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Moving from California to New York: Everything You Need to Know

New York is one of the most desirable places to reside for people around the globe. The vibrant nightlife, Broadway shows, the beautiful view of the city, the great employment opportunities, and quality education system have tempted many new residents. 

If you are planning to move out of California and move to New York, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we covered everything you need to know before leaving California and settling in New York. New York is the financial hub of the US. As a result, it has a thriving job market and an increasing number of employment offers in education, health services, and business. 

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Why Californians are moving to New York

Californians are moving to New York for specific reasons such as a better lifestyle, exciting outdoor activities, plenty of job opportunities, quality education, etc. 

Here we have listed some of the most common reasons Californians move to New York:


Better employment opportunities

We all know that New York is notoriously pricey, but it is a fantastic place to find a job. Since New York has a healthy financial sector, it offers an excellent opportunity for growth. In addition, New York offers high-paying jobs. One of the benefits of living in New York is that it has a robust job market and is home to many leading American and global companies.


Better transport accessibility

It is known that getting around without a car in New York State is easy as you will find plenty of options for public transport. Routes from suburbs to significant cities also have a well-developed transport system. For example, the Metro-North railroad serves Southern New York State, whereas Amtrak provides services within the state. Even NYC has a well-developed transportation system. They have plenty of local transport services like buses, subway, taxis, and even ride-share services. Moreover, the train services are available 24 hours.  


Lower crime rates

Although New York was once famous for having a high crime rate, that’s no longer the case. According to the report published in 2021, severe and violent crimes, including murder, rape, and aggressive assault, are under control in New York State, and crime rates are quite low compared to other states of the US. 



How many people move to New York every day?

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, around 698 people move to New York every day.

Moving to NY - Welcome to New York State

Los Angeles VS New York City

Los Angeles, California, is one of the most famous cities in the United States. The city has more than 17 million people, making it the second most populated city. On the other hand, New York City is a dream city for many of us, with a 20.2 million population. The City That Never Sleeps has a healthy finance sector with high-paying jobs.

Cost of living in Los Angeles, California VS New York City, New York

The average cost of living in New York City for a couple is $5650 per month, whereas the average cost in Los Angeles, California is $3930.


New York City, New York

Los Angeles, California

Rent – House



Average cost of utilities 









Other (transportation, material goods)






(*Insurify, Valuepenguin, EhealthinsuranceBankRate, Numbeo, Numbeo 2, TrustedChoice & Ehealthinsurance)

How much is a house in New York?

A house in New York typically costs around $371,880.

How much is rent in New York?

A 2-bedroom apartment in New York typically rents for $3200.

What is the sales tax in New York vs California?

Sales tax in New York is 4%, whereas in California it is 7.25%.

How much is the property tax in New York?

The property tax in New York averages 0.88% whereas in California it is 0.73%.

(*SmartAsset NY, Avalara, SmartAsset CA, HomeSnacks, Fool & CDTFA)

California VS New York weather

New York ranks 9 out of 10 in the Summer Comfort Index and has beautiful autumn but harsh and freezing winters when it comes to weather and climate. On average, there are 230 sunny days per year in New York State. The hottest month in New York is July, with an average temperature of 78°F and the coldest is January at 35°F. In addition, New York is known for its snowfall at 25 inches per year. 

Whereas summers in California are too hot for some, the ocean breeze cools down the temperature while winters are mild and offer a comfort index of 8.7. 

Note: The Summer Comfort Index considers seven climate variables, including total precipitation, daily minimum and maximum temperatures, extreme high and low temperatures, average dew points, and precipitation days”.


How much does local transportation cost (NYC vs LA)

In LA, a 30-Day pass for limited bus lines and metro costs $100, while NYC offers an unlimited monthly pass for the subway and bus lines for $112.

(*U.S. Department of Transportation)

Transportation from Los Angeles to New York City

The total driving time from Los Angeles, California to New York City, New York is 41 hours.

How far is New York City from Los Angeles?

New York City is 2,790 miles far from Los Angeles, with a time difference of 3 hours (New York is 3 hours ahead).

Cost to drive from Los Angeles to New York City

In 2022, the cost of driving from Los Angeles to New York City is $582.45. The fuel cost per gallon is estimated to be $5.22.


Best route to drive from California to New York

The fastest and the best route from California to New York is to take Interstate 80. This transcontinental freeway runs from San Francisco to Teaneck, New Jersey, just outside of New York. 

