Article by: The San Diego Union-Tribune
Moving to a new city can be stressful, so we’ve compiled a list of things to do as you settle into your new home. As you familiarize yourself with the city, enjoy a California burrito, a fish taco or a crisp craft beer.
Update driver’s license
For new San Diegans coming from another state, you’ll need to update your driver’s license or state identification. There are nine Department of Motor Vehicles offices in San Diego County. You have 10 days after moving to update your license. If you schedule an appointment, you can save some time, but reservations can run three weeks out. dmv.ca.gov. (800) 777-0133.
- 1450 Graves Ave., El Cajon
- 3960 Normal St., Hillcrest
- 4375 Derrick Drive, Clairemont
- 6111 Business Center Court, Otay Mesa
- 590 Rancheros Drive, San Marcos
- 4005 Plaza Drive, Oceanside
- 13461 Community Road, Poway
- 1901 Jamacha Road, El Cajon
- 30 N. Glover Avenue, Chula Vista
Register to vote
While you’re at the DMV, you can also register to vote. You have until midnight 15 days before an election to register. You can also register by mail, or at sdvote.com.
Register your vehicle and get a smog check
Most vehicles are required to be smog-checked when you register your vehicle at the DMV. Exceptions include diesel models older than 1997, a vehicle that is four or fewer model years old, gasoline-powered cars 1975 model year or older, diesel powered 1997 model year or older or with a gross vehicle weight of more than 14,000 pounds, electric vehicles, natural gas vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of more than 14,000 pounds, and motorcycles. Smog certifications are available at auto repair shops countywide. Smog checks must be completed every two years.
License your pets
Much of the county is served by the San Diego Humane Society. All dogs older than 5 months must be licensed within a month of moving. Visit sdhumane.org or go to a shelter to obtain a license. The only cities not served by the Humane Society are Coronado, which has its own nonprofit provider; El Cajon and La Mesa, which are handled by El Cajon; and Chula Vista, National City and Lemon Grove, which Chula Vista handles.
Get a library card
There are nearly 80 public library locations, plus bookmobiles and self-service locations. Library cards can be used to check out books, downloadable audiobooks, video games and magazines; to use a computer; and to attend free programs. City library: sandiego.gov/public-library. County: sdcl.org. Other library systems are operated in Chula Vista, Coronado, Escondido, National City and Oceanside.
Get signed up with utilities
Sign up for electricity and gas through the San Diego Gas & Electric website or by calling (800) 411-7343.
Be prepared for disaster
Wildfires and earthquakes are the biggest threats to the county. Keep a kit of essentials ready in your vehicle and in your home, just in case an evacuation order is made. Among other things, the government suggests your kit include 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least three days; at least a three-day supply of nonperishable food; battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and a weather radio with tone alert; flashlight; first-aid kit; extra batteries; whistle to signal for help; dust mask to help filter contaminated air; local maps; and a can opener for food. ready.gov
There are more than a dozen Internet providers, with the biggest being AT&T, Cox and Spectrum. Which ones you can use depend on their coverage area, which can vary at a block-to-block level. Visit each website to see which ones are available to you, or consult a neighborhood forum like Nextdoor. Useful links www.sandiego.gov/environmental-services/collection www.sdmts.com/ www.weather.gov/sgx/ https://www.sandiego.gov/water