How to Change Address
The change of address process made simple
You've hauled the furniture, turned the power on, and more or less unpacked your boxes. Time to deal with one more tedious task -- how to change address?
Good news: The digital age has made this much easier. Bad news: It still takes a little time. So pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and work your way through these change-of-address steps. Those last few boxes can wait...
(photo: kkg, 2011)
1. Get your US mail forwarded
Your first step should be to fill out a change of address form with the United States Post Office. You can do that by going to the nearest post office and filling out the form, or save yourself a trip by submitting it online for a $1 credit charge (to verify your identity).
Once your change of address has been received, expect a confirmation notice from USPS, and mail should start arriving at your new address within 7 to 10 days of when you filed the change of address info.
How long does forwarding last? For most mail, a year. First class, priority & express mail will be forwarded to your new address for 12 months. In months 13-18 after you move, it will be returned to sender with your new address attached. After 18 months, it's returned to sender with no new address, but a reason provided for nondelivery.
2. Change your address with the DMV / on your driver's license
Different states have different requirements for changing the address on your driver's license and vehicle registration. Luckily, there's an online state-by-state resource with the details & how-tos:
3. Change your address with the IRS
According to the IRS, tax refund checks aren't always forwarded by the postal system, so if you're expecting a refund in the mail, get on this one right away.
Submitting the IRS form is the best way to make sure you get all IRS correspondence, including tax forms & other correspondence as well as refunds. An alternative is to wait until you file your tax return and write your new address in the boxes indicated.
Note: If you last filed jointly and you and your spouse have moved into separate residences, you both need to contact the IRS with your new info.
4. Change your address with Social Security
If you receive Social Security retirement, disability or other benefits, you'll want to get this info current asap. Happily, that too can now be done online.
5. Change your address for bill paying
To avoid late fees or other problems, it's best not to rely totally on post office forwarding for credit card and other bills. Paper statements should have an obvious spot for writing in your new address when you next pay. For online / auto-paying bills, you'll need to visit each website to change your address.
6. Change your address for newspaper & magazine subscriptions
USPS only forwards periodicals -- through the change of address system (see step 1) -- for 60 days. So unless you want the new residents at your old address to be enjoying your Vogue or Popular Mechanics soon, better take matters into your own hands. Check out this uber-handy alphabetical magazine link list for changing your address to get it done fast -- no pen required!
7. Tell friends & family you've moved!
Email is, obviously, the quickest, cheapest & easiest way to let everyone know you've moved. But to guarantee their notice will get noticed, some folks opt for an old-school mailing. Luckily, change of address card options have never been cooler. Check out these colorful designs from Tiny Prints...
Or these indie designs from Minted...
Did this how to change address guide help streamline your process? Any more tips to share?