Moving to Delaware
Welcome to Delaware! Delaware is a small but diverse state, including urban cities and rural communities, beaches, forests, and farms - with historic roots (the First State!) and emerging industries. Delaware is known as a state of neighbors, so welcome to your new neighborhood! This guide contains some of what you need to move to Delaware, including resources for driving, voting, working, housing, school, exploring Delaware, and more.
For families, you will find a world-class education in Delaware. And, with our museums, parks, art, theaters, and festivals - there’s plenty to keep your kids learning and happy.
This guide is to help you get settled in your new home state. Once you are here, take a chance to explore your new home, check out all of the attractions, and hidden gems!
For a full list of new resident moving resources, visit Delaware's Division of Motor Vehicles
Drivers From Other States (18 years or older)
Drivers who move to Delaware from another State must to update their driver’s license within 60 days of establishing residency in Delaware.
What you need:
- Turn in your previously issued out-of-state driver's license,
- OR have a current certified copy of your driving record
- Documentation to provide:
- Proof of identity/ legal presence
- Proof of social security number
- Two proofs of DE residency
- All proofs of legal name change if applicable.
Applicants will be required to fill out an application and pass an eye screening test. Written and road test may be given, but they are normally waived if your license is valid. Suspended and revoked licenses can not be transferred until the withdrawal action is cleared.
Drivers From Other Countries
Drivers from other countries must obtain a Delaware license within 60 days of establishing Delaware residency. Drivers from other countries may retain their foreign licenses.
Non-resident drivers over the age of 16 years who have a valid driver license issued by their home country may operate motor vehicles in Delaware when their license is in their immediate possession
All drivers licensed in other countries and U.S. Territories must pass both the written and road test.
Delaware has a reciprocity agreement with Germany, Taiwan (Republic of China) and France thereby exempting these drivers from the written and road tests.
iDelaware Card (Real ID)
More information on the federally compliant diver license and identification card can be found at the DMV's page about the iDelaware Card.
Registering Your Vehicle
New Delaware residents must title and register their vehicle within 60 days of establishing residency.
Before registering, you will need:
- Proof of Delaware auto insurance
- Coverage must meet the following minimums:
- Bodily injury for one person: $25,000.
- Bodily injury for one or more persons: $25,000.
- Damage or destruction to property: $10,000.
- Coverage must meet the following minimums:
- Proof of passing vehicle inspection
- Safety inspection
- Emissions test
- Completed Certificate of Title application (Form MV-212)
- Your out-of-state car title
- A Delaware driver's license
Find more information to help you register your vehicle in Delaware.
Childcare and Daycare
Delaware offers a variety of early learning services to children and families, including:
- Child Development Watch Early Intervention Program (Birth to 3 years)
- Early Childhood Assistance Program (ECAP)
- Early Childhood Mental Health Consultants
- Early Childhood Special Education
- Early Head Start Child Care Partnerships
To learn more about these programs visit the Delaware Department of Education.
Delaware Stars for Early Success is a voluntary program that helps families find quality child care with reliable and objective ratings. To learn more about Delaware Stars and for a comprehensive list of programs organized by Star rating, visit www.dieec.udel.edu/
- Check out the application process if you are a child care provider and would like to participate in Delaware Stars
Delaware Childcare Locator
Search for childcare by location, name or rating.
Find Your District
Use the Delaware Department of Education’s school locator tool to find your school and district.
Delaware law requires that all students entering a school system provide proof of required immunizations.
These immunization requirements have been established in collaboration with the Division of Public Health based on the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
For a complete list of Delaware required immunizations, medical and religious exemption guidelines, and additional immunization resources, visit the Delaware Department of Education.
Find all of your elected government officials at our our Government topic page.
You can find contact information for the Department of Election and Office of State Election Commissioner in your county by visiting the Department of Elections.
Find Your Polling Place
Use Delaware's voter polling portal to find your polling place before upcoming elections.
Register to Vote
To register to vote in Delaware, you can register:
- By Mail
- In Person (various locations):
- At the Department of Elections Office in your County
- At the DMV when you are updating your driver’s license
- At any State Service Center (DHSS)
- At the Department of Labor (DOL)
- At the State Election Commissioner
- All locations
You can register to vote:
- Anytime except after the the fourth Saturday before a Primary or General Election through the day of the election.
- At least 10 days prior to a Special Election
Getting a State Job
Explore employment opportunities and reasons to work for the State of Delaware on Delaware Employment Link.
