Eunice Lake, Washington, USA

11 Things to Know When Moving to Washington

Washington, officially known as the state of Washington, is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the Western United States. Washington has a booming job market. You’ll find plenty of job opportunities here, and some of the leading companies like Amazon and Microsoft. In addition to this, Washington has no personal state income tax. The state has some of the best educational institutes including the University of Washington near Seattle which is the state’s flagship research institution. Not only this, but there are also plenty of options for outdoor activities and sightseeing. So, if you are considering moving to Washington, there are several things you need to know and prepare. Here are 11 things you need to know before moving to Washington.


What to Know Before your Move to Washington

1. Before you Arrive in Washington

Find a reliable moving company, truck rental or moving container

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

Planning a move to the state of Washington? Have a look at our selection of

The 5 best moving companies in Seattle.

Forward your mail

If you are moving to Washington 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 Washington

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

Change your address

Along with mail forwarding, you will also have to update your new address with the concerned authorities in Washington like the DMV. To exercise your right to vote in Washington, you can register to vote online, by mail and in person. To register by mail or in person, you need to submit a completed Washington State Voter Registration Form (the form is also available from your county election office). You can mail it to your county election department or submit it in person. Washington residents vote by mail. 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 Washington and establish residency, you must transfer your out-of-state driver’s license within 30 days. In order to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license, you’ll need to visit your local Washington DOL office in person and submit a completed proof of your name date of birth, social security number (SSN), legal presence in the U.S., proof of Washington residency and some additional documents. You may also be required to pass the vision test.


Register your vehicle

If you have just moved to Washington, you’ll have to register your out-of-state vehicle with the Washington DOL within 30 days of establishing residency. Failure to do so might result in penalties and additional charges. You can get your car registered in Washington by mail or in person. To get your car registered in person, you will have to visit a vehicle licensing office along with a completed and signed Vehicle Certificate of Ownership (Title) Application (Form TD-420-001), your out-of-state vehicle title, Payment for all registration fees and some additional documents. You can follow the same process and mail your application to any licensing office.


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 Washington proposes a website to help you with your health insurance search. Simply choose Washington 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 Washington are at 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 Washington

If you are a couple, you might want to consider living in Spokane. It offers a blend of natural beauty and urban vibes. In Spokane, you’ll find some excellent job opportunities, affordable housing, high-quality education system and plenty of things to do. 

If you are a family, you might want to consider Olympia. Olympia has some great schools, good restaurants and safe neighborhoods.

If you are single, you should consider moving to Seattle. Seattle is the most populous city in Washington and is home to the University of Washington, one of the best universities in the state. It offers a high quality and active lifestyle with plenty of amenities.


4. Housing and Renting in Washington

How to find an apartment in Washington?

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


How to find a house in Washington?

These websites will help you find a house in Washington.

5. How to Set Up Utilities in Washington?

Electricity, water, and gas in Washington

Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission is responsible for regulating electricity, natural gas, water and telecommunication services in Washington. 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 UTC is to keep the customers well informed regarding the services they are getting from the utility providers.

Internet and cell phone in Washington

Getting a reliable internet service provider is what everyone desires. The state of Washington has some of the best internet providers and is the 16th most connected state in the USA with 248 broadband providers and 98% residents having access to 10 Mbps internet service. Internet providers in Washington 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 Washington, including cable, DSL, Fiber and Satellite. The best internet providers in Washington will have bundling options, various speeds, and multiple package options at reasonable prices.


6. Cost of Living in Washington

The average cost of living in Seattle, Washington per month is $3800 for a couple. 

Cost of living per month for a couple in Seattle



Rent – Mortgage


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






Insurance (home, car, health)


Other (transportation, material goods)


Source: Numbeo, TheZebra, Love Money