3 Things You Shouldn’t Forget to Do When Moving to a New State

By the time you’ve decided to move to a new state officially, a lot is going through your mind. From the logistics, like packing and changing jobs, to the emotional stress of leaving behind loved ones, you’re a busy person.

You know the basics. You have to check crime rates in the neighborhood before you rent or buy a home, start planning way in advance, and load up on packing boxes.

In your hectic days, though, it’s easy to overlook some of the smaller things while you’re dealing with the big ones. But there are some tasks you might forget that must be done ASAP.

As you’re creating your “moving to another state” checklist, be sure you add these three must-dos to your list.

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1. Start the Transfer Process of Your Licenses

In many states, it’s required that you notify the Department of Motor Vehicles as soon as you move. Since you only have thirty days to get this done, you should start the process early.

Find out where the nearest DMV is located in proximity to your new home. Then start collecting your documents. Each state has different requirements, but you can look on their website to make sure you have everything you’ll need.

Other Licenses

If you have any other personal licenses, they’ll need to be transferred, as well. Not all licenses will be automatically approved once you cross the border. Professional licenses vary by industry and state.

For instance, a social worker, doctor, or teacher may need to be completely recertified if the state they’re moving to doesn’t have reciprocal transfer policies with their old state.

Medical marijuana cards are another type of license. Cannabis is governed by the state individually, so your new state may not accept your current card.

Florida, as an example, doesn’t have reciprocity agreements with any other state. If you’re moving to the Sunshine State, you’ll need to start from scratch. Read more about getting your MMJ card in Florida with this article from Veriheal.

2. Plan for Emergencies

There’s a lot to do and maybe not a ton of time to get it done. Still, if you plan your schedule down to an exact science, you’re not leaving yourself any room for a contingency plan.

Emergencies happen. Can you afford the time and money you’ll need to deal with them when they do?

Expect the Unexpected

By definition, an emergency is unexpected, so it’s hard to plan for everything that could happen. But if you allow for a few days of wiggle room in your schedule and a few thousand dollars extra in your budget, you should be okay, no matter what happens.

Last-minute moving emergencies frequently include things like:

  • The house you are renting/buying falls through
  • Vehicle issues (yours or the moving truck)
  • Job delays
  • Medical problems (you get sick or injured in an accident)

By adding some wiggle room to your schedule and your budget, it’s not as stressful when you have to deal with unexpected issues.

3. Call the Utility Companies

If you don’t have electricity and water waiting for you at your new place, it’s going to be hard to stay there. But you can’t expect the companies to drop everything and come turn your utilities on the day you call.

When you know about when you’ll be in your new place, find out who your new providers will be. Contact your current ones and schedule a cancellation date. You might even have a deposit you’ll get back to help you with the moving expenses.

Then, call the new providers and find out their requirements. Some will need a credit check, which can take time. It’s also a normal process for a utility company to require a copy of your lease if you’re renting. Deposits, contracts, and waiting periods are all common but cause delays if you’re not expecting them.

By contacting every provider you’re canceling or moving to early, you’ll be more likely to have the utilities you need on schedule.


In your hurry to remember all the little things, make sure you don’t forget these three essential, but often overlooked to-do items! Additionally, finding a place to live in your new state can be a challenge. For those moving to urban areas, using a roommate finder service can be an efficient way to find affordable living arrangements and make the transition smoother.

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