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Part of the PCS process is checking the laws of the state you will soon be living in. In today’s society, this may sound a bit strange because it really does seem like very few people obey the law anyway! But we are the rare, law-abiding citizen you may have heard about once. We also like to know what sort of things are allowed for other people in the future state because that helps us to understand how we can protect ourselves best. Every state has their oddities and laws that really should be known before you roll out. These are some of the things we research.
We homeschool, so finding out what the homeschool laws will be is a big one. Some states want you to register, others want annual testing scores submitted, still others require for you to turn in work samples and have an in-home inspection of the classroom. Depending on the HS laws, we work hard at making contact with such people before we arrive. They can give us the best up-to-date information and often can point me towards a good homeschool group or coop for field trips!
Rental laws are also unique per state. We like to know what is expected of us as renters and what is required of the landlord. Some places have funny laws about what is the responsibility of the tenant, while other states highly favor the tenant. We began to make this a priority after being ‘taken for a ride’ by a landlord. We ended up too far away to seek arbitration over the lost deposit, but that still ‘stick in our craw’ a bit.
Vehicle laws are also something we look into. What type of coverage we need for insurance and where is the nearest dealership. We still have a minivan under warranty, so dealership distance is necessary. Thankfully, we have USAA for our auto insurance and they are great at keeping up with insurance issues per state. For this particular trip, hubby had to research what states would let us drive through with our studded tires. We are traveling the Alaska highway and we already have our studded tires on the van, just in case! But doing our research let us know that we have to plan our trip to skirt around Illinois, because that state outlaws and fines studded tires.
If your service member owns firearms, those laws are very important to research. Do you need a gun case? Do you need a class or card to have them in your home? Are they allowed to either open or conceal carry?
By researching the laws of the new state, you save yourselves a lot of time and possibly a lot of money. Besides, it can really be funny reading about the “don’t ride your horse or mule while intoxicated at 2am” laws that still exist!