Whether you’re transitioning from Alaska to Florida or making a short hop from New Jersey to New York, interstate moving can be a stressful time. Here are some tips to have a smooth transition as you move from one state to another.
1. Check with the DMV
There’s usually a grace period when moving to a new state before you have to get a new driver’s license. It can range from 30 to 90 days, but you’re going to have to get a new license eventually. Some states will have reciprocity with each other, in which case you can just go into a DMV office, fill out the paperwork, have your picture taken and be on your way with a new license. Other states are more restrictive, and you may have to take a written test before getting a new license. The new driver’s license will be the main way to prove residency in your new state. In many states, you can take care of voter registration at the DMV as well.
2. Mail an Envelope to Yourself
Since you’re moving to a new state, you likely have an apartment lined up there already. Write your name and new address on an envelope, attach postage and mail it. If you’re worried about it getting to your new address, you can put c/o the landlord, and pick it up when you arrive. A postmarked envelope with your name address on it is a big help with interstate moving. You’ll need that envelope as a form of I.D. to open a Post Office box and to hook up utilities such as gas, electric and telephone in your new apartment.
3. Study the City Map
Interstate moving can be a grueling experience if you’re going to spend a lot of time on a plane or in a car. Study the map of your new city to learn your way around better before you even arrive. You’ll want to spot the closest access to food, furniture or other items that you’ll need in your new apartment. This will save time and prevent having to hunt for things when you’re exhausted and first arrive. A GPS in your car can make this even easier.
4. Buy a Cell Phone
If you don’t own a cell phone, now is the time to get one. Even if you have everything in order, it can sometimes take local telephone companies a week to ten days to hook up phone service for a new resident. Rather than testing the phone company on how fast it says it can operate, go ahead and purchase a cell phone, even if it’s just a disposable one with a few hours of calling time on it. Having immediate phone service in your new city can alleviate a lot of headaches.
5. Have a Car Lined Up
If you’re not driving to your new state, you’ll need to have some means of transportation when you get there. Call around to rental agencies and reserve a car for at least the first few days, until you can purchase a new or used vehicle.
Interstate moving will go more smoothly if you plan ahead with these tips.