Moving Blog
January 14, 2019

Getting Your Documents Together for a Move

By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group 

Documents for MovingMoving either locally or relocating across the country takes a lot of coordination and organization, and many people neglect to round up the proper documents beforehand. Here is a quick reference guide to many of the important documents that you will need whether moving local or orchestrating a long-distance move.

Let's face it, it's not like you need a passport and a work visa to move across the state line, but once you've gotten all your life documents together to go over the border those are about the only things you don't need. And the way our brains work, you'd expect to need all this paperwork for a cross-country move, but if your move is geographically local--from Memphis just over the river to a Mississippi or Arkansas suburb, for example, it can come as a surprise that you need all those documents.

These are the documents you'll most likely need to keep handy when moving, and how to get them if they have expired or you've misplaced them.

Driver's License

Even though driver's licenses are not good for federal identification much longer, you'll still need a current one--you should have it anyway, but if it expired a few weeks or months ago and you figured since you're moving why bother, go bother. If you need to check in at the airport, rent a car, open a bank account, or conduct life in general, you must have a current license to do so. If you are in a state where you can't get your license from the local Tag Agency same day, ask for a paper copy of your new license to use ahead of the hard copy coming in the mail; that is acceptable ID for a period of about three weeks.


If you are moving for a new job, chances are pretty good that you'll need to document US citizenship before you get started. You can renew it by mail if you meet certain criteria--your name has not changed, your last one was issued no more than 15 years ago, you were at least 16 at the time, among others--but if not, you'll have to apply for a new one in person. You can request an expedited passport if necessary but be prepared to pay an additional $60.

Birth Certificate(s)

You'll need a copy for everyone in your family. If you can't put your hands on them and you live in the county or parish where they were issued, a quick trip to the county offices will take care of it. If you were born somewhere else, request the copy from that location. Every location is different, so try an online search for the county records where you were born to find the specific instructions to obtain a certified copy of your birth certificate. There is usually a nominal charge involved.

Marriage License

If you need a copy, follow the same procedure you would with the birth certificate. A family Bible or certificate from the church is not an acceptable legal document.

Social Security Card(s)

Everyone in your family should have a social security number and a card; if you can't put your hands on the cards you'll need to get replacements as soon as possible. You can start the process online, and mail in the supporting documents, or you can go to the closest Social Security Administration office with the documents. Copies--even notarized ones--are not acceptable. You'll need photo ID and proof of citizenship, so bring a current driver's license or passport, school, employee, or military ID card, or a health insurance card.

Vehicle Registration

You're going to have to register your cars in your new town and state, so bring your current registration cards and proof of insurance to the local motor vehicles office as soon as possible after your move. In a new state you'll get a new license plate and tag; if your move was intrastate your license plate and tag are good, but your insurance premiums may change.

Health and Immunization Records

If you've got children, their new schools will require proof of immunization prior to enrollment. Having copies of all the family medical records helps when you have initial appointments with new doctors.

Get all your documents together as soon as you can ahead of your move and keep them together. Since you'll need original copies of most things, just put everything together in a file folder and keep it with you or in a secure location during the actual move--this is one thing you don't want to lose.

If you are ready to move, let A-1 Freeman Moving Group help. Contact us today to schedule your free in-home estimate.


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The Mickelson Family
The Mickelson Family
Best. Move. Ever!
Very pleased with the overall respect and care the men gave to my possessions. Even mailing me very quickly the only thing lost in transit. Would recommend to anyone needing a long distant move.

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