To browse all open positions and apply, check out Delaware's state job search.
State Job Seeker Resources
The Department of Human Resource Management offers government career counseling only. To contact one of the offices or to make an appointment, visit the Delaware Employment Link.
- A complete list of resources from the Delaware Employment Link
Build Your Budget
Delaware Available Income Calculator
When you move, it’s important to take a look at your income and budget. Delaware may have a lower or higher cost-of-living than your previous residence. Our Delaware Available Income Calculator tool is a simple way for you to see average costs for you and your family when it comes to a number of important categories, like housing and food. This will help you to set your budget benchmarks for each pay period. The tool will also show you what your taxes will look like in our state, and help you to understand what income you will have available to invest in positive outcomes, like a down payment for a new home.
Find a Job
Delaware JobLink offers resources that connect job seekers and existing workers with employers and training/education providers including:
- Advanced job searches
- Career planning services
- Resume search (for employers)
- Training and education provider finder
- Information about programs and upcoming events
Visit Delaware Works to find more information about finding employment.
Delaware law requires businesses and people working in certain professions to obtain a professional license before conducting business or practicing the profession in the state of Delaware.
To determine whether or not you need a professional license, and to find profession-specific application instructions, visit Applying for a Professional License.
Start a Business
Delaware is ready to help your business succeed. Whether you are looking to learn, start, or grow - Delaware has a number of public sector, non profit, and private sector organizations to help. Connect to statewide assistance for business. Find even more resources thru the Division of Small Business search tool.
The Delaware State Housing Authority offers safe and affordable housing to opportunities low-income individuals and families through Public Housing, Housing Choice Vouchers (formerly Section 8), Housing Subsidies, and Tax Credit.
Visit the Delaware State Housing Authority for more information on:
- Types of affordable housing
- Rental programs
- Tenant qualifications
- Finding affordable housing
- Income limits
- Payment standards
- Emergency housing
To apply for affordable housing, contact your local Public Housing Agency.
Home Ownership Programs
- Do you need help paying your mortgage or lot rent for a manufactured home?
- Do you need financial assistance to put a down payment on a home, to cover closing costs, or to perform emergency home repairs?
The Delaware State Housing Authority might be able to help.
Landlord/ Tenant issues
If you have a landlord or tenant issue, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Agency at (302) 577-5783.
- The DSHA provides emergency housing to families and individuals in the forms of emergency shelters, transitional housing, and rapid rehousing programs.
- If you or your family is homeless and in need of housing assistance, call 2-1-1 to be connected to Centralized Intake where you will be directed to the appropriate services.
- If you are a United States veteran, you have additional emergency housing options through the Veterans Administration.
Fair Housing Rights
Delaware’s Fair Housing laws prohibit housing discrimination on the bases of
- Religion/ Creed
- National Origin
- Familial Status
- Disability Status
- Marital Status
- Sexual Orientation
- Gender Identity
- Source of Income
For more information about your fair housing rights and examples of housing discrimination, visit the Division of Human Relations Fair Housing Information Center.
Reporting Housing Discrimination
If you believe you have been discriminated against for any of the reasons listed above, file a complaint with the Division of Human Relations.
Insuring Your Home
For general information about insurance for consumers, businesses, and legal purposes, visit the Department of Insurance.
Information and forms regarding home, renters, and flood insurance can be accessed directly through the Consumer Listing.
Home Owners and Renters Insurance
For detailed information about Homeowners and Renters Insurance in Delaware, visit the Instant Insurance Guide.To compare home insurance rates and to find agents in your area, visit the Insurance Commissioner and Department of Insurance.
Flood damage is not typically covered by standard homeowner insurance policies. Homeowners who live in an area that is prone to flooding are advised to purchase flood insurance. For more information on flood insurance and to find your address’ flood risk, visit the FEMA National Flood Insurance Program.
Mobile Home Titles
Visit the DMV's website on Mobile Homes for information on titling your mobile home.
More Housing Programs for Residents and Landlords
- Affordable Housing Resource Center
- Community Development Block Grants
- Emergency Solutions Grant Program
- Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS
- Neighborhood Assistance Act
Recorder of Deeds
Affordable Health Care Coverage
Open Enrollment for Marketplace coverage for 2019 ended on December 15, 2018.
- If you need health insurance or need to change your coverage, check to see if you are eligible for a special enrollment period.
