How to Change Your Address When You Move

By in How-to August 25, 2020

Long-distance moving requires a lot of organization and entails and more than a few changes. From packing to taking care of utilities or just getting used to your new home, there will be plenty of challenges coming up your way.

We have made a guide to show you how to change your address and who to inform about your relocation to a new home, in order to take some of the burden off your shoulders during this stressful period of transition.

Amidst this chaotic period, we often forget some of the essentials such as changing our address after the move.

When Should You Change Your Address?

An address change can be done at any time before you move – when you’re choosing your moving services, or even after when you arrive and settle in. However, the most practical decision would be to do it before, maybe two weeks prior to your relocation, so there is no chance of any important mail getting lost.

When you update it with the United States Postal Service, they will forward your mail for the first six months to your new home, before your new address is processed. The earlier you do this, the better, as there won’t be a big gap between your moving day and the mail forwarding.

You can also use this opportunity to think about and make a list of providers you need to inform about the change. Taking care of it before the move will also help you reduce moving stress and leave you with one thing less on your mind.

an image of a row of black mailboxes
To avoid more work when you arrive at your new home, take care of your information updates before you move.

How to Change Your Address Online?

As mentioned, you will be updating your address with the USPS, and while there are a few ways you can go about this, this one is probably the most time-efficient and practical. You’ll update it via mail and quickly get confirmation on whether your application has been processed or not.

All you will have to do is:

  • Access the official USPS website
  • Fill out the form that they provide with the required personal details
  • Give your valid email and wait for an email in return
  • Pay the identification fee
  • Wait for the confirmation email

This process is very straightforward, but you should be aware of the following just in case:

  • There will be a $1.05 charge to your online account, and you’ll be required to have a valid credit or debit card as well as a valid email. This charge is used as an identity verification method, to avoid fraud and make sure you’re the one making the changes.
  • There is no reason to hire and pay a separate company for this service; this scam method is quite common so you should be cautious. Be careful and always go to the official site to complete this process on your own for just $1.

Save yourself some time and complete the application online. Especially now with the COVID situation, it might be the better and safer option.

an image of a girl typing on the computer
Just follow the instructions, and it will be a piece of cake!

How to Change Your Address in Person?

Updating online is usually the easier option. However, if you’re experiencing issues with your computer or currently don’t have Internet access, we suggest going to your local post office and completing the task in person. Going in person is a more practical way if you’re in a hurry and need to take care of this as soon as possible.

You should request the mover’s guide packet from the personnel in charge. You’ll find everything you need inside.

You should follow these instructions:

  • Go to your local post office
  • Request the packet
  • Complete the PS Form 3575
  • Give the form to the postal worker or drop it into the letter mail slot inside the post office
  • Wait for your confirmation letter (it usually comes within five business days)

While you can’t download the form and complete it at home, you can view it on the USPS site, so you know what type of information is needed to fill out when you get there.

an image of a man writing or signing papers
If your computer is not working properly, go to your local post and do it in person.

Changing Your Address Over the Phone

Changing the address over the phone is another way to avoid going to the post office, especially if you want to adhere to the social distancing rules or won’t have enough time to go out with all of the move preparations such as arranging your moving budget, sorting out boxes and so on. It is also an alternative for filling in everything online if you are not able to access your Internet or computer.

All you need to do is contact this number 1-800-ASK-USPS. You’ll also need to pay the additional $1 verification fee just as if you were updating online.

If you’re unable to visit the post office or have technical difficulties with your computer, this is an excellent option.

an image of a girl talking on the phone
If you’re too busy to go directly, call over the phone.

Change of Address for Your Entire Family

You need to know that the USPS has several different forms, depending on your situation. When you’re relocating by yourself or with a roommate, you will ask for and fill out an individual form. If you’re, for example, relocating an entire business, you will apply for the business form.

However, if you’re relocating with your family, there are a few things that you should know:

  • If everyone in your household moves together and you all share the same last name, you can ask for a family option. This way, the mail will be forwarded to everyone in your household. You’ll also avoid filling out forms for each and every one of your family members.
  • If only a few of your family members are relocating, while others stay at the same house/apartment, you’ll have to fill in the individual forms.
  • If you don’t share the same last name and only some members are relocating, you will have to fill out the individual form as well.

