Moving to Oklahoma
The land itself and the claims to it have formed the state of Oklahoma. Whether it was Native American tribes forced to relocate, or homesteaders who wanted to lay claim to a stake sooner rather than later, Oklahoma is a unique state with a blend of Native American and European cultures. Moving to Oklahoma? The following tips will help you transition into your new home.
Keep an eye on the weather. Oklahoma lies at the heart of Tornado Alley and sees tornadoes from spring through late summer. Tune your radio to a local station and if you hear a weather warning, take shelter immediately!
You won’t need a moving permit anywhere in Oklahoma, but in the cities and college towns, traffic can get busy. Plan on moving to OK outside of the busy commute times, and check local parking restrictions ahead of time.
Driving conditions in the Sooner State can be hazardous due to trash and waste on the roads. Be extra careful to stay alert at the wheel so you can react to anything bouncing up off the road or otherwise compromising your vehicle.
When moving to Oklahoma, you’ll find that exits on the highways can come up pretty quickly. Even if you have a GPS, go over your route beforehand so you’re as prepared as possible.
If you need assistance or information after moving to OK, just ask a local. In general, Oklahomans are very friendly and knowledgeable, and if they can’t help you, they’ll tell you who can.
Don’t forget to change your address online with USPS before moving to OK!
Check out our downloadable planners and checklists.
Cities and Metro Areas
There are many reasons for moving to Oklahoma, and just as many cities and towns to choose as your new home. There’s Oklahoma City, the state capital with its recently renovated downtown area; Tulsa, with one of the largest collections of Art Deco buildings in the US; Norman, a hub of weather research; and Enid, nicknamed the “Wheat Capital.” In addition, there are a number of other cities, suburbs and bedroom communities such as Broken Arrow, Edmond, Moore, Lawton, Midwest City and Stillwater.
Cost of Living
Overall, the cost of living in Oklahoma is almost 24 percent lower than the US average—in fact, in the last quarter of 2011, it ranked lowest in the entire country! Groceries, transportation, miscellaneous goods and services, and healthcare had some of the lowest prices of all of the states, while housing and utilities, though still comparatively low, ranked slightly higher. The low prices are due to the state’s significant output of both energy and agricultural products, as well as local manufacturing of consumer goods. In addition, with an average commute time of approximately 22 minutes, gas doesn’t take up too much of a chunk of most workers’ budgets. With an average household income of approximately $37,000 per year, it’s clear that most employed folks can attain a comfortable quality of life in Oklahoma.
Overall, Oklahoma has a temperate climate, but weather patterns are extremely volatile, with sudden swings in temperature and precipitation. If you’re moving to OK, you’ll find that the southeastern part of the state is slightly warmer and has moderate precipitation, while the more west you go, the cooler the temperatures. On average, summer temperatures during the day are around 94 degrees Fahrenheit, while winter temperatures hover around 47 degrees Fahrenheit.
When moving to Oklahoma, it’s important to be aware that the state gets an average of 50 tornadoes a year, especially during the spring and summer. This makes the Sooner State one of the world’s most tornado-prone regions, so make sure to listen to the weather reports when driving and check that you have adequate insurance.
Though most of the blooming plants, shrubs, trees and weeds are in the more fertile southeast of the state, strong winds can carry pollen for miles. Allergy sufferers moving to OK should check the pollen count in their area and take adequate measures to protect their health.
Though Oklahoma’s expenditures per student rank among the lowest in the nation, its pre-kindergarten schooling is some of the best in the country. Here are some of the most notable schools:
- Elementary: Schwartz Elementary School and Fisher Elementary School, both in Oklahoma City, and Tulsa Adventist Academy in Tulsa are some of the best elementary schools.
- High School: Three renowned high schools are Classen High School of Advanced Studies and Dove Science Academy in Oklahoma City, as well as Tulsa School of Arts & Sciences in Tulsa.
- Higher Education: College students moving to OK can attend a number of colleges and universities, including the University of Oklahoma, University of Tulsa, Northeastern State University or Langston University.
When you’re thinking about moving to Oklahoma, you’ll need information about working and living in the Sooner State. Oklahoma’s Official Web Site contains reliable and current articles, facts and links about nearly every aspect of life and business here. The following moving tips will get you started.
- You don’t need a moving permit anywhere in Oklahoma.
- If you buy a vehicle after moving to OK, or you bring an untaxed vehicle into the state, you’ll have to pay an excise tax of 3.25 percent of the original sticker price.
- There are 10 toll roads or turnpikes in Oklahoma. You can calculate the toll for your route at the PikePass website, which is operated by the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority. It cost about $8 to drive from Tulsa to the Missouri state border.
- When you go to the DPS to apply for your driver’s license after moving to Oklahoma, you can request a voter registration form. You can also download one at Oklahoma’s Official Web Site.
- Depending on your location, trash and recycling can be handled by private companies or your local municipality. In general, the choice is yours. Locals from across the state mention that pricing is becoming very competitive, but you should talk to your neighbors about which organization is the most reliable and offers reasonable rates. In addition, it’s always a good idea to call your city and find out which company they recommend.
- You must apply for an OK driver’s license once you become a resident. The cost for a license is $25.50, and you must apply for this at your local Department of Public Safety (DPS).
- After moving to OK, you must register your vehicle at your local Motor Vehicle Commission within 30 days. Fees vary depending on the year of the vehicle, but to give you an idea of the costs, know that any vehicle manufactured after 2008 would cost approximately $91.
- It costs $11 to transfer a title and $13 to record a lien.
- Some counties charge a “waste tire recycling fee” of $12.50.