It’s no secret that moving can be a hectic experience. From packing up your belongings to hashing out schedules with moving companies and preparing your appliances for a move, it is not uncommon for people to get so caught up in the process that they forget one key task: changing their mailing address. Before you settle into your new place, it is important to take the proper steps to ensure your mail will be reaching the correct address.
How Do You Change Your Mailing Address When Moving?
- Notify the Postal Service: Your first step will be to update your address with the United States Postal Service (USPS). The USPS keeps a record of all your past addresses and will automatically reroute all mail to your new address for six months. To update your address, visit the USPS website to submit a Change-of-Address (COA) form or call 1-800-ASK-USPS. You can also visit your local post office to fill out a PS Form 3575.
- Update all bills: Be sure to contact all companies you regularly receive bills from and provide them with your new address. This includes credit cards, department stores, car bills, subscription services, and more. Thankfully, most companies allow you to update this information online to save time.
- Tell your bank: Following the Postal Service and creditors, your bank is the most important party to provide your new address to. This will allow you to verify your address for online shopping and ensure you receive all important bank statements.
- Tell your family and friends: Don’t forget to tell your loved ones that you have moved! Before you move, put together a list of everyone you’d like to notify and send out an email or text including your new address.
- Inform the DMV: Finally, you will want to make sure you inform the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or similar licensing agency and update your driver’s license or state-issued ID. Most states give you 30 days to update your ID after a move before issuing fines for non-compliance.
When Should I Change My Address When Moving?
While there is no concrete answer to this, experts typically recommend changing your address two weeks ahead of your move. It typically takes the USPS approximately 7-10 postal business days to process your request. Getting your form submitted early will also allow time to ensure all your mail is forwarded correctly, which can also help speed up the process with the DMV, as most states require proof of address to be shown before changing a license or ID.
Does All Mail Get Forwarded When You Change Your Address?
When you change your mailing address, most mail sent to the old address will be forwarded for one year.
The following mail will be forwarded to your new address for one year:
- First Class Mail
- Priority Mail
- First Class Packages
However, for marketing materials such as magazines and newspapers, the forwarding time limit is much shorter. The USPS will only forward marketing mail for 60 days, so be sure to update your new address with each company as soon as possible.
How Long Can I Forward My Mail to Another Address?
If you’re moving temporarily, or you’ve chosen to forward your mail to a different address while you are on vacation, your local post office can forward your mail for 15 days up to 6 months. If you need your mail forwarded for a longer time, you will need to extend the temporary forwarding period with the USPS. However, if you’d rather have the post office hold your mail, you can do so for up to 30 days at one time. You can request this service up to 30 days in advance, and as soon as the next delivery day.
What Happens If You Don’t Change Your Address When You Move?
If you don't change your address, not only will you lose mail, which may include urgent bills or important bank statements, but you could also encounter issues with your homeowners' or renters' insurance. Some companies do require documentation of the move to transfer your policy accordingly.
The matter can be further complicated if you are moving out of state. Neglecting to change your out-of-state address can impact your ability to successfully update important information such as tax forms and voter registration. You could also risk being fined by the DMV if you don’t update your address within the state’s specified time frame.
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