Moving Change-of-Address Checklist
Are you getting ready to move? Moving can be an exciting time, but it can also be stressful. There's likely a lot you need to get done within a certain timeframe, from finding a reliable moving company to making sure you cancel the cable. One of the most critical moving must-dos is changing your old address to your new home address.
Changing your address as soon as possible saves you a lot of hassle down the road. You don't want to wait until you get unpacked and cozy in your new home to start thinking about who to notify when you move. If you wait, you might miss out on essential documents or put your mail into the wrong hands. Luckily, changing an address does not have to feel like another giant moving headache.
We'll help you get organized and put together a complete change-of-address checklist, so everything winds up at your new home. We'll also look at when to change your address and answer common questions. It will take a little time and effort to update your address with all the services you use, but if you prepare and make a list, you'll find it's much easier than you anticipated.
- Who Do I Need to Notify of a Change of Address?
- Change of Address Checklist
- How Long Before You Move Should You Change Your Address?
- How Do I Change My Address Online?
- What Happens to Mail Once Forwarding Expires?
- Do Packages Get Forwarded With a Change of Address?
- Do I Have to Change My Address for a Temporary Move?
Who Do I Need to Notify of a Change of Address?
First, you'll need to consider who to notify of a change of address when you move. It can help to sit down with a blank piece of paper and list all the services you use and the bills you pay. You might look at credit card and bank statements to make sure you don't forget any services on an automatic payment schedule. We put together the following list to help you get started.
1. Post Office
The first place you'll need to contact when you have a new address and a set move-in date is the United States Postal Service (USPS). The USPS will forward your mail to your new home for up to 12 months. This grace period will give you plenty of time to update your address everywhere else. You'll get to schedule the date when your mail will start to arrive at the new address.
To register a moving address change with the USPS, you can either:
- Change your address online
- Go to your local post office and fill out a form in person
The USPS charges $1.05 to change your address online as an identity validation fee. However, changing your address online is the easiest and fastest way to notify the post office. If you go into the post office in person, you won't have to pay a fee. Ask the clerk for a Mover's Guide packet and fill out the change-of-address form inside.
2. Banks and Credit Card Companies
Because the USPS only forwards mail for 12 months, you'll need to update your new mailing address with every service you use, such as banks and credit card companies. If possible, change your address within the first week of moving, so you don't forget. You should be able to update your address with credit card companies quickly online. You may need to call your bank or stop at a local branch to update your address before you move.
3. Magazines and Catalogs
If you have any magazine or catalog subscriptions, make sure to let them know your new address, because the USPS only forwards this type of mail for up to 60 days. Advertising mail doesn't get forwarded unless the sender requests it.
Visit the magazine's website online and see if you can edit your address under your account information. If this is not an option, you should be able to email their customer service department your new address. You can also look in the magazine for the list of employers and contributors. Contact the subscriptions department to update your address.
The IRS makes it easy to change your address. They provide several options, such as:
- Fill out a change-of-address form online
- Use your new address when you file taxes
- Send a signed, written letter stating your name, old address, new address and Social Security number
- Notify them by phone
Even though you could wait until tax season to update your address, the sooner, the better. It can take four to six weeks for an address update to fully process with the IRS.
5. Department of Motor Vehicles
You should be able to change your address with the Department of Motor Vehicles online. For example, in Pennsylvania, you can change your address on a non-commercial driver's license or photo ID at any time by filling out an online form, unless you're moving out of state.
You can also change the address on your vehicle registration online. You'll want to put this high on your to-do list. In Pennsylvania, the law requires residents to change their address within 15 days of moving. If you forget to change your address, you could get fined if you get pulled over, or you might not receive photo or registration renewal forms.
You want to notify utility companies about your new address so you'll have internet and electricity ready to go. First, find out who your providers will be in your new home, and contact them at least two weeks before moving. If internet or cable will need installation at your new address, try to call the company a month ahead of time to make sure you can get an appointment.
Also, let your current utility providers know you'll be moving two weeks ahead of time and give them your new address so you can recieve any future bills. It helps to make a list of all the providers you use, which may include trash, sewer, electric, cable and internet, water, gas and phone. Consider jotting down their contact information to keep everything in an organized list.
7. Insurance Companies
Make sure to notify your insurance companies, so you don't miss out on essential paperwork and avoid any trouble. Depending on where you move, your change of address could affect your rates. You'll need to notify your health, dental, car or life insurance companies about your new address.
You can likely update your address easily online. For example, if your coverage is through the federal health care exchange, you can report changes to your address either online, by phone or in person. To report a change online, you'll need to update your application. Do this by logging into your account and going to the "report a change" section.
