Indiana is a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States. The state is found nestled between Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, and Lake Michigan. It offers a central location, a low cost of living, great educational institutes, and a lot of attractive perks.
In addition to this, housing is affordable, the state has a booming economy and there are countless attractions such as lakes, restaurants, casinos, museums and much more.
So, if you are considering moving to Indiana, there are numerous things you need to know and prepare for, like their cost of living or simply how to notify the state of Indiana of your address change. Here are 7 things you need to know before moving to Indiana.
Moving to Indiana: Everything to know and do
What to know before your move to Indiana
1. First steps before moving to Indiana
Find a reliable moving company, truck rental or moving container
For your move to Indiana, you will need to hire a reliable moving company or take on the move yourself. To find the best moving company in Indiana, look for helpful reviews, a professional-looking website, and years of experience.
Planning a move to Indiana? Take a look at our selection of:
Finding a job
As of September 2023, Indiana has an unemployment rate of 3.6%, which increased compared to 3.4% in August 2023.
Jobs that are often in high demand are demand planner, truck driver, registered nurses, delivery drive and retail sales associate.
Below are some travel options to get to Indiana from different parts of the country include:
Flying: Flying is the most convenient way to move to Indiana. Book a flight from your departure city to Indianapolis International Airport, depending on your destination within Indiana.
Train: You can also take the train with Amtrak as an alternative.
If you are flying and require assistance with moving your belongings, you can explore options provided by reputable moving companies.
Must dos before your arrival
Moving to Indiana may be exciting and will challenge you in many ways. By knowing these things beforehand, you will be better prepared for your new life in the city.
- If you are moving to Indiana permanently, and you receive a lot of mail (excluding packages), you may want to sign up with USPS’s mail forwarding service. Mail forwarding allows 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.
- Moving to a new place is an opportunity to start afresh. If you’re moving to Indiana, 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 Indiana, then decide if you want to sell them on websites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace or donate them to a non-profit organization.
2. Upon your arrival in Indiana
Must dos right upon your arrival
- Get familiar with your neighborhood, and make sure to take note of the important emergency numbers.
- If you roam around the city for work or just simply checking on it, it would be great to purchase a daily pass to save money.
- Locate the essential facilities like the nearest hospital, police station, and fire department for your safety and in case of emergency.
You can easily get around in Indiana. There are several options available.
- Indiana County Transit Authority (IndiGo) – provides safe, reliable, public bus and van transportation service.
- Bloomington Transit – offers bus services across Bloomington City.
- GoCityBus – You can get efficient and affordable bus services with GoCityBus in Indiana.
Exchanging your driver’s license
Once you move to Indiana and establish residency, you must transfer your out-of-state driver’s license with the BMV within 60 days. In order to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license, you’ll need to visit a BMV office in person and pass both a vision test and driving test. You will also be required to submit your old license, proofs of ID, a payment for a new driver’s license fee and some additional documents.
Register your vehicle
If you have just moved to Indiana, you’ll have to register your out-of-state vehicle within 60 days of establishing residency. Failure to do so might result in penalties and additional charges. Before applying, you must have an Indiana title on the vehicle and register within 45 days of purchase. To get your car registered in Indiana, you have 2 options available.
- Register your car online, for that you must have an Indiana title on the vehicle and register within 45 days of purchase. You can do this at the MyBMV online registration portal.
- To register in person, go to an In BMV office, and you’ll be asked to submit your driving license, proof of Indiana car insurance and some additional documents.
Change your address
Along with mail forwarding, you will also have to update your new address with the concerned authorities in Indiana, like the DMV. To exercise your right to vote in Indiana, you can register to vote online, by mail and in person at your county voter registration office or the Indiana Election Division.
To register by mail or in person, you need to mail/deliver a completed Indiana Voter Registration Application (Form VRG-7) or County Voter Registration Application (Form VRG-11) to your county voter registration office or the Indiana Election Division. You can also visit your local BMV license branch to register.
Changing your address with your employer, bank, doctor, insurer, and service providers so that you can avoid any complications further down the road.
