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Moving to Jacksonville

Located in the Northeastern region of Florida, Jacksonville, is the largest city in the state and is in Duval County.  Jacksonville has 885 square miles of land and water with a population of 800,000 plus people.  The major highways that run through Jacksonville are I-10, I-95, and I-295.


Jacksonville is an exciting place to move with so much to offer.  Jacksonville is situated in the northeast corner of Florida just 35 miles from the Georgia Border and directly on the Atlantic Ocean. It has miles of beaches with surfing, swimming, fishing, sunbathing, restaurants, and shops.  The most popular beaches in Duval County are the Atlantic Beach, Jacksonville Beach, and Neptune Beach.

Other points of interest in Jacksonville are the St Johns River, historic downtowns, Naval bases, seaports, railroads, NFL Jacksonville Jaguars football team, and the Mayo Clinic, one of their award winning hospitals.


The Port of Jacksonville known as JAXPORT is home to 10 of the worlds top 15 global carriers as well as major cruise ships. It is considered one of the top foreign trade zones and is the number 2 port in the U.S. for handling importation of cars, trucks, and other vehicles. JAXPORT is also one of 13 U.S. Strategic Ports on call to move military cargo for national defense.

St Johns River

JAXPORT sits on the St Johns River, which has a big influence on business and life in Jacksonville. The St Johns River is the longest river in the U.S. and is one of the few rivers that runs north.  Boating, fishing, shipping, and transportation are few of the things influenced by the St Johns River.

The St Johns River is also home to Mayport Naval Station and Air Station Jacksonville, which means that there are many Navy personnel in Jacksonville and the naval bases provide a source of jobs to the neighboring communities.

Neighborhoods in Jacksonville

Jacksonville is divided into 5 sections: Northside, Westside, Southside, Arlinington, and the Jacksonville Beaches.  Within the 5 sections are more than 500 neighborhoods around the city of Jacksonville.

One of the popular downtown historic districts is San Marco.  Located south of downtown Jacksonville, San Marco has an artsy downtown with shopping, restaurants, art galleries and live entertainment while hosting wine tasting events, music festivals, and annual events.

Public School System

Finding a quality public school is important when moving to a new city.  Florida’s Department of Education online system lists the top rated schools in Jacksonville.  This will help you narrow down the neighborhoods in Jacksonville to live in.

A full list of all schools in Jacksonville including universities, community colleges, high schools, middle schools and elementary schools are available online for the Duval County school district.

Once you have established residency you need to enroll your child in a Duval County public school., you must go to the school and show proof of residence, immunization, birth date, and a physical within the last 12 months.

Jacksonville Jobs and Careers

Some of the largest private employers in Jacksonville are Baptist Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Mayo Clinic, Citi, CSX Railroad, Bank of America, UPS, and ATT. 

A few of the large companies are based in Jacksonville Florida include Web.com, CSX Transportation Railroads, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida, Bubba Burger, Firehouse Subs, St Joe Company, and Acosta Sales and Marketing (the largest sales, marketing and service company in North America.) There are also several Fortune 1000 companies in Jacksonville: PSS World Medical, CSX, Fidelity National Financial, Landstar System, and the MPS Group.

Jacksonville has a wide variety of career opportunities with major corporations in the area along with the international airport, seaports, railroads, and quick access to major highways. 

Traveling To and From Jacksonville

The Jacksonville International Airport is easy for travelers to get in and out because of its smaller size.  There are major airlines that offer flights to major cities around the country making it an ideal location for businesses.  You can fly to Atlanta in 60 minutes, fly to Orlando in 45 minutes and fly to New York in 2 hours and 15 minutes.

Jacksonville is also within driving distance to major cities.

Jacksonville to Atlanta Georgia is 289 miles
Jacksonville to Miami is 327 miles
Jacksonville to Orlando is 127 miles
Jacksonville to Tallahassee is 157 miles
Jacksonville to Tampa is 174 miles

Jacksonville’s New Residents Services and Government Services

When moving to Jacksonville there are many things you need to do.  Register your vehicle, update your drivers license, register to vote, and set up utilities is a partial list.  Following is a list of resources to help you get started in Jacksonville.