If you have home or renter's insurance, transfer your policy to the new address as soon as you can, especially if your new landlord wants to see proof of insurance. You might also find out if your insurance protects your belongings during the moving process.
8. Your Employer
Let your employer know of your new address as soon as possible to make sure pay stubs, tax information or any other crucial documents get sent to the right address. Even if your workplace uses direct deposit for your paychecks, you still don't want to skip this step.
9. Online Shopping Sites
It's simple to change your address on sites like eBay and Amazon, but it can also be easy to forget. Make sure to add online shopping sites to your checklist, so you don't risk losing a package when you order something from your new home.
10. Voter Registration
To update your voter registration, you can go online and change your address by filling out a simple application. In Pennsylvania, for example, you fill out a form and provide your new address, your previous address and your driver's license number, ID card number or Social Security number.
11. Clubs and Organizations
Make sure to notify any clubs, organizations or any other membership programs of your new address. That way, they can reach you and send new membership cards to the right place.
12. Friends and Family
Don't forget to tell friends and family about your new address. You can easily let everyone know about your new home by sending a mass email.
As a homeowner or renter, you probably have a lot of people to notify about your new address. To help you stay focused, we put together the following change-of-address checklist. Here's a list of businesses and people you may need to get in touch with when it's time to move:
- Utilities and home services
- Banks and financial agencies
- Online payment services such as PayPal
- Credit cards
- Individual store credit cards
- Loan providers
- Financial aid
- State tax agency
- Government agencies such as the Social Security Administration
- Home or renter's insurance
- Car insurance
- Health insurance
- Dental insurance
- Life insurance
- Cell phone service provider
- Online subscriptions
- Online shopping sites
- Magazine and catalog subscriptions
- Memberships and clubs
- Rewards programs
- Voter registration
- Doctor, dentist, veterinarian and other care providers
- Your previous landlord
- Friends and family
- Miscellaneous service providers such as babysitters, accountants and schools
How Long Before You Move Should You Change Your Address?
Many people wonder how soon to change their address when moving. Wouldn't it be nice to get it all out of the way now, even if you won't be moving yet for months? Although that may not be possible, you will want to change your address as soon as you know your new address and there's an official move-in date. The USPS recommends changing your address 30 days before your move date. Just make sure to confirm your move-in date before you notify the USPS — otherwise, you'll have to go through the change-of-address process all over again.
If 30 days is too soon, aim to change your address at least two weeks before moving. That way, you'll know your mail will go to the right place. You can expect redirected mail to arrive at your new address within seven to 10 days of your set date.
How Do I Change My Address Online?
To change your address online, visit the official moving section of the USPS website, and avoid companies outside the USPS that claim they can change your address for a fee.
Once you arrive at the official change-of-address online form, you'll need to select whether an individual, family or business will be moving. Only select the family option if everyone who will be moving with you has the same last name. Otherwise, you'll have to complete a form for each.
To complete the online change-of-address form, you'll need a valid email address and a credit or debit card for the $1.05 charge. You'll need to fill out a few basic questions such as your name, old address, new address, forwarding start date and whether the move is permanent or temporary.
What Happens to Mail Once Forwarding Expires?
After 12 months, the mail forwarding service will expire. If you don't update your address during that time, your mail will get returned to the sender. The USPS will eventually discard any mail they can't return to the sender.
Do Packages Get Forwarded With a Change of Address?
Packages that weigh 16 ounces or more get forwarded locally for 12 months at no charge. However, if you move outside of the local area, you'll pay forwarding charges. Make sure to update your address with any package delivery companies or e-commerce businesses you use, because unless they have the USPS deliver your package, they'll have no way of knowing your new address, and will send your package to your old address.
Do I Have to Change My Address for a Temporary Move?
If you plan to move temporarily, you can file a change of address as long as you'll be living elsewhere for longer than 15 days. Doing so ensures you'll get your mail at your temporary location. Temporary forwarding lasts as long as a year, but after the first six months, you'll need to remember to extend the forwarding service for another half a year.
How Can I Make Moving Less Stressful?
Changing your address, along with packing, unpacking and the moving process in general, can feel like an overwhelming task. However, the sooner you take care of it, the sooner you can relax and enjoy your new home. We hope we helped you put together a complete change-of-address checklist so you can take a moment to catch your breath. If you're still feeling overwhelmed, we're here to lend a hand — or as many as you need to get the job done.
At BNT Movers, we take the stress out of the moving process. We are a fully licensed and insured moving company located in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Since 2006, we've been helping clients safely and efficiently move just about anywhere. Whether you're moving down the street or across the globe, we'll handle your move from start to finish. To learn more about our complete moving services, contact us today!
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