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.
Who Should I Notify?
If you are moving out of state, you'll be required to transfer your driver’s license, change your address, and update your vehicle’s registration and insurance within 10 to 30 days, depending on the state you are relocating to.
How to Change Your Address with the DMV
- If you are moving out of state, we recommend visiting a local DMV as early as possible to inform them of your new address and submit the required paperwork.
- If you are moving within the same state, you can change your address online.
You will have to notify your bank accounts, credit card companies, stockbrokers, and other financial institutions of your new address.
Home or Renters’ Insurance
You should notify your home or renters’ insurance so they know where to transfer the policy. Landlords may also want proof of coverage before your move-in date.
You will want to notify all insurance providers about your relocation, including health insurance, car insurance, and life insurance companies.
Notifying loan providers is also essential, whether it is your student loan or car loan provider.
Medical & Educational Facilities
To successfully transfer you or your children’s academic records, medical records, and prescription medicine, you will want to notify doctors and schools of your relocation and ask for copies of the necessary documentation.
Social Security Administration
If you have Social Security benefits, don’t forget to provide them with your new address.
How to Change Your Address with Social Security
- You can fill out a change of address form and mail it in
- You can contact them via phone
- You can also update your address online if you have an account
The Internal Revenue Service will also need you to notify them of your new home address so that they can mail you your tax return, fiscal notes, and other necessary documentation.
How to Change Your Address with the IRS
- You will need to fill out the change of address form and mail it to the addresses provided
- You can also update your address during your tax filing return, if you move prior to that date
Utilities and Home Services
You’ll also want to notify utilities, such as the gas and electric company, phone, cable, and internet.
Why Is It Important to Change Utilities before a Move
- By informing them as soon as possible, they’ll be able to shut off their services at your old home the day you leave and have the services ready at your new home when you move in.
- This will also ensure that they send the bill to the correct address.
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.
Is There an Easy Way to Change Your Address?
When you change your address, you want to be careful not to cut corners. Forgetting to update your address with your bank, the IRS, or another important organization could have serious consequences, so it's better not to look for an "easy way out." You can make it easier to change your address when you move by handling it early in the moving process, by doing it bit by bit over the course of a few weeks or months, and by keeping a detailed list of what you need to do and what you've already done. Referring back to this blog might be helpful as well!
Choose Our Team for All Your Southern California Moving Needs
With changing your address and handling all the other parts of preparing and organizing for your move, you have enough on your plate. We're here to make things easier. For more moving tips or for help with your upcoming move, get in touch with our moving experts in Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, Burbank, San Diego, Temecula, and beyond! With more than 20 years of experience, the team of professionals at Affordable Quality Moving and Storage can provide the quality service you need to make your move a hassle-free experience.
Contact us online or call (661) 622-2636 to schedule a free in-home estimate!