woman making a list of all the places where she needs to change her address

Change of Address Checklist: The Ultimate Guide to Address Changes During a Move

When you change your address, you have a laundry list of essential moving to-dos to take care of. Moving from one home to another is hectic. But it’s important to remember that a change of address needs to be listed on all of your important accounts and mailing lists. While you probably weren’t looking for another task to add to your moving to-do list, making a checklist of people you should notify when you move is vital. This change of address checklist will remind you what changes to make and how to accomplish them before the move.

What Do I Need for a Change of Address?

Certain documents may be needed to complete your change of address with some companies and important agencies.

When you think of changing your address, the number of people and companies you need to contact can quickly get overwhelming. Having the right documents and information available can make the transition go smoothly. While you might not need information for everyone on the list, here are some common points of information you might need.

Your New Postal Address

This probably seems obvious, but a misspelled word or number out of place can completely change your address. Make sure you have the exact postal address and zip code of your new home.

Account Numbers

Utility companies, medical providers, and streaming services use an account number for the easiest method of identification. Having your numbers available, whether you’re on the phone, online, or at the office, can help make the change quick and painless.

Passwords

You can save time by changing your details online for many accounts. If you don’t have a virtual service keeping up with your passwords, it’s time to dig out the list.

Phone Number

In the past, having your new landline number available could be a challenge. Today, most people depend entirely on mobile phones. If you expect to change your number, you’ll want the new phone number available as soon as possible.

Credit Card Number

If you’re establishing payment methods in a new city, you may need to have a credit card available to set up accounts.

When Should I Change My Address?

Notifying relevant agencies of your change of address will take place over the two weeks leading up to moving day and the days following the move.

You don’t need to wait until after you move to notify important agencies of your updated address. In fact, changing your address early is a critical step in ensuring you’ll be prepared to move into your new home. Use this list to make sure you notify the proper companies on time so your services won’t be interrupted.

Two Months Before the Move

While it’s not time to officially change your address, you’ll need to prepare for the events leading up to the move.

  • Book Your Move. It’s not enough to simply have boxes on hand and be prepared for moving day. Call ahead to make sure your moving company of choice can coordinate with your schedule. Determine whether you’ll need storage facilities in your new city before your arrival.
  • Make a List. Watch your mail, check your email frequently, and dig out your holiday list. The mail you receive is a good reminder of all the subscriptions and mailing lists your address is included on. Your holiday list can help you ensure all of your friends and family are aware of your new mailing address. Build a personal change of address checklist that includes government agencies, local service providers, retail stores and apps, and any other companies that send you mail.
  • Get the Details. Make sure you have the exact details of your new postal address and the correct zip code. This is also when you need to learn what documents and information you’ll need to have to fill out the physical or online moving forms.

One Month Before the Move

  • Gather Information. You will need account numbers, passwords, legal details, and personal details to change your address across different accounts. Gathering the information ahead of time will make change of address forms a breeze.
  • Remove Yourself From Unnecessary Mailing Lists. Receiving less mail will make your change of address easier. As you make your list, remove yourself from mailing lists and subscription services you no longer wish to receive.

Two Weeks Before the Move

  • Contact the United States Postal Service (USPS). Since the postal service will be forwarding your mail, this is the best place to start. It can take some time for the change to be official, so it’s important to avoid waiting until the last minute.
  • Check in With Utility Companies. You don’t want to spend your first night without heat, electricity, or running water. It’s essential to contact local utility companies before you move. If internet is essential, make sure to contact a local provider ahead of time, as well.
  • Get in Touch With Financial Institutions. Your bank and other financial institutions mail documents that include sensitive financial information. A change of address with these organizations is vital to protect yourself against risks of identity theft.

As Soon as Possible After the Move

  • Update Your Driver’s License or State ID. Most states require you to have your address updated on your driver’s license and registration within 30 days. Waiting until the last minute can mean you won’t get an appointment in time.
  • Keep an Eye on Forwarded Mail. As you receive forwarded mail at your new address, you’re likely to realize you’ve forgotten to update your address with a few organizations. Take care of this as you receive mail so it’s not forgotten while you’re unpacking.

Your Change of Address Checklist

Man changing his address on his online subscriptions and services

While snail mail might not be your main form of correspondence, most of your accounts, memberships, and bills have your address on file. Important documents and those with personal and financial information are often received by mail. Completing the proper changes will help you avoid confusion and potential difficulties in the future. Use this change of address checklist to make sure nothing gets left out.

