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DMV New Resident Checklist

Date posted: 07/13/2012

by Melissa Crumish on
in Address & Name Change

1501 DMV New Resident ChecklistMoving to a new state creates a lengthy Things to Do list: checking out schools, contacting utility companies, figuring out which neighbors to avoid …

Faced with so many undertakings, it’s easy to forget to contact your local Department of Motor Vehicle’s (DMV) after relocation.

Depending on your situation you may need to update all or some of the following information:

  • Apply for a new driver’s license. Most state DMVs do not require new testing – other than a vision exam – provided the driver license from your former state is valid. Depending on the state, you must update your drivers license within a certain number of days of establishing residency. New California residents, for example, are given 10 days, while New Mexico allows new residents 30 days.
  • Apply for new license plates. Like a drivers license, you must register your vehicle within a certain number of days after establishing residency. The exact timeline varies by state. Connecticut, for example, allows new residents 60 days, New York 30 days, and South Carolina 45 days.
  • After obtaining your new license plates, don’t forget to check if your former plates need to be surrendered. Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA), for example, requires former residents to send back their Maryland license plates.
  • Pass a smog check, if applicable. If required, you must get an emissions inspection prior to registering your vehicle.
  • Pass a safety inspection, if applicable. New York, for example, requires annual inspections, while Colorado has no such law.
  • Notify your car insurance company. Depending on your new state’s liability auto insurance requirements, you may have to adjust your coverage.
  • If you have no intent on driving, apply for an identification card with your new state. A photo ID comes in handy when boarding planes, registering to vote, and cashing checks.
  • As a new resident you’ll also want to register to vote in your new district. You can do this through your DMV.
  • Change your address with the motor vehicle agency of your old state, as well as your new state.

Keep in mind that if you moved within state, you’ll still need to notify your DMV. This will assure no interruption in registration renewal notices, or other pertinent information.

Did we miss anything on our New Resident Checklist? If so, share your wisdom with our online community by leaving a comment below.

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