Wisconsin landscape, United States

11 Things to Know When Moving to Wisconsin

Wisconsin is a state in the upper Midwestern United States. It’s considered to be a great place to move to because of its affordability, great schools, hospitality and beautiful natural landscapes. The top-notch schools in Wisconsin are what attracts most families to the state. The summer season offers all sorts of outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, kayaking and more. You will definitely enjoy cheese in Wisconsin as they have some of the best cheese in the country! So, if you are considering moving to Wisconsin, there are several things you need to know and prepare. Here are 11 things you need to know before moving to Wisconsin.


What to Know Before your Move to Wisconsin

1. Before you Arrive in Wisconsin

Find a reliable moving company, truck rental or moving container

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

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

Forward your mail

If you are moving to Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin

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

Change your address

Along with mail forwarding, you will also have to update your new address with the concerned authorities in Wisconsin like the DMV. To exercise your right to vote in Wisconsin, you can register to vote online, by mail or in person at your local Municipal Clerk .

To register by mail or in person, you need to submit a completed Application for Voter Registration (Form EL-131) and mail/deliver it to your  local Municipal Clerk. You can even register to vote at your local polling place on the day of the election. 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 Wisconsin and establish residency, you must transfer your out-of-state driver’s license within 60 days. In order to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license, you’ll need to visit your local WI DMV office in person and submit your old license, take the vision exam, proofs of ID, a payment for new driver’s license fee, and some additional documents. You’ll have to take the driving and written test if your license has been expired for more than 8 years.


Register your vehicle

If you have just moved to Wisconsin, you’ll have to register your out-of-state vehicle immediately after establishing residency. Failure to do so might result in penalties and additional charges. You can register your out-of-state vehicle either by mail or in person. To register by mail, you need to visit your local WI Division of Motor Vehicles Office with your current out-of-state car registration, a completed Title/License Plate Application (Form MV1) and some other documents. If you plan to register by mail, you need to keep in mind that it will take several weeks. You will have to send a completed Title/License Plate Application (Form MV1) along with proper payment.


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


3. Best Places to Live in Wisconsin

If you are a couple, you might want to consider living in Elm Grove. It offers a thriving nightlife, a welcoming neighborhood, diverse culture, and a lot of amenities.

If you are a family, you might want to consider Whitefish Bay. Whitefish Bay offers some high-rated public schools, great job opportunities, parks, and a family-centric neighborhood. 

If you are single, you should consider moving to Madison. Madison is home to The University of Wisconsin-Madison that is why a lot of young professionals live here. It offers a strong economy, lots of bars, restaurants and a wide variety of other amenities.      


4. Housing and Renting in Wisconsin

How to find an apartment in Wisconsin?

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


How to find a house in Wisconsin?

These websites will help you find a house in Wisconsin.

5. How to Set Up Utilities in Wisconsin?

Electricity, water, and gas in Wisconsin

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin is responsible for regulating electricity, natural gas, water and telecommunication services in Wisconsin. 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 PSC is to keep the customers well informed regarding the services they are getting from the utility providers.

Internet and cell phone in Wisconsin

Getting a reliable internet service provider is what everyone desires. The state of Wisconsin has some of the best internet providers and is the 25th most connected state in the USA with 80 broadband providers and 96% of the population has access to an average speed of 25 Mbps internet service. Internet providers in Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin, including cable, DSL, Fiber and Satellite. The best internet providers in Wisconsin will have bundling options, various speeds, and multiple package options at reasonable prices.


6. Cost of Living in Wisconsin

The average cost of living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin per month is $2500 for a couple. 

Cost of living per month for a couple in Milwaukee



Rent – Mortgage


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






Insurance (home, car, health)


Other (transportation, material goods)


Source: Numbeo, TheZebra