Welcome To Atlanta, Georgia!
We hope you are excited to be here and will find Atlanta to be all that you expected it to be...
Of course, moving to a new city is a challenge for anyone, be you single, in a relationship, or married with children. There are all kinds of emotions going on, as well as what seems like a million things to do, to get your life back in order.
We thought you'd like a few tips and reminders of what needs to be done!
Let's presume you've found your place to live, and have that major hurdle accomplished. (If not, we can talk about that in another blog!)
Driver's License: Oh yeah! How Fun this is! Actually, Georgia has made great strides in this process, and now it's much easier. There are various requirements, such as:
Be At least 18 Years of Age
Surrender your Valid Out-of-State License (if expired can't be more than 2 years expired)
Have a Social Security Number
Provide Proof of Georgia Residency
Provide Proof of Idenity and Proof of Citizenship
There are only 6 locations in the Metro Atlanta area where you can obtain your Georgia license...be forwarned...none of them are close to Midtown Atlanta! They are located in Decatur, North Cobb County in Marietta, Lithonia, Lawrenceville and Locust Grove. (Locust Grove has outlet malls...maybe you could make a day trip?!) The Georgia Department of Driver Services has a great website with more information to help you with this process.
Car Tag or License: Ok, another fun task, but again, vastly improved from the old system. Renewals are staggered based on your birth month. The tag renewal use to be due by May 31, and the lines use to take hours...and I mean hours! New Georgia residents must register their vehicles within 30 days of establishing residency. You will need your present title, last registration, odometer reading, and Georgia emission inspection for required vehicles.
Unfortunately, here in Georgia we have ad valorem tax on our cars! What's that mean? And expensive license, based on the value of your car! My 2007 Sonata was $246 and my 1969 Buick Wildcat Convertible was $21. Something to be said about driving an old car! Taxes are assessed according to the make and model of the vehicle and the tax district in which you live. Additional info is available at the Fulton County Website.
If your car is 1984-2005 model, you'll need an emission inspection, and those are available at gas stations and auto repair shops.
If you are fortunate enough to live close to a MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) station, and can ride the train to work, you might not need a car? There are a few people in Atlanta that have passed on having a car, especially since Zip Cars has come to Atlanta. This cool way to get around is available ALL over Midtown Atlanta. You join, get a card, and you simply swipe it over the windshield, the door unlocks, and you are on your way. For an hour, or a day.
As you can see from this map of Midtown, they have LOTS of locations!
But, let's finish up your transportation option by reviewing MARTA. Construction began on the MARTA system in 1975, with the first rail service commencing on June 30, 1979. The system has since built most of the proposed rail lines, as well as stations in Sandy Springs and North Springs(close to Perimeter Mall) which were not included in the original plan. When MARTA was first proposed, it was suppose to service Dekalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Clayton and Cobb Counties. However, it was 1971 when only Fulton and DeKalb counites successfully passed a 1% sales tax increase to fund operations....and that's where it's been sitting ever since. Construction costs are now so expensive that the current lines will most likely never be extended. Gwinnett County has now expressed interest in extending from the Doraville station into Gwinnett County. (To bad they could of not been on board back in 1971!!
The map above shows the rail lines that run North/South (more or less) and East West. A single, one-way fare is $1.75. There are various options for frequent riders, and more information can be found at the MARTA website.
Again, Welcome to Atlanta, and hope this information helps you understand some transportation options and "to-dos" when you arrive in Atlanta!