In Canada, we have a federal government, but law, politics and procedures can differ in each province. If you’re moving to a new province or territories, it’s important to understand how things work there. To help you get prepared, we have gathered 5 things to know when moving to a new province to help you avoid any surprises upon arrival.
1. Apply for a new driver’s licence
All provinces issue their own driver’s licences. Once you get to your new province, it will be important to make sure it is updated as soon as possible. In most provinces, you have 60-90 days to change your license but times vary so be sure to check the grace period in the province you’ll be moving to. It’s also important to think about your car insurance. Some provinces have governmental insurances such as Saskatchewan or British Columbia, while others don’t, for instance Quebec, which means that a private insurance will be needed. Moreover, if you don’t drive, in many provinces, like Ontario or Alberta, you can apply for a Photo Card that serves as an identification card.
2. Apply for a new health card
Like for your driver’s licence, the public health-care system is administered by each province. It’s important to apply for a new health card as soon as possible when you arrive to your new province. We recommend keeping your current health coverage until you and your family members are all covered by your new province’s health-care system. Since the process can take several weeks, depending on the province, the sooner you apply, the better.
Special Mention: the health-care system can be broken down into two categories:
- Basic medical and emergency services: this is what is covered by your health card.
- Prescription drugs: medicine is not covered by the regular plan, but it is possible to register for that as well.
If you do not have a private insurance for your prescription drugs, it will be necessary to register for that insurance. It is administered by the same agency, your provincial health-care system, and you will need to contact them directly for more information regarding what is required.
3. Set up your home services
Before moving into your new home, it’s important to make sure all your home services are set up with local providers. You will need to cancel your account with your current provider and open one with the new provider. With regards to electricity, most provinces have only one energy provider, which makes it easier to decide. Others, like Ontario or Alberta, have many options. It’s important to look at all of the options in your new province. It will also be important to set up your Internet and TV. If you love your Internet service provider, it might be worth a shot to check if they are available in your new province. If not, compare pricing and offerings of other providers (don’t forget to look at the smaller providers too - they surf on the lines of bigger companies and are available in many provinces). We recommend thoroughly researching the ones available at your new address to make sure you get the best service, at the best price. Here is a list of well-know telecom provider by province:
Provinces & Well-known telecom providers
- Quebec: Bell, Videotron, Cogeco, Telus
- Ontario: Bell, Rogers, Cogeco
- Manitoba: Bell, MTS
- Saskatchewan: Sasktel
- Alberta: Telus, Shaw
- British Columbia: Telus, Shaw
- New Brunswick: Eastlink, Rogers, Bell Aliant
- Newfoundland and Labrador: Eastlink, Rogers, Bell Aliant
- Prince Edward Island: Eastlink, Bell Aliant
- Nova Scotia: Eastlink, Bell Aliant
If you’re concerned about safety, you should also think about getting home insurance and a security system in place before your arrival. There are many different companies that offer security systems to help keep your home safe, which is especially important when moving into a new environment that you may not be familiar with. As for home insurance, you should contact your current insurance carrier to see if they provide coverage at your new home, if not, it will be necessary to shop for new insurance.
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4. Change your address
When you move, it is always important to update your address to make sure you don’t miss any mail and so that your service providers have your updated contact information. The same process applies when you move to a new province.
It is best to start updating your address three to four weeks before you move. This way, everything will be set up before your arrival in the new province and you’ll be less likely to encounter issues with your subscriptions and bills.
5. Organize your personal papers
Moving can be an opportunity to do a little clean-up for your files. Gather all of your family’s important papers like birth certificates, insurance, and even your will and store them together in a safe place. Doing this before you move will help you avoid having to search all over for your documents in your new home. Also, moving means that you need to make some changes to your papers like revising your will (or making one if you haven’t already) and looking into your life insurance policy to make sure it fits your new situation.
Bonus: Review your estate plan
Moving is a great time to make a will or review your estate plan and determine if anything has changed. Anytime you acquire/sell an asset, you may want to make changes to any specific gifts in your will - for example, you may have left a specific property at a specific address to someone and it needs to be updated to the new address, or maybe you left a piece of property as a specific gift (like a piano) but you sold it as part of the move and it needs to be removed. If you’ve moved to a different province (or country!), you will also be subject to local wills and estates laws in that market. While most Canadian provinces recognize wills made in other provinces, it’s always best practice to update your will to adhere to provincial legislation. If you’ve moved locations, you may also want to consider changing your executor to someone who is closer to you, or to select a new guardian for your children that will be a better fit.
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When moving, you’re jumping into a new environment and possibly a new culture or language. While it can mean big changes are on the way it can also provide new and exciting life experiences. By properly organizing your move and knowing what needs to be done, it is possible to move smoothly and without any issues. People often assume that moving is synonymous with stress, long administrative tasks and expenses, however, free online moving concierges are there to help you organize your move in one place.
- Update accounts;
- Book trucks or movers;
- Connect Internet, TV and home phone;
- Secure home and auto insurance;
- Find resources, checklists and more.
Do not hesitate to use these resources to facilitate your move. You can visit movingwaldo.com for more information.
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