Although Americans have some of the highest transitory rates in the developed world, 57% will never move to a different state. It’s hard to blame them. If moving wasn’t hard enough, moving to another state is even worse.
But it’s not impossible. In fact, if you know how to move to another state, it can be a refreshing transitionary experience. A new state means a new culture, a new climate, and a new perspective.
Are you moving to another state? Then it’s time to enrich your life and broaden your worldview. Here’s how to make an interstate move as straightforward as possible.
Secure Housing Ahead of Time
You wouldn’t make an intrastate move without having a new place to live. Otherwise, you’d get trapped in a series of hotels until you found a functional home. That’s not a sound economic choice.
It’s even more important when you’re moving to another state. Since you’ll be new to the area, locking down a new living situation will likely take you more time.
Let’s say you were hired by a new place across the country and your first day is in two months. In that case, you shouldn’t be picky with potential lodgings. Find a suitable apartment knowing full well you’ll only be there for the duration of the lease.
If the move is in the far-flung future or you’re staying at a friend’s place, you can explore more comfortable housing options such as these homes.
Forward Your Mail
Hundreds of organizations, businesses, and public institutions are aware of your address. It’d be impossible to remember and update them all once you make the move. Luckily, you don’t have to.
A week or two before the moving day approaches, sign up for mail forwarding through USPS. Their system will intercept mail addressed to your old home and redirect it to your new place. Mail forwarding is completely free and comes with a welcome kit of home-related coupons and special offers.
You should know that mail forwarding doesn’t last forever. After six months, USPS will stop intercepting your mail. This means you should update your address for each letter directed to your old place.
If you need extra time, you can extend the mail forwarding program for an additional six months. But after that, you’re on your own.
Obtain a Driver’s License
As a new resident in the state, you can’t hold on to your old driver’s license. Most states expect you to change your license after the move. Ditto for your vehicle’s license plates.
The procedures and expectations differ from state to state. Typically, you’ll need to provide your social security number, birth certificate, and passport.
You’ll also have to bring proof of your current residence. Make sure you’re quick to update a few mailing lists so you receive correspondence with your new address. Most DMVs accept bank statements and utility bills, so do your best to hang on to those.
Change Car Insurance Policies
It’s almost a certainty you’ll have to pick up a new insurance policy for an interstate move. States make their own rules, so you’ll need a new policy that’s valid for the area.
When should you make the switch? The timeline varies. Most states expect you to change once you become an official resident, which usually means accepting a job or paying for a home or apartment.
The good news is most insurance companies cover policies for all states. If you’re with a large company, they can automate the insurance transition. Make sure your new policy adheres to the state’s minimum coverage guidelines.
Find New Healthcare Providers
An often overlooked part of an interstate move is saying goodbye to your current healthcare professionals. Wherever you travel, you’re sure to have a variety of options regarding health, dental, and vision coverage. The hard part is finding the good ones right off the bat.
Your best bet is to search for providers in your new insurance network. However, these networks generally don’t include a rating system. Once you’ve written down a few healthcare providers, check out their online reviews.
Figure Out the Moving Logistics
When you’re making a move, you can either go it alone or rely on a moving company. You may be surprised at the difficulty of an interstate move if you’ve never done one before. Unlike staying in the area, it’s not feasible to make small trips and chip at the move a little at a time.
Moving to another state means transporting your possessions all at once. If you’re moving the whole family, you’ll also have to contend with driving a semi-truck across the country. Still, you can save thousands of dollars by handling the move yourself.
Calculate the Cost of Living
Different areas of the country have vastly different costs of living. For example, the same apartment in a coastal city will be twice as expensive as one located in the midwest.
What does this mean for you? Your current salary is relative. If you keep the same income and move to a cheaper part of the country, you’ve effectively given yourself a raise.
But the opposite is true if you’re moving to a more desirable state. Keep this in mind while you’re looking for work, or you may discover you can’t afford to stay in the new area.
Moving to Another State?
Remember that moving, like life, is all about the journey. Yes, moving to another state is a hassle. But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.
Embrace the electric thrill of the big move. You’ll settle down at the new place in no time.
If you’re looking for travel or home advice, search our blog for more helpful reads.