When embarking on a long-distance move, your to-do list feels endless. Figuring out how to update your address and ensure seamless transfer of utilities can be a nerve-wracking experience. No matter how overwhelming it feels, you should do these important tasks.
Picture your first night in your new residence – would you enjoy arriving at a house without water, electricity, or internet? Would you want to miss bills and service lapses? Certainly not! That’s why reaching your utility services and changing your address is important. Don’t worry! With simple steps, we’ll guide you through the whole process. Let’s dive in.
Before the Move
Even before you start updating your address or transferring utilities, some tasks come beforehand. They simplify the steps you will undertake further.
1. Create a Moving Checklist
You need to stay organized. We know the tasks can be overwhelming; however, you can minimize them by creating a checklist.
Start crafting a comprehensive long-distance moving checklist. It’s your roadmap for what needs to be done before, during, and after the move, including utility transfer and address update.
List all the tasks you need to complete in the whole moving process. Prioritize activities like searching for a moving company, informing your service providers about your address change, and so on. Include a deadline for each task.
Check off each task you accomplish. Your move’s security depends on how you handled previous tasks.
2. Notify Important Parties
Don’t leave anyone in the dark; inform relevant parties about your move. This includes your employer, subscription services, insurance provider, bank, and even partners (in case you run a business). Such parties will ensure your mail and services follow you to your new residence.
Updating Your Address
Wouldn’t you want services like mail and package delivery to appear at your previous location? Probably not! Here’s the address checklist on points that need to be updated when moving:
1. Postal Service
The first step is to update your address with the United States Postal Service. You can accomplish this simply by visiting the USPS website and filling out and submitting a change of address form. It’ll direct your mail to your new address for a specified time (often up to 12 months).
Otherwise, you can also visit your local post office, request Form 3575, and fill it out. You’ll be charged a nominal fee of $1.10 for identity verification to prevent fraud.
When filling out your change of address forms online or in person, notify the post office of your old and new address. Include information about the move, whether permanent or temporary, and if you’re relocating alone or with your whole family.
Note that you’ll only receive mail that matches your name, so avoid using nicknames. The service exclusively applies to mail sent through the USPS.
2. Department of Motors Vehicles
To truly settle in your new residence, a change of address form is required, including a driver’s license and vehicle registration update.
Reach out to your local DMV office and update your new location. Note that if you’re moving to another state, procedures may differ from your current state.
You can confirm the state’s procedures and arrange your change of address forms to establish residency. Comply with the residency requirements and access the rights and privileges accompanying it (like voting and vehicle ownership).
3. Bank and Financial Institutions
Address update with banks, credit card companies, and loan providers is paramount to ensuring seamless transactions, timely statements, and valuable insights. You don’t want to end up in a supermarket or grocery store, and your credit or debit card gets rejected.
For a smooth process, reach out to these institutions through their customer care desk or make an in-person appointment in advance.
You can also visit their online portals and can access your profile page. Edit and update your information after that. Financial institutions are more likely to send you an email or call to confirm the update.
4. Billing Address
If you’ve got a list of companies that send you bills via mail promptly, it’s time to update your new billing address. You can typically accomplish this online or through phone channels. Reach their help desk and request to make changes to your new billing address.
For added convenience, consider transitioning to paperless email billing once you settle in your new residence.
5. Internal Revenue Service
Notify the IRS about change of address for up-to-date and accurate tax records. It’s essential in maintaining compliance with tax regulations.
You can accomplish this by filling out IRS Form 8822 on their website. By doing so, you can receive important tax documents, ensure timely communications, and eliminate delays in your tax matters.
Healthcare Providers and Insurance Coverage
Ensure uninterrupted medical care by maintaining accurate information with any healthcare providers. Reach out to your doctor, clinic, nursing home, hospital, and healthcare insurance provider.
However, if you have an insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act, you only need to update your address and insurance policy. This update should only be done once you settle in your new home.
6. Insurance Providers
For policy billing and communication, update your insurance providers like auto, life, or home insurance. Contact them or make an in-person appointment to inquire about the validity of the coverage at your new residence. Doing so keeps you clear of any concerns, claims, and emergencies.
7. Magazine and Subscription Services
Do you still need to keep that favorite magazine subscription even after relocating? Email, call their customer care service, or visit their website to change your address.
If you’re subscribed to any online service like meal services or recurring product deliveries, visit the sites where you created your account. You’ll find online account management where you can easily edit your previous location to your new address.
Other services that require address updates include:
- Online retailers
- Streaming services (Netflix, Hulu, etc.),
- Crowdfunding sites
- Organizations, clubs, and charities
The last thing you want is to arrive at your new residence without essential services like water, gas, electricity, cable, or internet. Follow these steps to prevent such occurrences:
Step1:Make an Utilities List
Start by drafting a comprehensive list of utilities and services you currently have. These include the essential services we named above and other services like garbage collection. You’ll use this list as a reference to ensure each service is transferred to your new address.
Step 2: Contact Service Providers
With the list, it’s time to contact the service provider for specific essential services. You can call them, email them, or visit their local office to inform them of your impending move.
Inquire about the transfer of the utilities and procedures to follow and request disconnecting services.
Step 3: Set Up New Services
Contact the utility provider in advance to ensure early transfer of utilities before moving day. Ensure the company establishes new accounts for you and makes arrangements for installation and activation.
Step 4: Final Meter Readings
Schedule final meter readings for utilities like gas or electricity with the company before you embark on your long-distance move. It’ll help prevent overcharges for services you no longer use.
Step 5: Provide Forwarding Address
Provide your current utility provider with your forwarding address to ensure they send you any final bills or refunds to your new location.
Step 6: Update Billing Information
Update your billing information in your utility account. Update and confirm required account numbers or addresses to avoid service or billing disruptions.
Step 7: Pay Unpaid Bills
Before you move, settle any outstanding bills. It is a great way to safeguard your credit history and begin a new chapter afresh.
Step 8: Take Photos of Meter Readings
Document your meter readings for gas, electricity, or any other utilities you’re provided with. Take and save pictures for future reference in case of disputes.
Hire a Professional Mover
There is no denying that handling every aspect of your move by yourself is one of the cheapest ways to move. Though tedious, it saves you some cash. However, in addition to helping with the physical aspects of your move, moving companies can also assist you with utility tasks.
Some areas require skilled expertise, like disconnecting, activating, installing, and reconnecting utilities. In that case, hire long-distance movers to accompany you during your move to aid in such services. It’s an effective way if the utility company has no available expert to assign you for that particular utility requirement task.
When hiring a mover, make sure to follow these steps:
- Research the moving companies. Look for those with a good track record, a high review rating(4.5 and above), and positive reviews for long-distance moves.
- Request an accurate estimate. Reach out to multiple moving companies and request quotes. Ensure they are well-detailed with no hidden charges.
- Check insurance coverage. Inquire and verify the company’s insurance coverage.
- Conduct background checks. Lastly, check and ask for any complaints or pending issues with regulatory authorities.
In the intricate endeavor of long-distance moving, the significance of addressing utility transfer and change of address cannot be overstated. Meticulous planning and proactive communication are fundamental for a worry-free move.
How secure your move? Updating your address prevents disruption after relocation. It is important to transfer your utilities in order to start your new chapter with all your essentials in place. Make the most of our guide and prepare for a smooth transition.