If you’re moving to New Jersey, you’ll soon see for yourself why it’s the state of liberty and prosperity.
Seasonality: Spring and early fall are the best times of year to move to NJ, as humidity and temperatures aren’t so extreme. If you have to move during the summer, drink plenty of water to remain hydrated. If you have to move during the colder months, make sure your vehicle is winterized, with properly functioning brakes and winter tires.
Storms: New Jersey can be hit by nor’easters from late fall through spring, so listen to the weather reports and, if necessary, revise your moving plans to avoid these storms.
Traffic: The Garden State’s roads are some of the busiest in the nation. Give yourself plenty of time when moving to New Jersey, especially when driving in and around cities, or along the coast during the busy summer months.
Permits: When moving to NJ, you won’t need a moving permit, but local parking restrictions apply in most cities. Check with your city ahead of time to avoid steep fines.
Fueling Up: It’s unlawful to serve yourself at a gas service station in New Jersey. When you go to get gas, be sure to wait for the attendant to arrive to avoid any problems.
Cities and Metro Areas
There are numerous cities and towns to choose from when moving to New Jersey. There’s Trenton, the state capital; Newark, the largest city in the state and a shipping and transportation port; West Orange, a Newark suburb; Elizabeth, adjacent to Newark and a busy transportation and commercial center; and Jersey City, with its thriving financial district. Other cities to consider are Paterson, where tourism is becoming increasingly more important, the rapidly expanding town of Edison, and the wealthy seaside resort towns of Atlantic City, Ocean City and Cape May.
Cost of Living
Factors such as housing, utilities costs, prices of food, consumer goods, education and healthcare, as well as state and local taxes, all play an important role in determining the cost of living in New Jersey.
Compared to the US average, the cost of living in New Jersey is 22.5 percent higher. Fortunately, the average household income is $57,338 per annum, which is also higher than the country’s average. The cost of living in New Jersey is most likely higher due to relatively steep housing costs, as well as taxation levels that top those of other states. In addition, the average commute time is 30 minutes, which means gas can add a significant amount to any household’s budget.
Highways and Public Transport
When moving to New Jersey, you’ll find that although the state has an extensive infrastructure, roads are generally not in the best condition. This is most likely due to the heavy volume of traffic passing through the state, which not only causes severe wear and tear on the roads, but also creates congestion, especially around the larger cities. Remember to check traffic conditions before driving.
- Roads: When moving to NJ, you’ll find an extensive and heavily used highway and road system that consists of toll roads, such as the NJ Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway, as well as various expressways, Interstate routes, state highways and county roads.
- Public Transportation: After moving to New Jersey, you can take advantage of the relatively large number of long distance and commuter trains, such as Amtrak, PATCO and SEPTA, that operate in the Garden State. In addition, the New Jersey Transit Corporation operates buses and 11 train lines throughout the state.
- Airports: Most passenger air travel goes through Newark International Liberty Airport, though there are also a number of smaller airports that cater to commercial air travel.
- Ferries: There are a number of ferries that operate in the Port of New York and New Jersey, as well as between New Jersey and Delaware, and New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
When you’ve made up your mind that you want to move to the Garden State, the first thing to do is to find out what types of New Jersey jobs are available. It’s important to take into consideration that the state is densely populated and has an unemployment rate that is higher than the US average (9 percent at the beginning of 2012, compared to the nation’s average of 8.3 percent). Depending on the types of New Jersey jobs you’ll be applying for, it’s likely that the application process is more competitive than elsewhere.
The Garden State’s northwest region has a humid continental climate and is slightly cooler than the rest of the state, which enjoys a mesothermal climate. You can look forward to hot, humid summers and cold winters when moving to New Jersey, with summer temperatures averaging around 78 degrees statewide. Winter temperatures are an average of 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and the entire state gets a lot of precipitation—approximately 47 inches annually, with a yearly snowfall of roughly12 inches. Nor’easters can occur from late fall through early spring and can bring extreme weather such as blizzards, flooding and strong winds.
It’s interesting to note when moving to New Jersey, that the Garden State ranks second in the country when it comes to state expenditure per student. What follows are some of the most notable schools and colleges:
- Elementary Schools: Three of the top-ranked elementary schools are Lincoln Elementary School in Ridgefield Park, Robert Treat Academy Charter School in Newark, and Ho-Ho-Kus Public School in Ho Ho Kus.
- High Schools: The Academy of Allied Health & Science in Neptune, Communications High School in Wall Township and Dr. Ronald E. McNair Academic High School in Jersey City are three of the best high schools.
- Higher Education: Students moving to NJ can attend some world-renowned institutes of higher education, such as Princeton University and Rutgers University, as well many other quality private, public and community colleges.
For the most current information about moving to New Jersey, visit the Official Web Site for the State of New Jersey.
- Permits: New Jersey doesn’t issue moving permits.
- Taxes: After moving to NJ, you have to pay a seven percent excise tax on any previously untaxed vehicles you bring into the state or buy there.
- Tolls: There are two toll roads in the Garden State: the 148-mile New Jersey Turnpike, which runs between Delaware and New York, and the 172.4-mile Garden State Parkway that runs from Cape May to the border with New York at Montvale. There are also a number of toll bridges, for which you generally have to pay when leaving New Jersey, except on the Delaware River—Turnpike Toll Bridge and Dingman’s Ferry Bridge don’t require a toll.
- Voter Registration: After moving to New Jersey, you can register to vote by sending a hard copy of the Voter Registration Application to your County Commissioner of Registration. You must register a minimum of 21 days before an upcoming election in order to vote.
- Trash and Recycling: Waste services are handled by your municipality, and the costs are included in most cities’ property taxes.
- Driver's Licences: You’re required to transfer an out-of-state driver’s license within 60 days of moving to New Jersey. You can do this at your local Motor Vehicle Commission Agency, and the fees are a total of $34. Find more information about the NJ MVC here.
- Vehicle Registration: After moving to NJ, you have 60 days to register your vehicle. The costs range from $35.50 to $84, depending on your vehicle’s weight and year. You can find a current overview of registration fees here. It costs $60 to transfer a title without a lien, $85 for a title with one lien, and $110 for a title with two liens.