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Old 09-17-2016, 10:38 AM   #1
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Liveaboard residential address for Washington State

It's time to renew my driver's license and I need to solve the residential address puzzle. I am a full time liveaboard in the Seattle area. I had been using my daughter's address but she has moved out of state so that is no longer an option.

New laws allow the use of a private mail box as a legal address but Wash State DOL won't accept it for a residential address. Nor will Wash State DOL allow the use of the marina's address.

Has anyone else been able to solve this puzzle?
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Old 09-17-2016, 10:47 AM   #2
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We live aboard during the summer in the PNW and choose to keep or residence in WA. rather than down south. When we renewed our DL we used our PO box as the mailing address and the marina address with our slip number as our residence we didn't have any problem. I would think that the marina address looks like an apartment address...
The other thing was that we used on-line licensing renewal.
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Old 09-17-2016, 11:34 AM   #3
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Ka_sea_ta, Thank you for the quick response. Before posting I had already tried what you suggest with no luck.

Has anyone else found a solution?
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Old 09-17-2016, 11:51 AM   #4
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We use our mail forwarder's address. We had used our marina's address but things changed after the Patriot Act came about in 2001. WA DMV said we needed a physical, land based address.
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Old 09-17-2016, 12:10 PM   #5
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Larry, are you using a friend/relative for forwarding or a forwarding service?
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Old 09-17-2016, 01:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Portage_Bay View Post
Ka_sea_ta, Thank you for the quick response. Before posting I had already tried what you suggest with no luck.

Has anyone else found a solution?
How did it fail? If you entered the street address and the apartment number (slip) on what basis did it reject it? I don't see anything in their exclusions that say it couldn't be a marina, but I don't see how they'd know it was a marina either. They can't tell you that you must go buy a house as you meet all the state requirements for residency.
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Old 09-17-2016, 02:14 PM   #7
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BnB, there was no reason given. The error was simply "Enter an acceptable address" or something similar. I got the error when trying to use the marina address and when trying to use the private mail box.
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Old 09-17-2016, 02:34 PM   #8
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You may need to phone or go into the office. Eventually even the most rigid bureaucrat will accept the facts.
I have a private dock on the Columbia River. The only thing on land is a power pole, no mail service. I use a private mailbox service for mail and to forward when I am away. My physical address is the street address of the power pole. I'm on the Oregon side and did this over the counter without problems. Eventually the facts overcome opposition.
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Old 09-17-2016, 03:03 PM   #9
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Lepke, In person at the counter will be the next thing I try. Hopefully Washington bureaucrats will be as "understanding" as Oregon bureaucrats are.
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Old 09-17-2016, 03:04 PM   #10
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BnB, there was no reason given. The error was simply "Enter an acceptable address" or something similar. I got the error when trying to use the marina address and when trying to use the private mail box.
Double check the marina address in terms of sometimes marinas select to name their streets something other than the "legal" name.

We live in South Florida, the home of many names for each street. Go to Hialeah and they all have 4 names. The numbered Miami series and numbered Hialeah series and then the names given to each. Our home address differs depending on what you're doing. Streets here may go by names like Venice or Seven Isles and be officially considered NE 20th Avenue. We even have unofficial cities. Per the post office Miami Lakes doesn't exist, it's just part of Hialeah.

Perhaps they have certain addresses shown in their system as residential and other as business. Well, if you live at a business, you live there. Tell them if they don't like the correct address for where you reside, then for them to just choose one.

On the marina, did it reject the street name and number? Sometimes businesses are like 400-408 and go by the 408, but are shown as 400. I don't know. Just looking at possibilities.
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Old 09-17-2016, 03:15 PM   #11
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BnB,

I'm certain the street name is correct. I see it on the moorage billing, office building and website.

I think I'm going to have to go into a DOL licensing center and ask what to do. I can't be the only legal Wash State resident who does not have a "land" address. Full time loveaboard boaters and RVrs are all around.

I'm not playing games here, like residing somewhere else and claiming Wa as residency. I've been a Wash State resident since 1975 and have worked for the same employer for over 30 yrs.

Frustrating....
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Old 09-17-2016, 03:24 PM   #12
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BnB,

I'm certain the street name is correct. I see it on the moorage billing, office building and website.

I think I'm going to have to go into a DOL licensing center and ask what to do. I can't be the only legal Wash State resident who does not have a "land" address. Full time loveaboard boaters and RVrs are all around.

I'm not playing games here, like residing somewhere else and claiming Wa as residency. I've been a Wash State resident since 1975 and have worked for the same employer for over 30 yrs.

Frustrating....
It's like someone being declared dead by social security and having to prove they aren't.
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Old 09-17-2016, 03:27 PM   #13
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If the street address is checked against the zoning of the property, it can result in a rejection. For instance if the marina is zoned commercial there would be no residence allowed in the zoning. This can happen in the case of a mail box address given. It is getting tougher to live without a true physical address.
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Old 09-17-2016, 03:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post
We use our mail forwarder's address. We had used our marina's address but things changed after the Patriot Act came about in 2001. WA DMV said we needed a physical, land based address.

Hi Larry,

What mail forwarding service are you using in WA? My wife and I liveaboard as well and need a WA drivers license so need to do something similar. We currently use St Brendan's in FL but need to 'move' to WA.

Thanks. Currently headed down from AK
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Old 09-17-2016, 03:38 PM   #15
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If the street address is checked against the zoning of the property, it can result in a rejection. For instance if the marina is zoned commercial there would be no residence allowed in the zoning. This can happen in the case of a mail box address given. It is getting tougher to live without a true physical address.
But a commercial address and a marina are true physical addresses even if they require overrides.
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Old 09-17-2016, 03:41 PM   #16
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Maybe all of us "homeless" Washington State liveaboard boaters will have to get together and rent a studio apartment, "share" the address and become "legal".
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Old 09-17-2016, 06:04 PM   #17
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A thread not to long ago was saying basically a commercially zoned property was being rejected by the DMV.....

Yes...yes...yes...a million reasons why that's bs...but this is the second time recently it has come up...so may be it's true and there must be some workaround.

Night watchmen sometimes live on a commercial premises...there has to be a workaround.
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Old 09-19-2016, 12:04 AM   #18
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While I hope to liveaboard in the future, for now, I am a full-timer in an RV. I changed residency to WA last year. The Anacortes DMV accepted the RV park address as my driver's license address. I did have my health insurance papers delivered at that address. That might have helped.
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Old 09-19-2016, 07:21 AM   #19
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Another option:

https://www.sbimailservice.com/
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Old 09-19-2016, 08:46 AM   #20
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I use my accountant's address and that's been working for me since 2008.

.
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