Change of Address Checklist When Moving: Who to Tell When Moving
Table of Contents
- Who to Notify When Moving?
- How to Change Addresses When Making a Temporary Move?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
It would not be an exaggeration to say that when you’re in the middle of swapping homes, you normally have your hands full. There is so much to do ahead of moving day with so little time that it can feel like you’re getting pulled in all directions.
To avoid getting stretched too thin, you really don’t want to bite on more to-do’s as what this does is lead to moving stress (or exacerbate the same).
Relocating, though, is a bit of a science. While the concern is more on the actual items being moved and the heavy lifting that will be involved, it is in the humble chore of list creation that every successful move is founded upon. Get this part right and you’ve already set yourself up for a more seamless, less stressful experience.
An extensive moving checklist ensures nothing escapes your attention, and perhaps no list ensures you cover all bases better than a changing address checklist.
A detailed change of address list is more than just taking care of the utilities and postal service, though. There is a sizable bunch of entities you need to get in touch with which makes the checklist for change of address a centerpiece of your relocation plans.
This calls for a pen and piece of paper, literally; bonus points if it’s lined. Of course, a digital checklist maker will work too if that’s more your kind of thing.
Who to Notify When Moving?
As with any other moving checklist, drafting a checklist for change of address is all about getting your ducks in a row. You need to contact a plethora of parties to facilitate a smooth transition from your current home to the new one.
Below is a complete list of everyone you need to reach out to when moving house.
1. Government Agencies.
Government agencies should be the first port of call when notifying respective parties of your upcoming move. They include the following:
- Postal services
The USPS is a good place to start making your address change as this is the only way to ensure you don’t miss any mail dispatched to you.
Changing your postal address can be done online through the US Postal Service portal or physically if you prefer swinging by your local post office in person.
It’s important to be careful with the details when changing addresses. Keep in mind that the postal service will only forward mail that matches your first and last names to your new address. If you intend to have mail forwarded to an alias or nickname, you need to complete a separate form for each respective moniker.
- Social security
When making moving address changes, you also don’t want to forget to notify the SSA if you are a recipient of social security benefits. You can do this by calling the SSA directly (Tel: (800) 772-1213) or updating contact information online through your SSA Account.
This is the same number you can call if you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or if you do not have a US mailing address. The alternative is to get in touch with your local SSA office.
In the absence of an SSA account, you can register for one and furnish them with the correct address.
- State tax agency
Tax problems are the last issue anyone wants to be dealing with. To avoid finding yourself in a pickle, make sure to notify the tax agencies at both the federal and state level when changing addresses.
Most state tax agencies have an online provision that allows you to update your change of residence, whether that be through direct online updating or downloading forms which you can fill out and send to the agency by mail.
The Internal Revenue Service also allows for different ways to make address changes for moving.
For one, you can call and share your old and new addresses, providing your full official name, date of birth, and SSN (or ITIN or EIN). Alternatively, you can send the aforementioned info by mail alongside a signed written statement addressed to the IRS.
As well, you can opt to download Form 8822 (8822-B if you’re changing your business address), fill it out and then drop it off at the appropriate IRS office. Or simply do it when filing your next tax returns.
Notifying the IRS about your address change when moving is not just about staying out of trouble with Uncle Sam. If the tax agency does not have your updated address details, it also means you cannot receive tax refunds (or stimulus checks) that you qualify for.
- Voter registration
The decision to vote is optional, but you don’t want to be scampering last-minute worrying about your voting district or polling station. Unless, of course, you’re in one of the 22 states that currently allow for voter registration on Election Day (Washington D.C. included).
It never hurts to get some of these things out of the way early, though, and what better time to do that than when creating your changing address checklist? Updating voter registration is easy as cake.
You can do it by mail by downloading and completing the National Mail Voter Registration Form, before mailing the form to your state or local election office. You can also do it in person at your state or local election office if you fancy (or the local DMV office in your destination state).
Alternatively, you can use the online option through your state’s election website, but note that there are a handful of states that do not allow for online voter registration.
- Vehicle registration
Whenever you move house, it is a requirement by the DMV to report your change of address within a 30-day window. This doesn’t only apply when you’re moving from NYC to Chicago, or California to North Carolina – the clause applies even when moving within the same city.
The good thing is that this can be conveniently done at a local DMV office provided you have the right documents with you (think driver’s license, vehicle registration, passport, and voter registration).