This shortest possible route will take you across Nevada, Utah, and Colorado up into the Midwest and New York, where you will be able to witness many breathtaking views along the way.

How long is a flight from Los Angeles to New York City?

The flight from California to New York is 5 hours 7 minutes.

Cheapest time to fly from Los Angeles to New York City

January and February are the cheapest months to fly from Los Angeles to New York City, while high season is considered to be June, July and August.

How much is a plane ticket from Los Angeles to New York City?

A plane ticket from Los Angeles to New York City starts from $114.

If you’re taking a flight for your move from California to New York and don’t know how to transport your belongings, check out the best long distance moving companies below. 

(*cheapflights, Kayak, travelmath & moveBuddha)

Best scenic route to drive from California to New York

The best scenic route to drive from California to New York City is the following:





Los Angeles to Las Vegas, Nevada

300 miles


Las Vegas to Richfield

200 miles


Richfield to Denver

420 miles


Denver to Colorado

43.4 miles


Denver to Omaha

440 miles


Omaha to Lowa City

200 miles


Lowa City to Gary

200 miles


Gary to Milan, Ohio

300 miles


Milan to Lanse

250 miles


Lanse to New York City

250 miles

The best long distance moving companies to New York

The best long distance moving companies to New York will have good reviews, insurance, great customer service and a straightforward booking procedure. Here are the 5 best long distance moving companies for your move from California to New York.

  • Allied Van Lines
  • Adams Van Lines
  • North American Van Lines
  • Atlas Van Lines
  • American Van Lines

Cost of car and boat shipping from California to New York

There are plenty of options available when shipping a car or a boat from California to New York. Depending on your preference, you can choose to ship your car or boat via freight train, shipping containers, ship, or even by airplane. However, the most used and famous option to transport a car or a boat is through a car transporter.

Cost to ship a boat from California to New York

The average cost to ship a boat from California to New York ranges between $600 and $1,000.

Cost to ship a car from California to New York

The average cost to ship a car from California to New York ranges from $1,000 to $1,400. The estimated transit time is 3-4 days. 

 (*uShip & Easy Auto Ship)

The best places to live in New York


Albany, NY

Albany is the capital of New York state. It is located 150 miles away from the north of New York City. This place offers a quality of life and provides excellent opportunities for jobs. Albany is a lively and culturally rich town with an old-world appeal.


Syracuse, NY

Although Syracuse receives heavy snowfall, this place is much more affordable than many major metro areas. It is a comfortable area to live in. It is an ideal place for outdoor enthusiasts. During winters, the citizens organize an ice-skating rink at Clinton Square, and in summers, they arrange camps in the Great New York State Fair. 


Rochester, NY

Rochester is the seat of Monroe County and the 4th most populous city of the state. The cost of living in Rochester is significantly below the national average. Moreover, residents enjoy more than 3,500 acres of parks. During summer, the city hosts multiple outdoor festivals to celebrate local artisans. Water sailing, boating and fishing are also common activities to do in Rochester. 

(*Times Union & US News)

Best school district in New York

  • Great Neck Public Schools

This school district is ranked as the top-rated school located in Great Neck, New York. A total of 6,846 students are enrolled and the student-teacher ratio is 11 to 1. 86% of students in this school district are proficient in math and reading. Great Neck Public Schools have achieved A+ grades for academics, teachers, health, and safety.

  • Jericho Union Free School District

Jericho Union Free School District is one of the best school districts located in Jericho. The school has 3,173 students with a student-teacher ratio of 11 to 1. The school has a safe environment for students.

  • Roslyn Union Free School District

This highly rated school district contains 5 schools and ranks number three among public school districts located in Roslyn. 3,218 students are enrolled, with a student-teacher ratio of 11 to 1. With licensed and experienced teachers, the school district offers an excellent environment for the students.

  • Scarsdale Union Free School District

Scarsdale Union Free School District is ranked number four among public school districts located in Scarsdale. It has 4,791 students with a student-teacher ratio of 13 to 1. According to state test scores, 90% of students are at least proficient in math and 87% in reading.

  • Syosset Central School District

Syosset Central School District is a top-rated public school district located in Syosset. It has 6,626 students with a student-teacher ratio of 10 to 1. In addition, the school district has achieved a ranking of A+ for academic and college preparations. 


Illustrations-Mes changements d’adresse (1)

Driver’s license & vehicle registration when moving to New York (DMV)

Procedure for new driver’s license and vehicle registration in New York

When moving from California to New York, you will be required to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license to the state within 30 days of becoming a resident in New York. Your New York license will be valid for 5 years. To get a list of all the documents required, you can visit the DMV website.

