Moving to Montana checklist Overview
Moving to a new state is often an exciting time in one’s life, but it can also be an overwhelming experience. Montana is west of the continental divide and shares borders with South Dakota, North Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, and Canada. If you plan to relocate to Big Sky County, the following guidelines will help you get started.
1) Contact the Montana DMV
The first thing you need to do is contact the Department of Motor Vehicles and apply for a Montana driver’s license. If you have purchased a new vehicle, it will also be necessary to title and register your car in the state of Montana as well. The process for transferring your driver’s license and car registration can be handled by phone or online through your local DMV office.
2) Research schools
Parents relocating with children should find out where their children will attend school before moving day arrives. Public schools are usually located within the boundaries of individual towns, but some larger cities such as Billings offer excellent public, charter, and private school options.
Newcomers should take advantage of free tours offered to prospective students and parents at many local schools. Call or email the school district offices and ask them for dates and times of available tours.
3) Rent or buy a home
After you get settled in Montana, one of your priorities is finding a place to live and securing housing. You may want to consider living in a rental unit, townhouse, or condominium for the time being while you search for the perfect house to purchase. If this is your preferred method of getting started, we recommend looking online at some houses listed with local real estate agents. The best way to find out more about what is currently on the market is by searching online for homes currently on sale across all counties in Montana using real estate websites.
4) Set up utilities
Depending on which area of the state you live in, water and electricity services may already be available at your home, or they may need to be hooked up by a licensed Montana contractor.
You will most likely need to contact the phone company, whether for a new phone line or converting an existing landline number. One last utility that is often overlooked is a trash can service so you can put out your first weekly pickup order once you have your home ready.
5) Get mail forwarded to your new address
Whether you are moving across town or the country, you must set up all your utilities before arriving at your new home.
This will ensure that no time is wasted once you have signed the closing documents on your house and are ready to move in.
Many utility companies offer online forms or phone numbers for setting up services. You can also contact customer service at these offices if you need further assistance connecting your services.
Once everything is set up, be sure to sign up for a Montana driver’s license if you aren’t currently living in the state already.
6) Sign up for cell phone service
Prepaid plans are often less expensive than contracts or monthly bills. Because Montana is a relatively rural state, most cell coverage consists of local tower networks that provide good reception only within major cities and population centers. Cell phone companies are reasonably competitive in the areas with strong coverage, so shopping around for the best plan is key to getting the most out of your money.
Some providers offer nationwide calling, which is perfect for making frequent calls to people who live outside of Montana or vacation at national parks across America.
7) Get health insurance coverage
Once you have your new home setup, you will need to sign up for a medical plan that fits your individual needs. Most Americans qualify for some Medicaid or Medicare option, offering the most affordable rates. However, if you are moving from out of state, it is important to look at the different plans available in the county where you are moving to. We recommend visiting our site for more information about getting enrolled with Medicaid or Medicare so you can find out if your income falls within the range of eligibility.
8) Secure a job
Job hunting can be challenging, but there are several avenues that you can take when looking for employment in your new hometown. The best places to start looking for a job in Montana are through Indeed or Monster online. Type in what kind of work you’re interested in and browse available opportunities. You may also want to check out local newspapers or business journals listed on our website and go door-to-door if you prefer face-to-face contact with potential employers.
Checking off everything on the list above is a great way to start your new life as quickly as possible. We recommend printing out this article and checking off each to-do as you complete it.
By following this simple guide, setting up your new home will be a breeze, and you can enjoy your new adventure in the Treasure State. Read about moving to Mississippi here.