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How to change your address when you move

Profile picture of Tom Rains
by Tom Rains ConsumerAffairs Research Team
pile of mail on desk

People have a million things on their to-do lists when they move. One of these is changing their address. We’ve compiled a list of the 10 necessary steps to take when updating your address, from notifying the post office to changing your driver’s license.

10 steps to change your address when you move

  1. Change address with USPS: To change your mailing address, visit the official U.S. Postal Service website or call 1-800-ASK-USPS. If you want to change your address in person, visit your local post office and ask for Form 3575. One benefit of changing your address in person is that the USPS waives the $1.05 change fee. After your mailing address is updated, the USPS forwards any mail sent to your old address with your name on it to your new address. This automatic change continues for 12 months, which gives you a long grace period for delayed address updates.
  2. Change address for DMV: To make sure your license and registration are updated, contact the agency in charge of regulating motor vehicles in your state. States have different requirements for when residents need to update their license and registration. Some allow 90 days, but others want immediate updates. For more information, visit your state government’s website.
  3. Change address for bill pay: Because there can be a delay when companies process an address update, it's best to update mailing and billing addresses a week before your move. Whether you pay bills by mail or automatically online, it's essential to update your mailing and billing address. Review your credit card statements to see where you've used your card recently to make sure every company and payment is covered. You can update your mailing and billing address directly with the relevant companies, including:
    • Online retailers like Amazon
    • Gas, electric and other utilities
    • Cable and internet providers
    • Homeowners insurance, renters insurance and other insurance providers
    • Crowdfunding sites
    • Subscription sites
    • Dentists and doctors
    • Organization, clubs and charities
  4. Change address with Social Security Administration: If you receive Social Security payments in the mail, you must notify the government of a change in address. The official Social Security page on address changes is clear and helpful. It's easiest to change your address through a Social Security account online, but you can also do it over the phone or in person at a Social Security office.
  5. Change address with IRS: Changing an address with the IRS is simpler than you might expect. To notify the IRS, fill out its official form for address changes. Be sure to notify your state’s department of revenue, as well.
  6. Change address for voting: A change of address is a common reason for a voter registration update. Use the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s form to update your voter registration information. Make sure to read your state’s specific guidelines on how to complete this update.
  7. Change address with bank: You need to change your address with your bank so your statements and important information go to your new home. Call your bank's customer service line, visit its website or stop by a local branch to see how to change your address.
  8. Change address for credit card: There are three ways to update your address with your credit card company.
    • Log in to your online account and change the address.
    • Call the customer service line.
    • Make the change on a mail-in payment form — these typically have space for address changes on the back.
  9. Change magazine address: To change the address for magazines you receive, visit the magazine’s website. The magazine will need your account number, usually listed on the mailing label. Several publications also take address changes over the phone.
  10. Change your address on Google: Most people take for granted that Google Maps knows where their "home" address is. To update this address, sign in to Google Maps. Click the Menu option, then "Your places," then "Labeled." Choose Home to update that address. Check out Google's online help center if you get stuck.

Change of address FAQ

What do I need to change my address?
The most important thing to have when changing your address is a full list of all the places it needs to be changed. Our 10-step list covers the basics for most people.
Do you have to change your address when you move?
Yes. If you don’t change your address, your old mail will be sent to the wrong address, including sensitive materials. It’s your job to inform the proper government agencies, companies and organizations when you move. Many states have a grace period of only 30 days for residents to update their driver’s license address after moving.
When should I change my address?
It's best to make a mailing address change request seven days before a move. Once you've made your address change with the USPS, it will forward mail to you for 12 months. It's essential to update your address everywhere within 12 months after your move, though it's better to do so earlier.
What do I need to change the address on my driver’s license?
To change an address in person, you need:
  • A change of address form (search “DMV change of address form” for your state on Google)
  • Personal information like your date of birth, driver's license number, new and previous addresses and Social Security number
  • Proof of identification
  • Proof of residence

Most states allow 30 days for address changes after a move, but some allow up to 90 days. Other states require you to change it immediately.

How long does it take for mail to be forwarded to a new address?
Once your mail forwarding request is processed, it can take the USPS up to 10 days to forward new mail to the correct address.

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    Bottom line

    Our step-by-step list explains some of the most important address change notifications to make when you’re moving. Don't forget that your family and friends will want to know your new address, too. If you're still deciding how to move, read our guide on how to choose the best moving companies.

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    Profile picture of Tom Rains
    by Tom Rains ConsumerAffairs Research Team

    Tom Rains graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2014 with a master’s degree in Professional Writing. Tom’s passion for delivering quality content fuels him to provide consumers with accurate, well-researched information on major life purchases.