Relocating is a time of ups and downs: new adventures and daunting to-do lists. Let us help you plan how to keep on top of all the nitty gritty administrative tasks, so that you can save more time for relaxation and fun as you start your Delaware journey– LOVE LIVING HERE! 

Here’s a checklist to help you navigate the first big milestones of 7 days / 30 days and 90 days.  If you decide you want some personal help on this journey, reach out and I’ll work with you to help smooth the way (Christy, Relocation Consultant). 

Here are the top items to tackle at key points across your first 3 months.  

Your First 7 Days 

  • Set up trash pickup 
  • Arrange for law service 
  • Update your Health Coverage 
  • Insure Your Home (better BEFORE moving in!) 

Here are a few links and guides to help you on your way. 

General information:Department of Insurance. Direct information and forms about home owners / renters and flood insurance: Consumer Listing

Visit Instant Insurance Guide to review information in more detail about Renters /  Homeowners Insurance. As flood coverage isn’t often included in typical insurance, get more information on your address’ flood risk by visiting, FEMA National Flood Insurance Program. For comparative rates and local agents, visit Insurance Commissioner and Department of Insurance

  • Visit a local restaurant  (Start making your list of top places to take friends and family when they come to visit.) 

Your First 30 Days 

  • Update your Driver’s License or State Issued ID  

TIP: You can register to vote at the same time! 

DE requires this within your first 60 days. Per Delaware.gov, here’s what you’ll need: 

Turn in your previously issued out-of-state driver’s license, OR have a current certified copy of your driving record 

Documentation to provide: 

  1. Proof of identity/ legal presence 
  2. Proof of social security number 
  3. Two proofs of DE residency 
  4. All proofs of legal name change if applicable. 

Applicants will be required to fill out an application and pass an eye screening test. Written and road test may be given, but they are normally waived if your license is valid. Suspended and revoked licenses cannot be transferred until the withdrawal action is cleared. 

  • Register and Insure Your Car 

Per Delaware.gov, here’s what you’ll need before registering: 

  • Proof of Delaware auto insurance 

Coverage must meet the following minimums: 

Bodily injury for one person: $25,000. 

Bodily injury for one or more persons: $25,000. 

Damage or destruction to property: $10,000. 

  1. Proof of passing vehicle inspection 
  2. Safety inspection 
  3. Emissions test 
  4. Completed Certificate of Title application (Form MV-212) 
  5. Your out-of-state car title 
  6. A Delaware driver’s license 
  • Identify a Doctor and Dentist 

This should really be done as soon as possible, and even in advance to coming—so if you’re in the early steps of your process, start early and ask local friends and neighbors for their recommendations.

  • Register to Vote 

(Details per Delaware.gov

Register at least 10 days prior to a Special Election in one of three ways: 

  1. Online 
  2. By Mail 
  3. In Person at one of several places, 1) at the Department of Elections Office in your County, 2) at the DMV when you are updating your driver’s license, 3) at any State Service Center (DHSS), 4) at the Department of Labor (DOL), 5) at the State Election Commissioner 

All locations 

Check your voter registration

Find Your Polling Place: Delaware’s voter polling portal

Find all of your elected government officials at Delaware.gov’s Government topic page

You can find contact information for the Department of Election and Office of State Election Commissioner in your county by visiting the Department of Elections

  • Make a Plan to Learn the Community  

Contact our Retirement Relocation specialist to help navigate these relocation steps, how to connect well once you settle, and more as you prepare for a season where you can flourish as you LOVE LIVING HERE! 

  • License Your Dog (cats don’t need to be licensed) 

Our State law requires that all dogs 6 months of age or older must be licensed. The fee is waived for guide dogs and seeing-eye dogs. Payment for the license is due within 30 days of acquiring the dog over the age of 6 months or within 30 days of the license expiration date. (Proof of rabies vaccination is required.) 

Visit Delaware Health and Social Services Office of Animal Welfare for licensing information, fee information, etc. 

  • Update Your Professional License (for accountants, plumbers, electricians, medical practitioners/therapists, gaming, etc.) 

Certain professionals are required by Delaware law to obtain licenses here before conducting business per their profession within the state. Visit Applying for a Professional License to learn whether you need a license or not, as well as finding more detailed information on applications, etc.  

Your First 90 Days 

Find Professionals  (for example your local accountant or attorney) 

Our top TIP here is to align yourself with a great financial advisor to plan for healthy finances to sustain you through retirement and help you enjoy more! Len Hayduchok, the top Delaware Retiree Advisor, is our pick for a personable and incredibly well-informed professional whose expertise in this field sets him apart. 

  • An Accountant 
  • A Mechanic 
  • A Handyman, etc. 

Take advantage of the great State Wildlife Areas:  

With 18 State Parks across Delaware, and beautiful areas like Cape Henlopen State Park right at your fingertips, take advantage of the trails, beaches, and picturesque landscapes for hiking, bird-watching, photography and much more. Get your Conservation Access Pass to start living like a local. 

Get Licensed to Hunt, Fish and More 

In an area rich with beautiful beaches, camp sites and state parks (18 across Delaware), you’ll want to learn how to enjoy more! Some outdoor activities require a license or permit.  

Here are 3 options to help on your way: 

1) Purchase and print the following permits/licenses : hunting, fishing, deer tags, water fowl/duck or trout stamps, wildlife area lottery permits, and vehicle conservation access passes.  

2) Purchase in person at these locations  

3) Click for more info on hunting and fishing, visit DNREC’s website 

Register Your Boat  

Per Delaware.gov, all motorboats, including those powered by electric motors, to be registered. Renew your license or update your information. 

For registration fees and other information, visit Delaware Boat Registration Information. Download the mail-in boat registration application or visit one of these private boating and license agents

Be Prepared for an Emergency 

Be among the first to get notifications in the case of an emergency. Register your cell phone in the Delaware Emergency Notification System. This system also gives local 911 centers authority to message you more specifically when an alert is listed for your larger area, so you can know how it affects your neighborhood and even your street. 

While moving states can be intimidating, you’re in good company in Delaware, an area growing in popularity for retirees each year. Settle in by tackling your relocation tasks one at a time. If you need help, call me (Christy, Relocation Consultant), and I’ll step in to ease your way. Together we’ll take the steps to connect you to the community as you learn why so many retirees LOVE LIVING HERE! 

Wishing you safe travels and smooth moving as you relocate to the beautiful First State.

Christy Cullen 

Christy@DelawareRetiree.com 

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