Lighthouse, Rhode Island, USA

11 Things to Know When Moving to Rhode Island

Rhode Island is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. The state has a rich history, an excellent coast full of amazing beaches and a beautiful landscape. It is the smallest U.S. state by area and is well known for its great schools and colleges. On top of all, you can get to experience everything in Rhode Island without driving too far, the city life, the rich history and the waterfront. So, if you are considering moving to Rhode Island, there are several things you need to know and prepare. Here are 11 things you need to know before moving to Rhode Island.


What to Know Before your Move to Rhode Island

1. Before you Arrive in Rhode Island

Find a reliable moving company, truck rental or moving container

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

  Planning a move to Rhode Island? Have a look at our selection of

The 5 best moving companies in Rhode Island.

Forward your mail

If you are moving to Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island

Moving to a new place is an opportunity to start afresh. If you’re moving to Rhode Island, 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 Rhode Island, 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 Rhode Island?

Change your address

Along with mail forwarding, you will also have to update your new address with the concerned authorities in Rhode Island like the DMV. To exercise your right to vote in Rhode Island, you can register to vote online, by mail and in person. To register by mail or in person, you need to submit a completed Rhode Island Voter Registration Form. or National Voter Registration Form. You can mail it to your county’s board of canvassers or take it in person to the Board of Canvassers or your local RI DMV office. You can also collect the form from your local board of canvassersRhode Island DMV office, or other state agencies. 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 Rhode Island and establish residency, you must transfer your out-of-state driver’s license within 30 days. You’ll need to visit your local RI DMV office in person with a completed Application for License, Identification Card and Permits (Form LI-1), proof of your identity, RI address, social security number and all the documents mentioned on the application form. You’ll also have to surrender your out-of-state driver’s license. You’ll have to pass the knowledge exam and the road test as well.


Register your vehicle

If you have just moved to Rhode Island, you’ll have to register your out-of-state vehicle with the RI DMV within 30 days of establishing residency. Failure to do so might result in penalties and additional charges. To get your car registered in Rhode Island, you will need to visit your local DMV office with a proof of auto insurance, completed Application for Registration and Certificate of Title (Form TR-1), proof of a vehicle identification number (VIN) check, a Rhode Island driver’s license or ID card and some additional documents. After you receive your car registration certificate, you need to have your vehicle inspected within 5 days of the registration date. Your registration will be valid for 2 years.


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 Rhode Island proposes a website to help you with your health insurance search. Simply choose Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island are at risk to droughts, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires. Therefore, getting home insurance will prove to be valuable.


3. Best Places to Live in Rhode Island

If you are a couple, you might want to consider living in Jamestown. Jamestown offers a quiet, island life to its residents. It has low crime rates and has a lot of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks.

If you are a family, you might want to consider Barrington. Barrington is a suburb of Providence. It has some of the best public schools, a warm community, diverse property options and plenty of activities to do. 

If you are single, you should consider moving to Kingston. Kingston is a suburb of Providence (the most populous city in Rhode Island). It is home to the University of Rhode Island and many great educational institutions. If you’re looking for an active social life with a lot of amenities, Kingston is an ideal choice.


4. Housing and Renting in Rhode Island

How to find an apartment in Rhode Island?

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


How to find a house in Rhode Island?

These websites will help you find a house in Rhode Island.

5. How to Set Up Utilities in Rhode Island?

Electricity, water, and gas in Rhode Island

The Public Utilities Commission is responsible for regulating electricity, natural gas, water, wastewater and telecommunication services in Rhode Island. 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 PUC is to keep the customers well informed regarding the services they are getting from the utility providers.

Internet and cell phone in Rhode Island

Getting a reliable internet service provider is what everyone desires. The state of Rhode Island has some of the best internet providers and is the 1st most connected state in the USA with 15 broadband providers and 100% residents having access to 25 Mbps internet service. Internet providers in Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island, including cable, DSL, Fiber and Satellite. The best internet providers in Rhode Island will have bundling options, various speeds, and multiple package options at reasonable prices.


6. Cost of Living in Rhode Island

The average cost of living in Providence, Rhode Island per month is $3825 for a 

Cost of living per month for a couple in Providence



Rent – Mortgage


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






Insurance (home, car, health)


Other (transportation, material goods)


Source: Numbeo, TheZebra, Love Money