Moving to Kansas City - Guide to Planning Your Move | My Move

Whether it’s KC, KCMO, the City of Fountains, the Paris of the Plains or the Heart of America, Kansas City is a great place to call home. With nearly 250 distinct neighborhoods making up Missouri’s largest city, there truly is something here for everyone.

Moving Advice

Moving permits are not required when relocating to Kansas City.

Try to avoid moving during late spring and early summer, as this is tornado season. Instead, try to schedule your move during fall, when temperatures are cooler and the chance of storms smaller. Always listen to the weather report, especially during tornado season, and if you hear a warning for your area, take cover immediately.

Whether you’re buying or renting when moving to Kansas City, make sure there’s a storm shelter on or close to the property. In addition, go over an evacuation plan with the rest of your household so you know what to do and where to meet in the event of an emergency.

Dogs, cats and ferrets all have to be licensed after moving to Kansas City. This not only helps the city keep track of the number of pets, but also helps lost, licensed pets be reunited with their owners. Talk to your vet or contact the city for more information.

Kansas City hosts a large number of annual festivals and events, such as Middle of the Map Festival, Village Crawfish Festival, the Kansas City Auto Show and the Missouri State Fair. These events attract a large number of visitors to the city, so make sure to schedule your move on a quieter date if you want to avoid the crowds.

Don’t forget to change your address online with USPS before moving to Kansas City!

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Neighborhoods

Moving to Kansas City means moving to a place that’s worked hard to preserve its history while embracing the future—and you can see this in its many unique neighborhoods. There’s Downtown, a bustling business hub, and 18th and Vine, KC’s cradle of jazz. River Market is the city’s oldest neighborhood, and you can find luxurious residential and retail areas in Briarcliff, Country Club Plaza and Crown Center. Brookside, Northland and Armour Hills are all family-friendly neighborhoods.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Kansas City is approximately 6.5 percent lower than the US average—good news for most people planning on moving here. The comparatively low cost of living is most likely due to low real estate costs and the availability of locally produced foods and consumer products. However, with an average commute time of 23 minutes, Kansas City is ranked in the top ten of cities that are hardest hit by rising gas prices, so you’re best advised to minimize your commute time as much as possible when moving here.

Getting Around

When moving to Kansas City, you’ll find one of the least congested and well-maintained infrastructures in the nation. Traffic can be busy, but thanks to the many freeways, there’s not often much congestion. Public transit here is operated by KACTA, which provides reliable and affordable bus transportation throughout the metropolitan area.

  • Roads: Kansas City has the oldest and one of the most extensive highway networks in the country, with the I-70 running from east to west into neighboring Kansas, and the I-435 looping around the city to provide easy access to all neighborhoods.
  • Public Transportation: KACTA operates public buses in and around the city, with MAX, a bus rapid transit system, linking downtown to other commercial areas. A streetcar system is also being planned.
  • Airports: After moving to Kansas City, you’ll have direct access to Kansas City International Airport and Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport.

Relocation Resources

When you start your Kansas City job search, it’s helpful to know that the unemployment rate here is about one percent lower than the US average, at 7.3 percent.

One of the best places to look for current Kansas City job listings is at the Full Employment Council, a government-funded career center that helps job seekers find the career paths that are right for them. You can also browse the job listings in local publications such as the Kansas City Star, KansasCity.com and Kansas City Business Journal for up-to-date job listings.

Media Outlets

If you’re moving to Kansas City and want some rock-solid resources for happening local spots and breaking news, you’re in luck. We’ve got a list of some of the most widely read and informative publications to be found, including a rundown of the local TV channels that serve as national news affiliates.

The Kansas City Star
Not only is The Kansas City Star the biggest newspaper in the entire surrounding metropolitan area, but it’s also got the highest number of readers of any other newspaper publication in the state of Missouri. Reaching more than 250,000 readers every day and nearly 360,000 on Sundays, The Star is well respected for its past accomplishments as well as for its high credibility in reporting news stories without political bias. A recipient of eight Pulitzer Prizes since its start in 1880, The Kansas City Star is published every day of the week and contains all a new resident needs to keep abreast of developing news and community events. The paper’s most famous alumnus is a writer you may have heard of: Ernest Hemingway.