Post Office

Your local post office is a good place to start when you begin to document your address change. The only way you can receive mail at your new address is to set up a mail forward through the U.S. Postal Service. Fill out this simple online form to get it done right away. Mail sent to your old address will be forwarded to your new home for six months to a year.

How Do I Include My Family Members on Change of Address Forms?

The name of everyone who is moving to a new address must be included on your USPS change of address form.

If everyone in your family has the same surname, everyone will be included on one form. Simply include the names of every family member who will be moving to the new residence. If there are members in your family with different surnames, you’ll need a separate form.

How do I change my address for a temporary move?

If you need to live at a new residence for less than a year, you can have your mail forwarded to your new address for a specific amount of time.

There are a variety of reasons you may be temporarily changing residences. Luckily, you can apply for a temporary address change. A temporary address change typically means six months or less. However, you will also have the option to extend the change up to 12 months. This option means your address will automatically revert to your original residence after the specified time.

Government Agencies

Be sure to notify these agencies of your upcoming move:

Internal Revenue Service

You can’t get a tax refund or stimulus check if the IRS doesn’t have your current address on file. You can take care of this online and even link your bank account to your tax return so you can have money owed to you by the IRS sent immediately.

Social Security Administration

If you receive benefits from the government (like disability, retirement, Medicare, survivor benefits, or supplemental security), it’s essential to update your address as soon as you move. Even if you receive payment through direct deposit, benefits will stop if the agency can’t contact you by mail. Fill out the SSA’s simple online form to update your contact information.

State Tax Agency

To change your address with your state tax agency, go to your specific state’s website, and look for directions. Most often, you’ll be able to take care of this online.

DMV

Whether you’re changing states or not, the DMV typically expects you to report your change of address within 30 days of moving (even within the same city). If you’re taking a registered vehicle across state lines for the move, you’ll be required to register your vehicle in your new state, as well. Luckily you can get a lot done while at your local DMV office. Bring the right documents with you and update your address for your driver’s license, vehicle registration, voter registration, and passport.

Voter Registration

Election time is not when you want to figure out where to go vote. Changing your voter registration address will inform you of your voting district and polling location, so you’ll at least know you’re waiting in the right line. You can change your voter registration online or when you visit the DMV.

Change of Address Checklist Pro Tip:

Combine tasks into one trip to take care of your address change quickly. For instance, you can accomplish a lot with one trip to your local DMV office.

Utilities

Moving to a new home only to realize that it will take days to get your utilities turned on isn’t a situation anyone wants to face. Whether you’re moving down the street or across the country, make sure to check into notifying local utility companies of your new address at least a month ahead of moving day.

You may be able to complete your change of address online for many of these companies. If you already have an online account and are remaining in the same area, simply update your account to reflect your new billing address. A move across state lines or a transition from apartment to home will require you to cancel your current utility services and open new accounts.

Common utilities you can expect to change include:

  • Gas and Electric
  • Phone, Cable, and Internet Providers
  • Water/Sewage Department
  • Garbage/Recycling Company
  • Home Security Company

Your Employer

Even if you’re changing jobs, your previous employer should be notified of your new address a couple of weeks before your move. Your previous employer might need to mail important documents to you (like tax information) after you’ve been removed from the HR system. If you’ve been communicating with your new employer at your current address, it’s important to let them know about your new address and your moving date.

Financial Agencies

Mail theft is one of the most common ways identity theft occurs. That’s why it’s vital to ensure you notify all financial institutions of your change of address before the move.

  • Bank: Even if you bank online, you may receive statements, debit cards, and other important financial information in the mail.
  • Credit Card Companies: Even if you use paperless billing and only shop online, your credit card and retail card providers should be notified of your change of address. You don’t want important notices, your updated card, or seasonal offers falling into the wrong hands.
  • PayPal: Payment services like PayPal, Stripe, and Venmo keep your address on file. Defaulting to your old address could lead to declined payments and products lost in shipping.
  • Your IRA/401(k) Administrator: Long-term accounts can be easy to forget. Make sure you update your address to avoid missed memos and other important information.
  • Credit Unions: It’s common to use a bank and credit union for different purposes. If you use a credit union, you need to update your address before moving day.
  • Accountant and Tax Preparer: When tax season arrives, you’ll be glad you took care of this on time. Conflicting addresses on tax forms can lead to unnecessary delays, lost refunds, and even tax audits.

Change of Address Checklist Pro Tip:

Order new checks when you take care of your address change to eliminate an extra step.

