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Physical address for Your Driver’s Licence


The need for a physical address for full time RVers in Canada’s drivers licence.

I recently received an email from a woman in Canada who informed me that I was giving out incorrect information about having a physical address and had better reconsider what I was sharing. She also said some of my suggestions were silly.

I really appreciated her email – although you may not understand why. If in fact I was passing out the wrong information to full time RVers in Canada then I wanted to correct it. I needed to correct it. This also told me I needed to clarify a few things and maybe update my blog.

Here is what she told me:

i dont think you are correct and i am proof
it was an article on your website that said canadians had to have a physical address in canada at all times

i have a home in florida where i spend 6 months a year
i have a mailbox and a car in british columbia and i rent when i go there for 5 months
the car insurance accepts my mailbox but they just want to know where my car is parked when i am there and when i am in florida
my drivers license has my mailbox on it – no problem and my passport too

i think you are confused about what residency means
if you go to the cra website there is a form to determine residency
it is about assets and family and citizenship not owning real estate

you are wrong to tell people to buy a condo to maintain their residency = that is silly – dont you think the cra wants us to pay taxes???

i have bank accounts and investments and family in canada and a car and a mailbox – and i am there 5 months a year – that means i have to pay taxes there
if i spend more than 6 months in another country i will have to pay taxes there as well depending on their laws – if it is panama i wouldnt pay taxes there – they have great expat laws – now getting into being an expat is a whole other story – but you could literally live in another country and still have to pay taxes in canada – depe3nding on your assets

probably owning a home is good for the 8840 form – but it is not necessary

so there are multiple issues and each has a twist but i believed your information on your website is wrong

1. cra – canadian residency – you dont necessarily have to have an address or even be in canada to pay taxes
2. medical insurance in the province – different # of months just being there for each province –
3. car insurance – its just about owning a car in canada anad has nothing to do with owning or renting property
4. ins and the 8840 form – cant be in the states more than 182days a year without paying taxes there – you would pay taxes in both countries
5. crossing the border to the states – now that i have established a pattern of going back and forth they are very friendly – owning property n the states is a good thing here – probably more important than owning in canada

i always carry my deed to my property in the states and my 8840 form and other papers when i cross the border to the us

also – did you know that in bc you can apply to the bc medical plan for a two year extended leave of absense from the country in any 5 year period and still maintain your health insurance?
and of course as long as you still have assets and bank accounts you are still a canadian resident and wont even be in canada or have an address there for two years

and also in bc now they are stopping home mail delivery and many people only have mail boxes for their address

hope this helps

WELL!  Here goes – my response!

I spent the day phoning insurance companies, the passport office, medical services and a number of other people to get some clarification on the need for a physical address.

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I am only going to address a few of the things she spoke about.

  1.  Driver’s Licence – YOU MUST HAVE A PHYSICAL ADDRESS.  It is mandatory but you can also have a PO Box for mail.  My driver’s licence shows my physical address as well as my mailing address which is a post office box.
  2. Vehicle Insurance – YOU DO NOT NEED A PHYSICAL ADDRESS. However, you must supply the location where the vehicle will be residing – where you park it each night.  You can also use a PO Box for your mail.
  3. Passport – IN CANADA YOU MUST PROVIDE A PHYSICAL ADDRESS TO OBTAIN A PASSPORT.  Yes, you can also use a PO Box to receive your mail. But you will need to provide both.
  4. It’s not necessary to purchase a condo or any other residence as your physical residence.  If you check out my blog  I talk about what options are available to establish a home base.
  5. Medical coverage – YES she is right. Most provinces have changed the rules a bit and in BC it’s possible to request a two year exemption to allow for travel.  I have researched every province and this link will explain what the options for each are.  Medical Coverage

I respect that what she is doing works for her and I’m glad but I would never recommend that anyone try and circumvent the laws and what’s required to remain legal. There are definitely ways to become full time RVers in Canada legally – you just have to understand the rules first and then find a way to follow them.

I would love to hear what others have to say about what she has written and how they manage to live full time in their RV and travel.

Happy travels,

Carol Ann

8 thoughts on “Physical address for Your Driver’s Licence”

  1. Gord

    Thank you. I have a new drivers licence and passport within the last month. I ended up possibly selling my residence 3 weeks before traveling for 5 + months . I will have no fixed address when I leave, also when I return. This info is very helpful all though if the house does go through I have little time to make the changes. Travelling through ASIA with no fixed address, and possibly never be back to the address that I would have to put on drivers licence make this very difficult if I can not use a PO box

    1. Hi Gord,

      I am late in responding – my apologies. Have you figured out a way to make it work? Would love to hear how you managed this address issue,

  2. Carol Furtado

    Hi Carol,
    I am still planning on full time RVing in the next while. So much planning to do. My question regarding “physical address” is that if I use a friends address as my physical address….do I actually have to pay rent & prove that I pay rent there? Then they would have to claim income from rent?

