New To Dade County?

Newcomer Information

Dade County is a wonderful place to live, work and play! If you are new to the area, the information in this section of our website is here to help you become established in your new community. We care about our neighbors and take time to share with each other the many benefits of living in Dade County. We take pride in our people, our schools and businesses, our recreational opportunities and we are dedicated to maintaining the standard of living that makes our county such a great place.

New Residents

As new residents move into Dade County, they need information about government agencies, public utilities and community services. Explore our website for additional information.

Driver's License

If you are new to Georgia, remember to transfer your driver's license and vehicle registration, register to vote and explore your new community. Becoming a Georgia resident is a simple and straightforward process.

Establishing Residency

The state of Georgia requires only that you live in Georgia - then you are officially a resident. Becoming a resident of Georgia will entitle you to the same rights as any other resident of the state. You will be able to vote in local and national elections if you are otherwise eligible to vote. You will be able to get a state driver's license or identification card. You will also be subject to any state and local taxes. You may be eligible for state financial aid for college. If for some reason you must prove your residency to another party, there are a few extra steps you can take.

If for some reason you must prove your residency to another party, here are some steps you can take:

  • Get a Georgia driver's license. Showing your license can help prove residency.
  • Keep any utility bills in order to be able to prove residency.
  • Register to vote in your local area. Keep the registration form.
  • Show your rental agreement if you need to prove your residency.

Driver's License

Within 30 days after you move to Georgia, schedule an appointment with the Department of Driver Services, and gather your current license, proof of your Social Security number, two proofs of Georgia residency (bank statement, utility bill or rental contract) and proof of identity (birth certificate, passport or immigration card). Please create a Custom Checklist to be sure you arrive with the necessary documents. At the appointment, you'll hand over your former license, pay the license fee and receive a temporary license. You may also choose to register to vote. Just a few weeks later your permanent license will arrive by mail.

Vehicle Registration

Transfer your driver's license first. Then, with your temporary driver's license, you can visit the Dade County Tax Commissioner's Office to register and title your car. You'll need to fill out an application for a title and license plate, present proof of insurance, and pay for your registration and title in cash, check or money order.

New Student Requirements

Georgia law requires that students attend a public or private school or a home study program from their sixth to their 16th birthdays. 


Public Kindergarten is available in every school system, but it is not mandatory. A child must be five years old on or before September 1 to enter a public Kindergarten. The child must be 6 years old on or before September 1 to enter first grade. School systems must verify age before enrollment. Georgia provides a public Pre-Kindergarten Program for students who are four years old on or before September 1. This program is administered by Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. A child who was a legal resident of one or more states for a period of two years immediately prior to moving to Georgia and who was legally enrolled in either a public Kindergarten or first grade, or a private Kindergarten or first grade accredited by a state or regional association, would be eligible to enroll in Georgia schools, provided that the Kindergartner is five years old by December 31 or the first grader is six by that date.

Public Schools

Students enrolling in Georgia public schools for the first time will be asked by the school or school system to furnish a Social Security number. However, the Social Security Number is not required for enrollment in public schools. If they prefer, parents or guardians may sign a statement declining to provide the number without giving a reason. Students for whom Social Security numbers are not available will be assigned other student identification numbers. A student, regardless of grade level, who has never been in a Georgia public school must provide certification of eye, ear and dental examinations on the Georgia Department of Human Resources Form 3300. Any child admitted to school without a certificate must present one within 120 calendar days. Forms may be obtained and completed at the local public health departments or physician offices.


Georgia Law requires children attending school (Kindergarten through 12th grade) to be age appropriately immunized with all the required vaccines at the time of first entry in school. A new entrant is a child entering a school in Georgia for the first time or entering after having been absent from a Georgia school for more than 12 months or one school year. All students, regardless of grade and including foreign exchange students, must have the Georgia Department of Human Resources Form 3231 immunization certificate marked "Complete for School" with some exceptions.

Register to Vote

Voter registration is a county function. Georgia counties issue precinct cards after reviewing and processing applications. Please allow the county at least three weeks before contacting your county. To register to vote you must:

  • Be at least 17 1/2 years of age to register and 18 years of age to vote
  • Be a legal resident of the county
  • Have not been found mentally incompetent by a judge
  • Not be serving a sentence for conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude
  • Be a citizen of the United States

Online Voter Registration

Getting a Job

It should come as no surprise that looking for work can be a lot of work, especially if you are changing careers or have been out of the job market for a while. Choosing the right career and conducting an effective job search requires organization and a calculated effort. Whether just starting out or deciding on a new career, learn how to be successful. Visit the Georgia Department of Labor website for helpful information about finding a job and to search for job openings.


When establishing utility services at your new residence, you will probably need:

  • Electric
  • Natural Gas
  • Waste Sanitation Services
  • Water / Sewer

In Dade County, services available depend upon where you choose to live.