When moving to a new home, many people usually focus on most obvious moving basics such as getting a new apartment, buying boxes and packing supplies, decluttering home or organize a garage sale, packing belongings, and hiring a professional moving company or renting a truck (if it is a DIY move). They do all these and forget to do some other things which they may see as unnecessary or overlook as irrelevant at the moment. What is that important thing usually forgotten when people are moving – changing of address.
If you want to get the right people involved about your new place, it is essential to change your address as you are moving. Apart from this, if you don’t want to encounter associated problems such as service lapsed or missed bills or receiving unused bills at the old apartment, it is better to change your address now rather than later.
Move experts even recommended that you should process your changing of address a few weeks before moving. Whether you are moving to your personal home or a newly rented apartment, to avoid some housing benefits going to your old landlord, you need to change the address now. However, if you are not sure of where to start this process, Moving Feedback has prepared this checklist of change of address to help you through the entire process.
This post will guide you on how to go about it without wasting time or undergoing any hassle. First and foremost, you need to ask yourself some critical questions to guide you in the process.
Who Needs to Know?
Who do you think should know about your move? List them out – though it could belong, this could make the whole process faster and smoother. Take a diary or jotter and list out those important people such as:
- Family and friends you inform.
- Your medical contacts including your doctor, optometrist, gynecologist, and dentist.
- Regular services and contact like housecleaning services, waste management, children’s school, lawn care services, pet sitter, etc.
- Newspapers and magazines.
- Some organizations you belong to.
- Government agencies such as the Internal Revenue Service, and related government organizations.
- Utility service providers.
When do they need to Know?
Another question we expect you should ask yourself is when should you get them informed? Although the expert suggested that people should complete this process (change of address) with the United States Postal Service at least 2 weeks before your move; it is not a bad idea if you submit your change of address (COA) as early as two to three month before your move. The rule is that the COA will send first-class and as well as priority mail to you for twelve months free of charge and your periodicals for sixty days.
While changing address can take a while, starting early enough is beneficial to you. But it is advisable to let your contacts be aware at least 2 weeks before your relocation time. Always go through your list to check who is left uninformed about your move to ensure no one is left out.
How should I notify them of my Change of Address?
The method you can use to notify your people about your change of address depends on a number of factors. One method is to take advantage of the space on your statements and bills and enter your new address. Phone calls to some important people and services on your contact list can also go a long way in reaching your children’s school, employer, colleagues, and others. You can as well make use of postcards from the post office to inform newspapers and magazines and as well as anyone else.
Some people make use of specially designed cards for this purpose. However, many agencies of government in the United States prefer changing their addresses online. To make the work easier for you, let discuss step by step to changing your address when moving.
Steps to Change your Address when Moving
Changing your address from an old house to a new home shouldn’t take you much stress. With these simple steps, you can get it done without wasting time. Ensure you don’t miss a step. Follow below steps to change your address when moving to a new home:
Verify your Address
The first step to change your address is to verify your new address and ensure you get it right. Don’t be too confident about knowing the correct address of the place. Remember, you are new to the area; hence verify very well. To be sure, confirm the address with your realtor or landlord; the correct house-number, and as well as the spellings of the city and street name should be double-checked. If possible, you can get the zip code to make the work easier for you. Find out how your emails are being coded by the post office to give a clue on what you should look for. Verification of your actual address will help you to save time of correcting or changing your address again in the case there is an error.
Decide if it is Temporary or Permanent
Is your move temporary or permanent? While some people move for permanent residential, some move for temporary purposes such as educational purpose or other temporary reasons that may take them a period, say 15 days – 6 months. If you plan to spend summer with a friend or family elsewhere or planning to spend winter at somewhere, a temporary change of address might be a good option for you. Choosing temporary COA allows you to receive periodical and first-class mail forwarded to your temporary address for 15 days to six months. While choosing permanent COA entails permanent changing of your address until you do otherwise.
Keep the Post Office Informed
Whenever you move, it is essential to inform the United States Post Service (USPS). This can be achieved by using any of these methods:
- Submit your request to change address via the internet: To do this, a valid email address will be required to receive confirmation from USPS. You will also need a credit card for verification.
- Change of address by phone: You can as well call 1-800-ASK-USPS to complete a change of address. Credit or debit card will also be required to verify your identity on the phone; so, make it handy before making the call.
- Fill out Form 3575: This is an official mail to order the forwarding change of address. Get it from USPS platform or collect this form from your post office. You are expected to complete the form and mail it two weeks before your move to the official address on the card. With this method, identify verification is not required.
You are free to use any of the methods above and after the process, a move validation letter will be sent to you at your old address if you are still there. Also, within 7 – 10 days of the effective date of COA, you will receive a confirmation letter and other welcome kits to help you at your new location. Other things that will be sent to you include community guide, helpful information, coupon, and special offers.