If you are relocating between states, you will need to re-register the vehicle in your new state.
When drafting your changing address checklist, there are a few employment-related parties that should stay au fait with regard to your address change when moving, whether you’re hopping between companies or sticking with the same establishment.
If you’re switching jobs, it is best practice to communicate about your change of address with your former employer.
This means should the employer need to mail any important documents such as tax forms or pay stubs to you, they will arrive at the right address.
Moreover, if you’re moving for work reasons, you also want to know if the employer offers a job relocation package to help employees offset the costs of moving.
- National insurance
Your national insurance number is central to your relationship with the government, but other entities such as the HMRC and DVLA (not to mention your employer) also find it useful.
As such, make sure to update your national insurance information ahead of your move.
3. Subscriptions and Memberships
Obviously, you have signed up for a host of services over the course of your sojourn at your current.
When you make a change of address when moving, you’ll need to update your details with the slew of vendors you are subscribed to. Or cancel the membership entirely.
- Clubs & societies
This is easy to overlook, but when creating your changing address checklist, remember to notify any organizations or clubs that you have a membership with of your change of residence.
Retail clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club are virtually everywhere, and by keeping your address updated with them, you don’t have to fret when you want to stock up post-move.
Unless you are faithful to a certain gym or health club with a national footprint or presence in your destination city/state, there is no point holding on to your membership if you’re moving long-distance.
Unless, obviously, you were on a lengthy membership plan that still has months to go. If not, consider canceling your subscription in advance.
- Newspaper / Magazine
Are you registered for any newspaper or magazine deliveries? Give them address change notifications ahead of the move.
Member of any charity? You also need to include them in your changing address checklist so that any mails directed your way are sure to find you.
- Religious institutions
If you’re an active member of any religious institution, don’t forget to update your mail address when changing addresses or, if applicable, cancel your membership entirely.
The critical nature of the myriad utilities that keep our lives moving means these are often the first thing we think about when creating a changing address checklist.
And rightly so. Without any of these basic services, settling in your new home can be hugely inconvenient; if not a total pain. Not only is it important to switch over your utilities days ahead of your move, but you may also want to double-check with the providers if each respective service is up and running before moving in.
When it comes to utilities, however, you need to check with your landlord, property manager, or realtor first as to who is responsible for them.
The Internet may be considered a core utility in every home today, but it’s not as critical as some utilities like water and electricity, although some may swear otherwise.
Still, you want to find the Internet up and working as it should after moving house; which is why you should talk to your Internet Service Provider with respect to updating addresses.
Find out whether you need to terminate your arrangement with the provider or if there is an option to transfer the service to your new address (if you like it, that is).
With most people relying on mobile phones these days, this is not as critical as it once was way back when. However, if you expect to switch phone numbers when changing addresses, you don’t want the new number off the grid for long after relocating.
As with landlines, not everyone is a cable/satellite subscriber these days. If you are, though, you need to make a decision on whether you want to terminate or carry over the service in your new home when you change cities.
No matter your plan, you need to talk to your providers to update your details for billing purposes.
If you’ll be terminating service, you don’t want to be paying for services you will not be using. And if you need to transfer or initiate service at your new place, you also want to know you’re paying for a service that works.
In the case of the latter, check whether there will be a need for the installation of a new satellite dish or cable before updating your details with the provider.
When moving, it is always a good idea to take readings of your current gas reading (same case with electricity and water) on the actual day of the move.
This is to not only send the provider the most current readings, but also for future records to avoid any surprises down the road. Nobody wants to receive a bill for gas they haven’t used for months, which is why you don’t want to overlook this.
Moreover, relocation time is also an opportune time to compare vendors and shop for the best deal around.
The first thing you should do before transferring your electricity account is to check whether the energy provider allows for the transfer when moving to a new house. Your account type will also determine whether or not you’ll incur fees for terminating early.
That aside, you should also make sure to alert the provider in advance as it takes a bit of time for them to update your details (usually 48 hours).
Water is another key utility you should slot into your changing address checklist to avoid inconveniences when you check into your new residence.
Talk to your water provider about your upcoming move and inform them in advance that you will not be using the utility beyond a certain date.
If the sewer service was part of your responsibility as a tenant, you should get in touch with the sewerage company about terminating the service.
Before you do that, however, you might want to (where applicable) check with your new landlord or property manager first if you’ll be responsible for this utility at your new home.
