Birmingham, Alabama, United States

11 Things to Know When Moving to Alabama

Alabama is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States. Every year, more and more people are opting to move to Alabama because of its beautiful scenery, friendly people, and low cost of living. Alabama is the perfect place to call home. It is bordered by Georgia to the east, Tennessee to the north, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. Not only this, but it is also home to some stunning scenic mountains and beautiful beaches. In Alabama, people will compliment you, shake and wave to you, ask you how you are doing even if they don’t know you. Southern hospitality at its best. So, if you are considering moving to Alabama, there are several things you need to know and prepare. Here are 11 things you need to know before moving to Alabama.


What to Know Before your Move to Alabama

1. Before you Arrive in Alabama

Find a reliable moving company, truck rental or moving container

For your move to Alabama, you will need to hire a reliable moving company or take on the move yourself. To find the best moving company in Alabama, look for helpful reviews, a professional-looking website, and years of experience.

Planning a move to Alabama? Have a look at our selection of:

Forward your mail

If you are moving to Alabama permanently and you receive a lot of mail (excluding packages), you may want to sign up with USPS’s mail forwarding service. Mail forwarding will allow your mail to be redirected to the right address for a given period of time. The fee for regular mail forwarding is only a little over a dollar for 6 months. If you want to extend the service, you will have to pay around $20 for 6 months more. You can begin your mail forwarding process by signing up on USPS’s website or directly at your local Post Office.


Sell or donate the items you won’t need in Alabama

Moving to a new place is an opportunity to start afresh. If you’re moving to Alabama, selling, or donating the items you won’t need will go a long way in making your move easier. You can sell out your old household items and personal possessions, and anything that will not be useful. Pick out the items that will not be useful for you in Alabama, then decide if you want to sell them on websites like Craigslist or Facebook MarketPlace or donate them to a non-profit organization.


2. What are the First Steps to Take When Arriving in Alabama?

Change your address

Along with mail forwarding, you will also have to update your new address with the concerned authorities in Alabama like the DMV. To exercise your right to vote in Alabama, you can register to vote online, by mail and in person. To register in person or by mail, you need to fill out the State of Alabama Mail-In Voter Registration Form (Form NVRA-2). You can request to get mailed the form by filling out the online form request. You will have to submit the form (by mail or in person) to your local AL County office of Board of Registrars. You should also change your address with your employer, bank, doctor, insurer, and service providers so that you can avoid any complications further down the road.


Exchange your driver’s license

Once you move to Alabama and establish residency, you must visit the local Alabama DPS office and transfer your out-of-state driver’s license within 30 days of establishing residency. In order to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license, you’ll need to visit the local office in person with the required documents. You will also have to surrender your out of state license. 

The AL DPS does not require driver testing for new-to-state drivers unless your license has been expired for more than 1 year. To apply, you’ll have to visit your local DPS and submit your Social Security number, proof of insurance and other documents. You can also schedule an online appointment to book your AL driver license transaction.


Register your vehicle

If you have just moved to Alabama, you’ll have to register your out-of-state vehicle within 30 days. Failure to do so might result in penalties and additional charges. To get your car registered in Alabama, you need to bring your vehicle title, proof of insurance, and registration fees to your local office. You will also have to complete a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection. You can visit the Car Registration Page to check out all the documentation requirements and details.


Consider getting health insurance

Getting health insurance is an excellent way to get peace of mind when it comes to your health. With health insurance, you will not have to worry about spending a ton of money in case of a health-related emergency. The state of Alabama proposes a website to help you with your health insurance search. Simply choose Alabama as your state and create an account.


Consider getting home insurance

Getting home insurance is essential, whichever state you are residing in. It is a kind of financial protection that will cover for your expenses if a natural disaster damages your home. Residents in Alabama are at a risk to deadly tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, and floods. Given the relatively frequent occurrence of these incidents, getting home insurance is a must.


3. Best Places to Live in Alabama

If you are a couple, you might want to consider living in Mountain Brook. It offers a sparse suburban feel, a thriving nightlife, a diverse culture, a safe and secure environment, and a lot of amenities.

If you are a family, you might want to consider Hoover. Hoover offers good housing facilities, some highly rated public schools, a lot of restaurants, parks (the famous one being ‘the Oak Mountain State Park’, coffee shops, shopping outlets and it’s a wonderful place to raise a family. 

If you are single, you should consider moving to Birmingham. Birmingham is home to the University of Alabama (UAB) and a lot of great educational institutes. This is the reason a lot of young professionals live here. In addition to this, entertainment options in Birmingham are unlimited.


4. Housing and Renting in Alabama

How to find an apartment in Alabama?

f you are looking for an apartment for rent in Alabama, these websites will help you out. 


How to find a house in Alabama?

These websites will help you find a house in Alabama.

5. How to Set Up Utilities in Alabama?

Electricity, water, and gas in Alabama

Alabama Power is responsible for regulating electricity in Alabama. The main purpose of Alabama Power is to keep the customers well informed regarding their services and ensure that they are provided with accessible and reliable services. South Alabama Utilities is responsible for regulating water, natural gas and sewage to Mobile County and part of Washington County. They ensure that consumers are provided with accessible, safe and reliable services at reasonable rates. Alabama Natural Gas Association can help with setting up gas in your new home.

Internet and cell phone in Alabama

Getting a reliable internet service provider is what everyone desires. The state of Alabama has some of the best internet providers and is the 39th most connected state in the USA with 45 broadband providers and 93% residents having access to 25 Mbps. Internet providers in Alabama offer a wide range of prices, speed and connection types. When it comes to a high-speed internet connection, there is a wide variety of options to choose from in Alabama, including cable, DSL, Fiber and Satellite. The best internet providers in Alabama will have bundling options, various speeds, and multiple package options at reasonable prices.


6. Cost of Living in Alabama

The average cost of living in Birmingham, Alabama per month is $2300 for a couple. 

Cost of living per month for a couple in Birmingham



Rent – Mortgage


Utilities (gas, water, electricity, phone, internet)






Insurance (home, car, health)


Other (transportation, material goods)


Source: Numbeo (Food Price), Numbeo, TheZebra