Cost of living -

7 Things to Know and do When Moving to Rhode Island

Rhode Island is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. The state has a rich history, an excellent coast full of amazing beaches and a beautiful landscape. It is the smallest U.S. state by area and is well known for its great schools and colleges. 

On top of all, you can get to experience everything in Rhode Island without driving too far, the city life, the rich history and the waterfront.

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

Moving to Rhode Island: Everything to know and do

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1. First steps before moving to Rhode Island

Find a reliable moving company, truck rental or moving container

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

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

Finding a job 

As of September 2023, Rhode Island has an unemployment rate of 2.6%, which is lower compared to the August 2023 rate of 2.7%.

Jobs that are often in high demand are heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, registered nurses, and sales associate.

Finding a job in Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island from different parts of the country include:

Flying: Flying is the most convenient way to move to Rhode Island. Book a flight from your departure city to Rhode Island T. F. Green International Airport, depending on your destination within Rhode Island.

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

Bus: If you want another way to travel, Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island, 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 Rhode Island, 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 Rhode Island

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 Rhode Island. There are several options available. 

Exchanging your driver’s license

Once you move to Rhode Island and establish residency, you must transfer your out-of-state driver’s license within 30 days. You’ll need to visit your local RI DMV office in person with a completed Application for License, Identification Card and Permits (Form LI-1), proof of your identity, RI address, social security number and all the documents mentioned on the application form. You’ll also have to surrender your out-of-state driver’s license. You’ll have to pass the knowledge exam and the road test as well.

Register your vehicle

If you have just moved to Rhode Island, you’ll have to register your out-of-state vehicle with the RI DMV within 30 days of establishing residency. Failure to do so might result in penalties and additional charges. To get your car registered in Rhode Island:

Visit your local DMV office with a proof of auto insurance, completed Application for Registration and Certificate of Title (Form TR-1), proof of a vehicle identification number (VIN) check, a Rhode Island driver’s license or ID card and some additional documents. After you receive your car registration certificate, you need to have your vehicle inspected within 5 days of the registration date. Your registration will be valid for 2 years.

Change your address

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

To register by mail or in person, you need to submit a completed Rhode Island Voter Registration Form or National Voter Registration Form. You can mail it to your county’s board of canvassers or take it in person to the Board of Canvassers or your local RI DMV office. You can also collect the form from your local board of canvassers, Rhode Island DMV office, or other state agencies.

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 Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island for easy access is Citizens Bank. Rhode Island’s residents has access to a whopping 55 offices of Citizens 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 Rhode Island proposes a website to help you with your health insurance search. Simply choose Rhode Island as your state and create an account.

Type of healthcare


Employer-sponsored health insurance


Non-employer-sponsored health insurance




Numbeo (Oct 2023), Value Penguin (Oct 2023) & EHealthInsurance (Oct 2023)

3. Best places to live in Rhode Island

Best places to live in Rhode Island

If you are a couple, you might want to consider living in Jamestown. Jamestown offers a quiet, island life to its residents. It has low crime rates and has a lot of bars, restaurants, coffee shops, and parks.

If you are a family, you might want to consider Barrington. Barrington is a suburb of Providence. It has some of the best public schools, a warm community, diverse property options and plenty of activities to do. 

If you are single, you should consider moving to Kingston. Kingston is a suburb of Providence (the most populous city in Rhode Island). It is home to the University of Rhode Island and many great educational institutions. If you’re looking for an active social life with a lot of amenities, Kingston is an ideal choice.

Setting up home services 

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

  • The Public Utilities Commission is responsible for regulating electricity, natural gas, water, wastewater, and telecommunication services in Rhode Island. You can visit their website and search for electricity, water, and gas providers and even reach out to them if you have any inquiry.

Should you rent or buy?

The average Rhode Island home value is $436,683, increased by 5.5% from 2022. Rhode Island’s price per square foot to buy an apartment outside the center is $180.00.

Finding an apartment for rent in Rhode Island 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 Rhode Island.

Cost of rent in Rhode Island


1-bed apartment

3-bed apartment

Providence (Outside of Center)



Cost of buying a property in Rhode Island


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 Rhode Island are at risk to droughts, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and wildfires. Therefore, getting home insurance will prove to be valuable.

4. Cost of living in Rhode Island


Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center



Numbeo’s grocery list ($67.82 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 Rhode Island

On average, there are 200 sunny days per year in Rhode Island. The highest temperature in summer is 82° and the winter low is 19 degrees. Rhode Island averages 35 inches of snow per year and 50 inches of rain. 

The climate in Rhode Island is influenced by its location on the Atlantic Ocean. The climate is generally mild to cold throughout the year. Summers are humid and warm, the perfect time to relax at the beach and enjoy outdoor activities. There is a likelihood of snowfall in winters and spring season is the rainiest.

6. What to do as a local in Rhode Island

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

Roger Williams Park Zoo – Offers a diverse range of things to do. You’ll get to experience an amazing zoo journey with more than 150 animals from all around the world. 

Narragansett Beach – Enjoy a walk along the oceanfront. The view is scenic and relaxing. 

Cliff Walk – It is popular as a public access walk that is a blend of the natural beauty of the Newport shoreline with the architectural history of Newport.

Some common grocery stores in Rhode Island are: Whole Foods Market, Stop & Shop, & Aldi.

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

Must-visit food places in Rhode Island are Meritage Restaurant and Tavern By The Sea.

Visit the popular cities in Rhode Island: Providence, Newport, Warwick & Cranston.

7. Fun facts about Rhode Island

  • Fun Fact #1: Rhode Island shares a state water border with New York.
  • Fun Fact #2: Rhode Island is the smallest state in size in the US.
  • Fun Fact #3: Rhode Island is the state with the most Italian heritage.


Rhode Island is known as the smallest state in the United States, which can make it easier to explore and navigate. You’re never far from the coast or the countryside. Despite its small size, Rhode Island has a rich cultural scene with theaters, art galleries, and cultural festivals which locals can enjoy. The state is also home to renowned institutions like the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

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

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


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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