Establishing New Accounts

If moving long-distance, you may have to start from scratch and open all new accounts. Those moving locally should be able to keep most of their accounts and focus mainly on updating their address.

Bank Accounts

Bank accounts can be established in your new city before or after the move. However, doing this beforehand has its advantages. It’s one less thing you have to worry about, plus you can order checks in advance and open a safe deposit right away.

Creating New AccountsWhen choosing a bank, consider the ones located close to work or home. What are their hours? Does the FDIC cover deposits? What are their terms? Depending on the city you’re moving to, you may have one or many banks to choose from. I tend to favor local banks compared to national ones.

Before closing accounts, allow enough time for checks to clear. I would avoid writing checks as much as possible in the weeks leading up to moving day. Ask your bank when it would be best to close your accounts.

If paying any bills electronically, you’ll have to cancel or update your checking account number. Be sure to have sufficient funds in your new account to cover scheduled payments.


You may have a variety of gas and electric, cable, internet, satellite TV, and phone companies to choose from. Check the yellow pages, the official city website, and search engines for options. Ask your real estate agent, neighbors, and co-workers for recommendations. If moving locally, utilities can be transferred to your new residence.

You’ll want utilities up and running the day you move in. I would advise evaluating all your options to get the best deal and service.

A utility company broker can take care of all this for you. They’ll compare companies and sign you up for for all the services requested. However, they may or may not choose the best companies or get the best deals. I really don’t know much about these brokers. I personally would choose the companies myself, but the choice is yours.


Get new insurance quotes or transfer for life, automobile, home, apartment, and health if necessary. is a good resource. As soon as your new policies are active, your old ones can be cancelled. Those who are moving due to a job relocation with the same company will continue getting their health insurance. Cobra health insurance is an option if you’re moving and don’t have a new job yet.

Cell Phones

If your current cell phone company doesn’t offer service in your new area, you can get out of the contract without any penalties. Even if service is provided, you still might want to look at other companies to find out if their service is better.

License and Registration

Those moving out of state will have to apply for a new driver’s license, while those moving in state only have to change their address.

Every state gives new residents a time limit for getting a new license and changing the address. For example, the state of Washington gives 10 days for updating an address and 30 days for getting a new license.

Some states do require new residents to take a written test, but most only request a vision test and a fee. You’ll need to bring your current license with and a legal document, such as a birth certificate, to show proof of your age and identity.

If the surname on your birth certificate has changed, then you’ll need to show documentation. A marriage, divorce, or an adoption certificate will suffice.

Safety inspections, emission inspections, and vehicle identification number (VIN) verifications may be required within a certain time period before a new license plate or insurance policy can be issued. In some states, such as California, your local American Automobile Association (AAA) office is authorized to issue new license plates. In others, like New Jersey, the insurance company requires a photo inspection and a copy of a utility bill documenting residence.

Your registration, title, and license can all be changed at the DMV.

Library Card

To get a library card, you’ll need a current driver’s license or some form of identification (student ID, utility bill) from your new state.

Medical Records

Call the dentist to request the transfer of records and x-rays taken within the last 2 years to avoid extra medical expense. Women should request the transfer of their mammogram x-rays when they schedule their yearly appointment. If you move often, keep a list of all the doctors and dentists you’ve had in the past. Your new doctor may need to contact them.


Activate the security system if there is one. If you want one installed, interview a few companies first. Don’t give them too much personal information when they ask questions. You don’t want the companies you don’t choose to have all your information.

Change the locks – neighbors or friends may still have keys to the house.


Create a list of important phone numbers and place on the refrigerator or inside a cabinet door. Document the contact information of your neighbors, schools, childcare, physicians, security monitoring, family, and so on. Not all areas have 911, so find out what the police and fire numbers are.

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