Moving to Massachusetts:
- Planning Your Move
- Moving With Pets
- Moving Day Parking Restrictions
- Change of Address
- Establishing Residency
- Converting an Out-Of-State Driver’s License
- Converting a Driver’s License From a Foreign Country
- Changing a Massachusetts Driver’s License or ID Address
- Converting an Out-Of-State Vehicle Registration
- Bringing Leased Vehicles to Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts welcomes new residents to enjoy all the state has to offer. Because moving to a new state can be both exciting and stressful, the following tips for newcomers aim to make your relocation to the Bay State as smooth as possible.
Figuring out the details of your move in advance will help reduce stress on moving day. Research reputable movers and select the service that best suits your needs. Be sure that any moving company you contact to move from one town to another within Massachusetts has an up-to-date operating license issued by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU).
If you’re moving from another state, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has jurisdiction over the mover, not the DPU. You can contact the FMCSA with any questions at 888-368-7238.
Be aware of any requirements and regulations that may affect you and your pet(s). Depending on the animal(s), the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service may impose restrictions if you are moving to the U.S. from a different country. Additionally, make sure your pets are comfortable traveling and get a kennel or crate with appropriate space for transporting them. Pets should also have identification tags with up-to-date information or be microchipped for tracking purposes, in case of emergency.
Parking restrictions may be an issue when unloading vehicles in an urban area. If available, moving permits should be obtained far in advance. Consult your city or town for specific information on the permitting process.
Residents can file an official change of address form online through the U.S. Postal Service.
In addition, you may need to file a change of address for your state license or ID. The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) requires residents to report updates by completing their change of address form. This form covers in-state address changes only, newcomers moving from out-of-state must first convert their license.
Individuals are considered full-year residents if they reside in Massachusetts for the full calendar year. They must have a “permanent place of abode” – a residence continually maintained by a person, whether or not owned by such person. This can include a dwelling owned or leased by a person’s spouse. Restrictions apply, and places such as military barracks or university-owned apartments are not considered permanent residences.
International visitors or ex-pats typically require visas if they stay in the United States for an extended period of time. The most common types of visas are:
- F-1 student visas – Generally given to those who come to the U.S. as students to pursue a course of study at an established institution of learning;
- H-1 work visas – Generally given to those who come to the U.S. to work;
- J-1 teaching visas – Generally given to those who come to the U.S. as exchange visitors to participate in authorized programs as teachers, scholars, research assistants, trainers, etc.;
- M-1 visas – Generally given to those who come to the U.S. as vocational or other nonacademic students; and,
- Q-1 visas – Generally given to those who come to the U.S. as international cultural exchange visitors.
For more information, the U.S. Department of State provides a directory of visa categories with links to specific individual requirements.
Planning your move to the Bay State will facilitate your relocation, whether across town or across the country. Make sure you’ve done your research and have accounted for the needs of all those who are moving, from children to pets. Welcome to Massachusetts!
What are your moving tips while planning for the big day? Share them with us in the comments below, or tweet us @MassGov.
Read more in our “Moving to Massachusetts” blog series:
Boat Smart from the Start for National Safe Boating Week posted on May 19
The simple act of wearing a flotation device can save a life. According to a 2013 U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) recreational boating report, in fatal boating accidents where the victims drowned, 84 percent were not wearing a life jacket. National Safe Boating Week, designated from …Continue Reading Boat Smart from the Start for National Safe Boating Week
Family Support Services for Families Caring for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities posted on May 15
Many families across Massachusetts care for loved ones with intellectual disabilities. Through the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) within the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Commonwealth offers a number of programs designed to help these families by providing a wide array …Continue Reading Family Support Services for Families Caring for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities
Celebrate Cycling in Massachusetts posted on May 12
Hold onto your handlebars this May as Massachusetts celebrates National Bike Month and Bay State Bike Week from May 9–17. Whether you’re biking to get in shape, get to work, or have some fun, the Commonwealth has something to offer you. The Department of Public …Continue Reading Celebrate Cycling in Massachusetts