Cover your Entire Household in your Request
Are you moving alone or with the entire household? It is essential to specify this in your request to the US Post Service to ensure all your household members are covered with one request. Include each of the names involved in the move so their mails too can be forwarded to the new address. However, if some members are moving with you, make sure to specify this by listing only the names that are going. You can select “individual” option as against “family” when you are filling out separate COA form for each person.
Take a Step Further to Inform other Channels
Now, you are assured of your mails coming directly to you and your family. The truth of the matter is that the job is half done. However, you need to take a step further to get other services informed about your change of address. Certainly, there are some bills attached to your address, and if you are moving, you need to update those service providers of your new address. Use below checklist to know if you are still missing something:
When you opened your bank account, there is a column where you filled your address and the bank usually directs your mails such as statements and debit card verification to this address. Your debit card billing address is usually required when you are using your card to shop online. If you are moving away from this address, your bank requires that you update your address. You can do this either online or by visiting the bank in person. You can as well put a call across to their online service agent.
When moving from your present address, it is essential that you notify both the state tax and the federal revenue agencies. For your state tax agency, you can visit their website to get a clue on how to go about it. In the case of IRS, the agency provides an online form you can fill to inform them of your new address. All these you can do in a few minutes.
Magazine and Related Subscriptions
Your magazine, catalog and other related services will feel disappointed discovering you have moved from your usual address without prior notice. Remember, once you subscribed to all these services, your delivery is by proxy. Most of the time, you can easily update this information online, and magazines and catalogs are not different.
Just visit their platform, enter your customers’ ID (this number is normally found inside or on the back of flap – you can check a recent issue) into the change of address (COA) form to effect the changes. On the other hand, you can call the customer care line of the publication to ask for your address to be changed.
Gas and Electric
Gas and electric are those essential utilities you can’t do without using them; hence, you will need to change the address as soon as you ascertain the correct address of the new place you are moving to and the date you are moving there. Failure to do so may subject you to the risk of being without heat and electricity. If you plan and notify the appropriate quarters about the change earlier enough, everything will be effected on the same day; such that shutting off supply at the current location on the last day of your move and activate services at your new home without interruption.
It means you may enjoy services before you leave your current place on the last day (to be off some hours after your leave) and still meet services at your new location without extra charge except your usage.
Your Friends and Family
Mostly, family and friends are fond of checking on you any time even without notice; it is advisable to notify them you have moved. You too should know how you would feel if you just alight at a friend’s place one day and discovered he or she had relocated. It can be painful most times. Don’t let the stress of moving overwhelms you to the point of forgetting to notify your relatives and friends that you had relocated to another address. This shouldn’t take you much time. First make a list of every person to notify and start calling or sending mails to them, indicating your new address. Do this earlier enough to ensure you cover all.
Organizations and Clubs
Are you a member of any club or organization? It is important to inform them of your change of address especially if you are getting a monthly subscription from these organizations or clubs. You should be able to change your address with these groups online. You can as well write them to update your information if it is a small company.
If you are one of those frequent online shoppers, don’t forget to update your address on all these sites. They would not know if you have changed your address and all your orders will be directed to the address you had earlier entered on the site during your first shopping. Most of them use one-click checkout feature and don’t bother ask for your address again once you enter one. So, if change your address, it is important to update it before buying anything in your next visit to the site. This is essential to avoid headaches associated with the wrong address. The update is as simple as going to your profile on the site and makes necessary changes regarding your current address.
Phone, Cable, Internet, and other Utilities
Phone, internet, cable, and key utilities are vital to making the new place comfortable for you and your family. Imagine a day without all those things in your new home – it can be horrible. In the light of the above, it is essential to make arrangements to have all these things running. This can be achieved by notifying your service providers earlier enough of your change of address and the need to perfect all processes before you arrive at your new apartment. You can quickly call them to facilitate these changes. Remember, they would want to know where to send your bills and mails.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does it cost to change address on a service provider site?
An identity validation fee of $1.05 is charged when you make a change of address request online. The system or service provider will verify your card’s details and the issuing bank when you supply its number as well as the billing address. You can fill out PS FORM 3575 gotten from your local Post Office if you don’t want to use your credit card.
It is advisable to beware of third-party websites when it comes to changing of address. There are websites that belong to a third party that charges $40 or more before you can submit your change of address.
There is no agreement or relationship between the Postal Service and these website owners and, sadly, will not be able to offer you any help or get you refunded for any activities outside the USPS site.
You will be responsible for contacting any third-party website owner or your credit card company if anything goes wrong while filling the change of address on a third-party website. Always make use of USPS.com for all activities that require Change of Address.
Can my Mail be forwarded to a Hospital?
You can fill a change of address (COA) to have your mail forwarded to any address of your choice, even a hospital. However, it cannot be done from the hospital back to your home. You just have to cancel the forwarding order to the hospital, and you will start receiving your mail at your home.
What is Online Mover’s Guide?
The mover’s guide is a packet that contains the Change of Address Order known as PS Form 3575, instruction on completing the form, and coupons giving discounts for moving-related services. Mover’s Guide online gives some coupons and special offers for relocating or getting settled into your new home if you decide to fill out your Change of Address request online. Offers can be printed immediately or sent as a text message to your phone.
