Everything is larger than life in Texas. Moving to a new state is always challenging because it requires you to adjust to new laws and conditions that might not have applied in your previous home. Here are 10 simple tips to help you make a smooth transition to the Lone Star State.
- Before you leave, take a look at the extended forecast and make sure to plan for the weather. Texas weather isn’t for the faint of heart. Depending on the time of year you move and where you are moving, you may have to deal with extreme heat, hurricanes, thunder storms, or tornadoes.
- Get your utilities set up before you leave. Your real estate agent should have information about local utility companies. You don’t want to end up arriving at night to a house with no electricity, so plan ahead.
- Visit the Texas Online website to find information about business licensing, schools, and other essential information.
- When you get to Texas, one of the first things you need to do is take your vehicle to be inspected. You have 30 days, but it’s best to get it done right away. You can find a list of inspection requirements and locations by county here. You’ll have to provide proof that you have sufficient insurance — $20,000 for bodily injury/death for one person, $40,000 for two or more people, and $15,000 for injuries and property damage. Once your vehicle passes inspection, you’ll be given a verification form.
- The next step is to take your verification form to your county tax assessor’s office to get your new vehicle registration stickers and license plates. In addition to the verification form, you’ll need proof that you own your vehicle as well as proof of insurance.
- Go to the closest Texas Department of Public Safety to get your Texas driver’s license. You’ll need photo ID, proof of your social security number, and proof of liability insurance to get it. You’ll also have to provide a thumbprint and surrender your old license. You can find a list of locations here. You have 90 days after you move to get your Texas license.
- While you’re getting your license, you may also want to register to vote. You can do it at the same time, or if you prefer, download a form online. Texas law says that you must register to vote at least 30 days prior to an election in order to vote.
- File for your homestead extension if you bought a home, but don’t fall for scams. Filing for the exemption is free, but even people who have lived in Texas for years have been taken in by mail solicitations claiming that they have to pay a fee in order to get the exemption.
- If you need to find out about state assistance programs for the disabled or for veterans, dial the state hotline at 2-1-1 for information.
- Visit a local insurance agent to update your automobile insurance and to obtain homeowner’s or renter’s insurance for your new home.
Moving is always a challenge, but it helps to know what to expect before you start out. These ten tips can help you make a smooth, successful transition when moving to your new home in Texas.