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How to Establish South Dakota Residency

There are many reasons why you might want to know how to establish South Dakota residency. From saving on taxes to enjoying low insurance premiums, there are many benefits to being an official resident of The Mount Rushmore State. But becoming a resident of one state while you’re physically in another state or even abroad comes with some challenges. Make sense of the rules and regulations and start taking advantage of South Dakota residency.

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Joseph Anthony
May 24, 2020
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Need to know how to establish South Dakota residency? It can be done in 3 easy steps:

  1. Get a South Dakota mailing address by signing up for mail forwarding service
  2. Spend at least one night in South Dakota hotel or campground
  3. Obtain a South Dakota driver’s license and make it official

The benefits of establishing residency comes with a number of advantages. See why having a domicile in South Dakota might work for you.

What Constitutes Residency in South Dakota?

It’s easy to become a resident of South Dakota. The state has some of the most lenient residency requirements in the country.

South Dakota residency is constituted by three simple factors: 

  1. You have a place to receive mail in South Dakota
  2. You have spent at least one night in South Dakota
  3. You have obtained a South Dakota driver’s license.

When the above requirements are met, you’re an official resident of The Mount Rushmore State. South Dakota residency makes sense for people in a variety of situations. Full-time RVers, expatriates opting for life abroad, military service members shipping overseas and anyone else who travels frequently can reap the benefits of South Dakota residency.

How Long Do You Have to Live in SD to Become a Resident?

South Dakota is a perfect U.S. home base for full-time RVers, expats living overseas, digital nomads, military service members and others who need a permanent address.

One of the things that makes it so easy to become a South Dakota resident is that you don’t even have to live there to enjoy the benefits of residency. In fact, you can become a South Dakota resident by just spending one night in the state. No matter whether you’re staying at a casino hotel in Sioux City, a chalet in Terry Peak or even a campground, all you need to establish residency is proof of a one night stay.

How to Establish South Dakota Residency in 3 Steps

You can establish South Dakota residency in just 3 steps. It takes a little legwork and planning, but can be done by only spending one night in The Mount Rushmore State. Learn how to establish South Dakota residency in 3 easy steps.

Step 1: Set Up a South Dakota Address with a Mail Forwarding Service

Americas Mailbox makes it easy to get a South Dakota mailing address. Sign up for our mail forwarding services and you’ll have a permanent address and a Private Mailbox here in Rapid City. You don’t have to physically check your box; Americas Mailbox will forward your mail to you wherever you are and let you access your mail online.

Keep in mind that you’ll likely want to switch your bank and/or credit card mailing and billing addresses to your new Private Mailbox as soon as possible. You’ll need to receive mail as a proof of address to get a South Dakota driver’s license.

Step 2: Spend One Night in South Dakota

This might be the best part. South Dakota is a beautiful state with more than 77,000 square miles to explore. From Mount Rushmore to the Badlands National Park to Custer State Park, there is so much to do and see. You need to spend at least one night in South Dakota to establish residency here. You may stay anywhere in the state that you like.

Step 3: Obtain a South Dakota Driver’s License

You’ll need to make your South Dakota residency official by obtaining a state driver’s license. To get your license, you’ll need to show an agent some paperwork (like a birth certificate or passport), complete a residency affidavit, show proof of your one-night stay, and pass a vision test.  Additional documents may be required.

With your new driver’s license in hand, you are officially a South Dakota resident. You can go above and beyond by completing vehicle registrations and voter registration. You might save money by registering your vehicles in South Dakota. If you register to vote here, you can always opt to vote by mail so you need not be present for elections.

What Are the Benefits of South Dakota Residency?

There are a number of benefits to claiming residency in South Dakota. The tax savings alone might make it worth it to you. Residents of South Dakota don’t pay state income tax and the sales tax here is among the lowest in the nation.  You’ll also avoid paying:

  • Inheritance tax
  • Tax on Social Security
  • Tax on pensions
  • Personal property taxes
  • Intangible tax on investments

You’ll also enjoy low vehicle insurance rates, avoid annual vehicle inspections and pay low vehicle license fees as a South Dakota resident.

With so many benefits and advantages, South Dakota residency makes sense for many. Expats living abroad, members of the armed forces, full-time RVers, digital nomads and others who need a permanent address can benefit by establishing a domicile in South Dakota.

Now that you know a little more about how to establish South Dakota residency, it’s time to get the process started. You can make becoming a resident of The Mount Rushmore State simple by enlisting the help of Americas Mailbox. We’ll walk you through the process and can even help register your vehicles. 

As a family-owned company, Americas Mailbox will provide you with service you won’t find anywhere else at competitive prices. When you need mail forwarding, you need Americas Mailbox. We’ll do more than give you an address and forward your mail; we’ll make South Dakota feel like home. Contact us today to start establishing South Dakota residency and taking advantage of the benefits.

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