Welcome to the Carolinas!
Moving can be an exciting new chapter in your life. Leaving your friends, family, and places you know can also be nerve-wracking. From learning local state laws like registering to vote and car seat safety to finding and decorating your new home, the process can be more than a little overwhelming. We've put together some tips to help you feel like a local:
Get your new driver's license — In order to legally operate a motor vehicle as a resident of either North or South Carolina, you must have a valid driver's license. In North Carolina, you must obtain a driver's license within 60 days of establishing a permanent residence and then must pass the vision, written, and road sign tests. In South Carolina, you have 90 days to get your license transferred and are only required to take the vision test in order to apply.
Register to vote — Your country and your state need you to vote. In both North and South Carolina, you can register to vote by mail, in person, by email, or by fax. You can easily access the voter registration application online, or you can register while you are at the DMV as long as you are also there to get your driver's license. Keep in mind that to vote in a state election, you must register at least 30 days prior to Election Day.
Register your vehicle — In North Carolina, you have 30 days after establishing residency to register your vehicle. You can sign up in person or by mail and must have a valid North Carolina driver's license or ID card, proof of insurance, a notarized vehicle title or your current out-of-state license and odometer reading if a lienholder has your title, the bill of sale, fee, and all required completed forms. You have 45 days after moving to South Carolina to apply for a vehicle registration certificate. Before registering, you must pay your county's vehicle property tax with your county auditor. Be sure to keep this tax receipt, as you will need to present it with your application. You can apply in person or by mail, and you need a completed application, your auto insurance company, tax receipt, and payment.
Get your vehicle inspected — If you are new to North Carolina, you don't have to bring your car in for inspection until it's time to renew your registration, so hopefully, you have a few months before it is due. When it is time for your inspection, your vehicle must pass emissions and safety requirements. South Carolina does not require a mandatory yearly vehicle inspection.
Get your vehicle a checkup — Whether you drove thousands, hundreds, or just dozens of miles to get here, highway driving takes its toll on your car, especially while hauling a heavy trailer. Your AAA membership gives you access to car care, so get a multi-point checkup and make sure your tires and battery are road-ready, too. AAA Carolinas Car Care Locations are club owned, so you receive exceptional quality and excellent employees, not just a AAA approved auto repair shop. As a new resident, it's a great time to find your local car care location and acquaint yourself with our experienced and knowledgeable car care experts.
Review and update your insurance policies — When moving to a new state and changing your housing situation, it is imperative to review your insurance policies to make sure you are adequately protected. You may need different homeowner's insurance depending on whether you’re a first-time home buyer or moving into your dream home. Protect your most valuable asset with AAA Deluxe Home Protection, which offers options for home warranties, home security, flood insurance, and disaster mortgage insurance.
Dress like a local — Don’t be afraid to show some Carolina pride. You’ll find friends fast sporting any Panthers, NASCAR, Hornets, and Hurricanes apparel. Once you have gotten settled, you will have plenty of opportunities to attend local sporting events.
The Carolinas are also home to mountains, beaches and all kinds of destinations so you can swim, hike, camp, ski, and enjoy a multitude of activities right out your new back door. When you are ready to explore your new state, contact your local AAA travel agent to help make trip planning easy with hotel discounts, reservations, and TripTiks, AAA's exclusive travel planner.
Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to transfer your AAA Membership. If you are not a current AAA member, no problem — just visit us online or call 1-866-593-8626. We're here to help make your move a little less stressful, and welcome you to the Carolinas!