For any further questions that you may have, we suggest checking out the USPS faq page. You’ll find all of the information about the forms there.

an image of a family walking into the sunset
Are you relocating with your family? Here’s what you should know.

How to Cancel Your USPS Update

Imagine you already filled out all of the requirements online and sent the request. However, something falls through, and all of your moving plans are canceled. While this is just a scenario, it’s good to be prepared just in case. If this does happen, you shouldn’t panic. You only require the confirmation code and zip code, fill it in on the site, and you’re good to go. If, by any chance, you lost your confirmation number, it’s not a problem. All you have to do is visit your local office and inform them of your situation.

an image of a hand typing on a computer
You can cancel your modification anytime, no worries!

Who Should You Inform Of Your Address Change?

Make a checklist beforehand of everyone you have to contact and inform, and take a look at our list of the most common recipients.

#1 Government Agencies

You have to inform all federal and state agencies when you move. Here we have created a small list of the more critical contacts:

  • IRS – you have to notify the internal revenue service about the update, especially if you’re expecting a tax refund or some other mail. You’ll find all of the necessary information on their website.
  • SSA – Social Security Administration should be the next agency on your list. If you have social security benefits, you can use their website to fill in your details. If you want to do it in person or over the phone, their contact information is available on the SSA site.
  • State Motor Vehicle Agencies – if you’re planning to move your car to another state and drive, notify your state agency to update your driver’s license and vehicle registrations.
  • State Election Office – you’ll have to notify them to update your voter registration records.

#2 Bank and Credit Card Companies

This one should probably go without saying, but to avoid having your bills sent to the wrong place and having to chase people who now live in your previous home, just so you can pick up your mail is too much of a hassle, so you should inform your banks of your move. You will also have access to your account on your relocation day, which is quite useful in case of an emergency. Additionally, you should update all of your online banks, retirement funds, and investment accounts. Credit card companies also have to be informed. Even though everything is done online nowadays, it is practical to keep them updated in case of important notices. If you have any loyalty programs or credit cards with specific stores, don’t forget to notify them as well.

#3 Your Insurance Companies

You should notify all of your insurance agencies, from health insurance, car insurance, even dental. If you have healthcare through the federal market, you can inform them through their website and just follow their instructions to complete your personal information modification.

#4 Utility Companies

Utilities are the essentials, especially when you just arrive at your new house, so it is a better idea to arrange everything in advance. Similar to creating a moving to-do list to organize your move, you should create a utility list to keep track of your arrangements.

You should notify all of your utility providers before moving and arrange their setup at your new home. Remember to schedule a shut-off on your utilities at your previous place. Preferably do it on a moving day, so you’ll have light and everything you require while packing. By informing them on time, you will regularly receive all of your utility bills at your new home.

an image of a wallet full of credit cards in a man’s back pocket
You have to notify all of your providers.

 Don’t Forget to Notify Additional Services and Your Closest

Suppose you have already contacted the more relevant companies and agencies and finished all of the necessary steps in your relocation process. In that case, it’s time to move on to those that usually get forgotten but shouldn’t.

#1 Online Shopping Sites You Use

Sometimes, out of habit, we just click the buy button without checking if our personal info is correct. You should go site by site, at least those you frequent the most, and modify your info. It will save you the trouble of awkwardly contacting a random person and asking if they received your package by mistake.

#2 Magazines and Subscriptions

If you’re subscribed to any magazine or some other subscription service, you should inform them via mail or contact them directly by phone to know you moved house.

#3 Your Friends and Family

Finally, don’t forget those that surround you and make your life happy. Give your new contact information to all of your friends and family so that they could visit you anytime! Sometimes while in chaos with the move and responsibilities, we often forget about them. Don’t be that person, call your friends up!

an image of two girls creating a heart sign with their hands
Don’t forget to share with your loved ones!

Local or Long-Distance, Relocation Is Always Easier With Professional Help

Long-distance moving is always draining, and you’ll be swamped with a million and one responsibility. Finding the right moving and packing services, but also moving insurance and a storage unit, cleaning your new home, and so on. So why not make your load a little easier? We hope that our guide will be useful and help you avoid any complications in your move and paperwork, so you can dedicate your time to getting the things you need for your apartment. Good luck and best wishes!