DMV, Checking Accounts and Other Things Colleges Don't Mention

This article is about the things that colleges don't talk about. My daughters are college students who have lived in dorms. They found out quickly that health and car insurance, DMV, and checking accounts are not talked about colleges. These are also things that college students may not have experience with. That's all about to change.

Health insurance information
One of our first hurdles involved health insurance cards. Every year two insurance cards arrive in the mail. These are issued to parents and not to our children. When a student moves into a dorm he or she won't have access to your insurance card. A simple phone call is all it takes to order another card for your student.

Car insurance
Premiums may change when a college student moves into a dorm. If the car stays at home the rates may decrease. Moving to a high theft area may increase in rates. Checking out the insurance is essential when your student moves into a dorm.

DMV Registration
Many states allow college students to leave their cars registered at the address of their parents. However, there may be times when registering the car locally is required. If your college student is moving into an out-of-state dorm a call to the DMV in that state is in order.

Checking accounts
Does your college student have a checking account? Is one needed? If so, what bank should your student use?

When our oldest daughter moved away to school we chose a bank with branches that were local to both of us. This way, if she needs to cash a check at home or school she can do so without problem. We can also go into the bank to add funds to her account when she needs a little help. Many banks offer no-fee accounts to college students.

Cell phone coverage
Students live on the cell phones so it is important to have good coverage. My daughter found out pretty quick that our carrier left her without cell phone service when she moved to a college dorm.
The national carrier didn't have good coverage where at her school. It never occurred to us that this would happen. It took awhile before we convinced the carrier to release us from the contract. Checking out the cell phone coverage before my daughter moved into the college dorm might have saved us some aggravation.

Grocery stores
Dining halls aren't open when the coffee pot runs dry at 2:00 am. Although convenient, dorm based grocery stores tend to be expensive and have limited inventory. One of the things to do when a college student moves into a dorm is to find a regular grocery store. It makes dorm life much easier.