There are many things to get done when preparing for and executing a move. One of the important things on your list should be notifying the necessary companies and organizations about your address change. People can easily put off the task or let it “fall through the cracks.” Luckily, many places offer the convenient option of updating your address online. Most people prefer this method. They want to avoid having to stumble through a myriad of phone prompts to get to a live person. Updating their address online can also be done at any hour of the day. On the other hand, service phone lines are only open during specified hours. Also, having a detailed list of places to contact helps ensure you’ve covered all your bases.
To Start, When Should I Notify People, Businesses, and Organizations About My Address Change?
The United States Postal Service (USPS) recommends you fill out Change of Address forms thirty days before your expected move date. Also, give yourself enough time to contact key businesses and organizations directly. These may include financial institutions, the Internal Revenue Service, and utility companies, among others. For these types of organizations, contact them directly at least seven days before your expected move date.
Why Do I Need to Contact Businesses and Organizations If I Fill Out a Change of Address Form With the USPS?
The USPS allows you to report a temporary or permanent mailing address change. People can submit the change of address form online for a small fee- currently, $1.05. The fee covers the cost of verifying your identity.It’ll take a bit of time for the change to go through, though. From the effective date or submission date, whichever is later, it’s expected to take seven to ten postal business days for your mailing address to be officially changed. The USPS estimates the “turnaround time,” the time it takes for your mail to be diverted to your new address, to be at least four days.
The USPS will forward your mail to your new address once you complete a change of address form. However, the forwarding service is temporary. The USPS will redirect most pieces to your new location for 12 months. The exception is periodicals, which it forwards for only 60 days. And as mentioned, solely relying on the USPS to forward your mail may delay your receipt of it. You want to receive time-sensitive items as soon as possible.
Bottom line – contact companies and organizations directly to avoid lost or delayed mail and make your address change permanent.
Whether you are establishing, canceling, or transferring service, it’s essential to notify companies about your address change. It is important to do so even if there is no change in your relationship with the company or organization. Here is a comprehensive list of companies and organizations you should plan on contacting about your address change:
- United States Postal Service: Fill out the address change form online or in person. By doing so, the USPS will enter the change into the National Change of Address (NCOA) database. This database is used by some companies/organizations to update their in-house databases periodically.
- Department of Motor Vehicles: DMV address change policies vary from state to state. If you are moving within the same state, getting a new id with your address updated isn’t always necessary. However, keep in mind that some companies use a government-issued id to verify your address, so it’s probably best to update it as soon as possible. Check with your DMV to find out what address change methods are available.
- Internal Revenue Service and State Department of Revenue: Filing an address change form with these agencies is essential, so you don’t miss tax-related correspondence.
- Social Security Administration: Contacting this government agency is particularly important for those who are retired and receiving Social Security benefits.
- Banks, Investment Companies, Credit Card Companies, Other Financial Institutions: You won’t want important information about your assets to end up at the wrong address. Also, these companies, particularly credit card companies, will use your address to verify transactions and your identity.
- Voter Registration: Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to update your voter registration information, especially if it’s an election year. State governments require an updated government-issued id, such as your driver’s license, to verify your identity and address. Be aware that voter registration policies vary by state.
- Utilities: The electricity, gas, and water companies may have been a few of the first places you called to notify of your address change, whether to have final bills forwarded or to transfer/establish service.
- Phone, Cable, Internet Service: Contact these companies just as you would the utility companies.
- Insurance Providers – Home (or Renter’s) and Auto: It’s vital to notify your insurance providers of your address change promptly, so your coverage is not compromised. Address updates may result in a change in rates as well.
- Loan Providers: Whether for personal, auto, or student loans, notifying the loan institution about your address change will help you avoid missed or late payments. And of course, it will ensure all important notices from them will get to you at your new home.
- Home Service Providers: Cancel or update service locations for house cleaners, lawn maintenance, snow removal, and other regular home service providers.
- Individual Service Providers: These include doctors, dentists, and veterinarians, among others. If necessary, be sure to have you and your family’s health records transferred to any new health providers.
- Clubs or Organizations: This category can include a wide variety of businesses or organizations, including shopping clubs (i.e., Costco, Sam’s Club), social groups, and religious organizations.
- Employer: Notify your employer of your address change to avoid missing essential benefits and tax documents.
- Magazine and Subscription Services: Remember, the USPS only forwards periodicals for 60 days. Besides magazines and newspapers, update your address with any subscription services you belong to, such as meal kits, clothing (for example – Stitch Fix), and beauty products (such as Birchbox).
- Online Shopping Sites: For convenience, many of us have our shipping address saved on various shopping sites, including Amazon. Be sure to log in to these sites and change billing and shipping addresses. By doing so, your credit card information will go through smoothly. Also, your purchases will get delivered to the right place – your new home.
- Do Not Mail/Do Not Call Lists: While you’re at it, consider adding your new information to the Do Not Mail and Do Not Call Lists. Doing so will help you reduce the junk mail and telemarketing calls you receive. The Direct Marketing Association maintains the Do Not Mail list. The DMA charges a $2 processing fee to stay on the list for ten years. The federal government is responsible for the Do Not Call list, which is a free service.
- Family and Friends: Take the time to send a quick email letting your family and friends know that you’ve moved. Or you could send out move announcements via mail. Many combine holiday wishes with their move announcement.
This exhaustive list looks overwhelming. But taking the time to report address changes to the necessary companies and organizations will save you from potential issues in the future.
We don’t offer address change notifications as part of our residential move services. However, our services can help you reduce overall move-related stress. Fill out the form on our Contact Us page. Or visit our website to send us a message via our website by clicking on the blue circle in the lower right corner. One of our Move Experts will answer any questions you may have and walk you through the Residential Move Services we offer.