11 Things to Know When Moving to Illinois

Illinois is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States. The city of Chicago is a vibrant up-and-coming city. The state has some of the best music festivals in the country. So, if you are considering moving to Illinois, there are several things you need to know and prepare. Here are 11 things you need to know before moving to Illinois.


What to Know Before your Move to Illinois

1. Before you Arrive in Illinois

Find a reliable moving company, truck rental or moving container

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

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

Forward your mail

If you are moving to Illinois 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 Illinois

Moving to a new place is an opportunity to start afresh. If you’re moving to Illinois, selling or donating the items you won’t need will go a long way in making your move easier. You can sell 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 Illinois, 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 Illinois?

Change your address

Along with mail forwarding, you will also have to update your new address with the concerned authorities in Illinois like the DMV. To exercise your right to vote in Illinois, you can register to vote online, by mail and in person at your county election authority. You must register to vote at least 27 days before the next election.

To register by mail or in person, you need to submit a completed Illinois Voter Registration Application (Form SBE R-19) and 2 documents proving identification and submit it to your local election authority or county clerk. 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 Illinois and establish residency, you must transfer your out-of-state driver’s license within 90 days. In order to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license, you’ll need to visit your local SOS Driver Services Facility  in person and submit your old license, proofs of ID and a payment for a new driver’s license fee. You will also have to pass the vision and written exams.


Register your vehicle

If you have just moved to Illinois, you’ll have to register your out-of-state vehicle within 30 days of establishing residency. Failure to do so might result in penalties and additional charges. To get your car registered in Illinois, you will need to submit an Application for Vehicle Transaction (Form VSD 190). You can find this form online through the Electronic Registration and Title system or at your local SOS office. If you wish to print and submit the form online, you will have 7 days to submit it to the SOS office, along with all required documentation.


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 Illinois proposes a website to help you with your health insurance search. Simply choose Illinois 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 Illinois are at a high risk of severe storms, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, winter storms, landslides, and wildfires. Therefore, getting home insurance will prove to be valuable.


3. Best Places to Live in Illinois

If you are a couple, you might want to consider living in Chicago. It offers a suburban feel, a thriving nightlife, a distinct neighborhood, diverse culture, and a lot of amenities.

If you are a family, you might want to consider Wheaton. Wheaton offers some high-rated public schools, great job opportunities, parks for kids, and it’s a great place to raise a family. 

If you are single, you should consider moving to Urbana. Urbana is home to The University of Illinois which brings life to the city. That’s why a lot of young professionals live here. In addition to this, it also provides a lot of amenities.  


4. Housing and Renting in Illinois

How to find an apartment in Illinois?

If you are looking for an apartment for rent in Illinois, these websites will help you out. 


How to find a house in Illinois?

These websites will help you find a house in Illinois.

5. How to Set Up Utilities in Illinois?

Electricity, water, and gas in Illinois

The Illinois Commerce Commission is responsible for regulating electricity, natural gas, water and telecommunication services in Illinois. They ensure that consumers are provided with accessible, safe and reliable energy services at reasonable rates. 

You can visit their website and search for electricity, water and gas providers and even reach out to them if you have any inquiry. The main purpose of ICC is to keep the customers well informed regarding the services they are getting from the utility providers.

Internet and cell phone in Illinois

Getting a reliable internet service provider is what everyone desires. The state of Illinois has some of the best internet providers and is the 6th most connected state in the USA with 349 broadband providers and 97% residents having access to 10 Mbps internet service. Internet providers in Illinois 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 Illinois, including cable, DSL, Fiber and Satellite. The best internet providers in Illinois will have bundling options, various speeds, and multiple package options at reasonable prices.


6. Cost of Living in Illinois

The average cost of living in Chicago, Illinois per month is $2950 for a couple. 

Cost of living per month for a couple in Chicago



Rent – Mortgage


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






Insurance (home, car, health)


Other (transportation, material goods)


Source: Numbeo, TheZebra, Benzinga