Moving to San Diego? Here’s What You Need to Know
Need-to-know admin stuff, from when to update your driver’s license to where to register to vote
Update Your Driver’s License
What: If you’re moving to San Diego from out of state, you need to apply for a California driver’s license.
When: Within 10 days of moving
Where: Your local DMV office (skip the long lines by scheduling an appointment online)
Get a Smog Check
What: Before you’re able to transfer your out-of-state vehicle registration, your car (if the model year is 1976 or newer) needs to pass a smog check.
When: Within 20 days of moving, then every two years
Where: DMV.org (not a DMV affiliate) has a list of smog test, emission check, and inspection sites in San Diego
Register Your Car
What: If you’re moving to San Diego from another state or country and bringing a vehicle, you need to transfer the title to California.
When: Within 20 days of moving
Where: Your local DMV office
Register to Vote
What: When moving to a new state, becoming a registered voter will make sure you have a say when it comes to any new state legislation, as well as in national elections.
When: By 11:59:59 p.m. on the 15th day before Election Day
Where: Online, by mail, or at the DMV
Get a Dog License
What: By California state law, all dogs older than five months must be licensed. To license your dog, you’ll need proof that it has a current rabies vaccination.
When: Within 30 days of moving
Where: At your local County Animal Services shelter or online
Use Public Transportation
What: The San Diego Metropolitan Transit System operates buses and trolleys in south, east, and central San Diego, while the North County Transit District covers North County.
Where: You can find your closest stop on the MTS and NCTD websites.
Get a Library Card
What: The City of San Diego Public Library has 35 branches across the city, with a collection of 5.3 million books! Library cards are free, and you can apply for a temporary card online.
When: Bring a printout of your temporary library card number, plus a picture ID and proof of address, to any Public Library location within 30 days to apply for a permanent card.