Moving Tips

Tips for Getting a License in a New State

Yesterday morning I planned on going to the local DMV to switch my license from Illinois to New Jersey. Since moving to a new state has a lot of challenges I thought I would write down some tips for anyone that is moving to a new state and needs to change out their license.

1. Look at the states requirements for identification

When you go to get a new license you need to have a variety of forms of identification on you. Look up when the new state requires so you can have it ready and on you. Since the DMV’s website may not be the easiest thing to navigate, a quick Google search can get you directly to the page that you need on the website with a lot less hassle.

New Jersey had a form where they would let you select the types of ID you had so you knew what to bring with you and if it would be enough. I thought I had everything I need but apparently the lease I had wasn’t considered valid since we went through a realtor 😦 Luckily I had mail at the aprtment I could use to show my new address.

2. Bring extra identificaiton

This is definitely a “Do as I say, not as I do” type situation. I thought bringing in a print out of my lease here in New Jersey would qualify as proof of address but apparently not. Since we went through a realtor (more precisely Alex’s mom) to get our apartment, the lease went through a third party. In New Jersey this doesn’t qualify as proof of address. I wish I had brough a piece of mail with me to show my address. I ended up having to drive back to the apartment to get my credit card bill then drive back to the DMV with it.

3. Be prepared to wait

The DMV is known to have long lines. Luckily I didn’t have to wait in one but I was prepared and brought a book with just in case. Since I love to read, I wouldn’t have mind having to wait and get in a chapter or two of reading. Knock out two birds with one stone right?

4. Go early

The best way to beat lines is to go early. I looked up what time the DMV near me opened and tried to get there then to beat a crowd. It’s also helpful to not go at the end of the month since that’s when car registrations expire so you’ll end up having to wait longer than you would if you waited a few days or until the next week. States allow 30-60 days for you to get a new license once you move there so there isn’t any rush to go right away.

5. Make sure you have the correct form of payment

Make sure you have one or two different ways to pay for your license. Some places don’t accept different credit card companies. I would definitely check online to see how much it will cost and have some cash on you has a back up.

6. Keep a smile on

No one likes having to wait in a long line. If you do just keep a smile on your face and be patient with whoever is helping you get the license. It’s not fun for either you or the employee if you’re both cranky. Even if you’re beyond annoyed just put a smile on your face and then complain to your boyfriend/girlfriend/Mom/etc. later

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