Californians No More

Hi everyone! Thank you for coming back for another blog about our journey to becoming full-time RV’ers. We are excited and a little sad/nostalgic to announce that we have officially given up our California citizenship. The recall election for governor? Not our problem anymore. Though I am sad I missed my opportunity to write in Kris Jenner as a candidate. Could you imagine? 

We actually barely slept the night before our appointment with the South Dakota’s version of the DMV called the Department of Public Safety (DPS) because we were so nervous. We had brought all this paperwork and done tons of research to make sure that we were fully prepared. We had anticipated a California experience at the DMV. For those of you unfamiliar, how did you get so lucky? Going to the DMV in California is akin to a root canal, a hangover, and jury duty combined into one, even if you have an appointment. We were mentally and physically preparing ourselves for an all-day waiting mind-numbing extravaganza.

Our appointment was at 8:30 am and we got there at about 8:10 am. We walked in, and there were only two women working in the entire DPS? 2 people?! The last time I went to the DMV in California there were only two people who were not completely losing their minds. The women greeted us with wide, welcoming smiles as if we were the exact people they have been waiting all week to meet. They exclaimed that we were early and they were free to help us right then. I couldn’t believe our luck. I might have pinched myself to make sure this was actually real. 

The two employees were absolutely lovely. They were thrilled we had all of our paperwork ready to go, took our pictures, and printed our licenses right then and there! We didn’t have to wait 3-6 weeks to receive it in the mail? What a time to be alive. We were out of there 5 minutes before our appointment was supposed to start. It was incredible. I might want to go back, just for fun to see the efficiency. 

Our big takeaways/learnings from this experience:

  • The birth certificate that you have always had (the one with the tiny footprint in the corner) is not, in fact, your real birth certificate. It is a souvenir from the hospital where you were born. You have to get the original from the state you were born in. Apparently the state doesn’t appreciate tiny footprints on legal documents. Weird. 
  • Bring your passport whenever you do something official. Thank gosh we brought ours because, in lieu of an original birth certificate, the passport works.
  • In California, they check your eyesight one eye at a time and you are more likely to need the note on your license that says corrective lenses. In South Dakota, they check both eyes at the same time, so your good eye can compensate for your bad one and you don’t need glasses when you drive! Blessings! 

All in all, we had a great experience in South Dakota getting domiciled. 10/10 would recommend. Make sure you do your research and prepare and use Escapees for help and directions. 

Just One More…Visit to the South Dakota DPS. I know it sounds crazy but it was so exciting! 

Also, PLEASE be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel! Our vlogs will be starting on July 15th and will be posted every other week!



    Wow, what a wonderful “DMV” experience. I agree……that experience in California is not the best. The last time I went I was “chastised” for being early and they would not let me check in. I was told to sit and then come back to the “check in window” at my appropriate time. By that time, the line got longer and longer and I had to stand for a long time to try to be at the window at the appropriate time. Glad you started off your South Dakota citizenship on such a good note. Happy Travels!


    1. It truly was unbelievable!!


  2. cooljudy says:

    It has been so rewarding to watch the two of you on this journey to the RV lifestyle. Your research has been thorough and the warp speed of your timeline has been amazing. ✅
    I know you have lots to absorb about your new home on wheels and planning all the adventures ahead. Time now to take a big deep breath, exhale and relax under your awning with a glass of your favorite beverage, and get ready to meet a world of new friends you will call your new family.


    1. Thanks Judy. Unfortunately we have had a challenging time with General RV. We are in Reno trying to fix the deplorable installation of our solar. Had to have a solar expert redo EVERYTHING! It was a danger as to how they installed it. And Jerry new something was wrong during our walk thru but couldn’t prove it and they told us take it or leave it. And charged us 1800 for installation. Trust me this isn’t over. So right now we are not happy campers but hopefully we will be later today once this is all fixed.


  3. Jennifer says:

    Wow I can’t believe the RV/Solar issue! So amazing how efficient the DPS was! Enjoying reading about your adventure. Love you both 💕


    1. Thanks for reading the blog!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️


  4. jrjsquared says:

    So glad you are safe after that issue. I guess your trip is going to be a mix of experiences like the South Dakota DMV and like the solar.


  5. Sharon Dilley says:

    Love hearing about your travels.


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