Timothy Harris

Relocating is hard. And in many ways, the longer the distance, the harder the move.

Moving across state lines presents a unique set of challenges. Check out our helpful checklist for relocating to another state.

1. A budget

This is perhaps the most essential element to pulling off a move to another state. Moving isn't cheap, especially when you're crossing state lines.

The American Moving and Storage Association estimates that an inter-state move by hired professionals costs about $4,300. Even if you move yourself, you'll need the appropriate budget for truck and storage rental, gas and any interim accommodations.

2. Legal domicile

You'll need to go through the formal process of claiming residency in your new state. Doing so is primarily for tax purposes. If you don't do it, you could end up owing taxes in more than one state, and if you don't do it legally, you'll owe a hefty fine.

Each state has different guidelines, so it's best to consult the state's official website for information on establishing domicile.

3. Pet registration info

Pet laws vary from one state to the other. Check out the pet registration laws in the state you're moving to.

You should also keep your pet's information on you throughout the move. In some states, police offers can actually require that you present pet vaccination or registration info and you can be fined for not having it.

4. A quality moving company

Moving always comes with risks. But, moving to a new state has an even higher risk level. When relocating that far, be sure that your moving company is equipped to make your move easy and safe.

You should be able to find the following information for reputable moving companies:

  • Up-to-date registration
  • Information on workers compensation, liability insurance and motor vehicle insurance
  • A U.S. Department of Transportation identification number

Most businesses will have this information readily available — probably on their website. If a moving company is unable to provide you with any of these, that should raise some red flags for you. You can also check Yelp or a similar site for consumer reviews to help you determine the quality of various moving companies. If you go the DIY route and use a moving pod, make sure you do your research on that company as well.

5. Services at your new home

When relocating to a new state, you need to make arrangements to activate utilities at your new home. Some apartments will make these arrangements for you, but in some cases, you'll be left on your own.

Consult with your realtor if you're using one, your landlord or search the internet to find local information for setting up utilities like water, gas, electric and telecommunication services.

6. Medical records

Medical records are probably the last thing on your mind when relocating to a new state but if you prepare ahead of time to transfer your records to a new state, the whole process will go by a lot smoother.

Instead of scrambling to get copies sent when you inevitably need your medical records in your new town, pay a visit to your dentist and general practitioner before leaving your town. If you request a printed copy to take with you, you can simply provide them to your new doctor when the time comes.

7. Vehicle transport

If your move is thousands of miles away, you may not want to put that kind of stress on your vehicle.

You'll need to think through your options. Maybe a friend can drive it for you, or you can always hire a professional to do the job. There are a few alternative methods for moving your vehicle to your new home.

8. A change of address

One of the most important parts of moving is thoroughly changing your address for all of your important information.

With the USPS, you can change your address online. You'll also need to let your friends and family know, as well as banks, government institutions (like the IRS and DMV) and any other interested parties.

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About The Author

Timothy Harris

Timothy Harris is a freelance writer based in Albuquerque. He brings a professional background in event marketing, residential real estate and journalism to the table to provide useful and relevant content for the modern renter. Timothy has previously written content for Karsten & Associates in New Mexico and Up 'til Dawn, a philanthropic fundraiser that benefits St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

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