We understand that moving is tiring in and of itself. The trouble of dealing with a change of address added to the anxiety of signing the contract, tidying the house, packing your things, hoping to get everything settled… With so much to stay on top of, some practical things may go unnoticed.
For example, when initiating a move, do you remember to notify all people and organizations that need to know your address? Changing your address is an essential task for receiving important documents, keeping your identity safe, and ensuring the lights are on in your new home. For a successful and safe move, you will need to let everyone from your bank to the government know where you are.
To help, we’ve created a checklist so you don’t forget anyone:
Here is who you should be sure to notify when moving:
It is important to notify your home insurance provider before you move so that your coverage will be active upon your arrival. You’ll also need specific coverage for moving in, as homeowners insurance doesn’t usually cover moving goods.
In addition to home insurance, you also need to notify your provider of:
Failure to notify the insurer(s) can result in policy cancellation and, in more extreme cases, charges of insurance fraud.
The United States Postal Service is responsible for delivering various documents directly to your address. This is a simple notification; you just need to fill out an online change of address form. Thus, your correspondence will be forwarded from your old address to the new address during the period of six months to one year.
Be sure to update your address electronically using Form 8822. If you haven’t already, take this time to link your tax return electronically to a bank account so you can receive money from the IRS instantly.
At least one month before moving, you must communicate the change of address to all service companies that you use. This gives you time for the services to be transferred and to guarantee water and energy supply for your new home.
To help you remember, here are the most common services:
Depending on your location, you can transfer most or all of your services over the phone or online. If you are moving to a new city or state, or even transitioning from a house to an apartment (or vice versa), you will likely need to cancel services and start new contracts.
Change your subscription services address as soon as you move to prevent delivery packages or magazines and catalogs from ending up at the wrong door. It is even more urgent to change your address if you regularly receive deliveries of food or other perishable items.
Don’t forget e-commerces, monthly subscription boxes (i.e. wine club, beauty box), streaming services, newspaper or magazine subscriptions.
Even if your payments are deposited directly into your bank account, you must inform your employer of your change of address to ensure that pay slips, tax forms and the like are sent to the right place.
The bank keeps and takes care of your money. This alone should be enough for you to understand the importance of keeping your bank updated with all your data. But there are other reasons for this– by updating your data, you are protecting yourself from possible fraud with your name, as mail theft is one of the most common forms of identity theft.
Without updating your address, offers for credit cards or product purchases can get into the wrong hands.
Here are some financial institutions you won’t want to miss:
Many of these institutions already allow online address updating if using a secure network.
Department of Traffic
If you drive and have a car, even if the move is within the same state, you must inform your local DMV of your new address. You usually have 30 days to update this information.
If the move is to another state, even a neighboring one, you will likely need to modify your vehicle registration as well.
The traffic department (RMV or DMV) is responsible for other documents, so please take the time to update the following documents:
Save time by making an appointment and having all the necessary documents on hand.
Social Security and other benefits
If you receive government benefits, update your address as soon as you move to continue receiving these payments. The Social Security Administration has an online form to update your information.
Benefits that depend on an updated address to continue receiving include:
Even if you receive benefits through direct deposit, Social Security may stop benefits if they are unable to contact you by mail.
Ever experienced going through a traffic jam because Waze sent you to the old house? Or does Uber never arrive because it is waiting for you at the door of a building that is no longer yours? Avoid address confusion by updating apps in advance, not just when you need it.
Some popular apps you should update with a new home address:
Individual Service Providers
Tell your doctor, dentist, veterinarian, etc. about your new address. If you’re staying in town, they’ll need to know your new address for mailing and billing purposes. If you’re moving to another city or state, they can help you find new service providers.
Friends and Family
Last but not least! People used to send change-of-address cards, but you can just email them your new information.
Even if you don’t know many people in the country, you should send the new address to your friends and family who live in your home country. With this information in hand they may be able to help you if you are in trouble.
Updating your address to everyone who needs to know takes time, we know, but it’s necessary and not a difficult task. What is actually more difficult is tracking down lost, misappropriated, or returned items, having to deal with service cancellations, or paying interest on a bill you never received.
Do it as soon as possible and forget about it! Let your biggest worry be deciding on the new color of your bedroom, which plants you will place on the balcony, and finding a dining table that fits your whole family.
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