Update your driver’s license when you move

You’ve completed a full inspection of your car, packed up all of your belongings and have even made sure that you have a full tank of gas. Moving day is almost here and your car’s ready to go, but there’s still plenty of work ahead after you get settled into your new address.

Packing and transporting your belongings is just the beginning of a bigger transition, especially if you’re moving out of state. After you’ve completed the trip, you’ll start adjusting to life at a new residence and will need to update your address with the United States Postal Service and various service providers. However, don’t forget about your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or equivalent agency.

Many people dread encounters with government departments such as the DMV, but the following steps can help you quickly update your driver’s license, registration and insurance after you relocate.

Complete a change of address form
You should complete a change of address form with your state’s driving regulatory agency regardless of whether you’re completing an in- or out-of-state move. You can visit a local office to fill out the form, or complete the document online in many states.

Getting a driver’s license in your new state could prove a bit more challenging. Many municipalities require people to visit their offices to complete vision tests, and if your driver’s license is expired, you may need to complete knowledge and driving tests. Fees could also apply.

Save time by filling out documents online if they are available and getting your ID ready before your department visit. Additionally, make sure you bring your previous driver’s license with you – you’ll have to return it to the DMV in order to receive your new license.

Contact your insurance provider
Find out whether you are required to have car insurance at your new residence. While states like Massachusetts require motorists to be insured, others, such as Ohio, do not. Thankfully, you can shop around for car insurance, and many providers even offer monthly, bi-annual and annual payment options that can make it more affordable in certain situations.

If you already have car insurance, call your provider and notify them about your change of address. Depending on the state, your car insurance rates could change based on your new address. Conducting research ahead of time gives you a better idea about what your new rates will be so you can budget accordingly.