Establish a Legal Residence on the Road

If you’re a vanlifer, RVer, or backpacker, you live out on the open road, free from the restrictions of a fixed location. But when you live wherever you choose, that also means that you don’t actually live anywhere – or at least, not how society wants you to.

Unfortunately for people like us, the legal system is organized around its peons having a fixed location, a permanent address to call home. You need a legal address to do all sorts of required and not-required things, such as:

  • Get driver’s licenses, passports, and other identification
  • Obtain health insurance, auto insurance, and other forms of insurance
  • Sign up for bank accounts and other financial accounts
  • Register vehicles
  • File and pay taxes
  • Register to vote
  • Start a business

That’s just a brief list of things that you need a legal address to do, but there are certainly more. Just about anything of a legal nature requires you to have a legal residence, or domicile.

So what’s a nomad to do? Fortunately, it’s entirely possible for vagabonds of all kinds to establish and maintain a legal residence without actually living in a fixed location. In this post, we go over the basics of establishing domicile as a full time traveller – so you can hit the road and have one less thing to worry about!


The decision to establish domicile in a certain place can be very complex, and there are many things that you need to consider before doing so. This post is based on our own best research and experience, but we are not attorneys and you should not take what we’ve written here as legal advice. Do your own research before making this type of decision, and seek out qualified professional advice if you feel like you don’t fully understand what you’re getting into.

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