Detroit, Michigan, United States

11 Things to Know When Moving to Michigan

The state of Michigan is in the Great Lakes and Upper Midwest regions of the United States. Michigan’s name is derived from the native word Michigama, which means large lake. This might not come as a surprise, considering that Michigan is a home to the Great Lakes. Michigan is famous for its mesmerizing natural landscape, its active outdoor lifestyle and some of the nation’s leading universities. And how can we forget the lakes. When it comes to watersports, Michigan is a great place to be! In addition to this, Michigan has a reasonable cost of living. So, if you are considering moving to Michigan, there are several things you need to know and prepare. Here are 11 things you need to know before moving to Michigan.


What to Know Before your Move to Michigan

1. Before you Arrive in Michigan

Find a reliable moving company, truck rental or moving container

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

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

Forward your mail

If you are moving to Michigan 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 Michigan

If you’re moving to Michigan, selling the items you won’t need will go a long way in making your move easier. Michigan experiences 64 inches of snow every year, the lowest temperature is in January. So, you might want to keep lots of winter clothes with you. Pick out the items that will not be useful for you in Michigan, 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 Michigan?

Change your address

Along with mail forwarding, you will also have to update your new address with the concerned authorities in Michigan like the DMV. To exercise your right to vote in Michigan, you can register to vote online, by mail and in person by submitting a filled State of Michigan Voter Registration Application (Form ED-121) to your city or township 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 Michigan and establish residency, you must transfer your out-of-state driver’s license to MI as soon as possible. There is no grace period provided in Michigan law. If your out-of-state driver’s license has been expired for 4 years or less or it’s still valid, your written test and driving test might be waived. Customers can make an appointment online up to six months in advance or for the next day. In order to transfer your out of state driver’s license, you must have your out-of-state title, proof of identity, and proof of Michigan no-fault insurance at a Secretary of State branch office. For more information, you can visit the Applying for a Driver’s License page.


Register your vehicle

If you have just moved to Michigan, you’ll have to register your out-of-state vehicle with MI SOS (Secretary of State) as soon as possible. You can meet the requirements of the state by ensuring that your current policy is in line with the state requirements and by purchasing MI no-fault insurance.

Vehicle registration and titling generally occur simultaneously. To register your car, you will have to visit a Michigan SOS office in person as soon as you establish residency in Michigan.  For the title, you can fill out the Application for Michigan Vehicle title and submit it to your local office. You can visit the DMV website 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. Healthcare is regulated by the state in the US and so the state of Michigan proposes a website to help you with your health insurance search. Simply choose Michigan as your state and create an account.


Consider getting home insurance

Getting home insurance in Michigan is particularly important. It is a kind of financial protection that will cover for your expenses if a natural disaster damages your home. Michigan is not well known for natural disasters, however, some common ones that may damage your home include floods, hail, severe thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires.


3. Best Places to Live in Michigan

If you are a couple, you might want to consider living in Okemos. It offers cost-effective housing, numerous amenities, safety, and some of the best schools. 

If you are a family, you might want to consider Birmingham. It ranks as one of the best places to raise a family. Birmingham has some of the best schools in the state, a low crime rate and excellent facilities.   

If you are single, you should consider moving to Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan. It has a booming economy, a vibrant atmosphere, a trendy downtown area and affordable housing.


4. Housing and Renting in Michigan

How to find an apartment in Michigan?

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


How to find a house in Michigan?

These websites will help you find a house in Michigan.

5. How to Set Up Utilities in Michigan?

Electricity, water, and gas in Michigan

Michigan Public Service Commission is responsible to make sure that consumers are provided with dependable, safe, and accessible telecommunication and energy services at reasonable rates. 

You can visit their website and compare rates, search for energy providers, and even reach out to them if you have any inquiry.

Internet and cell phone in Michigan

Getting a reliable internet service provider is what everyone desires. The state of Michigan has some of the best internet providers and is the 19th most connected state in the United States. Internet providers in Michigan offer a wide range of prices, speed and connection types. It has access to broadband speeds of 25 Mbps or more. When it comes to a high-speed internet connection, there are a wide variety of options to choose from in Michigan, including cable, DSL, fiber and satellite. The best internet providers in Michigan will have bundling options, various speeds, and multiple package options at reasonable prices.

6. Cost of Living in Michigan

The average cost of living in Detroit, Michigan per month is $2900 for a couple. 

Cost of living per month for a couple in Detroit



Rent – Mortgage


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






Insurance (home, car, health)


Other (transportation, material goods)


Source: Numbeo, Expatistan, The Zebra

Moving to Michigan

7. What’s the Weather like in Michigan?

On average, there are 170 sunny days per year in Michigan. The highest temperature in Summers is 81° and the Winter low is 14 degrees. Michigan averages 64 inches of snow per year and 34 inches of rain, on average, per year. People love Michigan’s climate; however, it can be very unpredictable at times. Michigan experiences all four seasons, it’s beautiful in every season. From colorful and crisp falls to warm summers, each season brings in a lot of opportunities for outdoor activities. You can cycle in the spring season, skate in the winter season, enjoy the natural landscape in the fall and kayak in the summer season. Apart from this, the snowfall gives us countless outdoor activities, from winter hikes to skiing and sightseeing. There’s a lot to explore.