Moving to a new place can be as hectic as it is exciting. To help, we’ve put together a step by step address change checklist. Once you’ve found a new apartment or home, you need to decide which of your belongings will be going with you and which ones will be going away. You need to calculate how much it will cost to move, figure out when you’re going to move, and decide if you can handle moving everything yourself or if you’ll need to hire someone. (Bellhops is always just a click or call away if you need help.)
Then, once all that’s settled, you need to pack, take a day (or two) to move to your new place, and then unpack everything.
As smooth and successful as your move might be, however, you’re going to run into some problems if you don’t let people know about it.
But don’t worry: Just as we can help you move from your old address to your new one, we can also help you let people know where to find you.
Just follow these handy address changing tips:
Make a List
As soon as you know you’re moving, make a running list of every incoming bill, catalog, and another piece of mail that you will need or want to keep receiving at your new place. Scroll through your phone contacts, emails, and bank account, too, in order to make a note of anyone else you’ll need to contact. Then, start working down your list to help move the change of address process along. (The I Am Moving app can help.)
Forward Your Mail
About a month or two before your move, file a change of address form with the USPS. You can either do it online (for a small fee), by phone (at 1-800-275-8777), or by mailing in a form. (You can pick up a form in person at your local post office or download one from the USPS website.)
While having the post office forward your mail can be a temporary help, it is not a permanent solution. Mail forwarding only lasts for six months, and if you don’t change your address manually with everyone who needs to contact you, some mail could be still sent to your old address (or even thrown away) during (and after) that window of time.
(Note: While you can file a single form if everyone in your household shares a last name and is moving to the same address, anyone in your home with a different last name must complete a separate form. This includes maiden names, those with different last names, or those who are moving to a different new address.)
Tell Your Friends, Family, Employer, and Other Important Folks
While the list of friends and family members you need to contact might seem daunting, you can save time by making a master list of everyone you need to notify, and then send a group email or Facebook message (or both) with your new address to everyone on the list.
Then, be sure to give your new address to your boss or the HR person at work (or both). Failing to do so could lead to a delay in receiving your paycheck, direct deposit, or important tax forms.
You’ll also want to give your new address to your doctor(s), dentist, and veterinarian so that they can send you things like bills, test results, insurance information, and reminders about checkups.
Notify Your Bank
Not only will your bank need your new address in order to mail you monthly statements and other notices, but your address (and especially your zip code) will need to be current if you plan to use your debit card to shop online or in a store. Update your address online or in person at your financial institution. You’ll also need to change your address with any loan issuers, credit card companies, student loan departments, and financial services providers that you do business with.
And don’t forget to order checks with your new address printed on them, too.
Keep Your Coverage Current
If your insurance bill gets mailed to the wrong address, you might forget to pay it and, as a result, risk losing coverage. Moving to a new address may also affect your coverage and rates, as well. In order to maintain coverage and peace of mind, spend a day sharing your new address with your health, dental, life, car, and homeowner/renter’s insurance providers.
Switch Over Your Utilities and Home Services
No matter how much you plan or who much help you need, moving can be a stressful and exhausting experience. The last thing you’ll want to do is to move to a new place without the utilities you need.
One to two weeks before you move, set up disconnect and reconnect dates with your power, gas, water, phone, cable, and internet providers. If you no longer need services like waste removal, pest control, house cleaning, or lawn care, be sure to cancel them. Pay any final bills right away, and any deposits in advance. (Updater is a great service that can help you switch over your home utilities and services.)
Get In Touch with Government Agencies
In most states, you have 30 days after moving to get a new a driver’s license or ID. Failing to do so could cause you to receive a fine. If your state allows it, order your new ID online. If it doesn’t, get one from the Department of Motor Vehicles near your new place. (Note: Many states also require you file a separate change of address form for your motor vehicle.)
Your need to change your address with other government agencies will vary based on how much interaction you typically have with them. You are required by law to change your address with the Internal Revenue Service, and you need to change your address with your local and/or state elections commission or office if you want to vote in any upcoming elections. You’ll also need to change your address with the Social Security Administration (if they send you a check each month), the Department of Veterans Affairs (if you require VA services or receive any income from the VA), and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration services (if you are a non-citizen required to register with the agency).
Maintain Your Memberships
If you’re a member of a church or other organization, be sure to share your new address so that you can continue to receive newsletters, event notifications, signup reminders, or other correspondence. Failing to have the correct address on file with retail clubs like Sam’s or Costco can mean missing out on coupons, refund checks, special offers, or renewal reminders. And any magazines or catalogs you want to continue receiving will stop showing up in your mailbox if the publishers or retailers who mail them don’t know you’ve moved.
You’ll need to make sure your address is up to date if you order anything from online retailers like Amazon, and your online streaming and other service providers will need to have your current address on file when they process your payment each month. Also, if you use Google Maps, Apple Maps, or any other online navigation apps, you’ll want to make sure your address is up to date in order to make sure that you have the most accurate route information when you travel.