Is there any difference between Address Changer and U.S. Post Office mail forwarding?
Address changer remains the only website that allows changing of address with more than 8 years of experience changing addresses of those moving from one home to another. This service provider has served more than a million movers during the course of 8 years and have successfully processed many COA requests.
Will my submitted information remain secure and confidential USPS?
It protects your personal information and credit card detail using Secure Socket Layer 128-bit encryption technology and save on a secure internal computer system.
Does my address get updated everywhere when I change it with the USPS?
No, your address on file with others is not affected. It will only ensure your mail is being forwarded to your new mailing address. You will have to notify most of the companies and organizations of your COA. Check the comprehensive change of address checklist when moving in one of our posts to ensure you have covered all your bases.
What is the duration it takes to forward mail by USPS?
Processing of a submitted change of address form will take between seven to ten business days. This implies that you need to submit your filled form seven to ten working days in advance to receive your mail at the new address you’ve moved to.
However, it is advisable to include change of address in your moving checklist with appropriate timing to beat this timeline. You can’t avoid to mix some important mails simply because you moved from home to another.
How does mail forwarding work by the post office?
The post office developed two types of computer programs that help to stay in line with the ever-changing lifestyle of the people in the United States as 17% of its citizens move annually. These programs include:
- Address Management System (AMS): This program places barcodes on all your emails, which indicates the delivery location. A file with these barcodes is with the post office so that they are certain there is no mix up with the addresses given to them.
- Computerized Forwarding System (CFS): This program is in charge of having your mail forwarded to your new address. It takes care of all corrected addresses in the database. A sticker will be attached to your mail, which indicates that it was forwarded by the post office.
How does the postal service know of your move?
The form given to you by the post office for filling contains a part where you will supply the date that you want to start getting your mail at the new address. Receiving your mail at the new place may take some days. This is because processing may take about 10 days for completion. It would be best if you hold on for a week and then notify them of the delay.
How do I file a change of address for an international location?
Submission of a Change of Address online from an international address is not allowed. You will be required to fill out and submit the same change of address form you filled for a nationwide move at the Post Office in your area if you are relocating to a new address in another country.
In the event where you only remember to submit your Change of Address form after moving to an international home, then you can put a letter through to the Post Office in your old United States home as well as the new postal office in your new international address giving them an explanation on the situation.
Give them a clear direction on how and where you need your mail to be sent. The letter should also indicate any possible details requested on the Change of Address form (CPS FORM 3575).
- You will need to contact the postal administration of the foreign country you are moving to if you are filing a Change of Address from the country to the U.S.
Which USPS mail forwarding form do I need to fill?
Before you can start forwarding your mail via USPS, you will need to choose any of the three primary forms:
- Individual: This form only provides coverage for an individual who is relocating from his present location to a new location or many people who are relocating but to different places. So you and your roommate are required to fill separate forms.
However, if you and your roommate share the same last name, you should fill out a single form. If you and your roommate that shares your last name are moving to separate locations, then it is important for both of you to fill out two separate individual COA form.
- Family: A family change of address form is to be filled by a family that shares a similar last name and relocating to the same location. This will enable everyone to receive their mail through the local post office easily.
- Business: Businesses also provide their own forms for change of address. If you are a staff of a certain company and you have the right authorization and permission of the company to forward their mail, you can fill a business Change of Address form to change the entire organization’s address.
Does USPS’ change of address instant?
You can change your address online through www.usps.com or moversguide.usps.com up to 90n days before you move to make sure your mail is received at the new home once you arrive. You will get an instant email confirmation if you submit your order for a change of address online at least a week before your move.
How frequently can you change your address?
The USPS can forward your mail if you are moving temporarily from your current address to a new one for 15 days to a year. You will need to fill out an official USPS COA to get started. It contains questions about the type of move, the start and end date of the mail forwarding, and so on.
How long does it take for a change of address to expire?
A year. United States Postal Service will forward your mail for up to a year for Express Mail, First-Class Mail, and Packages. Magazines and Periodicals are only forwarded for about 60 days.
How do you check if your address has been updated?
Check your Postal Records to see if your address has been changed by paying a visit to your local post office during normal working hours. If you don’t know the right location or business hours, contact support at (800) ASK-USPS or check usps.com. Request the postal clerk to help you check the records and see if there is any change of address history in your name.
What does an official change of address validation mean?
USPS normally sends a validation to your old address as well as the new address when you submit a change of address form. This is to confirm the legitimacy of the change of address request. With this, you will know your request has been received and receiving attention.
Moving to a new home involves many things, and if care is not taken, the process can overwhelm you that can make you forget many things. Change of address (COA) is one of those things you must do if you want everything to go on perfectly. All you need to do to change your address has been discussed extensively in this post. Bring out your checklist and see if you have notified everyone on the list. Stay tuned for more informative posts on