If so, talk to your current sewer company about the possibility of utility transfer which they should be happy to do if their coverage extends to your destination city. This should help you avoid a lot of unnecessary back and forth.
5. Retail Services/Apps.
With our everyday lives increasingly going digital, chances are you are an active user of a number of the myriad digital services and apps geared towards making our lives more convenient.
These services/apps are strewn across different categories, examples of which include:
- Retail websites
Most Americans – to some extent – do their shopping online, whether that be on Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, or who-not.
It’s important to update your mailing and billing address on these sites (and any other retail platforms you use) to avert the possibility of your personal details (and seasonal offers) falling into the wrong hands.
- Streaming services
Streaming services have become an essential part of entertainment in most homes today.
Remember to update your account details before or after making moving address changes as most streaming services are of a recurring-payment nature.
- Maps Apps
We know, Google Maps, Waze, or Apple Apps are not the first thing you think about when creating a changing address checklist.
But as trivial as it may seem, it’s only when your favorite Maps app leads you down a maze when you’re late for your daily commute that you realize how important it is to update your new address details in advance.
As with Maps apps, don’t forget to include your transportation apps like Uber and Lyft in your checklist for address change to avoid last-minute inconveniences.
6. Financial Services.
Financial services contain your most sensitive information which you cannot afford to take risks with.
Some services to think about include:
- Banks and investment services
A large portion of your goings-on may be done over the Internet, but sometimes financial institutions may find the need to mail confidential documents which could end up at your previous address should you fail to update your details.
- PayPal and other payment services
The likes of PayPal may not send you physical documents per se, but you don’t want to forget to make address updates with them. Reason is because leaving your old address as-is can result in products getting lost during shipping or even declined payments.
When updating addresses, do the same with other payment services you use such as Venmo and Stripe.
- Loan issuers
A loan can feel like an albatross around the neck, but whether it’s Freddie Mac, Sallie Mae, or SoFi, you don’t want to fall behind on the same.
If you’re signed up with any loan providers, you need to keep them in the loop if you plan to change addresses. Good thing is, most loan issuers have an online provision that allows for quick address changes when moving.
Alternatively, you can always call and have them update your address details from their end.
- Credit card companies
Credit makes the world go round, and if you’re like most people, you’ll have one or more credit cards under your name.
Make sure to include your credit card provider(s) in your changing address checklist if you have a house move in the offing.
- Retail credit accounts
If you have credit cards with specific stores, remember to also update your details with them. Loyalty programs too.
- Accountant and tax advisors
Unless you’re an accountant, tax season is the least favorite time of year for a lot of people. If you have a move on the cards, though, you can make filing time a less painful affair by updating your address information well in advance.
This ensures you avoid issues such as lost refunds, unnecessary delays, or even tax audits come crunch time.
When it comes to making address changes when moving, some services may not be as time-sensitive as some entries on this list (although that depends).
However, it pays to get them out of the way now that you’re tackling your changing address checklist to ensure you don’t miss anything.
A list of services to consider when making your address change checklist includes:
If you rely on external parties to run your cleaning errands for you, you need to clue them in on your upcoming move (date included).
If you’re moving within the same area, all you need to do (assuming you’re happy to retain them) is share your new address details with them.
If you’re using NYC, Boston, Florida, or Los Angeles movers to move across states, however, (or any other part of the country for that matter) consider canceling your cleaning service if the provider does not cover the area you’re relocating to.
As with cleaning (above), the same advice applies if you use gardening services.
- Window cleaner
Do you use specialist or professional window cleaners? You may also want to update your details with them when moving house, whether it’s updating addresses or canceling the service altogether.
Your relationship with your accountant is a personal one, so remember to give them a heads-up regarding your move.
In the event they need to mail you any documents at some point, there will be no risk of your personal matters leaking to the wrong eyes.
- Lawyer or solicitor
Your legal representatives should also be in the know when you have a change of address when moving should there be a need to send you anything through the post.
Education institutions are easy to forget about when creating a changing address checklist but that doesn’t mean they are any less important.
Colleges and universities still very much rely on the traditional post, so it’s super important not to overlook them when doing your change address checklist.
The same goes for schools. If you are planning to switch addresses, ensure any schools you’re involved with have your updated addresses.
Obviously, it’s not like you’re likely to forget to inform your local daycare about any address changes you are making. Are you?