Loan Providers

Are you paying for a car? Do you still have a mortgage on your home? Are you paying off a mountain of student loans? While the idea of leaving these responsibilities behind is tempting, it’s not a realistic decision. You’re required to let your lenders know of your move. Taking care of this task ahead of time helps ensure you don’t miss any payments and potentially damage your credit.

Insurance Companies

It’s easy to forget how many insurance policies you need to protect your family and possessions. Insurance coverage can be tricky in the best of situations. Don’t let a simple task leave you underinsured in your time of need. Often, a change of address can be accomplished online or over the phone with the following companies.

  • Health Insurance, Life insurance, and Dental Insurance: A health insurance claim can be denied for something as small as a typo. So, even if you remain in the same state with coverage under the same provider, notify all insurance companies of your address change.
  • Car Insurance: Auto insurance coverage varies from state to state. Even if you remain in the same city, update your auto insurance when you update your driver’s license and registration.
  • Home Insurance or Renters Insurance: Home insurance is only useful if it’s for the right home. You’ll need to notify your home insurance provider of your new address and see if any other coverage changes apply. Whether you rent or buy your home, you may be required to provide proof that you’ve secured home or renter’s insurance.

Change of Address Checklist Pro Tip:

Ask your home or rental insurance provider if your possessions are covered during transit. If not, you might want to consider mover’s insurance to protect against risks during the move.

Online Shopping Sites

Man receiving packages he'd ordered online

Online services are a part of everyday life for most people. Shopping online is likely a convenience you’ll be taking advantage of immediately after you move. If you forget to update your address information for Amazon or eBay, your purchases will go to your old address by default. Luckily, these changes are typically as simple as making an update to your account profile.

Change of Address Checklist Pro Tip:

Your streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have your address on file, too. Make sure to update your address before the move so you can keep streaming without interruption.

Clubs and Organizations

Retail clubs like Sam’s Club and Costco exist practically everywhere. Make sure you include your updated address with these organizations so you’ll be ready to stock up on supplies after the move.

Apps

When you’re in a hurry and Google Maps defaults to your old address, you’ll likely be routed to a long commute. Many types of convenient apps use your home address as a default. If you use these types of apps, take a moment to edit your address before the move.

  • Map Apps: Waze, Google Maps, Apple Maps
  • Transportation Apps: Uber, Lyft
  • Smart Home Apps: TV, thermostat, lights, speakers

Change of Address Checklist Pro Tip:

Don’t forget to change the address in your browser. Auto-fill is only convenient if the right address is associated with your name.

Magazines and Subscriptions

Magazines and subscription boxes are a “set it and forget it” convenience that can be easy to overlook. While the new residents at your previous address might appreciate your Dollar Shave box or favorite monthly magazine subscriptions, take the time to enter in your new address so you receive next month’s box.

Local Service Providers

If you employ local providers to take care of routine services (like housecleaning or lawn care) on your property, you need to advise them of your move ahead of time. If your new address is within the service area, advise companies of your new address and when you expect to be moved in.

Medical Providers

Your doctor, dentist, veterinarian, and other local medical providers need to know about your change of address. Specialists that you see at least once a year like your optometrist, orthodontist, or other medical specialist need to be included on this list, as well. Appointment reminders, bills, and other important information can go unnoticed for weeks or even months when your providers don’t have your current address. Conflicting addresses can also lead to problems with payments and insurance claims.

Change of Address Checklist Pro Tip:

If you’re moving far away, your current medical providers may be able to help with referrals in your new town.

Friends and Family

Your immediate family and closest friends are likely aware of your changing address, and they might even be helping with the details of your move. Still, your circle of relatives and acquaintances goes far beyond those you see on a regular basis, and they should have a spot on your change of address checklist. Luckily, today’s technology makes notifying your friends and family of your move as simple as sending out a mass email. If you’re worried about accidentally snubbing loved ones, use your contact list or holiday list to make sure everyone gets the memo.

5 Tips to Make Changing your Address Easier

Changing your address across all of your accounts can be a cumbersome job, but there are ways to make it easier. Organization is key, so take the time to make a plan and follow it carefully. Filling out address forms in small batches can help you avoid fatigue. Use these tips to make finishing up your change of address checklist the smoothest part of your move.

  1. Create a change of address checklist.
  2. Ensure you have the right address.
  3. Gather information before filling out forms.
  4. Figure out what you can do online.
  5. Take care of multiple things at once.

Moving to a new address is a chaotic experience that can make it easy to forget essential tasks. Creating a streamlined process for your official change of address can make things go more smoothly, especially if you follow this change of address checklist. Remember to start the process early so your first few days of settling in at your new residence are more comfortable and enjoyable.

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