If you are preparing to move out of state or overseas, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed with all of the things you need to take care of and pack up. Don't let that feeling keep you from remembering a few very important documents that you'll probably need at some point in the near future when you try to settle into your new home. Here's what you need to know.
Identity & Citizenry
Documents: These documents include your birth certificates and marriage licenses.
Why you need them: You and each of your family members will need documents to prove your identity and citizenry, such as if you lose your driver's license or you need to apply for a passport. Your children will need their birth certificates to sign up for sports and attend school.
Where to get copies: States and counties use different methods in how they keep these records and provide copies of them to the public. In some states, you can order these documents online; however, sometimes you have to physically go to the office in order to get a certified copy of these documents. Call the vital records department in your county for more information about obtaining copies of these documents in your specific area.
Medical & Dental
Documents: Be sure to get all of the medical and dental records, including all specialists that you and your family members have seen over the years, not just the ones that are located directly at your primary care providers. Also, get print-outs of all of your pharmaceutical records from over the years.
Why you need them: You'll need your medical and dental records for continual care through new providers in your new location. It's important to have these documents in your possession in case you come down with a serious condition, require an emergency operation, or reinjure the same part of your body. The reason for this is so your new care providers can use these documents as a baseline for your ongoing care.
Where to get copies: You can sign HIPAA forms in order for medical and dental offices to release the documents to other health and dental care providers, as well as your pharmacists. However, it's safer to hand-deliver these documents to your new providers after you arrive in your new area. That way, you won't risk losing the documents during the delivery process.
Divorce & Child Custody
Documents: Divorce decrees and child custody records, including paperwork and documentation your lawyer has filed in his or her office.
Why you need them: You may need to show proof of your divorce, especially if the divorce is recent and there are still lingering debt and credit issues that need to be resolved. You will likely need to show child custody documents to school officials. Sometimes, mental health and medical care providers ask parents for proof of custody so they know that the proper parent is making decisions.
Where to get copies: Some counties allow access to divorce decrees through online services. However, many counties don't provide this service, which means you'll need to physically go to the courthouse to get them. It's important to note that documents related to child custody are generally closed to the public, which means that you'll need to provide identification to show that you are entitled to these sensitive documents.
It's not necessary to keep these documents with you, but you do want to keep them safe during the move. It's a good idea to keep them stored in a sturdy, fireproof, lockable box during your move. For more information about where to locate these documents in your specific area, contact a local moving service. Moving services typically keep lists of these types of essentials for people who are unfamiliar with what is necessary to take when moving to another state or country.