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How to Change Your Address

How to Change Your Address

Moving is one of the most stressful events in a person's life. Even when professional movers get involved, nothing guarantees a safe property transfer to a new location. Careless movers could damage items in the chaos, furniture mysteriously scratched, or entire boxes of memories may vanish.

For this reason, do-it-yourself movers rely on family and friends, there is accountability in those relationships but no insurance. When moving day finally comes, it's all hands on deck. Moving from an apartment may take only a few hours, while moving from one house to another may take much longer. Everyone will likely be exhausted no matter how much labor the move involves.

The work doesn't stop once the last box is unloaded, however. In many cases, the easiest part is the physical labor, what comes after may be more challenging. Those who plan for the changes will have an easier time implementing a change of address; guidance can be found below for everyone else.

How to Change Your Address

It's easy to change mailing addresses, but may be time-consuming. The time cost is not due to complicated processes but how many changes must be requested. Additionally, some people may need to pay for the change; this is the case for those changing their address with postal services online. The cost doesn't come from the information alteration but is used to mitigate fraud opportunities through identification authorization.

Consumers can primarily fulfill address changes online. Depending on the entity and industry standards, requesting a change of address may take minutes or days to receive confirmation. For example, some Universities require in-person requests so office workers can verify the request is from the right person. Sometimes, individuals can request the change online through the associated account. Amazon is one of these, where users enter their account settings and change the information quickly. With all these nuances in mind, where do we start?

How to Do a Change of Address Based on Industry

Start changing your address by first making a list of known occurrences. List all institutions needing your new address, then consider lesser entities. For example, the postal services are a common first choice. Following this, add the IRS and any collection agencies to the checklist; they are vital because missing a letter or notification from these entities could spell future financial problems. Another critical entity to notify is the local Department of Motor Vehicles. Since they send registration renewals and tag notifications, no vehicle owner can risk missing their correspondence. Notifying the utilities and service providers is also vital; if these get skipped, there may be a lapse in services or additional bills incurred over non-response.

Utilities aren't the only entities with repercussions for not requesting an address change. Banking, credit, and loan services are all sensitive to the information. Financial entities will often have consequences for not notifying them of the change. Likewise, individuals must notify subscription services of the changes. Otherwise, they will continue to deliver services to the old location. Then, there are also minor instances of necessary address changes; individuals should review dog tags, luggage return addresses, and even devices for an updated location. Consider what entities require your address, and add them all to the checklist alongside our suggestions:

  • Postal services (USPS or private)
  • IRS and collection agencies
  • Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Utilities (of both locations)
  • Financial Institutions (bank, credit, loans)
  • Subscription services (magazines, packages, deliveries)

Mail Service Providers

Mail Service Providers

At least a week before moving day, notify the local post offices of the change. Notifying them before the moving day is essential because processing the request through their systems takes time.

  • Go to USPS's Change of Address page to complete the process online; this process is fast but requires a $1.10 fee at its conclusion.
  • From the options, select the party changing their address; the "family" option will only work for those with the same last name.
  • When the address change is accepted, the post office automatically forwards applicable mail to the new location for 12 months. After this, the request disappears, and the new address is considered "permanent".

This permanent change isn't the only option available, however. USPS also offers solutions for temporary address changes. These temporary changes forward mail to a specific location for a set period; this can be helpful when housing situations are fluid. The downside is that packages and marketing materials do not forward during this period.

Tax Agencies and Social Security Administrations

Everyone must notify the IRS of any change of address, but most people can do this through their methods or the Department of Revenue. At the same time, the Social Security Administration must be notified, especially by those using unemployment. The consequences of not notifying these entities are extreme, as fines can follow on a daily or monthly occurrence.

Those depending on disability, retirement, or survivor benefits must also take caution in completing the address change on time. If the IRS or SSA is not told beforehand, applied services may lapse; worse yet, the services could be sent to the wrong location, opening you up for potential fraud.

  • Start this process by notifying the IRS; as with all IRS interactions, you'll mail the information to their offices.
  • The necessary form is number 8822 and should be finished before printing and mailing (don't forget your signature).
  • When addressing the letter, pay special attention to the "Where to File" section on the second page of the form.

