vehicle.

It is possible to insure your license. Such coverage does exist and people who have exceptionally poor driver's records but do not own a vehicle are often required to buy insurance that will provide basic liability insurance as a condition of retaining their license.

It isn't possible to register a vehicle in someone else's name, unless the vehicle is owned by someone else. If the vehicle is fifteen years old or less, the title must be presented at time of registration, and either a new title be issued in the state of registration, or if a valid title exists, then proof of ownership is established. If the vehicle is older than 15 years, then a bill of sale must be presented for registration. In Maine, all of this comes after paying the local excise tax on the vehicle.

Operating a motor vehicle is a privalege and not a right. In order to exercise the privilege of operating a motor vehicle on public roadways, the rules for such operation and the cost of which, must be met. That's true everywhere, and all the clever little games that people try to play to squeeze out of their responsibilities carry clever little penalties and fines when uncovered. ALL of the games and schemes have already been tried and are well known by the bureaucracies who regulate this stuff.
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:25 PM
 
Location: Maine's garden spot
2,492 posts, read 3,088,341 times
Reputation: 2170
By the way, they add tax to the fines.
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Old 02-14-2008, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Maine's garden spot
2,492 posts, read 3,088,341 times
Reputation: 2170
Why nott just register your cars where you are the legal resident? If I had houses in Florida and Maine, my primary residence would probably be Fl.(income tax) I would legalize the cars that were in Maine while I was in Fla.
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:10 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
21,878 posts, read 28,716,100 times
Reputation: 8917
Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinB View Post
Why nott just register your cars where you are the legal resident? ...
Because once you have been in an area for a few weeks LEO will pull you over and remind you that after 30 days in that state they want to you get a local DL and local tags.

Besides what defines 'resident'?
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:38 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,134 posts, read 22,302,830 times
Reputation: 16223
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
Because once you have been in an area for a few weeks LEO will pull you over and remind you that after 30 days in that state they want to you get a local DL and local tags.

Besides what defines 'resident'?

Where you declare residency and where you are registered to vote usually. More detail of course (isn't there alway more to the story when the Gov't is involved).
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Old 02-14-2008, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
21,878 posts, read 28,716,100 times
Reputation: 8917
When was the last time that you 'declared' your residency?

I once did years ago, California.

I do not recall 'declaring' such a thing for many years.
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:13 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,134 posts, read 22,302,830 times
Reputation: 16223
Quote:
Originally Posted by forest beekeeper View Post
When was the last time that you 'declared' your residency?
Indirectly when I changed over my drivers license, vehicle registration, permanent address, and registered to vote in Maine.
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