Documents needed for New York driver license and vehicle registration

  • Your new address
  • A completed Change of Address Form
  • Your date of birth
  • Your driver’s license number and license plate number
  • Name of the company your car is leased through, if applicable

Home services in New York

Electricity, water & gas in New York

For electricity and gas supply, you can either contact or visit the website of New York State Electric and Gas Corporation . For electricity supply, you can also visit the website of Clearview Energy & Constellation Energy. The Buffalo Water Board is a public benefit corporation of the State of New York and is dedicated to providing water service to its customers.

Internet and cell phone in New York

New York is mainly covered by both 3G and 4G LTE technology. It is the 4th most connected state, having around 42 internet providers. They provide services such as Fiber, DSL, Cable, Mobile and Phone services. You can expect reliability and a great customer service experience. The best internet providers in New York will have bundling options, various speeds, and multiple package options at reasonable prices.

Insurance in New York

Car insurance in New York vs California

The car insurance cost in New York is much higher. The annual insurance cost for a full-coverage car is almost $3,433 annually or $168 per month, which is more than double the national average. Minimum coverage in New York is $941 per year on average.

Whereas in California, the annual insurance cost for a full-coverage car is almost $2,065 or $172 per month. And the annual insurance cost for minimum coverage is around $773. 


Health insurance in New York

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 New York proposes a website to help you with your health insurance search. Simply choose New York as your state and create an account.

Consider getting home insurance in New York

Getting a property insurance plan is a great idea when you move to New York to cover for damages caused by natural disasters. The most common natural disasters that occur in New York include floods, severe storms, tropical storms, blackouts, wildfires. Some less significant ones include landslides, tornadoes, and droughts. So, it is better to get a property insurance plan when you move.


Pros & cons of living in New York


  • According to the FBI, NY state has a lower overall crime rate than most other states.
  • The healthcare system in New York is well established and offers one of the best services in the US.
  • The state of New York has a thriving educational system and has some of the best colleges and universities globally, such as Columbia University, NYU, Cooper Union, etc.
  • New York state is rich in art, culture and entertainment.
  • The weather in New York state is ideal for those who love the changing of seasons.



  • Outside of the cities, public transportation is limited.
  • New York is one of the most expensive states to live in America. In comparison, the national average cost of living is about 40% higher.
  • New York state also has one of the highest average property tax rates in the US.


Why some people regret moving to New York

Living in the state of New York offers plenty of job opportunities, safety, diversity, etc. However, some people still regret moving there for the following reasons.


Regret #1

New York is one of the most expensive states to live in America. The real estate prices are pretty high. One bedroom apartment cost in main residential areas is around $1,695 per month.

Regret #2

New York is one of the most populated states of the US. Around 20 million people live here. As a result, it is always crowded, busy, and on the go. This is why many people regret moving to New York.

Regret #3

Another regret some people have after moving to New York State concerns the tax burden. According to the Tax Foundation, New York residents have a much higher overall tax burden than citizens of most other US states. 

Regret #4

During winter, roads get icy or snow-packed, so winter driving conditions are also a regret some people have after moving to the state of New York.

Fun facts about New York

Fun Fact #1

The original name of New York City was New Amsterdam as the Dutch settlers were the first to arrive in this area, but later the English renamed the city New York in honor of the Duke of York.

Fun fact #2

New York was the first state to require license plates on cars.

Fun Fact #3

France gifted the Statue of Liberty to celebrate the friendship between the US and France. 

(* & the planet D)

Don’t forget to change your address before moving to New York!

Changing your address is an essential step when moving to a new place. Mail forwarding is a simple and easy process. You can either change your address before moving to New York online or in person. Besides, you will need to change your address with many other organizations (SSA, DMV, home services, etc.). To make sure you don’t forget a place to notify, check out this complete change of address checklist that includes every single place where you need to change your address when moving.

Special Mention!

Moving is often synonymous of stress, long administrative tasks and a significant waste of time and money. MovingWaldo helps you solve all these problems in just a few clicks! After some shameless self-promotion, we invite you to discover our free moving tools available to all.

  • Discover Top-Rated Movers
  • Update accounts
  • Connect Internet, TV and Phone.
  • Secure home and auto insurance
  • Find resources, checklists and more.

We bring together more than 1,000 organizations across the country with a single and simplified form.

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