Cost of living -

7 Things to know and do before moving to Kentucky

Kentucky is a state in the Upland South region of the United States. It is bordered by Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois to the north; Virginia and West Virginia to the east; Missouri to the west and Tennessee to the south. It also is officially known as the Commonwealth of Kentucky. 

When you move to Kentucky, you can expect a random hello and conversations from strangers, you’ll come across some of the most genuine and friendly people in Kentucky. In addition to this, Kentucky is home to some stunning landscapes and top attractions such as the Kentucky Derby and the Boone National Park. On top of all, the cost of living in Kentucky is 11.4% lower than the national average.

So, if you are considering moving to Kentucky, there are numerous things you need to know and prepare for, like their cost of living or simply how to notify the state of Kentucky of your address change. Here are 7 things you need to know before moving to Kentucky.

Kentucky Gov (Oct 2023)

Moving to Kentucky: Everything to know and do

Featured in this article


1. First steps before moving to Kentucky

Find a reliable moving company, truck rental or moving container

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

Planning a move to Kentucky? Take a look at our selection of:

Finding a job 

As of September 2023, Kentucky had an unemployment rate of 4.1%, which increased from 4% in August 2023.

Jobs that are often in high demand are administrative assistant, local truck driver, and operations manager.

Finding a job in Kentucky is easier if you search online for job openings. Popular websites for this include LinkedIn, Indeed, and SimplyHired.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics (Oct 2023)

Getting there 

Below are some travel options to get to Kentucky from different parts of the country include:

Flying: Flying is the most convenient way to move to Kentucky. Book a flight from your departure city to Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport, depending on your destination within Kentucky.

Train: You can also take the train with Amtrak as an alternative. 

Bus: If you want another way to travel, Kentucky cities have bus services like Greyhound, and Flixbus, that can get you there.

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 Kentucky 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 Kentucky 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 Kentucky, 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 Kentucky, 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 Kentucky

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 Kentucky. There are several options available. 

  • TARC – You can use their services and travel via buses and bikes. 
  • BlueGrass Ultra Transit – You can use their services and travel by bus.

Exchanging your driver’s license

Once you move to Kentucky 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 the Kentucky DDL office in person with a completed Driver License ID Card Application (Form TC 94-30) and some other documents. You will also have to surrender your out-of-state license.

If your driving license is from another country, you will have to pass the vision, written, and driving tests.

Register your vehicle

If you have just moved to Kentucky, you’ll have to register your out-of-state vehicle with the KY Transportation Cabinet within 15 days. Failure to do so might result in penalties and additional charges. To get your car registered in Kentucky:

Bring your vehicle title, proof of insurance, a completed Application for Kentucky Certificate of Title/Registration (Form TC 96-182) and some other documents and submit them to your county clerk’s office.

Change your address

Along with mail forwarding, you will also have to update your new address with the concerned authorities in Kentucky, like the DMV. To exercise your right to vote in Kentucky, you can register to vote online, by mail and in person. 

To register by mail or in person, you can use the Mail-In Voter Registration Card (Form SBE 01), which can be printed or downloaded, or you can pick it from your local county clerk’s office. If you want to register in person, you can submit the form at your county clerk’s office or driver license issuance office.

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 Kentucky 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 Kentucky for easy access is US Bank. Kentucky’s residents has access to a whopping 93 offices of US 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 Kentucky proposes a website to help you with your health insurance search. Simply choose Kentucky as your state and create an account.

Type of healthcare


Employer-sponsored health insurance


Non-employer-sponsored health insurance




Numbeo (Oct 2023) & EHealthInsurance (Oct 2023)

3. Best places to live in Kentucky

Best places to live in Kentucky

If you are a couple, you might want to consider living in Lexington. It offers a suburban feel, a thriving nightlife, a diverse culture, the best hospitals, and a lot of amenities.

If you are a family, you might want to consider Fort Thomas. Fort Thomas offers good housing facilities, safe parks for kids, great schools, and it’s a great place to raise a family. 

If you are single, you should consider moving to Louisville. Louisville is home to the top-rated University of Louisville, good entertainment options and a great neighborhood. This is the reason a lot of young professionals live here. In addition to this, Louisville offers a lot of amenities.

Setting up home services 

Setting up essential home services like electricity, water, and internet in Kentucky is a straightforward process. 

Should you rent or buy?

The average Kentucky home value is $200,645, increased by 3.7% from 2022. Kentucky’s price per square foot to buy an apartment outside the center is $181.43.

Finding an apartment for rent in Kentucky is easy, utilize websites like Zillow, Apartmentguide, and When seeking a house, these websites—Zillow, Realtor, and Century21—will assist you in your search for a home in Kentucky.

Cost of rent in Kentucky


1-bed apartment

3-bed apartment

Lexington (Outside of Center)



Cost of buying a property in Kentucky


Average home price 



Numbeo (Oct 2023)Zillow (Oct 2023)

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 Kentucky are at a risk of landslides, mudslides, tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods. Therefore, getting home insurance will prove to be valuable.

4. Cost of living in Kentucky


Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center



Numbeo’s grocery list ($57.78 multiplied by 4)



Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage


Internet with 60 Mbps


Transit pass



Meal, taxi, movie


Gym membership 




Numbeo (Oct 2023)

5. The weather in Kentucky

On average, there are 189 sunny days per year in Kentucky. The highest temperature in summer is 87° and the winter low is 24 degrees. Kentucky averages 11 inches of snow per year and 48 inches of rain. In winters, you will get to see beautiful snowfalls and experience below freezing temperatures. The weather in Kentucky can be very unpredictable. Springs are when everything fully blossoms, and falls are extremely beautiful.

6. What to do as a local in Kentucky

After you are done settling into your new home in Kentucky, you will want to familiarize yourself with the state and all its attractions. Some of the most popular activities and locations in Kentucky include:

Kentucky Derby Museum: One of the premium attractions in Louisville.

Newport Aquarium – A perfect place to visit with your family.

Smothers Park – Enjoy the riverfront, fountains, and the amazing view.

Some common grocery stores in Kentucky are: Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe’s, & Meijer

The two most popular big chain stores are Walmart and Costco.

Must-visit food places in Kentucky are The Old Talbott Tavern and Mordercai’s.

Visit the popular cities in Kentucky: Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort and Owensboro.

7. Fun facts about Kentucky

  • Fun Fact #1: The largest amount of gold in the US is stored in Fort Knox, Kentucky.
  • Fun Fact #2: Mammoth Cave is the world’s longest Cave System in Kentucky.
  • Fun Fact #3: Mother’s Day was invented in Kentucky.


Kentucky is a great place to live because it is known for its affordable cost of living compared to many other states in the U.S. Housing, groceries, and other daily expenses are often more budget-friendly, and locals can save because of it. If you are looking for a good career, you can check out major cities like Louisville and Lexington that offer job opportunities in various industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, and technology.

While moving to Kentucky 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 Kentucky is the right fit for you and your family.

Need a trusted moving company for the area? Discover the 5 best movers in Kentucky.


Widgets Magazine


Widgets Magazine

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Selina Cifelli

The author

Selina is a motivated marketing intern with a keen interest in developing engaging content related to moving experiences and city life. With a passion for fashion and traveling, she brings a fresh perspective to our readers. Her talent for crafting innovative written material effectively positions MovingWaldo as a trusted resource for hassle-free and efficient moves.

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