California residency and car registration

Having moved to Baja California and no longer have an address in California how do I legally comply with keeping my car registered and my drivers license current and voter registration?

ibmark1 wrote:

Having moved to Baja California and no longer have an address in California how do I legally comply with keeping my car registered and my drivers license current and voter registration?

Hi Mark.

I think you can just research that on the California web site. I know I could with my state. The car became more of a problem than I wanted to deal with so I bought a Mexican car, but then the rules are a little different for those of you living so close to the border.  Some have bought mailboxes in the U.S so that they have a U.S. address. My state just mails me a ballot here and I can respond online. I just had to prove who I was and I have had no problem.

The driver's license becomes trickier. Do you have family there? I travel a great deal so I use a family home as my anchor address in the U.S.  If you are permanent you could also get a Mexican drivers license. My son who is a cop in California says you can drive around for about 3 months with an out of state or foreign license before it becomes an issue.  I'm sure you are well aware that you still have to pay California taxes.

We live in Rosarito and maintain our car registration in California. We use our daughters address for our permanent address in the U.S. A We do use a mailing service that provides a U.S. mailing address, but it is a P.O. Box address and does not work as a permanent address for Car registration and drivers license.

Other considerations are Medicare, U.S. banking and Financial/investment companies which also require a physical permanent residence address. They will all mail to. P.O. Box but want a physical address with in the U.S.

Don't despair, plenty of people have worked it out and you will too.

Travellight isn't exactly correct on the CA tax thingy.  If you clearly divest yourself of anything Californian then you do not have to pay CA State income tax.  But you have to clearly show you have no connection to CA.  So, no DL, no cars registered here (why would you?).  I have researched a little and I can own rental property in CA, but anything other than that I won't be able to claim tax exempt in CA.   

It used to be alot easier,  I knew several State of CA employees who worked on the border with OR and AZ.  They worked in CA and lived in OR or AZ.  They claimed CA state tax exempt as they didn't live in CA.  Even though they worked for the State of CA.       

There is another blog that talks about why there are so many South Dakota license plates in Mexico (I might have the state wrong).  You can research the link below for the exact blog article.  But bottom line is SD doesn't require you to live in the state or even come to the state to register your vehicle.  It's all done via internet.  You don't even need a SD address.  Not sure about a DL.

In fact, CA will let you register your car here even if you don't live here.  I'm retired cop and I stopped a few people with out of state addresses, but cars and DL from CA.  CA doesn't care as long as they get their tax money. 

My plan is to keep my rental property in CA, move to MX full time, get permanent resident status, use my son's address in TX (very good tax wise place), to register my cars and get a DL.  We might lease an apartment in TX just to have a fixed location where we can leave stuff when we go to visit the grandkids.

I know, in the past, Baja and Baja Sur DID NOT require US plated cars to apply for a vehicle import exemption (TIP).  The state of Quintana Roo (Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Cozumel) also has this exemption.   

Keep in mind, as in all of MX, once you obtain visa Residente Permanente  (RP) you can not  obtain a TIp and your US plated vehicle will be subject to customs, import and IVA fees. Although, the three, above mention MX states may still offer the exemption.