- For more information on Medicaid and CHIP in Delaware, visit the federal government's site on insuring children
- Medicaid income-based eligibility
- Visit Medicaid and CHIP Coverage for application instructions and to learn more about the coverage.
If you do not qualify for Medicaid based on income alone, still apply because you may qualify for Delaware’s program.
For more information on Medicaid and CHIP in Delaware, visit www.insurekidsnow.gov.
If you are a Delaware Resident and suffer from an eligible debilitating condition, you may be approved for the use of medical marijuana.
- Delaware citizens can apply for the Medical Marijuana Program in partnership with Delaware Health and Social Services (DHSS).
- A $125 fee is due at the time of application. Low-income applicants may submit a request to have the fee waived.
- Applicants must obtain written certification for medical marijuana from a physician who is licensed to practice in Delaware. The physician must be either an MD (Medical Doctor) or a DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine).
- Applicants can expect their completed application to be either approved or denied within 45 calendar days.
- Terminal Illness
- Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV Positive)
- Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
- Decompensated Cirrhosis
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease)
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Autism with aggressive behavior
- Chronic Debilitating Migraine
- A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following;
- Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
- Severe debilitating pain that has not responded to previously prescribed medication or surgical measure for more than three months, or for which other treatment options produced serious side effects.
- Intractable Nausea
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of Multiple Sclerosis.
Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
There are 3 authorized marijuana dispensaries in Delaware. In order to be protected under the Delaware Medical Marijuana Act, patients must buy their marijuana from an authorized dispensary. The patient’s marijuana must also be labeled from from one of these authorized dispensaries. Patients are not authorized to grow their own marijuana.
- First State Compassion (locations in Wilmington and Lewes)
- Columbia Care Delaware (located in Smyrna)
For more information about Medical Marijuana in Delaware, visit the Division of Public Health.
Delaware State law mandates that all dogs 6 months of age or older must be licensed. Cats do not need to be licensed. Owners must present proof of rabies vaccination at the time the license is issued.
- Licenses are valid for 1,2, or 3 years from the purchase date
- Payment for the license is due within 30 days of acquiring the dog over the age of 6 months or within 30 days of the license expiration date.
- A late fee of $12 will be applied to payments made after the 30 day period
- The license fee is waived for seeing eye dogs, guide dogs, and dogs with former United States military service.
For licensing fees and other information about licensing your dog, visit the Delaware Health and Social Services Office of Animal Welfare.
Delaware is home to 18 state parks, 8 beaches, and many campsites and trails for hiking or biking! Learn more about how you can enjoy the Delaware outdoors!
Some outdoor activities, including fishing, hunting, boating, and conservation access using a motor vehicle require a license or permit. You may purchase your license in person at one of these locations.
You also have the option to purchase and print the following permits/licenses
- Hunting licenses
- Fishing licenses
- Deer tags
- Wildlife area lottery permits
- Water fowl (duck) stamps
- Trout stamps
- Vehicle conservation access passes
Delaware law requires all motorboats, including those powered by electric motors, to be registered.
- Download the mail-in boat registration application
- or visit one of these private boating and license agents.
For registration fees and other information, visit Delaware Boat Registration Information.
Conservation Access Pass
Any registered motor vehicle that is used to access State Wildlife Areas for the purposes of hunting, bird watching, photography, and similar activities are required to have a Conservation Access Pass.
- The Conservation Access Pass is valid July 1 through June 30.
- For prices, Conservation Access Pass required locations, and frequently asked questions, visit Conservation Access Pass.
Recreational anglers and shellfishers must purchase an annual Delaware Fishing License.
- This license covers fishing in both fresh and tidal waters.
- For fees and other related costs visit DNREC's website.
Delaware hunting licenses cover the period of July 1 through June 30.
- For information on license fees and other costs visit DNREC's website
- All persons born after January 1, 1967 must complete the approved Hunter Education Course before applying for a Delaware Hunting License. To sign up for a course, visit the Hunter Education Program.
- To access your Delaware Hunter Safety License, visit Hunter Education Online Access.
Visit the Division of Fish and Wildlife for more services and information regarding recreational licenses, permits, and passes.
It important that you and your family are prepared in the event of a disaster or emergency. Visit the federal government's website for disaster planning guides, emergency alerts, and other important information.
Register your cell phone number in the Delaware Emergency Notification System, and you will get proactive notifications if there is an emergency. The system allows local 911 centers or emergency managers to send messages to the specific street, neighborhood, or larger areas affected by the event.