There are a lot of important personal contacts, as well as government authorities, that need to be notified of your new address when you move. Sure, you can try to change all those contacts yourself, but that’s a lot of time spent — and it’s very easy to miss a few along the way. How can you be sure you won’t miss important communications that come in the mail, whether from your bank, your employer, or maybe the IRS?
The federal government has requirements outlining how quickly you’ll need to declare your address change. While these rules don’t vary by state, each state’s DMV may have different requirements on the documentation you’ll need to present and the procedures through which you’ll need to obtain a valid, updated government ID. So that you don’t miss any steps, here’s a thorough guide on how to change your address when you move.
Notify the post office
Updating your address for mail delivery is as simple as notifying the United States Postal Service (USPS) via the internet. Head to this page on the USPS website to file your new address for mail forwarding. Doing so will allow USPS to deliver your mail to your new address for 12 months (or 60 days for periodicals and magazines). USPS may also offer you coupons to department and furniture stores so that you can save money on decorating your new home and buying everything you need to make it properly functional. No matter what, do not pay a separate company or third-party to change your address. The USPS does not contract outside parties to conduct this service.
Notify your banks, credit cards, and monthly billing accounts
Filing an official address change with USPS does not alert your banks, credit cards, and any other organizations to whom you pay bills by mail. You’ll need to manually update your address on all your accounts, which you should easily be able to do from inside each account’s online settings portal. You can find a super comprehensive checklist of everyone whom you should notify of your address change here.
Go to the DMV for your new ID
Once you’ve moved, you’ll be required to get a new ID that reflects your current address within seven to 30 days of your move, depending on your state. If you’re moving within your state, you’ll likely just need to request an address update card or sticker that costs no money to obtain. If you’re moving out of state, you’ll need to bring certain documents with you to your local DMV to obtain a valid state ID. Use this DMV checklist to guide you through the process.
Register to vote
A final, bulletproof method for changing your address when you move is registering to vote at your new address (especially if you’re moving out of state). In 38 states and Washington, D.C., you can register to vote online. Click here to get started, whether your state allows to you register to vote online or not. If not, you’ll be told how to mail in your registration forms and change your address in the process. You can also update your voting address when you change your address via USPS as instructed above.
Make the change!
Changing your address when you move is a process less daunting than it seems on the surface. Make sure to alert USPS ahead of time and then change your address everywhere else once you’re fully moved. If you follow the steps above, you shouldn’t experience any disruptions in your mail delivery and other services.