Relocating outside of your current state adds a little complexity compared to moving somewhere within your current city or elsewhere in your state. Each state in the union boasts subtle differences in their laws, plus you’ll need to get a new drivers license, license plate, and registration for your vehicle. Acquiring new health insurance raises other questions, not to mention the differences in car insurance.
Needless to say, the relocation process gets confusing enough without dealing with another state’s laws and rules. Some tips for moving out of state definitely help make relocating a breeze. Let’s take a closer look.
Transferring Insurance needs to be Near the Top of your “To Do” List
Within a week or two before moving, make it a point to research the transfer of your auto and health insurance — RV and motorcycle insurance also applies. If you are staying with the same company or your new employer provides health insurance as a benefit, this process ends up being easier. Self-employed workers who get insurance through an Affordable Care Act exchange need to understand what options are available for them in their new state. Whatever your health insurance situation, know your options before your move!
Acquiring vehicle insurance in a new state is an easier process, especially if your current provider also offers policies at your new location. Expect some differences in premiums as well as the level of insurance you’ll need — this varies greatly by state. Your new policies essentially need to be in force once you are driving in your new state, so don’t delay.
Get New Vehicle and Drivers Licenses Soon After your Move
Most states expect new residents to get drivers licenses and register their vehicles within a month after your move. It is a good idea to find out beforehand where you need to go for new licenses and vehicle registration — it may be a deputy registrar or possibly the clerk of your new county. This is another area where laws vary on a state-by-state basis.
Additionally, research any special emissions requirements for vehicles and consider a quick visit to a local car service shop to check your vehicle before any emissions test. The last thing you need is to have your car fail a test right after your move. Making sure all vehicles (and drivers) are properly licensed helps to smooth the transition to your new home.
Don’t Assume your Current Bank operates in your New State
Unless you bank with a financial institution boasting a national footprint, chances are good you will need to find a new bank soon after moving, if not before. If your employer offers direct deposit, this gives you the potential of getting a better deal with your new bank. Ask your employer for their insight on the best financial service providers in your area.
Don’t forget to close out your banking accounts in your previous location. Consider doing that beforehand, since many banks also offer perks on new savings accounts depending on the amount of your initial deposit — it helps to have more cash on hand. These deals go beyond a new toaster giveaway; sometimes including cash amounts up to a few hundred dollars.
Keep Track of your State Income Tax Data
Not everyone enjoys the luxury of moving to a new state exactly on January 1st. You’ll need to inform both states of your address change, in addition to keeping accurate data on how much money you earned in each state the year of your move. Next year, you’ll need to file a tax return for each state, and some states have different rules for partial year tax returns — for instance, not allowing an electronic return.
If you use a professional tax preparation firm, they probably are aware of the different rules and can help you through this process. If you do your own taxes, research the filing requirements for both states so no issues arise after those returns are filed. Don’t wait until April 10th of next year to figure out any specific requirements.
Don’t forget the Utility Companies
A new state probably means a new set of utility companies. Before your move, research what companies provide service at your new address, so you are able to ensure at least electricity, water, and phone service (if still using a landline) are functional when you arrive. Digital TV and Internet can wait, but having them ready helps make your new residence feel like a home.
Hopefully, these tips for moving out of state help to ensure that your relocation goes smoothly.