How to Update Your License and Registration When Moving

How to Update Your License and Registration When Moving

Updating your driver’s license and forwarding your new address might not be at the top of your moving to-do list, but it’s an important step. Unfortunately, this can be a complicated, time-consuming, and frustrating process that many movers put on the back burner. 

This procrastination can come back to haunt you later, as all states require updating your address and driver’s license. Failure to do so after a certain period of time can result in fines, charges, the loss of motor vehicle insurance, and a whole host of other problems. We’re here to help make this process a little easier with this quick guide to updating your license and registration when moving. 

Do You Need to Update Your License When You Move? 

When moving to another state, you’ll need to update your license and registration. Each state’s laws vary, but they all require new residents to contact the local DMV and get an updated driver’s license. There are some exceptions to this. For example, in some states, college students are not required to update their licenses if they are attending university.

If you are moving in-state, the rules can vary. Some states require you to get a new license, while others only require you to update the DMV with a change of address. Thankfully, this process is quick and easy in most states, as you can fill out a change of address form online for your new address. After doing so, states will even send you a new license in the mail once your information is updated. 

What Are Each State’s Rules for Updating a Driver’s License? 

State-by-state laws regarding updating driver’s licenses can get messy, as each state is different, and their respective DMV, DOT, RMV, and GOV websites can be unclear. To help save you some time and avoid confusion, what follows is a comprehensive list of each state’s transportation departments, along with how long you have to update your license and registration. You can follow the provided links to the appropriate DMV websites to schedule an appointment and check up on state-specific documentation requirements.  

State  State Transportation Dept.  Time to Update License for Interstate Move Time to Update License for Out of State Move Time to Update Registration
Alabama  Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Licensing Division Within 30 Days Within 30 Days Within 30 Days
Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles Immediately  Within 90 Days Within 10 Days
Arizona  Dept. of Transportation  Within 10 Days  Immediately  Immediately 
Arkansas  Dept. of Motor Vehicles  Unspecified   Within 30 Days Within 30 Days
California Dept. of Motor Vehicles Within 10 Days  Within 10 Days  Within 20 Days
Colorado  Division of Motor Vehicles  Within 30 Days Within 30 Days Within 30 Days
Connecticut Dept. of Motor Vehicles Within 48 Hours Within 30 Days Within 60 Days
Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles Within 30 Days Within 60 Days Within 60 Days
Florida  DHSMV  Within 30 Days Within 30 Days Within 30 Days
Georgia Department of Driver’s Services Within 60 Days Within 30 Days Within 30 Days
Hawaii Department of Transportation and Highways Within 30 Days Within 30 Days Within 30 Days
Idaho  Division of Motor Vehicles  Within 30 Days Within 90 Days Within 90 Days
Illinois  Office of the Secretary of State Within 30 Days Within 90 Days Within 30 Days
Indiana  Bureau of Motor Vehicles  Within 30 Days Within 60 Days Within 60 Days
Iowa  Iowa Motor Vehicle Division  Within 30 Days Within 30 Days Within 30 Days
Kansas  Department of Revenue  Unspecified  Within 90 Days Within 90 Days
Kentucky  Circuit Clerks Office Within 10 Days  Within 30 Days  Within 15 Days 
Louisiana  Office of Motor Vehicles  Within 10 Days  Within 30 Days  Within 30 Days 
Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles Within 10 Days  Within 30 Days  Within 30 Days 
Maryland  Motor Vehicles Administration Within 30 Days  Within 60 Days  Within 60 Days 
Massachusetts  Registry of Motor Vehicles  Within 30 Days  As Soon as Residency is Established  As Soon as Residency is Established 
Michigan  Secretary of State Office  As soon as residency is established  As soon as residency is established As soon as residency is established
Minnesota  DVSH Within 30 Days  Within 60 Days  Within 60 Days 
Mississippi  Department of Public Safety  Within 30 Days  Within 30 Days  Within 30 Days 
Missouri  Department of Revenue Office  As soon as residency is established  As soon as residency is established  As soon as residency is established 
Montana  Country Treasurer Motor Vehicle Office Within 10 Days  Within 60 Days  Within 60 Days 
Nebraska  Department of Motor Vehicles Within 60 Days  Within 30 Days  Within 30 Days 
Nevada  Department of Motor Vehicles Within 30 Days  Within 30 Days  Within 30 Days 
New Hampshire  Department of Motor Vehicles Within 30 Days  Within 60 Days  Within 60 Days 
New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Office Within One Week  Within 60 Days  Within 60 Days 
New Mexico  MVD  Within 10 Days  As soon as you move  Within 60 Days 
New York  Department of Motor Vehicles Within 10 Days  Within 30 Days  Within 30 Days 
North Carolina  Department of Motor Vehicles Within 60 Days  Within 30 Days  Within 30 Days 
North Dakota  Department of Transportation Within 10 Days  Within 60 Days  Within 60 Days 
Ohio Deputy Registrar License Agency  Unspecified  Within 30 Days  Within 30 Days 
Oklahoma  Department of Public Safety  Within 10 Days  Within 30 Days  Within 30 Days 
Oregon  Department of Motor Vehicles Within 30 Days  Within 30 Days  Within 30 Days 
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Within 15 Days  Within 60 Days  Within 20 Days 
Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles Within 10 Days  Within 30 Days  Within 30 Days 
South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles Within 10 Days  Within 45 Days  Within 45 Days 
South Dakota  Department of Public Safety  Unspecified  Within 90 Days Within 90 Days
Tennessee Driver Services Division  Within 10 Days  Within 30 Days  Within 30 Days 
Texas  Department of Public Safety  Within 30 Days  Within 30 Days  Within 30 Days 
Utah  Driver License Division  Within 10 Days  Within 60 Days  Within 60 Days 
Vermont  Department of Motor Vehicles Within 30 Days  Within 60 Days  Within 60 Days 
Washington  Department of Drivers Licensing  Within 10 Days  Within 30 Days  Within 30 Days 
Washington D.C.  Department of Motor Vehicles Within 60 Days  Within 60 Days  Within 30 Days 
West Virginia  Department of Motor Vehicles Within 20 Days  Within 30 Days  Within 30 Days 
Wisconsin  Department of Transportation  Within 10 Days  Within 60 Days  Within 60 Days 
Wyoming  Department of Transportation  Within 10 Days  Within 1 Year  Within 30 Days 

