A mailbox in front of a house overlay

How to Change Your Address When You Move Across the Country

Posted in How-to on July 21, 2023

Moving across the country can be an exciting adventure, but it also involves a multitude of tasks to ensure a smooth transition. One crucial aspect of the relocation process is knowing how to change your address when you move. Whether you’re relocating for a new job, starting fresh in a different city, or pursuing new opportunities, updating this crucial piece of information is essential for staying connected and receiving important mail. We’ll guide you through the steps to change your address effectively.

How to change your address when you move? To do so, you need to notify the United States Postal Service (USPS) about your upcoming relocation and file an official request, whether online or in person, at your local post office. Make sure to share the updated information with important institutions, such as banks, government agencies, and subscriptions, to ensure your mail reaches you at your new location.

Why Do You Need to Change the Address When You Move?

One of the crucial things you need to do when relocating to another state is to change your address. By updating it, you ensure that all important documents, bills, and correspondence reach you at your new location. Failing to change your new contact info can lead to missed deliveries, delayed payments, and potential identity theft risks. Moreover, notifying the relevant institutions and service providers helps you maintain seamless communication, ensuring a smooth transition to your new home.

One of the useful relocation tips you can implement is to start notifying institutions about your new place of residence the moment you hire movers for cross-country moving services. Once you hire long-distance movers, you will have a precise date for your move, and you will be able to plan how and when to take this step.

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Updating Your Address With Government Agencies

There are a lot of tasks you need to finish before and after the move, but this is one that shouldn’t be overlooked. But where to change your address when you move? Unfortunately, there is no single place where you can do that to cover all the bases. And one of the places to change your address when you move is in various government agencies.

Some agencies you should inform because of your convenience, like USPS, so you can keep in touch with friends and family and don’t lose any important invitations or cards. While other agencies like DMV and IRS should be informed because of the law and government requirements. Also, there will be a time when you should change your voter registration as well.

Notifying the Postal Service (USPS)

So how do you change your mailing address when you move? To change your mailing contact info, you will first have to pay a visit to the United States Postal Service (USPS). To update your info with the USPS, you have a couple of convenient options.

One way is to visit the USPS website and complete the online Change of Address (COA) form. This simple form allows you to provide your old and new addresses, as well as the date from which you wish to start forwarding your mail. Alternatively, you can visit your local post office and request a paper form to fill out.

Whichever method you choose, make sure to provide accurate information to ensure that your mail reaches your new location promptly. And if you wonder when should I change my address when moving the good rule is to do this a few weeks before your move to allow sufficient time for the forwarding process to take effect.

Letters in a mailbox
You can forward your mail up to 12 months

Updating Your Address With the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

No matter where you decide to live, it’s essential to update your new contact information with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in your new state. Each state has its own specific requirements and procedures for updating your address, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with the process.

Typically, you will need to visit the DMV office in person and provide proof of your new address, such as a lease agreement or a utility bill.

You may also need to update your vehicle registration and obtain a new driver’s license with your new place of residence. By promptly updating your new location with the DMV, you can ensure that your driving records and vehicle documentation are up to date, avoiding any potential legal complications and ensuring a smooth transition to your new state.

USA car plates on a yellow car
You may need to change your car plates as well

Other Agencies You Should Inform

Aside from the USPS and the DMV, there are several other government agencies and institutions that you should inform about your change of location when moving cross country. Here are a few examples:

  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS): Informing the IRS about your change of location ensures that you receive important tax-related correspondence and documents. Use Form 8822 or update your info when filing your annual tax return.
  • Social Security Administration (SSA): If you receive Social Security benefits, it’s crucial to update your new location with the SSA. You can do this by visiting their website or contacting your local SSA office.
  • State and Federal Tax Agencies: In addition to the IRS, you may have state and local tax obligations. Check with your state’s tax agency and update your new information accordingly to ensure you receive any necessary tax notifications or refunds.
  • Medicare and Medicaid: If you’re enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid, make sure to update your new location with these programs. This will ensure that your healthcare information and benefits continue without interruption.
  • Veterans Affairs (VA): If you’re a veteran or receiving benefits from the VA, updating your new location with the VA is crucial. This will ensure that you continue to receive important communications and benefits related to your status.
  • Student Loan Providers: If you have student loans, inform your loan servicers about your change of address. This will ensure that you receive important loan-related correspondence and updates.

Notifying Financial Institutions and Insurance Companies

Another important thing you need to do when planning a cross-country move is to notify financial institutions and insurance companies about your new location. This ensures that your banking and credit card statements, as well as insurance policies, are sent to the correct location.

By promptly updating your info with these entities, you can avoid missing important payment reminders, policy updates, or any potential issues with your accounts. Also, if you plan to ship your car across the country, you will probably have to pick a different insurance plan.

Informing Insurance Providers of Your Address Change

One crucial aspect of moving cross country is updating your information with your insurance providers. This includes various insurance policies, such as auto, home, renters, and health insurance. Contact each insurance company individually, either through their customer service hotline or by visiting their website. Provide them with your updated location and any other relevant information they may require.

