14-Step Change of Address Checklist
So, you’ve found your dream apartment and have signed and dotted the lease. That’s great! However, that doesn’t mean your work is done.
Besides the fun stuff like choosing new furniture or thinking of what colors to paint the walls, you’ll need to take care of some essentials. These are things that’ll help you avoid any headaches during your move. Your top priority should be handling your change of address.
Changing your mailing address when moving can be overwhelming. However, having a checklist can help you keep every detail straight.
Good news: We’ve put together a comprehensive change of address checklist. It’ll help you to streamline your move as much as possible.
Here’s everything you need to know about changing your address when moving.
Change Your Mailing Address with the Post Office
Changing your mailing address with the United States Postal Service (USPS) should be your first step when moving. USPS, a federal agency, is the most widely-used mail service in the nation. They deliver nearly half of the world’s mail.
Needless to say, it’s imperative to ensure that they have your correct address. That way, they can forward your mail to the right address if someone sends mail to your old address.
So, how do you change your address with USPS? There are three ways. Here they are:
- For Those Who Love a Good Phone Call – Call 1-800-ASK-USPS and follow the prompts to change your address. Be prepared to pay a $1 identity confirmation fee.
- For Those Who Are Internet-Savvy – USPS has an online address change page that makes it fast and easy to change your address. You’ll still have to pay a $1 fee.
- For Those Who Want to Meet In-Person – Visit your local USPS office and ask for a copy of Form 3575. Fill it out and voilà — consider your address changed. Better yet, it’s free!
Pro Tip: USPS says that it may take anywhere from 7-10 days for a change of address form to go into effect. Making the request two weeks prior to moving can help to ensure that you don’t experience any lapse in the mail or any other headaches.
Change of Address Process For Green Card Holders
Those who have a green card and are not U.S. citizens will need to follow a different set of steps to change their address. Green card holders can still register their change of address with the post office.
However, you’ll also need to notify U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS). You can change your address online by filing a Change of Address Form. It’s crucial to keep your address up to date to avoid any issues with your case.
Change of Address Checklist: Who Do You Need to Notify?
1. The DMV
Unfortunately, your new move may also require a trip to the DMV. By law, you must update the address on your driver’s license within a certain period of time after moving. That’ll vary by county or state. If you fail to comply, you may face fines.
If you’re lucky, you may be able to complete a change of address form online. In that case, they may be able to send your new license by mail. Check your state’s DMV website for more details.
2. The IRS
It’s very important to ensure that the IRS has your most recent address on file. If not, you risk them sending important information and even refund checks to your old address. Also, an old address can make filing your taxes even more of a hassle.
To update your address with the IRS, simply visit their website. You can find their change of address form, Form 8822, and fill it out. Once you have submitted the completed form, you’ll receive correspondence from the IRS that confirms the change.
3. The Social Security Administration
This is of the utmost importance if you receive any Social Security benefits from retirement or otherwise. You can also do this online. However, if you don’t have a “My Social Security” account set up, you’ll need to create one to complete the request.
The site has clear instructions about how to submit a change of address. That makes it easy to do the job.
4. The Government
By “the government,” we mean voter registration. If you want to exercise your right to vote as a U.S. citizen, then you’ll need to have the right address on file. Otherwise, you may not be able to vote in your current district, county, or state. To update your address on your voter registration card, you can visit the USA.gov’s website.
You may be able to do this by mailing information or forms to your local county office. However, not every state allows that. You can also update your address by phone by calling your local county office.
5. The Bank
Your bank will need to know your new address. You’ll need to update your billing address with them.
You can change your address by phone, mail, online, or in person, depending on your bank. Check out your bank’s website for any change of address information.
In the meantime, ensure that you’re also getting online statements and bills. Consider going paperless. Your email address will always remain the same and it’s much easier to change your email address in an instant.
Speaking of financial services, don’t forget to update your address with financial services such as PayPal or Venmo!
6. Any Loan Issuers
Wherever you go, your debts and bills will follow. So, you’ll need to notify your loan issuer, including your car and student loan companies, of any address changes.
7. Credit Card Companies/Reporting Agencies
To update your address with a credit card company, you have options. You can visit their website or app, give them a call, or simply write in your new address on your most recent bill in the slot marked “change of address” or “new address.”
It’s important for credit reporting agencies to have your most current address. If you have to file a dispute or check any information on your credit report, your address must be accurate.
You’ll need to change your address with the top three bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. However, if you change your address with your lenders, credit card companies, and bank, the reporting agencies may update the address without you having to contact them.
8. Utility Companies
Utilities include water, gas, and electric bills that are under your name at your current residence, if they aren’t included in the rent. You’ll need to get in contact with each utility provider. You’ll need to both register a change of address and to schedule a date for the companies to turn these utilities off.
You don’t want to end up footing the bill for the next person or end up with any unpaid utility bills because you had no idea that you were still responsible for paying them.
9. Phone, Cable, and Internet Companies
You’ll need to contact your phone, cable, and internet providers, if you don’t have them bundled, to change your billing address. This is especially important for any landline or Wi-Fi service. That’s because these companies typically need to send someone out to connect the service manually at the new location.
No one wants to be without Wi-Fi these days. How would you binge your favorite show?
10. Your Employer
Your employer will also need to know if you’ve moved and changed your address recently. That’s because they’ll send your W-2 tax forms to the last known address
It’s also because they may be able to register the change with the IRS on that form. That way, you don’t have to.
11. Service Providers
You’ll need to notify any doctors, dentists, therapists, or vets that currently provide you and your family with medical services of any address changes. If you’re moving out of their service range or it’ll be too far of a drive for you, they’ll likely be able to help you out with referrals that are closer to your new home.
12. Insurance Companies
Health, dental, car, and life insurance providers should be on your list of companies that you need to notify of an address change. If you move out of a service area, you may lose your coverage. So, it’s important to always keep these companies up to date.
13. Subscription Services
Whether you’re streaming movies or getting subscription boxes delivered every two weeks, these companies will need to know that you’ve changed your address. Typically, these services are web-based, so changing your address can be as simple as just a few quick clicks and updating your profile. Yay for online services!
14. Any Retail Service
If you receive coupons in the mail from your local grocer (looking at you, Costco) or are prone to buying something new on Amazon on a weekly basis, you’ll need to tell theses services where to send the goods. Prioritize updating first, and move on to the ones you rarely use later.
Changing your address can be one of the biggest hassles when it comes to navigating a successful move. However, it pays to make the changes. Doing so can help you to avoid even bigger hassles in the future. Those could include not receiving important mail, losing insurance coverage, or being fined.
The best advice? Channel your inner Santa Claus, make a list, and check it twice!