Changing your address starts with the US Postal Service. Appropriate forms and when to file are easily found on their website or by visiting your local Post Office. But it’s not just the USPS that you should notify of a change of address.
One aspect of relocating that must never ignore is changing your address before you move. After hiring long-distance movers and setting a moving date, you must begin to change your address at various institutions, along with forwarding your mail.
Below is a guide that explains how to change your address when you move.
Why Change Your Address
The most significant reason to change your address when you are on the verge of moving is to ensure you do not miss out on any important mail.
There could be documents, letters, or packages from government agencies, financial institutions, other companies, and family or friends that you do not receive because you forgot to change your address or forward your mail.
Who Must You Notify About a Change of Address?
Any agency, institution, company, friend, or family member who may send you a letter or package should receive notification that you are moving. Start with tax agencies, such as the IRS and your state’s tax agency. Ensure they have your up-to-date address.
Another item to put on your moving checklist for long-distance moves is to notify the social security administration and any other government agency about your move. If you are on a student or work visa, or a green card holder, you may have to notify USCIS within one or two weeks of moving regarding your relocation.
Any company that provides you with utility services should also know that you are moving. Insurance companies that provide you with homeowners’, car, renters’, health, and/or life insurance should also be aware of your change of address.
Inform your employer about your new address if you are moving locally. If you are relocating to another part of the state, or across state lines, you are probably changing jobs and do not need to inform your old employer of your new address.
Banks and credit card institutions should also know about your new address, as they may try to send you important documentation or new debit/credit cards shortly after your relocation.
If you belong to any clubs or organizations, let them know you are moving as well. Inform friends and family, either through a letter to their address or via email/text message. You should also change your address at any online shopping sites where you regularly purchase items, or on the website of any magazine or subscription service that sends you regular mailers.
Mail Forwarding and Relocations
Even if you change your address with every possible entity or person who may send you mail, there is still a chance that some items will slip through the cracks. Some government agencies or companies do not update their mailing lists for several weeks, which means you may still have significant items sent to your old address.
After you learn about how much movers cost, hire movers, and set a moving date, you should also visit the USPS website and fill out the mail forwarding form. That form allows you to enter your present and future address, ensuring that any mail addressed to your present address is forwarded by your local post office to your new home or apartment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to change my address for every utility account?
No, depending on where you will be living, you may need to close several of your utility accounts before your relocation. If you are moving to another state, the only utility account you might need to retain is your internet service provider – although many will need a new internet provider at their new home. Most electricity, water, and gas companies only operate within a particular state.
How soon should I forward my mail?
You should fill out the mail forwarding form roughly two weeks before your moving out date. The USPS suggests that it can take two weeks for their system to acknowledge the form, and begin to forward your mail. If you wait until your move out date to fill in the form, your mail could still arrive at the present address for the next two weeks.
How long does my mail continue to forward?
The USPS can forward your most essential mail for up to six months. However, your local post office will only apply that rule to urgent mail, such as letters or packages from government agencies or people. If you receive a lot of promotional material, the USPS does not forward such mail for more than a couple of months.
Do I need to get a new driver’s license and change my car registration after moving?
Unless you are a student, you should visit the local DMV or fill out the relevant online forms to get a new driver’s license. After you relocate, you may need to purchase a new auto insurance policy or talk to your insurance company about transferring the policy for your new state. Then you can submit license, insurance, and vehicle title information to register your car.
How can I transfer my health records to a new primary care provider?
If you are relocating, you likely need to find a new primary care physician (PCP). First, you must understand whether you can transfer your present health insurance or if you need to sign up for a new policy. Then you can connect with the insurance company, find a new PCP, set up a new patient appointment, and ask them to submit a request for medical records to obtain all your previous healthcare documentation.
Moving houses or apartments and forgetting to change your address at a particular institution can happen to anyone. The problem is that such inaction can have significant consequences, as you may lose an important package or not get a vital letter on time.
Rather than spending days trying to locate a missing package or letter, you can use the guide above to ensure you change your address everywhere essential before your relocation.
Address changes, along with forwarding your mail from the present address to your new home, ensures that you do not miss out on any mail as a result of your upcoming move.