Still, it’s nice to double-check that you’ve got that box ticked!
9. Health Care.
There is usually not much communication happening with health care professionals via physical mail, but if that was a detail they needed in the first place, it never hurts to make sure they are up-to-date on the same.
After all, when it comes to information sharing between doctors, some still rely on post as they do email.
A list of health professionals to include in your changing address checklist include:
- general practitioners;
When creating your change of address list, you should also include all those agencies that provide you with insurance coverage.
- Life insurance
Insurance is a sensitive thing, and life insurance even more so. Don’t take anything for granted with respect to notifying your provider of your change of residence.
- Health insurance
When it comes to health insurance, keep in mind that something as small as a typo can lead to denial of claims. For that reason, remember to make address updates with your health insurance provider, even if you’re moving within the same city or state.
- Dental insurance
Dental procedures are not the cheapest, and you don’t want to have a claim denied just because you failed to make your dental insurance provider aware of your change of address.
- Vision insurance
The same advice applies to anyone with vision coverage: make sure the provider is in the know when updating addresses.
- Home insurance or renters insurance
Giving insurance providers address updates when moving house is crucial, but it takes even more importance when it comes to homeowners or renters insurance since you’re – well – changing homes!
That’s particularly so since you want to make sure the policy sufficiently covers you in your new home, whether you own the home or are renting. Plus, in the case of the latter, some property managers or landlords might need proof of transfer ahead of the date of moving in.
- Auto insurance
You might not think you need to notify your car insurance company when changing addresses, but the thing with vehicle insurance is that payment rates are not blanket: your location determines how much you pay.
More than that, the insurance company also needs to have your most up-to-date contact information for claims to be valid in the unfortunate event of an accident.
11. Personal Contacts.
These include friends and family, some of whom likely are aware of (and probably even involved with) the move.
However, consider including contacts outside of your immediate circle in your changing address checklist. The good thing is that it’s fairly convenient to do that these days, thanks to the abundance of digital platforms at your disposal.
If you’re not too enthusiastic about sending out the pigeon, you can always wait to serve the updates over seasonal greetings.
How to Change Addresses When Making a Temporary Move?
Everyone might have different reasons for making a temporary move. By definition, a temporary move basically involves a period of six months or less (15 days to one year to be specific).
During that time, you might want to change your address so any mails directed to you can be forwarded to your current abode. Yes, it is possible to do that, and the USPS facilitates it through a change of address form which you can download from their website.
It allows you to specify the type of move (in this case “temporary”) as well as the mail forwarding and end dates.
A great option for when you’re putting up your property on Airbnb!
Making address changes when moving might be tasking, but the good thing is that most of it can be taken care of from the comforts of home.
Depending on what options the entity in question provides, it is possible to notify them of your impending move and have the address updates made swiftly over the telephone or through online methods such as email or an individual provider’s portal.
We cannot overemphasize the importance of getting this done early enough. Moving preparations can be crazy hectic, so running through your changing address checklist in advance can not only ensure you do not overlook some minor but super-important details, but tying up loose ends like these can also reduce the pressure that comes with a house move.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When Should I Change My Address When Moving?
You can change addresses before your move or right after moving into your new home. However, we recommend changing addresses ahead of moving day to avoid inconveniences like service delays or missed bills.
In an ideal world, you should reach out to the respective parties and notify them of your forthcoming move at least 2 weeks before you move out. In the case of utilities like water, gas, Internet, and electricity, you should specify the dates you want the changes to take effect.
What Do I Need to Change My Address?
The requirements for changing addresses will vary between agencies and providers but generally, you’ll be required to provide some personal details.
These include proof of identity such as your full names, telephone number, driver’s license, and the different account numbers you have with everyone, including medical providers, utility companies, streaming services, and more. You’ll also need your old (current) and new postal addresses, complete with the exact address and zip code of your new home.
Making address changes when moving can be done online, though telephone, by mail, or in person.
How to Change the Address When Temporarily Moving?
A temporary change of address allows your mails to be forwarded from your old mailing address to a new one for a period of up to 6 months, with the option of extending it up to 12 months.
When changing addresses, you’ll have two options to choose from: making a temporary change or a permanent change of address. If you’re only planning to be away for a specific timeframe, you should select the “temporary” option when applying for an address change.
After that period elapses, your address automatically reverts to your original residence.