You may think that moving from Winnipeg to Yellowknife for a man is all about the romance, anticipation, and decluttering. But an inter-provincial/territorial move involves a few extra steps that a regular move doesn’t. Here are some of the items that I have on my to-do list, plus a few others that only apply in some situations. I’ll also list them in categories to assist other inter-provincial movers. (Note: This should be considered as general information only, based on my own informal research.)
Items Require Overlap
- Government health insurance: Generally there is an allowance for the old provincial plan to provide coverage in a new province. In Manitoba, this is three months. It’s important to sign up for coverage with the new province/territory as soon as possible, as there is usually a waiting period. This will be one of the first things I take care of in Yellowknife. Be prepared to prove residency in some manner. See the section below for what I’ve learned specifically about government health care in the Northwest Territories.
- Private health insurance: As I’m not currently employed I have an individual plan with Manitoba Blue Cross. Their policies mirror the provincial health plan. My coverage can continue as long as my provincial plan does. At three months post-move I need to make sure my policy is cancelled so that I’m not paying for coverage I can’t use. Personally I may chose to self-insure when I arrive in Yellowknife, as my medical needs are minimal, but you should look into a plan if you don’t have coverage through a spouse/employer. Again there is likely a waiting period, so do this quickly.
- Car insurance: Of course you’ll also set up your new insurance plan prior to cancelling the old one. Not owning a car, this is an area I get to skip.
To Look Into Prior to Move
- Cell phone: Do you need to change your cell phone provider for the new location? With the popularity of plans offering unlimited long distance throughout Canada this may not be necessary. However in my case, I’ve been told that Bell is the provider of choice in Yellowknife, so I will be switching my plan before I move. Luckily I’m near the end of my contract with MTS. I believe I will have to pay to have my phone unlocked so I can sell it afterwards.
Other Pre-Move Requirements (Not necessarily related to a new province.)
- Cancel utility accounts.
- End any local subscriptions/services that cost money. I have an account with Peg City Car Co-op, and I need to get my deposit back.
- If renting arrange to get deposit returned – provide forwarding address.
- Set up mail forwarding with Canada Post.
Once in the New Province/Territory
- Driver’s license: Apply for a license in the new province/territory quickly, as this will be useful for new identification. Luckily full regular licenses are usually easily transferable.
- Continue changing addresses.
Yellowknife Specific Information (to be updated as I learn more):
- Driver’s License: I’ll probably try to do this in person at the Yellowknife office.This is the documentation requirements that I found online. Looking through the list of possible documents to prove residency there are only a couple that may apply to my situation: bank statement, and note from spouse/roommate etc. Therefore I’m going to update my bank records right now to my new address and also try to change my statement preferences (temporarily) to mail. I may also require M’s verification of my residency, which I know he will be happy to provide.
- Government Health Care: I’ll be applying for the NWT Health Care Plan in my first week in Yellowknife. It appears I just need to send in this form to the administration office. Because I won’t immediately have the normal proof of residency requirements I will likely have to first get a Residency Statutory Declaration completed, as well as get M to write a letter confirming my residency status. For the declaration I’ll have to find a Commissioner of Oaths or a Notary Public to witness the declaration.
- Private Health Insurance: I’ll have to do more research into this area. Hopefully I’ll be getting extended health benefits through an employer eventually.
Other Miscellaneous Things I’ll Be Doing to Prepare
- Test-packing to confirm how many boxes and bins it will take to move my items.
- Checking with Westjet about appropriate checked-baggage containers.
- Returning library books and cancelling any outstanding requests.
- Mailing items that are beyond the two items that WestJet allows for reasonably priced checked baggage.
- Planning what items I’ll carry onboard the plane.
- Selling and giving away a few more items that are too big to move or I don’t need anymore.
- Cancelling my Netflix account.
There are a lot of things to do but luckily I have time before and after the move to work through this list. Not having a house or car definitely streamlines the process.
I haven’t changed my province of residence since 2001, so I may be forgetting something. What have you had to do when moving to another province or territory?