One of the benefits of moving to another state is that you can change your health insurance provider, as relocating is considered to be a qualifying life event. Whether you are relocating with kids or alone, you will have around one month after your move to make this change. If you are moving for a job, this should be one of the questions you need to ask your employer.

Person signing a form
Now you have the chance to find a better health insurance plan

Updating Your Address with Service Providers

So how to update your address with various service providers? From gas to electricity to cable and internet, there are so many providers we use in daily life. Make a list of each one and see if there is that same provider in the area you are relocating to.

For example, you can not expect to have the same electricity provider if you are living in LA and plan to relocate to Dallas. In fact, the electricity bill may be cheaper in LA. Either way, some providers may stay the same, but in most cases, you will have to cancel your current ones and switch to another provider.

Average electricity bill
Data about average electricity bills, according to Save On Energy research

Utility Companies and Service Providers

If you wonder how can I change my address with all utility providers in one move, the answer is that there is no way. You will have to call each utility provider and cancel the services or go online and cancel it that way. And since you are relocating to another state, you will have to hire another one at your new location.

Make a good to-do list, and research all the possible utility providers in your selected area. When choosing your next provider, make sure you know all the conditions before signing the contract. Be well informed and have a provider before you move so you don’t end up unpacking in a new home without electricity.

Number of electric utility companies in the USA

Other Important Service Providers

In addition to utility companies, it’s important to notify other service providers. This includes medical providers, such as doctors, dentists, and specialists. Contact each medical provider individually and inform them that you’re leaving.

Similarly, reach out to schools, colleges, and other educational institutions attended by you or your family members. Inform them of your move to ensure that important communications, such as report cards, transcripts, and school-related updates, are sent to the correct location. Do the same with your vet if you are relocating with pets. And most importantly, don’t forget to update your dog’s microchip info.

A white dog
Don't forget to update the info on the microchip of your pet, they are relocating as well

Where to Change Address When You Move? Notifying Personal Contacts and Institutions

Reach out to your close friends, family members, and personal contacts individually and provide them with your new contact details. You can do this through phone calls, text messages, emails, or social media platforms.

Another effective way to notify a larger group of people is by sending out contact info cards or emails. Create personalized cards or emails that include your new location and a warm message. Consider including a reminder to update their own contact lists with your new info. This method allows you to notify multiple contacts at once and ensure that they have your updated information.

Let Cross Country Movers Do the Grunt Work While You Are Changing Your Address

Now that you know what to do when changing address and what the steps involved in making this change are, it’s evident that there are numerous things to take care of during a long-distance move.

From updating your contact information with government agencies and service providers to informing personal contacts, it can feel like an overwhelming process. However, with the help of cross-country movers, you can focus on the important aspects of this task while leaving the heavy lifting to professionals.

By relying on cross-country movers, you can alleviate the burden of physically moving your belongings and focus on completing the essential moving-related tasks. Professional movers can streamline the relocation process, allowing you to navigate administrative responsibilities more efficiently.

When You Learn How to Change Your Address, Your Relocation Will Be Less Stressful

Learning how to change your address is a crucial step in ensuring a smooth and successful relocation. By understanding the process and taking proactive steps to update your personal information with various institutions, you can minimize potential disruptions and alleviate unnecessary stress during your move.

However, navigating the complexities of moving can be overwhelming, especially when coupled with the physical demands of a cross-country move. That’s where the expertise of cross-country movers comes into play.

Take action today and book Cross Country Movers to help you with your upcoming move. By enlisting the cross-county moving services of our professional movers, you can enjoy a less stressful relocation experience and start your new chapter on the right foot.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

When Should I Start Changing My Address Before the Move?

It’s recommended to start changing your address at least a few weeks before your move. This allows sufficient time for the address change to take effect and ensures that your mail and important documents are forwarded to your new location without interruption.

What Documents or Identification Do I Need to Update My Address?

The specific documents or identification required to update your address may vary depending on the institution or agency you’re dealing with. Generally, you will need proof of identity, such as a driver’s license or passport, and proof of residency, such as a lease agreement, utility bill, or bank statement. It’s advisable to check the specific requirements of each institution or agency to ensure you have the necessary documentation.

Can I Change My Address Online for All Government Agencies?

While many government agencies provide online services, not all agencies may offer this convenience. The availability of such online services can vary by agency. It’s best to visit the respective agency’s website or contact their customer service to determine the available methods.

What Happens if I Forget to Update My Address After Moving?

Forgetting to update your info can lead to various complications. You may miss important mail, such as bills, tax documents, or legal notices. Additionally, your personal information may be outdated in official records, causing difficulties in accessing services or benefits. It’s crucial to promptly update your contact information to avoid any potential inconveniences or issues.

Daisy Wilson

Daisy was born in Salt Lake City and in her free time, she writes about moving and watches Charmed.

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