What Documentation Will You Need to Bring to the DMV?

Once you find the right department to get ahold of, you need to schedule an appointment and head down with the appropriate documentation. What you need depends on the state, with some stricter states requiring you to retake your driver’s examination. However, most departments require you to bring the following documents:

  • Your current driver’s license from your old state, or at the very least, your old license number
  • Further proof of identity, such as a passport, identification card, birth certificate, social security card, etc. Some states require multiple pieces of identification, while others require only one. 
  • Your social security number
  • Proof of residency
  • Documentation on legal name changes, if applicable 
  • Documentation proving citizenship, if applicable 
  • Proof of insurance

Do You Need to Update Your Vehicle Registration? 

Each state requires you to update your vehicle registration when you move. Thankfully, you can take care of this while at the DMV when getting your new driver’s license. Be sure to check the state rules for updating vehicle registration, as the required documents are different than those for updating a license such as:

  • The out-of-state vehicle title
  • The out-of-state registration card
  • The vehicle’s license plates
  • Proof of in-state emission tests
  • Proof of in-state insurance
  • Proof of new mailing address
  • A photo ID card

You will also need to pay a registration fee and a new plate fee alongside the cost of your new license. Keep in mind that these fees add up quickly and, depending on the state, can be quite costly.

Do You Need to Update Your Auto Insurance?

One of the key documents all DMVs will require of you is proof of insurance. Without this, you will not be able to get a new license. You will need to call your car insurance company to verify your new residency and have your insurance policy transferred to your new state. Keep in mind that some insurance companies do not operate in every state. If this happens, you will need to find a different insurance company. Finally, some insurance companies require updating your license before transferring you to a new home. In these cases, bring proof of current out-of-state insurance with you to the DMV. 

What Happens if You Don’t Update Your Driver’s License?

If you do not update your driver’s license and insurance, you will eventually be driving with an invalid driver’s license. Driving with an invalid, out-of-state license can lead to tickets, fines, and other unpleasant consequences. Furthermore, your insurance will also go out the window after a time. Driving uninsured is illegal and considered a misdemeanor offense in most states. 

Key Takeaways 

If you move interstate or to a new state, you will need to contact the DMV to update your license. Each state has different rules, departments, time frames, and documentation requirements you will need to follow to get a new license. At the DMV, you may need to retake a driving test, have an eye exam, and pay various fees before getting your license. After everything is said and done, you will need to contact your insurance provider to transfer your policy or, potentially, find a new insurance company. 

It’s never fun to go down to the DMV, as the wait times, driver’s tests, vision tests, and steep fees can be challenging. But this process is a part of moving and is required by every resident of each state.

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