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Moving to Indiana
The Hoosier State is a rich mix of business, industry, sports, education and truly American landscapes. From the historic main street in Madison, IN, with its perfectly preserved turn-of-the-century storefronts, to the state-of-the art Indianapolis Motor Speedway, this is a state that has preserved its history while reinventing itself to keep earning the nickname “The Crossroads of America.”
Moving to Indiana? Follow these tips so you don’t take a wrong turn at the Crossroads of America.
Time Zones: When calling for information, scheduling appointments or planning arrival times, note that Indiana is in two different time zones: Eastern Time and Central Time. Check your time zone to avoid missing appointments!
Roads: There can be lots of trash, litter and other debris on and along Indiana roads, so be extra careful when driving.
Traffic: Roads in the vicinity of Chicago (around Hammond and Gary), as well as around Indianapolis, can be very busy. Check your route before moving to IN so you know ahead of time where your exit is—especially when driving a moving truck. In addition, allow yourself extra time in case you get stuck in traffic.
Weather: Spring and summer bring tornadoes, so remember to listen to the weather reports, especially when you’re on the road!
Moving Permits: You don’t need a moving permit when moving to IN, but it’s always a good idea to be familiar with your new street and any parking regulations that may be enforced.
Update Your Address: Before moving to IN, visit the USPS website to conveniently change your address online!
Cities and Metro Areas
Moving to Indiana means moving to a state with large regional differences and cities that each have their own flavor. Some of the larger cities and towns include:
- Indianapolis: the state and car-racing capital
- Fort Wayne: host to many festivals
- Fishers: the safest city in the US
- Bloomington: a college town
- Carmel: an affluent community
Other interesting cities include South Bend, Evansville and Muncie, while Hammond and Gary are in the process of revitalizing their economies.
Cost of Living
Whether you work a job, receive a pension or have some other form of income, it’s a good idea to research how the cost of living in Indiana will affect your finances before deciding to move to the Hoosier State. In each state, local and state taxes, as well as factors such as population density and the availability of resources, determine the prices of everything from housing and food to education and healthcare. For example, prices in a rural state such as Tennessee or Arkansas are much lower than in states such as New York, Alaska, Hawaii and California.
After moving to Indiana, you’ll experience the cool winters and hot summers of a humid continental climate. Summer temperatures average at around 87 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, while winter daytime temperatures are approximately 35 degrees Fahrenheit. The entire state gets snowfall in winter and a lot of rainfall during spring, summer and fall, with the south receiving slightly more precipitation than the rest of Indiana.
If you’re moving to Indiana, be warned that though it’s not officially in Tornado Alley, the state does get a lot of tornadoes, specifically in the South Bend area. Remember to check your car and home insurance policies to see if you have the right kind of coverage.
Indiana has a history of dedication to public education, and has some excellent public schools, as well as top-notch private schools and colleges.
- Elementary: Centerton Elementary School in Martinsville, Merle Sidener Gifted Academy in Indianapolis, and Haubstadt Community School in Haubstadt are the top three elementary schools.
- High School: Three of the top-ranked high schools are Signature School, Inc. in Evansville, West Lafayette Junior/Senior High School in West Lafayette, and Carmel High School in Carmel.
- Higher Education: Students can attend some excellent institutions of higher education after moving to IN, including Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Notre Dame.
If you have questions about moving to Indiana, you can find lots of helpful information about living and working in the Hoosier State at Indiana’s official state website.
- Taxes: Indiana levies an excise tax (or state tax) of 7%.
- Tolls: There’s one toll road: the Indiana East-West Toll Road, which is usually referred to as the I-90 Indiana Toll Road. You can find more information about toll rates and the route at the Indiana Toll Road website.
- Voter Registration: After moving to Indiana, you can register to vote online with the Statewide Voter Registration System. You can also mail in a voter registration form or register in person at your local county clerk’s office or Bureau of Motor Vehicles branch. In order to vote in an upcoming election, your voter registration form must be received 29 days before the election takes place.
- Trash & Recycling: Your location determines whether trash and recycling are handled by the municipality or by a private company. Contact your city for more information.
- Drivers’ Licenses: You must apply for an IN driver’s license at your local Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) within 60 days of moving to IN. The cost is $21.
- Vehicle Registration: You’re required to register your vehicle within 60 days of becoming a resident. The cost for one year for a passenger vehicle is $21.05. It costs $15 for a title, and recording any lien is free of charge. However, you may have to pay for your plate, and those costs depend on the year, make and model of your vehicle, as well as the type of plates you want. You can estimate those costs here.