I'm considering relocating to South Dakota due to its advantageous tax environment compared to my current high-tax state. I plan to use a mail-forwarding service for to obtain a South Dakota driver's license (common practice there for RV'ers etc).

I understand the importance of updating the residential address with my banks and credit card companies to a South Dakota address to avoid potential issues in the event of an audit from my current state.

However, due to the Patriot Act, I may not be able to use the mail-forwarding address as my residential address for banking purposes. Without resorting to leasing a property or relying on a friend in South Dakota, is there a way to satisfy this requirement? Is it possible that I could use the mail-forwarding address for banking purposes?


2 Answers 2


You may be able to successfully convince South Dakota that you're their resident, easy, but to save on the taxes you're paying in the current high-tax state - you need to convince that high-tax state that you're not resident there.

So the real question is not whether you can find a bank that will accept your mail forwarding address (you can), but whether the high-tax state is dumb enough not to realize that you're using mail-forwarding service when you present the bank statements and the driver license showing that address (they're not).

Once they identify your new address as a PMB, you'll need to explain where you actually live, and by that time you're already going to be treated as a potential tax cheater. So good luck trying to be smarter than a high-tax state revenue agents.


You face several hurdles, some of which to overcome you may face serous penalties.

It is possible to put a PO BOX or a mail forwarding service as your mailing address when getting a drivers license. They will also send a renewal out of state, for example to a kid in college. But they will want a "real" address for your in-state residence. This is even more true when dealing with a real-ID compliant ID card.

This is how South Dakota does it for full-time travelers

To be eligible for a South Dakota Driver License, you must have a physical residential address located in South Dakota, live full time in an RV/camper, or travel full time for work (for example, traveling nurse, truck driver, etc.).

If you use a mail forwarding service, you will be required to complete a residency affidavit, including a perjury statement indicating the answers you provided on the form are true and correct.

This is the residency affidavit

there is one minor note:

PLEASE NOTE: South Dakota Driver Licensing records are used as a supplemental list for jury duty selection. Obtaining a South Dakota driver license or non-driver ID card will result in you being required to report for jury duty in South Dakota.

and then the words you will be swearing to:

“I declare and affirm under the penalties of perjury (2 years imprisonment and $4000 fine) that this claim (petition, application, information) has been examined by me and, to the best of my knowledge and belief is in all things true and correct. Any false statement or concealment of any material facts subjects any license or ID issued to immediate cancellation"

and by the way:

This form must be signed in the presence of a notary public (virtual notary will not be accepted) or a South Dakota driver license examiner.

So on top of the potential tax fraud issues with your old state, and any other issues with your wrong state, and potential state and federal problems with voting in the wrong state, South Dakota could send you to jail for two years.

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