Get in touch with the New Shoreham utilities providers to make sure your lights/heat are on the first day you arrive, and to start shopping for internet/TV plans. There's a section further down on this page with recommendations for setting up your utilities!Change your address
A few days before you move, you can use the US Postal Service change of address form to forward your mail. If you do it shortly before you leave, hopefully no mail will fall through the cracks. You'll have to update magazine/newspaper subscriptions yourself, though.
If you are moving to New Shoreham from within Rhode Island, you legally have ten days to let the DMV know of your address change. There's no need to schlep to the DMV itself - just mail this form to Division of Motor Vehicles Attn: Address Change, 600 New London Avenue, Cranston RI 02920. There's not even a fee!
You must move your license to RI within 30 days of moving to the state. To do so, you'll need to head to a physical DMV branch (there's no way to do it online) with your out-of-state license, as well as several other documents. You'll need:
You should probably just do this when you change your license over, as both processes require that you head to a physical DMV, and you need to bring along the same documents (proof of residency etc.) You should also bring your auto insurance papers because you'll need to give your policy number, and a few facts about your car such as the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and the number of cylinders the engine has.
Again, just pick up and fill out the relevant form when you're at the DMV; you'll have time to kill. It costs $36.50 to change your registration, and you can pay with cash or credit.
By the way, auto insurance is mandatory in RI. (Sorry New Hampshire-ites and Wisconsin-ites.)
You can contact the New Shoreham local government at 401.466.3200 from 9AM-3PM on weekdays. You can also stop in Town Hall, located at 16 Old Town Rd, to have your questions answered or attend council meetings.
The Block Island Power Company provides electricity to people living in New Shoreham. Call them up at 401.466.7754 to request to start service.
To find internet, TV and phone plans in New Shoreham, use WhiteFence to research and compare all your options. Just a heads up: You won't be able to get cable on the island, just various satellite options.
The state will weatherize your house for free if you meet certain income requirements. This means a greener environment, and lower energy bills for you. If you're interested call the South County Community Action Agency at 401.789.3016 to start the application process.Heating
The South County Community Action Agency also offers a program called LIHEAP that helps low-income families pay their heating bills in the winter. Call them up at 401.789.3016 around the first of October to schedule an appointment at their offices, which is the first step in the application process.
We read the RI landlord-tenant handbook for you. But we are not lawyers, and this is not legal advice. Just one citizen's understanding of how renting should work in New Shoreham.1. Your landlord can't ask for a deposit that's greater than the monthly rent.
They can, however, require you to pay a deposit + the first month's rent in order to lock down the lease. [Citation]2. Save signed and dated copies of everything you send to your landlord.
If you end up needing to go to court with them, heaven forbid, nothing you sent them will really count towards your case unless you can personally produce all the missives.3. The town will come inspect your house if your landlord isn't taking care of business.
If you notify your landlord of an issue in your home and they don't fix it in 20 days, call Town Hall at 401.466.3200 and request that a Building Inspector come check your home out. [Citation]4. You can make repairs yourself and deduct costs from your next rent payment.
If your landlord doesn't fix something in 20 days, instead of calling the inspector you can just take care of it yourself. Make sure you notify your landlord of what you're doing, save all the receipts, and don't spend more than $125 per fix. [Citation]5. You should really get Renters Insurance.
Your landlord's insurance will not cover any stuff (clothes, furniture) that you lose in the event of a fire, flood or burglary. Renters insurance in RI is dirt cheap (about $19/month) and will help you pay to replace these things without going broke/crazy. You should definitely get it. Not convinced? Learn more.
Make sure you create a good system for tracking who owes who and making sure bills and roommates get paid. I work on Splitwise, a website/iPhone/Android app which does all the math and tracking for you. Please give it a try! If you hate it, you can always go back to using a spreadsheet.Split the rent fairly
If your bedrooms are of disparate quality (ie. one is much smaller than the rest), or if you are living with a couple, Splitwise also makes a tool called the SplitTheRent calculator to calculate a fair rent differential based on quality and size of rooms.Value used furniture
If you need to put a fair price on your old furniture, or are trying to sell your share of a group couch from your last roommates, give the Splitwise furniture calculator a try. It uses age and condition to estimate a depreciated value.
If you face a medical emergency on Block Island, call 911 immediately and they will coordinate plane transport to the mainland if need be, or determine that the Island has all the resources you need and point you in the right direction. For clearly not life-threatening medical issues, you can use the Block Island Medical Center at 6 Payne Road (no appointment needed), phone number 401.466.2974.Veterinary Care
For pet care, you can use the Atlantic Animial Hospital at 5001 South County Trail in Charlestown (just a ferry ride away), phone number 401.364.2275.Crime Rates
You can check out a detailed crime report for New Shoreham here.
You must register your dog with the New Shoreham local government within 30 days of moving. To register your furry friend, fill out this form and send it to:
New Shoreham Town Hall, PO Drawer, 220 Block Island, RI 02807
Include proof of rabies vaccination, and a self-addressed, pre-stamped envelope so they can send your license to you when it's ready. Also include a check for $6 per dog licensed. The Town Clerk handles dog licensing, so if you're confused about any part of this process just call 401.466.3200 and ask for the Clerk's office.
You can get to the mainland via ferry or airplane. The Block Island Ferry is a year-long ferry service that brings people from Newport or Point Judith the Island; you can check out the 2013 schedule here. New England Airlines operates a commuter flight service between the island and Westerly, RI year round, schedule here.
Mainland Rhode Island is connected by the RIPTA bus network. Obviously, you must use a ferry service to get over to the mainland before you can hook into the bus network. You can get from the ferry stop in Narragansett to downtown Providence in about 105 minutes using the 66 bus. RIPTA has partnered with Google Maps to create a helpful trip planner for finding schedules and buses.
It costs $2 to ride the bus, and you can buy monthly unlimited passes for $62/month. Order them online or buy them at the Kennedy Plaza bus hub in downtown Providence. You can use RIPTA buses to get to and from the airport, most beaches, and other key destinations across the state.
If you're headed to the DMV to obtain or renew a RI license, you can register to vote while you're at the DMV doing that. Otherwise, go ahead and fill out this form and mail it to:
New Shoreham Town Hall, PO Drawer, 220 Block Island, RI 02807
You'll need to enter your RI drivers' license number or your Social Security Number, so dig those cards out if you need to.
Know something we don't know about New Shoreham? Send us feedback by email here.