Setting up a bank account
Obtaining a bank account in Indiana is a straightforward process. You only need to present a copy of your valid state or government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. The bank with most branches in Indiana for easy access is Chase Bank. Indiana’s residents has access to a whopping 120 branches of Chase Bank in the state.
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 Indiana proposes a website to help you with your health insurance search. Simply choose Indiana as your state and create an account.
Type of healthcare
Employer-sponsored health insurance
Non-employer-sponsored health insurance
3. Best places to live in Indiana
If you are a couple, you might want to consider living in Westfield. It offers a sparse suburban feel, a thriving nightlife, a friendly neighborhood, diverse culture, and a lot of amenities.
If you are a family, you might want to consider Carmel. Carmel offers some high-rated public schools, great job opportunities, parks, and it’s a great place to raise a family.
If you are single, you should consider moving to Bloomington. Bloomington offers a strong economy, libraries, museums, and a wide variety of amenities.
Setting up home services
Setting up essential home services like electricity, water, and internet in Indiana is a straightforward process.
- Indiana Utilities Corporation is responsible for regulating electricity, natural gas, water, and telecommunication services in Indiana. Visit their website and search for electricity, water, and gas providers and even reach out to them if you have any inquiry.
- The best internet providers in Indiana will have bundling options, various speeds, and multiple package options at reasonable prices.
Should you rent or buy?
The average Indiana home value is $232,059, increased by 3.8% from 2022. Indiana’s price per square foot to buy an apartment outside the center is $160.00.
Finding an apartment for rent in Indiana is easy, utilize websites like Zillow, Apartmentguide, and Apartments.com. When seeking a house, these websites—Zillow, Realtor, and Century21—will assist you in your search for a home in Indiana.
Cost of rent in Indiana
Indianapolis (Outside of Center)
Cost of buying a property in Indiana
Average home price
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 Indiana are at a high risk of severe storms, floods, tornadoes, winter storms and landslides. Therefore, getting home insurance will prove to be valuable.
4. Cost of living in Indiana
1 bed apt rent outside city center
Numbeo’s grocery list ($55.84 multiplied by 4)
Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage
Internet with 60 Mbps
Meal, taxi, movie
5. The weather in Indiana
On average, there are 202 sunny days per year in Indiana. The highest temperature in summer is 85° and the winter low is 19 degrees. Indiana averages 22 inches of snow per year and 43 inches of rain. Snow, humidity, hail and tornadoes are very common in Indiana.
The weather can be unpredictable here. You’ll get to experience warm and humid summers and cold winters. Fall and Spring seasons in Indiana are pleasant and colorful.
6. What to do as a local in Indiana
After you are done settling into your new home in Indiana, you will probably want to familiarize yourself with the state and all its attractions. Some of the most popular activities and locations in Indiana include:
Cataract Falls – An ideal place to visit with your family. A lot of sightseeing and other activities such as camping and hunting.
Hoosier National Forest – If you love adventure and exploring different places, this is a must-visit place for you.
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis –It’s a great place to spend the day with your kids.
The two most popular big chain stores are Walmart and Costco.
Visit the popular cities in Indiana: Indianapolis, South Bend, Fort Wayne and Bloomington.
7. Fun facts about Indiana
- Fun Fact #1: The first theme park in the world called Holiday World was inaugurated in Indiana.
- Fun Fact #2: Indiana is the state that makes the most popcorn every year.
- Fun Fact #3: Baseball was practically born in Indiana, in Fort Wayne.
Indianapolis is one of the US states that offers a lower cost of living compared to many other major U.S. cities, making it a financially attractive option. It is called a Hoosier state because of its friendly and welcoming nature, creating a sense of belonging for newcomers. It also holds 45 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, allowing for outdoor adventures, hiking, and exploring nature.
While moving to Indiana has its pros and cons, checking the cost of living is essential to making sure you will live comfortably in this city and call it home. It’s a good idea to research specific neighborhoods within the state and consider your priorities to determine if Indiana is the right fit for you and your family.
Need a trusted moving company for the area? Discover the 5 best movers in Indiana.