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Hoosier 101: our guide to becoming a Indianapolis resident

Becoming a new resident is easy with our Hoosier 101 guide to all things Indianapolis, IN.

Downtown canal with skyline in background

Looking forward to warmer days on the Canal.

Photo via @gizadventures

Table of Contents

Picture this: You just moved to Indianapolis, IN and you need some help with the practicalities of life (we can’t just sit back and watch basketball all day, unfortunately). That’s where we come in. Keep reading for Hoosier 101, our guide to all things Indy.

Exterior of City County building

The Indianapolis City Market is right across the street from the City-County Building.

Photo by INDYtoday team

The essentials

Voter registration

Make sure you’re eligible and registered to vote, find your polling location, and preview upcoming elections and sample ballots here.

Driver’s licenses and vehicle registration

New residents in need of a Indiana driver’s license will need to provide your current out-of-state driver’s license (if you have one), documentation proving your identity, proof of legal status, a Social Security document, and two documents confirming your residential address.

To register your car in the state of Indiana, you’ll need to bring the certificate of title, proof of your full Social Security Number or Federal Identification Number (in the form of a driver’s license, passport, or ID card), proof of address, and a vehicle inspection of the Vehicle Identification Number. Your car must be present at the BMV for an inspection.

Initial registrations may be subject to various fees, including a $21.35+ vehicle registration fee.

You can make an appointment or walk in at any of Marion County’s offices to obtain an Indiana driver’s license and register your vehicle. If you need to take a driving test, you must schedule in advance.

Health care

Establishing yourself with a primary care provider is one of those things you’ll be glad you did when you need one. Reach out to the professionals at IU Health, Ascension St. Vincent, or Eskenazi Health, to name a few. Pro tip: Websites like DocSpot filter physicians by location, patient reviews, insurance, language, and more.

Exterior of Central Library on a clear day

Curious about these sculptures? We’ve got a story for that.

Photo by INDYtoday team

Educational needs

School registration

Prepare your student for the school year by registering them with Indianapolis Public Schools. Here, you’ll find your school zone (based on your home address) and the student entry form. With your required documents in hand, you’ll then make an appointment at your student’s zoned school to complete the registration process or enroll online or over the phone.

For information on Indy’s private schools, check out Indy’s Child’s list.

Library card registration

If you think libraries are only for borrowing the occasional book, think again. Register for a library card at your nearest Indy branch to take advantage of:

  • Genealogy services
  • Programs and events
  • eBooks, music, and movies
  • Online databases and printing
  • Private meeting spaces for groups
  • Career and business services
  • Homework help

To get your card, you’ll need to live in Marion County (except Speedway), be 18+ years old, have a phone in your name and address, and have a valid email address. Hoosiers can apply for a free card online or at any Indy branch. Young Hoosiers can also apply for their own library card.

Highland Park view of the skyline

If you want this as your view, consider moving to the Holy Cross neighborhood.

Photo by INDYtoday team

Home necessities


Thanks for thinking green. For everything you need to know about recycling in Indy, from drop-off locations to accepted materials, check out our guide.


Moving is exciting, but no one wants to unpack by candlelight. Establish your services with AES Indiana by creating an account or updating your address in your existing account. Pro tip: You can complete a free virtual home energy assessment to learn how you can make your home more energy efficient.

Internet providers

No connectivity issues here. Check out some of the internet providers in the 317:

  • AT&T | Internet service starting at $55 per month for 12 months
  • Verizon | Internet service starting at $25 with auto-pay and select 5G mobile plans
  • Xfinity | Internet service starting at $55 per month for 12 months
  • Spectrum | Internet service starting at $49.99 per month for 12 months
  • Centurylink | Internet service starting at $50 month-to-month without a contract.
Monon Trail with sculpture

Artwork lines several parts of the Monon Trail.

Photo by INDYtoday team

The ultimate Hoosier initiation

Having an Indiana driver’s license and a 317 area code may qualify you on paper, but you’re not officially a Hoosier until you’ve taken part in some local fun that is only found in the Circle City.

Race to the Indy 500

It’s cliché for a reason. When outsiders talk about Indy, they’ll invariably mention the “greatest spectacle in racing,” so it’s only natural to put the Indy 500 on your bucket list. Need some pro tips? We’ve got you covered.

Visit the Canal

When the weather warms up, the downtown Canal is a must for any new or seasoned Hoosier. With the White River State Park, an outdoor music venue, tons of public art, and a number of museums and restaurants nearby, it’s a no-brainer way to spend a summer day.

Catch a game

From football to roller derby, there’s a sport for everyone in the Circle City. We recommend catching a lively Indy Fuel game at the fairgrounds or hitting the newly renovated Gainbridge Fieldhouse for a Pacers game.

Walk along the Monon

There’s plenty to see and do on the Monon Trail, which used to be an active railroad called the Hoosier Line. Whether you’re looking for food, in the mood to see some art, or just trying to get your steps in, it’s a go-to for Hoosiers young and old.

Is there something you’re still left wondering about to get you properly established in the Circle City? Ask us your question and we’ll do our best to answer it for you, like a good neighbor.

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