When you begin planning for a move, you may not think about all of the paperwork involved. In addition to your physical tasks and any closing paperwork you need to secure your new home, you must process a change of address.
Here are some tips:
1. Double Check Your New Address
Before you change your address, you must know your new one. If possible, verify your destination address with official paperwork. This is particularly important if you are moving to a region you’ve never visited. Leaving off a directional marker or your apartment number may guarantee some mail mix-ups.
Additionally, memorize your new zip code as soon as you have it available. This simple knowledge can prevent you from getting directions to the same street address in a different state.
2. Create a List of Organizations to Notify
Once you know your new address, provide an accurate change of address to each of the organizations you deal with, starting with the Postal Service. Change your address with the following organizations:
Bank, creditors, and credit card companies
Clubs, associations, and church congregation
Education providers and employer
Health and dentistry providers
Relevant government offices
As you notify more organizations and people of your address, remember to use common sense. Instead of posting your address publicly, encourage your friends and family to speak to you directly to get your change of address.
3. Include All Members of Your Family
As you work through the process of changing your address, remember to include all members of your family. For example, most government offices ask you to list your spouse’s name and the names of any children moving with you.
Additionally, remember to provide a change of address to your child’s school, your family vet, and other entities who might not always deal with you directly.
Once you arrive at your new home, go over which organizations have received a change of address for you. Remember to update your state ID card or driver’s license to reflect your correct current address within 30 days of your arrival.
4. Provide the New Address on Labels and Tags
Before you begin your physical move, update all your address labels and tags. These items may include any of the following:
“If found” addresses in notebooks, planners, and electronics
Pet identification tags or microchip
Return address stamp or sticker
It is particularly important to use an up-to-date address on anything you’ll carry with you while in transit. For example, changing the tag on your checked baggage takes priority over most other objects.
5. Use Mail Forwarding as a Safeguard
The United States Postal Service provides a mail forwarding option which can help catch mail from any organizations you forgot. The Postal Service will forward to your new address for a full 12 months after your change of address is processed.
If you won’t move directly to your new permanent address, have your mail forwarded to a PO Box or other temporary address.