Last updated on September 21st, 2023 at 10:16 pm
Planning to move? There are several steps to changing your address. Generally speaking, you’ll need to contact the post office, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the IRS, all financial institutions you’re affiliated with, and all of your insurance providers and utility companies.
Note: This list is focused on how to change your address if you’re living in the United States, but the general advice may be broadly applicable in many other countries.
U.S. Postal Service (USPS)
One of the first places to submit a change of address request is with the post office. This can be done online in most cases. Use USPS.com/move and complete the new contact information.
Alternatively, you can go in person to a post office and fill out a change of address form, usually found inside the “Mover’s Guide.”
You’ll also want to request mail forwarding so that any mail sent to the old address is automatically redirected to your new mailing address. This service is free for a limited time after a move.
Other Legal Changes of Address
Besides the post office, there are other government offices that you need to notify of your address change. These include the DMV, the Social Security Administration, the IRS, and sometimes U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Each has different requirements.
Department of Motor Vehicles
Changing your address with the DMV may require an in-person visit, since it may require a new ID card to be created. Check online, however, to see local options.
Laws vary by state in terms of how soon after an address change you’re legally obligated to update your address with the DMV.
If you’re moving to a new state, you’ll need a new ID and/or license. Most of the time, you’ll be able to simply request a new license in the new state, as long as your current driver’s license is still valid.
If you have a commercial driver’s license, check with the DMV where you’ve moved to see whether there are any additional requirements.
Vehicle records such as registration information will also need to be updated while you’re at the DMV.
Getting ID cards switched is a top priority, not only because there are legal requirements to do so, but also because your ID can be used as proof of address.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
If you’re filing your tax return, and it has your old address, you can change it on the return, and that will be sufficient for the IRS to update its records. If you’ve already filed for the year, there’s a change of address form: Form 8822.
Recommended reading: A Step-by-Step Guide to Filing Taxes in the U.S. for the First Time
Social Security Administration (SSA)
This is another address change that can be done online. You likely have an account if you’re receiving any type of Social Security benefits. If you don’t, a “My Social Security” account can be set up online, where you’d include your new address.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
If you’re living in the United States but are not a U.S. citizen, you may need to contact USCIS to change your registered address. You can change your address online if you have an online account. Otherwise, you’ll need to complete Form AR-11.
State and Local Voter Registration
If you’re registered to vote, an address change will be required with the election office. This can also often be done online, but check with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission for more information on the requirements, especially if you’re moving to a different state.
Another important place to change your address is with any banks, credit card companies, or loan providers. Don’t forget about retirement accounts (401k, IRA, brokerage accounts, etc.).
How do you change your address with financial institutions? Most will have online services to make these changes, or you can do it by calling customer service to ask the organization to change your address in its system.
Landlord and Employer
Leave your forwarding address with your landlord, if applicable. This can be especially critical if you are waiting to receive your deposit refund after the rental unit has been inspected.
Also, update your employer. You may be able to do this electronically.
If you’ve worked at more than one employer over the course of the year (or the previous year if you’re moving before filing tax returns), you’ll want to inform previous employers as well. This way, they can get your W-2s sent to the new address.
From a logistical standpoint, utility address changes are critical. This might include services like:
- Landline phone
- Electricity (either change service address OR shut off service in one location and restart with a new service provider in the new location)
- Cell phone
For those that don’t have an online option, or if you have never set up online access, a phone call will usually be required to make the address change. Look at your most recent bill to find more information.
When moving, all types of health insurance will need to be updated with your change of address. If you’re changing states, you may have to change your insurance provider entirely. What is required here will depend on your specific circumstances.
Some pharmacies have multiple locations and may not require any change beyond updating their system, but if they’re not in your new area, you’ll need to determine where you can transfer any prescriptions.
All other types of insurance will need to be updated as well, such as home or renters’ insurance, umbrella insurance, flood insurance, etc.
Moving may mean getting a new policy and possibly new coverage levels or different premiums.
Finally, remember to update your address with all subscription services and online delivery vendors.
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