Compare Places to Live

GoodCall has published more comprehensive guides like this for other cities and states. Click on a location that interests you.

moving to missouri

Moving to Missouri

After moving to Missouri, you’ll have the opportunity to see for yourself the country’s tallest National Monument (the Gateway Arch in St. Louis), and the Presidential Library of Harry S. Truman in the aptly named city of Independence. The Show-Me State got its nickname in 1899 when Missouri Congressman Willard Vandiver neatly summed up the healthy skepticism of his home, saying, “Frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me.”

Moving Advice

Moving to Missouri? The following tips will help make your transition safe and efficient.

You don’t need a moving permit in Missouri.

Missouri experiences extreme weather, with hot and humid summers and cold winters. If possible, try to plan your moving date for spring or fall to avoid these extremes.

Tornadoes are a very real threat in Missouri year-round. Make sure to check the weather report daily, and when you’re driving, listen to a local station. If you hear a tornado warning, seek cover immediately. Also, go over your emergency plan with your loved ones. Discuss how to evacuate and where to meet if you get separated.

Whether you’re buying or renting a home when moving to MO, check that it has a storm shelter or there’s one nearby. In addition, make sure you have adequate insurance coverage.

Before moving to MO, use the USPS online change of address form so you don’t have to wait weeks for your mail to arrive.

In general, people in Missouri are helpful and friendly, so if you need information or assistance, just ask. If they can’t help you, they’ll usually try to find somebody who can!


Get Organized

Check out our downloadable planners and checklists.

Moving-out-for-the-first-time Checklist

Last-minute Moving Checklist

Move Planner


Cities and Metro Areas

Moving to Missouri means moving to a state where half of the entire population resides in the two largest cities, while the rural areas remain quiet and calm. You can move to Jefferson City, the state capital located on the edge of the Missouri Rhineland wine country; or to Kansas City, the business hub. St. Louis has the famous Gateway Arch, and there’s Springfield, with its many historic sites, and Columbia, the liberal college town. Other places to consider include St. Charles, St. Peters, Independence, O’Fallon and St. Joseph.


Cost of Living

There’s good news for anybody thinking about moving to MO: the cost of living in Missouri is almost 20 percent lower than the US average. In fact, in the last quarter of 2011, the cost of living in Missouri was ranked fourteenth lowest in the entire nation. This is most likely due to the low costs of housing, grocery items and other goods. In addition, over 50 percent of all students in the state receive some form of state funding for their education, which reduces costs significantly for households (the average household in Missouri earns an income of $40,885 per year).



After moving to Missouri, you’ll find that its humid continental climate is heavily influenced by cold Arctic air and hot, humid air coming off the Gulf of Mexico. There are no moderating geographical features such as mountains or large lakes here, so the state experiences extreme weather.

Hot summers and cold winters are the norm, with an average daytime temperature in the summer of around 89 degrees Fahrenheit, while during the colder months, the temperature is on average 38 degrees Fahrenheit during the day. When moving to MO, be aware that severe thunderstorms, as well as powerful tornadoes, are frequent occurrences.



If you’re moving to Missouri with your children, rest assured that there are some good educational institutions for students of all ages. These are some of the most notable:

  • Elementary Schools: Kennard Classical Junior Academy, Sappington Elementary School and Truman Elementary School in Saint Louis are some of the top-ranked elementary schools.
  • High Schools: Metro High School in Saint Louis, Lesterville High School in Lesterville and Linn High School in Linn are some of the best high schools.
  • Higher Education: If you’re a college student moving to MO, you’ll have access to some great colleges and universities, including the University of Missouri system, Lincoln University, Saint Louis University and Washington University in St. Louis, which is among the top 20 in the nation.



If you’re looking for the most up-to-date information about living and working in Missouri, go to the Official Missouri State Website.

  • Excise Taxes: A state excise tax of 4.225 percent, as well as your local sales tax with a total maximum of 4.5 percent, is due on any untaxed vehicle you bring into the state or purchase while living here. However, if you owned the vehicle for longer than 90 days in another state, you don’t have to pay excise tax in MO.
  • Tolls: If you’re moving to MO, you’ll be pleased to know there are no toll roads here yet, though there have been proposals to turn a number of existing highways into turnpikes.
  • Voter Registration: After moving to Missouri, you can fill out a voter registration form and mail it to your local election authority, or you can register to vote when you apply for your MO driver’s license.
  • Trash & Recycling: If you’re moving to Missouri to a rural area, trash and recycling are handled by private companies that vary per region. In urban areas, the city handles trash and recycling and bills them along with water.
  • Driver’s Licenses: You must apply for a MO driver’s license within 30 days of moving here. It costs $20 for a six-year license.
  • Vehicle Registration: After moving to MO, you have 30 days to register your vehicle. Fees are based on the vehicle’s HP; for example, it would be $24.75 for a four-cylinder vehicle and $27.75 for a six-cylinder vehicle. It costs $8.50 plus a $2.50 processing fee for a title, and it costs $2.50 to record a lien.