Things can get hectic when you are relocating yourself or your family into Nashville from another state. You may be starting a new job, your children may be starting a new school, and are busy trying to get unpacked and settled into a new home. With so many moving pieces and so much going on, relocations often overlook these four basic things that need to happen for you to finish getting established in Nashville.

  1. File a change of address form with the post office. This will ensure that your mail gets forwarded from your previous address and that you do not miss any important piece of correspondence. This can be done online for a small fee and you can specify whether this is a temporary or permanent move and whether this is for a family or an individual. ( Do not, however, rely solely on this change of address form to continue receiving your mail. Make sure that you inform everyone, particularly your debtors that you have moved. Call your credit card companies and your banks. Also, don’t forget to inform your magazine subscriptions and your friends and families about your move.
  2. Get a Tennessee driver’s license. There is something about getting rid of your old driver’s license and getting a Tennessee driver’s license that makes the move sync in. In order to get a license you will have to visit a Driver Service Center and bring the following documents:
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship, Lawful Permanent Resident Status or Temporary Legal Presence documents.
  • Proof of Tennessee Residency.
  • Proof of social security number, if one has been issued.
  • Current State License/ID, with proof of name change if required.
  • A completed Application for Tennessee Driver License.

Visit their website to figure out what are acceptable documents. ( Keep in mind that there will be a fee, and you may be asked to turn in your old license.

  1. Get your car registered & insured. You will have to pay the county clerk’s office a visit to get your vehicle registered. They will require an emissions test and the following documentation:
  • Proof of identification and proof of residency.
  • Passed emissions certificate (if applicable).
  • Most current out-of-state registration.
  • Either the name and address of lienholder to whom you are making payments or, in the event of no lienholder, your out-of-state title.

For more information visit Lastly, be sure to speak to your current car insurance provider. Not all providers cover all states and you may have to find new car insurance.

  1. Register to vote. Now that your car is registered, it is time for you to register to vote. Voter requirements include:
  • You have registered at least 30 days prior to an election.
  • The completed registration forms must be postmarked or hand delivered to the election commission office 30 days before an election.
  • An application for voter registration does not become official until the Administrator of Elections determines that all required information is complete.

Obtain your voter registration here:

After these four steps you are a bona fide resident. Welcome to Nashville!

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(Originally published for 12th&Broad 9/30/15)