Checklist for Starting a New Job in a New State

June 12, 2019

3 min read

Starting a new job is exciting. Moving to another state is exciting too but can also be daunting. I hope you find this checklist useful for when you find yourself in this situation.

This is written under the assumption that you're flying to your new place and packing light

Before you move


  1. Find a place to live
  • Crash a friend's, AirBnb, or Corporate Housing while you search. This should take about a week to do. (Pick the best place after you've seen 37% of the places you want to visit, it's the [most optimal choice] (
  1. Get copies of your medical records
  • Visit your doctor, dentist, and anyone else who you've seen in the past and get physical or digital records. The records will be useful for your new health care providers.
  1. Cancel utilities/services/memberships you won't be using
  2. Request for mail forwarding with USPS
  • If you're expecting any mail at your old address, you can get it forwarded to your new address
  1. Change the billing address with your banks
  2. Change the mailing address with the IRS with a Form 8822
  • Ensures you receive all correspondence and tax refunds as soon as possible

Once you get there


  1. Register to vote
  • Some States let you do it online or when you apply for a driver license
  1. Get a driver license or an Enhanced Driver License
  • The latter can be used as proof of citizenship and act as a limited passport
  1. Sign up for utilities
  • Includes: phone, internet, gas, water, electricity
  • Check with the place you're staying, your employer, and any organizations you belong to if they have deals
  1. Establish Legal Residency (Legal Domicile) in your new state allows you to:
  • Avoid paying income taxes for 2 states
    • California has income taxes, Washington doesn't, so you won't be subject to income taxes
  • Qualify for in-state tuition for universities
  • Power to vote for the local and state government
  1. Buy used when you can
  • You can find great pieces of furniture for the fraction of the retail price on the used market
  • If you live near a university or large workplaces, check if they have garage sales
  • Buying used is not only a good economically, but also good for the environment
  1. Plan your commute during the hours you will be commuting. Google Maps and CityMapper are some tools you can use.

After your first week at work


  1. Sign up for your employer's 401(k) and Health Savings Account
  • If your employee has 401(k) matching, this is basically free money
  1. Checkout the perks/discounts your employer offers
  2. Find new health care providers

Once you're settled in


  1. Sign up for a gym/fitness club
  2. Participate in your companie's Employee Stock Purchase Plan
  3. Contribute to your individual retirement account (Set contributions to occur on an automated schedule)
  4. Explore your new place!
  • Hikes, classes, food scene, and new hobbies!

Thanks to Sam and Bill for some advice