The Complete Guide to Changing Your Address

By: Nik Watson Last Updated: Jun 19, 2024

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It’s easy to forget to change your address in the chaos of moving, so here’s everything you need to know so you don’t miss anything important.

The Complete Guide to Changing Your Address

Moving day is right around the corner, and there’s so much to consider from hiring a moving company to how to pack properly. But, don’t forget to share your change of address with the relevant parties, like the bank and utility companies.

You don’t want important documents showing up at the wrong house for months on end, so here’s a checklist of who to notify and how to notify them when the time comes.

Before the Move

1. Timing Your Address Change

Think of this as a warm-up before the big move. The sweet spot is about four weeks out from when you move. This gives you plenty of time to notify every relevant party about your big relocation.

2. Mail Delivery

If you’re changing zip codes, your mail will not make the journey with you. To keep your mail up to date with your new address, go into the post office before moving and update your address.

3. Forward Your Mail

Last but not least, forward your mail to your new home. It’s as easy as driving to the post office or updating your address online.

Who To Notify

1. The U.S. Postal Service

Use a quick online change of address form to ensure your mail follows you from one place to another. Your mail will be forwarded for up to a year.

2. Tax agencies

Don’t let the IRS miss sending you a tax return. Update your address with Form 8822. While you’re at it, linking your bank account for electronic returns might make things a little easier.

3. Social Security Administration

If you’re on the receiving end of government benefits like Social Security, you’ll definitely need to update your address here. The Social Security Administration makes a free online form for a hassle-free update. Other forms like retirement, disability, and Medicare will need to be updated too.

4. DMV

Everyone’s favorite place to hang out. Jokes aside, you’ve got a 30-day window to update your address here after moving, even if it’s just across the street. If you’re moving out of state, you might need to update your vehicle registration too. Don’t wait hours in line, book an appointment before and have all your paperwork ready.

5. Utilities

Update your utility address at least a month before the move to ensure your new place is powered, watered, and ready on day one. Many utility companies require a simple phone call or an online form to change your address. Some essential utilities to consider are home security, water, gas, electricity, sewage, and garbage.

6. Phone, cable, and internet providers

For those working from home or anyone who plans to binge-watch their way through unpacking, make sure your cable and internet are ready to go. Aim for a setup one or two days before you move in.

7. Homeowners’ or renters insurance

Before you pack your first box, give a call to your insurance providers – home, renters, car, life, and medical. They’ll help make sure you’re covered from the moment you step into your new place. Also, check if you need some extra coverage during the move if anything unexpected happens.

8. Your employer

Keep your currency employers in the loop of your moving situation. This ensures all your hard-earned paperwork (i.e. tax documents) finds its way to your new mailbox.

9. Your bank and credit card company

To guard against identity theft, don’t forget to update your address with banks and credit card companies. With mail theft more prevalent than ever these days, keeping your address updated is key for your financial institutions. Some key financial institutions include banks, credit card companies, lenders, investment accounts, and tax preparation services.

10. Magazines and subscription services

Don’t leave your subscriptions hanging. Update your address to keep everything from your favorite reads to your snacks coming without a hitch. Some subscriptions to note are Amazon Prime, streaming services, print newspapers, or food services.

11. Apps and Online Shopping

Imagine you’re in a rush, and your trusted navigation app sends you on a nostalgic trip to your old home. Not ideal, right? To avoid any unexpected detours down memory lane, update your home address on all your go-to apps when you move in.

Similar to your apps, you don’t want clothes or newly bought items being sent to your old address, so make sure to update these too.

12. Medical Services

Your doctors and medical specialists need to know about your change in address in case of any injuries. This includes anyone from your primary care physician to your pet’s veterinarian because they need their checkups too!

After the Move

1. Confirm All Parties are Notified

Go through the checklist of contacts, institutions, and services to make sure everyone’s got your new address. A good sign you’ve got everything covered is when mail and updates start arriving at your new doorstep, not your old one.

2. Important Documents

Your important documents like your passport and any legal papers need a refresh too.

3. Voting

If you’ve moved to a new city or state, re-registering to vote is an important step in becoming one with your community. Plus, it’s a great excuse to meet your neighbors and complain about potholes together.

4. Social Media

Don’t forget your digital footprint. Update your address on social media and professional networks. This can open doors to new connections and opportunities in your new area.


You can either go to the post office in person and request the Mover’s guide packet or fill out the form online.

Two weeks before moving day.

Either the mail carrier will take your mail back to the post office, or your mail will be forwarded if a new address is on file.

Mail forwarding for a permanent change of address will last for 12 months.

Checklist Complete

And there you have it. With this guide, you’re all set to make sure nothing gets left behind, not your mail, not your services, just your old address. Moving is more than packing boxes; it’s about ensuring your whole life makes the move with you. By ticking off this checklist, you can relax knowing everything from your magazine subscriptions to your tax documents will find their way to your new home.

So, as you settle into your new space, take comfort in knowing you’ve covered all the bases. Now, when you order that celebratory pizza, it’ll arrive at the right doorstep, not the old one.