How to Change Your Address When You Move
You’ve just unloaded the last box, your internet is up and running, and the utilities are operating as expected. However, there’s one thing missing: your mail. Before you can truly settle into your new home, you want to ensure that all your packages, letters, and bills make it to the correct address. Changing your address prior to your move can help prevent major hassles related to service delays, past-due bills, and even identity theft. Not sure where to start? This guide will walk you through the service providers you need to notify about your new home.
How to Update Your Mailing Address
When it comes to changing your mailing address, you should start with the United States Postal Service. The USPS will keep your past residential address on file and have your mail automatically forwarded to the new address of your choice for 12 months. The process of changing your address with the USPS is simple and you can even set the forwarding for a specific state.
To notify the post office that you are changing your address and want your mail forwarded to your new residence, you have two options:
- Visit the Official USPS Change-of-Address website. You must have a valid email address and a credit or debit card. You’ll only have to pay a $1.05 fee to change your address online. The charge serves as a way to verify your identity, make sure that you are making the change, and prevent fraud. This is the quickest and easiest way to change your address. Once complete, you will receive an email confirmation immediately and a confirmation letter to your new mailing address in a few days.
- Go to your local post office and ask them for Movers Guide packet. Inside of this packet you’ll find a PS Form 3575. You will fill need to fill out this change of address form and return it the postal worker. Or, you can simply drop the filled-out form into the letter mail slot at your post office. You will receive a confirmation letter to your new address with five business days after you submit the changes.
NOTE: Never pay a third-party company to change your address. There are scammers who will charge you $40 or more to do the same thing that you can do easily online for only $1.05 or free in person at your local post office.
It’s recommended to perform either option about a week before you moving day, as any later and you may have a gap between when you move and when mail starts being forwarded successfully.
Other Government Agencies
While notifying the post office is a great first step, they aren’t the only government agency that should be aware of your change of address. Here are some other ones that you should give a heads up to:
- Tax Agencies: Both your state tax agency and the federal revenue service need to be notified of your address change. This ensures that all your tax information remains current. The IRS has a very simple form you can fill out online. As far as your state tax agency goes, you’ll want to visit your state’s government website to find instructions.
- The DMV: Although the specific requirements may vary based on the state you live in, you will need to change your license and registration address. In many states, however, you are also required to submit for a new driver’s license or state ID within 30 days after moving.
- Voter Registration: When election time rolls around, you want to make sure that your address is updated on your voter registration. This will determine your voting district and polling location. You can change your voter registration very easily online.
- Social Security: Although it is not necessary to change your address for your social security card, if you receive Medicare of Social Security benefits, you need to change your address with the Social Security Administration. This can also be done online.
Notifying Financial Institutions
In addition to changing your address with the postal service and various government agencies, you also want to notify all of the financial agencies you receive services from. For instance, your bank and credit card companies will still need to send you statements in the mail and verify your billing address when shopping online. If you have online banking, you may be able to update the address on your account. Or, call your bank’s customer service line or visit them in person to make the change.
If you have any other financial institutions that serve you, such as a credit reporting agency, credit union, investment account holder, IRA/401k administrator, and/or PayPal make sure that you also give them a heads up about your address change so you don’t miss any important information.
Also, don’t forget credit cards you may have with specific stores, miscellaneous loyalty programs, and loan issuers. They will also need to be notified of your new address.
As soon as you know your new address, you’ll want to notify your gas and/or electric company, lest you risk having to go a day or more without electricity or heat. When transferring services, arrange to have it shut off at your current place at the end of moving day and have the service start at your new location either the evening before the move in day or the morning of.
Just like your electric and gas company, you want to call your internet, phone, and cable providers to alert them as early as possible of your change of address. This also includes your cell phone provider, as they will need to know where to send your bill. Any additional utilities that need to be notified will depend on which ones you are responsible at your new home. These may or may not include the sewer utility company, water department, and/or garbage/recycling service.
In order to ensure that you have the proper coverage in your new location, you’ll need to notify the following insurance providers:
- Car insurance: Get in touch with your car insurance provide to verify that they operate in your new location. You also want to confirm whether or not you need to modify your coverage.
- Health, dental, and life insurance: Notifying these insurance providers of a change in address with ensure that you are fully covered in your new city or state.
- Homeowner or renter’s insurance: Whether you have homeowner or renter’s insurance, it’s only applicable to a particular home. When you change your address, you need to contact them to update your policy and ensure that there are not additional charges. These services do not follow you when you move.
While you’re speaking with your policy provider, it’s not a bad idea to ask if they cover your items while in transit. That way, you can know if your possessions are protected during the moving process. Otherwise, you may want to consider third-party insurance options for your move.
Telling Your Friends and Family
When changing your address, you don’t want to neglect this very important group! To help save time, jot down a list of all the people you want to notify. Once you have your list assembled, telling them can be as simple as a quick email or you can send out personalized change of address cards.
Changing your address takes a lot of time and attention to detail. It is always best to take care of it early to avoid any problems that could arise from missing mail. Although changing your address may seem like a lot of work, having to track down lost items can be ever more.