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Old 04-22-2017, 12:32 PM
Location: Wasilla, AK
3,851 posts, read 1,844,182 times
Reputation: 6932


The problem with registering in Texas is the inspection process. Vehicles I see with Texas plates will have one or two inspection stickers on the windshield, depending on whether or not an emissions test is required. When I was active duty I would register my vehicles in Alaska, which was my home of record. All I needed to do was bring in the registration in order to get Alaska plates, even if the vehicle was sitting somewhere down in the lower 48, as we had no inspection or emissions testing to worry about.
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Old 04-22-2017, 04:42 PM
Location: Richmond, VA
2,452 posts, read 3,937,068 times
Reputation: 3882
Originally Posted by hunterseat View Post
Home of record. Register it there.
There is a distinction between home of record (where you entered the service from) and state of legal residence, particularly for active duty service members who travel for years or decades and often never go back to their 'home' state to live.

You can change your state of legal residence, but as far as I am aware, only to someplace you are actually present at with an intent to make your permanent home in the future after your military service. You can change your state of legal residence multiple times during a career.

It is a similar process to establishing residency for in-state college tuition purposes: you have to demonstrate, through a series of actions *prior* to getting your in-state residency, that you actually intend to live and work there in there future. The actions can be things like paying taxes, registering to vote, opening checking account, filing a form saying you intend to change it, buying property, etc. The more actions you take, the stronger your claim.

A LOT of service members do change state of legal residence during their time in the service, and there's some wiggle room if you're on the fence-e.g. the OP might not be sure and could claim Texas with a clear conscience while still buying houses and registering cars in other locations.

In this case, there are 4 choices given. In order of how likely they demonstrate (to me, anyway) intent to make state of legal residence:

1) Texas would be easy as HOR (where you entered the service from) is often state of legal residence (where you plan to go back to after service) and I bet the OP's LES, voting records, etc. says Texas. The inspection bit might make that a poor practical choice, though-I don't know.

2) Virgina would be easy as the OP is there right now and probably does utilities, etc. and could easily take the car there for inspection as further evidence it's state of residence.

3) South Carolina is a little bit of a stretch-but buying a house there was a HUGE step to demonstrating that's where he currently plans to stay after the service. Once he moves there, it becomes super easy, but it could probably be done now.

4) Maryland would be a poor choice. As far as I can tell, the OP's claim to making Maryland the state of legal residence would be that he wants to buy a car there and save on taxes and registration fees.
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Old 04-22-2017, 10:40 PM
10,441 posts, read 10,310,990 times
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Texas has an exemption for anyone out of state, they do not need to get it inspected until they return to the state (something like that).
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