Also, consider updating your voter information with the local election offices. The updated credentials will do more than change the party data for an area; the change will also ensure the proper ballots and materials get sent to the correct place. The correct address can help mitigate voter fraud and, even better, ensure you can participate in democracy.

Department of Motor Vehicles

Changing your address with the DMV may be challenging, depending on the circumstances. Those moving within the state won't have to register their vehicles again, but they'll still need to notify the department. Conversely, those moving outside or to another state must register their vehicles and change their address.

The timeline for vehicle registration depends on the state and its geolocation bylaws. For example, the timeline to register an out-of-state vehicle in Nevada is 60 days, while other states only allow 30. After this, authorities can fine drivers for non-registered cars.

Changing your address with the DMV is a long process because of the materials needed for confirmation. Most individuals must head to the department in person to submit their request, but some locations offer online services. Those heading into the DMV may provide a combination of identity authorizing documents, including:

  • A change of address form from the moved-to-state DMV; for example, moving from Nevada to Utah means obtaining a change of address form from Utah's DMV. The most straightforward way to get this is by searching "[state] DMV change of address".
  • Gather reputable personal details to take to the department; these may include a birth certificate, driver's license, previous addresses, or a social security card.
  • Some locations also require "proof of identification," like a government-issued photo ID or a passport. Use caution when picking these documents as some DMVs will not allow duplicate submissions; i.e., a driver's license may not satisfy multiple criteria.
  • Most DMVs will also require a current "proof of residency," which may come from utility bills or bank statements with the new address listed.

Utility Providers and Services

Utility Providers and Services

Arguably the most important groups to notify of an address change, utility providers require current information to render services. Unlike the DMV, which requires an official proof of residency like a bank statement, individuals can notify services beforehand. Providers can schedule the last and first days of services for both addresses. Those moving across state lines should contact their property manager or realtor.

  • Notify utility providers as early as possible; at least three weeks before the moving date for city-based services like water and sewer and two weeks for household services like cable, internet, and security providers.
  • Register for utilities in the new neighborhood by visiting the associated neighborhood or (Denver, for example) city website; this is also where you can research the presiding HOAs and associated services of the new location.
  • Some water and waste removal services may require verifying documents and a service application. Documents typically include proof of identity and residence.

Additionally, those leaving the state and provider should double-check that the services end on a moving day. Utility systems may accept an address change request without verifying that the services are still needed. In these situations, some people may move across the country only to find Collection's knocking on their door months later. In other words, if you change an address with utilities, ensure the services are appropriately changed.

Banking, Credit, and Loan Services

Financial services are vital to notify of any address change. These institutions have connections to your accounts; many have contracts stipulating a notification of address change. Not complying with these agreements could end with the violator in court or facing enormous fines for breach of contract. Luckily, updating your address for these entities is typically fast and can be completed online or within accredited applications.

  • Log in to the associated account and access that website's version of "Contact Information," "Settings," or "Profile". Find the section with the old address and change it accordingly.
  • Alternatively, individuals could call the organization to request an address change. Depending on the company policy, calling may require additional authorizations.
  • Individuals with student loans from private providers should only need to log into their account and access the mail settings.

After the mail settings change, a corresponding letter may be sent to the new address, reiterating that someone made the change. Other financially involved companies will also need to be contacted or notified. Individuals must notify all financial agencies, including:

  • Credit unions
  • Credit report entities
  • Online money management systems
  • IRA/401K administrators
  • Investment account holders

Who Else Needs to be Notified?

  • Medical and healthcare providers
  • Subscription-based services
  • E-commerce companies with deliverables
  • Delivery or package vendors
  • Organization memberships
  • Employers, associates, and clients

For novices, it may be daunting to change your address. It could involve multiple documents or fees or take weeks for the changes to take hold. If the process gets correctly scheduled, the experience will be smooth (though not necessarily enjoyable). Start the process earlier than you'd think necessary; there will likely be entities you miss on the first iteration of the checklist, which you can add as days pass. Realistically, even if one or two institutions get forgotten, you'll have the chance to go back and correct the information.

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