The Kansas City Pitch
Covering the local arts and entertainment beat, The Kansas City Pitch is the most heavily circulated city guide in all of Kansas City. Started in 1980 as purely a music-oriented publication, The Pitch has grown to a circulation of nearly 50,000 with its weekly publications. In addition to music and theater coverage for the Kansas City metro area, The Pitch also promotes local arts events and includes a unique dash of investigative journalism which covers non-mainstream local news stories. The newspaper is free of charge and can be found on newsstands throughout the city, offering newcomers an insider’s perspective to the city’s hot spots.

Dos Mundos
Dos Mundos is the principle Spanish-language news publication for the greater Kansas City area, with a circulation of over 20,000. The newspaper has been in steady circulation since 1981, offering news coverage, opinion pieces, arts and entertainment write-ups, and community events coverage for the city’s Latino population.

The Kansas City Call
Published once a week, The Kansas City Call dates back to 1919 and is one of the principle news publications for the African-American community. The paper covers a broad range of local and national news, sports and community events, and it encourages the empowerment of the city’s African-American population through political involvement and awareness of issues of importance.

Local TV News Channels
Local, national and international news can be found by tuning your TV to the following Kansas City stations: 

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Climate

Kansas City has a humid continental climate, with extreme temperatures, moderate precipitation and lots of severe storms. When moving to Kansas City, you’ll find its summers are humid and hot, with average daytime temperatures in July of 78 degrees Fahrenheit and many days exceeding 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Winters are cold and bring plenty of snow, with average daytime temperatures of around 26 degrees Fahrenheit, but often colder. When moving to Kansas City, it’s important to understand that it’s located in Tornado Alley, and the surrounding metropolitan area is hit by a number of tornadoes and other powerful storms each year.

Schools

There are a number of good schools for students of all ages to attend after moving to Kansas City. Here are some of the more notable elementary and high schools, as well as universities and colleges:

  • Chapel Hill Elementary, Lakewood Elementary and Shoal Creek Elementary School are some of the best elementary schools in Kansas City.
  • Park Hill High, University Academy Upper School and Staley High School are among the top-ranked high schools.
  • The University of Missouri-Kansas City, Rockhurst University and William Jewell College are just some of the higher educational institutions college students moving to Kansas City can attend. The two-year Metropolitan Community College also has a large presence, with five campuses in the metropolitan area.

Government

Before moving to Kansas City, go to the City’s official website for the most current information about living and working here.

  • Tolls: There are no toll roads, but if you’re heading west after moving to Kansas City, you have to pay tolls on the Kansas Turnpike, just across the border.
  • Voter Registration: You can register to vote by mailing a voter registration form to your local Board of Elections. You can also register to vote when applying for your driver’s license.
  • Trash & Recycling: Trash pickup is handled by the Public Works Department, which you can contact at 816-513-1313. There’s also a curbside recycling program, KC Recycles, which is maintained by the city.
  • Taxes: You’ll be required to pay excise tax on your vehicle, unless you owned it for a minimum of 90 days in another state. The costs include a state tax of 4.225 percent and local sales taxes. Note that because KC encompasses four separate counties, different rates apply, but you can calculate your sales tax here.
  • Drivers’ Licenses: If you’re from out of state, you have to apply for a Missouri driver’s license at your local Department of Revenue Office within 30 days of moving to Kansas City. A six-year license costs $20.
  • Vehicle Registration: You’re required to register your vehicle at your local Department of Revenue Office within 30 days of moving to Kansas City. The costs depend on your vehicle’s HP; for example, it costs $24.75 for a four-cylinder vehicle, while a six-cylinder vehicle costs $27.75 annually. A title costs $8.50 plus a $2.50 processing fee, and a lien recording costs $2.50.

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