Moving is always a stressful experience, but it can be especially trying if you are moving to a different state. Not only is it very possible that you will have to contend with minor culture shock, but there are lots of little details to take into account. Everyone should have a checklist of things to take care of when they move to a new home; that checklist becomes especially important when you are moving across state lines. Here are just a few things that you should do when you move to another state.
Learn The State’s Laws
While you don’t need to become an expert on every law that has been passed in your new home state, it’s important to be aware of any laws that might vary greatly from those to which you are accustomed. Traditional vices like gambling, prostitution, and even marijuana are illegal in most of the country, but there are some exceptions. The same goes for marriage laws, gun laws, abortion laws and many other potentially controversial issues that are subject to almost endless national debate. What one state may deem perfectly acceptable could get you in deep trouble with the police elsewhere, so it’s best to do your homework and familiarize yourself with what is and what isn’t legal in the state to which you’re moving.
Learning about a new state also means learning its tax laws. Federal tax laws won’t change from state to state, but there can be huge differences in state tax laws. Things that are taxed in some states may not be taxed in others, and people in some states may be eligible for tax credits that they might not receive if they lived elsewhere. Some states like Florida, do not even have a state income tax. Check your state’s tax laws or speak to a CPA to find out more, especially when it gets closer to tax time.
Get a New ID or Driver’s License
Moving to a new state will involve getting a state-issued driver’s license or other form of identification. How long you have to get a new state ID depends on where you are living, but there is generally a grace period of about 30 days. Once again, this can vary from state to state. For example, you have 60 days or until your license expires to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license in New Jersey. The grace period that exists means that getting a new state ID isn’t a top priority, but you should still get it taken care of as soon as possible.
Register to Vote
If you are registered to vote and you move to a new state, your registration does not move with you. Registering to vote in a new state may not be a top priority if you haven’t moved during an election season, but it is good to know how to re-register when it comes time to cast your vote. The Election Assistance Commission’s National Mail Voter Registration Form can be downloaded and used to update your information. Simply fill out the form and send it to the appropriate election office. You may also have to notify your previous election office that you have moved, although this isn’t required in every state.
Taking care of the tasks listed here will help make your move to a new state go smoothly. Moving is stressful on its own, but after you brush up on local laws, get your new driver’s license and register to vote you’ll be ready to call your new state home.