  • Animal Licensing - All dogs, cats, pot belly pigs, and ferrets must be vaccinated annually for rabies and have their city licensed renewed each year.
  • Auto Insurance - When you move to Jacksonville you should consider contacting a car insurance agent based in the area. Where you live in Jacksonville and how far you drive to work will effect your insurance rates. In 2008 there were 13,371 car crashes in Jacksonville - the most for any city in Florida. An auto insurance agent with experience in Jacksonville will have the best chance of getting you the auto insurance coverage you need at the best price. Local insurance agents also have other connections to help you if you get in a car accident and need a body shop, auto repairs, or an attorney experienced with handling car accidents in Jacksonville.
  • Auto Tag Registration and Vessel Registration - If you are new to Duval County or from out of state, you need to register your vehicle or vessel. You need to bring proof of residency and proof of insurance to a local DMV office in Jacksonville.
  • Boater Safety ID Card - If you are born on or after January 1, 1988, you must have a Safe Boating ID card to operate a boat in Florida.  You can take a boating course through the Coast Guard Auxiliary at many locations around Jacksonville - including 2 locations in Jacksonville as well as Fernandina Beach, Green Cove Springs, St Augustine, and Palatka. The safe boating course is also available online.
  • Drivers License Offices and Address Change - There are 8 DMV offices in Jacksonville and 1 office in Neptune Beach. However, many drivers license services can now be completed online or if you need to visit a DMV office you can make an appointment online.
  • Fishing and Hunting Licenses and Permits - If you enjoy fishing or hunting, you must obtain a Florida fishing license or permit from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. This includes fishing for saltwater or freshwater fish. To get some local fishing knowledge head over to the Jacksonville Beach Pier where you will find plenty of people fishing.
  • Homeowners Insurance - With a new Jacksonville address comes new homeowners insurance policies.  Like most coastal cities in Florida, Jacksonville has wind zones that dramatically effect the cost of home owners insurance. The highest wind zone in Jacksonville is 120 MPH and is located on the east side of the city. 120 MPH Wind Zone in Jacksonville Description Starting at the intersection of Phillips Highway and the Duval County line at the south, proceed north along Phillips Highway to the intersection of State Road 9A. Proceed north along 9A to Yellow Bluff Road. Proceed north along Yellow Bluff Road to Highway 17. Proceed north along Highway 17 to the Duval County line. All structures located east of this line shall be considered in the Wind-Borne Debris Region as defined by the Florida Building Code. All structures west of this line shall be designed for 119 mph three-second gust. Houses within that should be built to withstand 120 MPH winds. If they are they your insurance will be less than a house that was not built to the proper building codes.
  • Homestead Exemption Application - Duval County’s Property Appraiser’s Office offers an online application for homeowners homestead exemption status.
  • Hurricane Shelters - There’s a list of hurricane shelters in Jacksonville available online with addresses and maps.
  • Newspapers - The largest Jacksonville newspaper is the Florida Times Union which covers news, sports, entertainment, jobs, homes for sale, and classified ads.  You can subscribe online to receive delivery or access online.
  • Other popular newspapers are: Jacksonville Business Journal Folio Weekly The Beaches Leader Jacksonville Daily Record The Florida Star
  • Internet, Telephone, and TV Services - You can choose from several companies that service Jacksonville: ATT, Phone: 904-781-5852 Comcast, Phone: 904-310-4808 DirecTV, Phone: 888-777-2454
  • Trash and Recycling - The Solid Waste Division has a list of frequently asked questions you can read including days that your garbage, recycling, and yard waste will be collected.
  • Voter Registration - The form you need to fill out to register to vote in Duval County is available online.
  • Utilities, Water and Sewer - Contact JEA (Jacksonville Electric Authority) to set up or transfer services.  For natural gas, contact TECO Peoples Gas (for natural gas) at phone: 904-739-1211.

Legal Advice in Jacksonville

If you are in need of legal services in Duval County, you should seek a local and reputable Jacksonville attorney who is familiar with the local legal system.  The Duval County Court system provides many legal services and programs to assist you as well.

The 4th Judicial Circuit Court covers Clay, Duval and Nassau counties. The circuit court is responsible for felony prosecution, civil disputes of $15,000 or more, juvenile cases, and tax disputes are a few of their duties. The Duval County courts handle civil and small claims such as landlord and tenant claims less than $15,000.  Traffic ticket fines and citations with moving violations can be paid at the Duval Clerk of Court.

Universities and Colleges

The major colleges and universities in Jacksonville include:
University of North Florida
Jacksonville University
Edwards College
Florida Coastal School of Law
University of Phoenix
Florida State College at Jacksonville

Jacksonville Parks and Recreation

The national, state and local parks in Jacksonville create the largest urban park system in the United States.  You can sign up to receive news on the Jacksonville parks and events that happen in the area.  There are many privately owned attractions such as Adventure Landing that offers a water park, go carts, putt putt golf, and an arcade.

Some of the popular parks in Jacksonville are:
Amelia Island State Park, State Road A1A North, Jacksonville, FL 32226
Big Talbot Island State Park, State Road A1A North, Jacksonville, FL 32226
Fort Caroline National Memorial, 12713 Fort Caroline Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32225
George Crady Bridge Fishing Pier, State Road A1A South, Jacksonville, FL 32226
Hanna Park (in Atlantic Beach), 500 Wonderwood Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32233
Huguenot Park, 10980 Heckscher Dr. Jacksonville, FL 32226
Little Talbot Island State Park, 12157 Heckscher Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32226
Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, 12713 Fort Caroline Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32225

Annual events in Jacksonville offer year round entertainment like the Greater Jacksonville Fair in November, Jacksonville Light Parade in December featuring decorated boats cruising down the St Johns River, and Jacksonville Jazz Festival during May’s Memorial weekend.

Law Enforcement and Fire Rescue Agencies in Jacksonville

  • Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Departments - There are more than 50 fire stations in Duval County. The city of Jacksonville has several divisions within their Fire and Rescue departments - Rescue, Training, Fire Prevention, Emergency Preparedness, Operations, and Administrative.
  • Sheriff’s Office - Dial 911 for emergencies or for non-emergencies dial 904-630-0500.  The Jacksonville sheriff’s office is located at 501 E. Bay Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202-2927. Phone: 904-630-2120.
  • Florida Highway Patrol - The highway patrol station in Jacksonville is located at 7322 Normandy Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32205. Phone: 904-695-4115.

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