Move From California to North Dakota

Move From California To North Dakota

North Dakota is a serene prairie paradise full of nature. With its rich Native American culture and history and Icelandic and Norwegian settlers and influences, you will find yourself in a state full of diversity after moving to North Dakota. Although one of the most sparsely-populated states in America, North Dakota is growing quickly, with the highest population growth rate in the country from 2010-2015.

Are you ready to Move From California to North Dakota?

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Moving Advice

The following tips will help make your move to the Peace Garden State smooth.

  • There are currently no toll roads in North Dakota.
  • You do not need any moving permits but check on local parking restrictions before moving to North Dakota.
  • Summers tend to be very hot, so if you have to move during the summer, try to avoid heavy lifting in the heat of the day. Also, make sure to wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water.
  • Winters are extremely cold and often bring heavy snow. Try to avoid moving during the colder months. The best time of year to move is the fall when temperatures are moderate and the chance of storms or tornadoes is significantly lower.

Change your address online. To make your move from California to North Dakota easier, consider changing your address online. It is easy to do, inexpensive, and will ensure that your mail arrives at your new home with you.

Cost of Living

North Dakota has been known for its low cost of living compared to other states, approximately 20.5 percent lower than the US average. This is mainly due to the state’s large agricultural base, which results in lower food prices.

In addition, the population density is relatively low, which results in housing prices that aren’t as steep as in other states. The average household income is just under $40,000, and with an average commute time of only 15 minutes, gas prices do not play as significant a role as they do in a state such as California, where commute times are decidedly longer.

Home prices in North Dakota have appreciated 5.3% lower than the national level from last year. Looking back three years at the median price in September 2019 compared to September 2022, prices have increased 22.4% in North Dakota VS 35.8% nationwide.

As of September 2022, the median price for a home in the state was $281,550, which is up 7.1% above last year’s median price. Comparing prices over the last three years, we can see they have decreased -4.9% from the peak of $296,125 in Jun-2022.

It is clear that the recent steep rise in mortgage rates has curved sales activity and shrunk affordability, and the result has been a drop in home prices in North Dakota.

Highways and Public Transport

The roads are very well maintained by the Maintenance Division of the North Dakota Department of Transportation. Even during the colder months and the storm season, the DOT tries to minimize inconvenience for travelers. Most roads are constructed of concrete, not asphalt to withstand the severe winters. Also note that since North Dakota has relied on agriculture for most of its existence, its infrastructure is less extensive than in some other states.

  • Roads: There are two interstate highways: the I-94 which runs from east to west across the southern half of the state, and the I-29 which runs from north to south along the eastern border. In addition, there are a number of state highways and county roads that connect urban areas.
  • Railroad: Though rail is mainly used for freight transport, Amtrak’s Empire Builder provides passenger transport and stops at seven stations, including Fargo, Grand Forks, and Minot.
  • Public Transportation: Most cities provide public transport in the form of regional buses within the city limits. Intercity transport is provided by Greyhound and Jefferson Lines.
  • Airports: Besides a number of regional airports, there are also three international airports in North Dakota. These are Hector International Airport, Grand Forks International Airport and Minot International Airport.


Be prepared for some extreme temperatures when moving to North Dakota. The state endures hot summers and cold winters. The north of the state is semi-arid, but the rest of the state gets a fair amount of rain, hail and snow. Storms and strong winds are frequent throughout the year. Spring and summer bring tornadoes, while spring also brings flooding, especially in Red River Valley.


For decades, North Dakota had an exodus of educated people leaving the state in search of higher-paying jobs. However, in an attempt to keep graduates in the state, the government is actively promoting job-skills awareness among high school and college students.

Current school rankings (elementary, middle, and high schools), campus and district zoning/location maps, information, and reviews are available online for parents moving to North Dakota:

What follows are some notable schools in North Dakota:

  • Elementary Schools: Oak Grove Lutheran School in Fargo, St. Joseph Elementary School in Mandan and St. Alphonsus School in Langdon are some renowned elementary schools.
  • High Schools: Three of the best high schools are Trinity High School in Dickinson, Bishop Ryan High School in Minot and Shiloh Christian School in Bismarck.
  • Higher Education: There are some good Native American, public and private institutions of higher education that students moving to North Dakota can attend, including the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University and Minot State University.


Before moving to North Dakota, go to the Official Portal for North Dakota State Government to find reliable information about everything to do with working and living in the state.

  • North Dakota levies an excise tax of 5% if the vehicle was not taxed in another state.
  • There are no toll roads in the state.
  • You do not have to register to vote when moving to North Dakota. However, you must be a resident of the precinct for 30 days in order to vote in an election. You can find more information about voting in North Dakota at the Voter Information Portal.
  • Trash & Recycling: If you live in one of the larger cities, trash and recycling can either be handled by the municipality or contracted out to a private company. In smaller towns, the city handles it, while outside of any urban areas, you might have to bring your trash to the landfill. Contact your city for more information.
  • Driver’s Licenses: You have 90 days to secure a North Dakota driver’s license after moving to North Dakota. All fees are listed on the Department of Registration’s website.
  • Vehicle Registration: If you are moving to North Dakota, you are required to register your vehicle as soon as it is used on the highways.
  • Registration Costs: The costs of vehicle registration depend upon the year, model, weight and type of vehicle.