    1. Hi Carol. The problem with using a friend’s address is you can’t prove you live there. You don’t have receipts, etc for utilities, etc. I don’t know how many people get asked that question – it seems to only be relevant when crossing the border into the US. I do know people who do this and have never encountered a problem. Maybe if the rent was reasonable – say $100/month? I have to give this more thought.

  3. Mikel Delamo

    Hi there.
    I’m going to work and live in Vancouver with my motorhome and l am thinking with all that issues about not having a physical address there.
    A friend offered me her home adress for my mail and legal stuff. Could be that a solution?
    What about having a physical adress in a UPS Store?

    Thank you 🙂

    1. Hi Mikel,

      Congratulations on your job in Vancouver. I wonder where you will be parking your motorhome. If you are at a park then you can use their address for your insurance purposes, etc and then maybe get a post office box for your mail. As to a UPS store – I am not sure if that is still available. We used one in Nanaimo until it closed down. I can’t say what would work the best for you but if the UPS or your friends works for you then great but I can’t advise either one. Many RVers use that route but be aware of some of the pitfalls. You can email me at if you would like more detail. 🙂

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for your email – sorry for my delay. I appreciate knowing that you find my info helpful – I enjoy doing it. The information you passed on for Saskatchewan is fabulous!
      Wow – I love Saskatchewan! After reading their rules for travellers they are the best I’ve seen so far. I have even copied them and will post them on my blog. I wish the rest of the provinces were more flexible. Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention . This must be relatively new. I’ll post it on my FB page as well.
      Thanks so much!
      Carol Ann

      Who is considered a Saskatchewan resident?
      For the purposes of vehicle registration eligibility, an individual is a Saskatchewan resident when they:
      • own, rent or lease an accommodation in Saskatchewan where they normally reside, or reside with an immediate family member who is a Saskatchewan resident; 
      • file income tax in Saskatchewan (if required). If the individual has not lived in Saskatchewan long enough to file a personal income tax return, provides satisfactory evidence that he or she normally resides in Saskatchewan; and
      • do not hold a driver’s licence from a jurisdiction other than Saskatchewan.
      An individual who normally resides in a temporary residence in Saskatchewan may also qualify for Saskatchewan vehicle registration. Temporary accommodations include:
      • lodging provided by an employer, including motels, hotels and work camps
      • dormitories
      • any other temporary accommodation (approved by SGI)
      A person who normally resides in a temporary residence in Saskatchewan, files Saskatchewan income tax (if required) and does not hold a driver’s licence from another jurisdiction is eligible for Saskatchewan vehicle registration.
      How do I prove I’m a resident?
      Customers may be required to make a residency declaration when they register their vehicle. We may need specific documents to prove Saskatchewan residency in the event of an insurance claim. This may include providing documents such as rental/lease agreements, banking records, cellphone records and proof of income tax.
      Non-resident vehicle registrations and out-of-province use
      An individual who is not a Saskatchewan resident may be able to register a vehicle for use in Saskatchewan, but use of the vehicle outside the province is limited to no more than 30 days in a calendar year, regardless of who is operating the vehicle.
      For example, an out-of-province resident owns a cabin in Saskatchewan and has a Saskatchewan-registered vehicle that remains in the province. If that vehicle happens to leave Saskatchewan, use outside the province is limited to no more than 30 days in a calendar year.
      A non-resident must comply with the requirements of the host jurisdiction while operating out of province. While SGI is willing to provide insurance coverage for up to 30 days in a calendar year, failure to abide by the registration requirements of the host jurisdiction may result in a fine or other penalties.

      Personal use
      Extended absences include people who travel outside of the province for more than 30 consecutive days for vacation or other purposes (e.g., snowbirds). Saskatchewan residents are permitted to use their Saskatchewan driver’s licence and operate a Saskatchewan registered vehicle while out of the province on an extended vacation. The vehicle is not required to return to Saskatchewan.
      Please note:
      • The owner/operator of the vehicle may own a residence in another jurisdiction, provided they maintain their Saskatchewan residence.
      • The owner/operator can be employed while away on vacation.
      •  Insurance coverage is limited to Canada and the United States.
      Full-time travellers
      Full-time travellers who no longer have a Saskatchewan residence may be eligible to continue to use their Saskatchewan registration provided they:
      • do not have a permanent address anywhere in North America;
      • most recently lived in a permanent residence in Saskatchewan;
      • maintain a mailing address in Saskatchewan;
      • continue to file income tax in Saskatchewan; and  
      • do not hold a driver’s licence from a jurisdiction other than Saskatchewan.
      For more information
      If you want more detailed information on the residency requirements for Saskatchewan driver’s licences, vehicle registration and vehicle use, please talk to any motor licence issuer or call our Customer Service Centre at 1-800-667-9868.
      Here’s a link to my blog post with the same information. Click here!

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