When you’re caught up in all of the work that comes with moving, it can be easy to forget some of the logistics. One of the most crucial aspects of organizing a move is to change your address. In order to make an address change seamless, it is important to know who to notify and how to do so. While it may seem like a small detail, changing your address is important to getting settled in a new home or apartment.
The first priority in changing your address should be to inform governmental agencies. A good place to start is with the United States Postal Service. The USPS provides an online service to change your address with just a $1 credit or debit card fee required to prove your identity. By completing this process, all of the mail that used to come to your old address will now be forwarded to your new one. With regards to the IRS, simply write your new address on your next tax return. If you own a motor vehicle, be sure to update your address through your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Specifically, if you are moving across state lines and plan on staying for an extended period you may want a driver’s license from your new state. Another agency to inform of your change of address is your state election office. Even if you move within the same state, you may have moved to a new voting precinct which would make your past voter registration invalid.
Once you have informed the necessary governmental agencies of your address change, you can begin updating billing addresses. If you plan on keeping the same bank, most banks allow you to update your address online. However, if it is necessary, you can also go to a local branch to inform the bank of your change in address. Along with informing your bank, it is vital to update your credit card company. Credit card fraud and theft have become a common threat in recent years. In order to protect yourself, update your address through an online account or call your credit card company. After notifying the appropriate financial institutions of your address change, you can move on to other services. Be sure to contact utility companies, insurance providers, cable companies, and any doctor or dentist’s offices to make them aware of your move.
In addition to informing government agencies and various businesses of your change of address, it is good to update the new resident at your old address. If you follow the advice above, there should be very few problems in receiving mail at your new address. However, pieces of mail may occasionally slip through the cracks. Often, if a new resident does not know a previous renter or owner they will throw away pieces of mail intended for that person. If you move from an apartment, give the landlord your new address and ask that they remind residents to keep any mail intended for a previous renter. If you are selling your house, ask your former neighbors to check your mail for a few months after you move. Once your house is sold, you should give your new address to the buyer so they can forward you any mistaken mail. By giving your new address to the current residents you can avoid losing any significant pieces of mail.
While you are in the process of changing your address, be weary of any services claiming to help change your address. According to a 2013 CNBC article, there are some websites that try to trick customers into paying more than the $1 fee the USPS requires. Giving your new address and credit card number to one of these sites puts you at risk for fraudulent charges or identity theft. Remember, the best way to legally change your address is through the USPS site. If any other site is claiming to help you change your address, it may be a scam.
With all the preparation it takes to move, it is common to overlook certain tasks. While cleaning and packing are key aspects of moving, changing your address is just as crucial. The first step to changing your address is to inform governmental agencies, beginning with the United States Postal Service. Then, you should move on to updating your billing address to receive any paper bills. Finally, it is a good practice to give your new address to the new resident and neighbors at your old address. Changing your address is simple and nearly cost free. Avoid any service that claims to help you change your address, and update it on your own. If you follow these steps, your mail should arrive at your new home in no time!