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Blog November 12, 2021

How to Change Your Address When You Move Across the Country

Posted in Moving 101
Jane Davis

Apart from being a freelance writer and moving expert, Jane is also an art and museum lover.

Are you planning on getting cross-country moving services and relocating to another state? Then you should learn how to change your address when you move. You can change it temporarily, permanently, or cancel your request. Let’s see how do you change your mailing address when you move and why it is important.

This is probably one of the things most people often forget to do when long-distance moving, and it’s no wonder. Relocation is extremely stressful and overwhelming, and it’s easy to get lost in the number of tasks you have when relocating to a new state. You have to acquire all the packing supplies, learn useful relocation tips, and get a hold of how to move efficiently. Still, some relocation mistakes can creep in. One of them is not remembering to learn how to update an address and where to do it.

Why Do You Often Slip from Your Mind to Learn How to Change Your Address When You Move?

If you’re relocating to another state alone, or this is your first time working with cross-country movers, the whole process can be too confusing. Regardless of your reasons to move, you’ll have months of preparation if you wish the relocation to be successful. You should figure out how to get a job in a new city, create a household inventory list, and learn how to save on moving costs if you are relocating on a budget.

With all of these tasks, it’s so easy to slip from your mind that you have a magazine being sent to you each month on your current home number and ZIP code or e-commerce websites that have the old info. If you had to deal with learning how to stop getting mail for previous residents, you are aware of the struggle. If you wish to save the next tenants from dealing with your bills, magazines, catalogs, and alike, make sure you remember updating your address.

Relocating is a stressful period in everyone's life, and it's easy to forget things

How to Change Your Address When You Move?

Figuring out the answer to “how can I change my address” is actually one of the first things on the list called what to do when you move to a new state. Even if you are relocating at the last minute and you have to deal with learning how to pack to move in a hurry, you still have to think about changing your home street and number and forwarding your letters to your new destination. So, how to do it?

The easiest and fastest way is to visit the US Post Office website and finish everything online. You will see a form that has to be filled out with your contact information, details about the type of your move, and the date when the mail should start being forwarded.

You will immediately receive an email that will confirm your request. There will be a $1.10 charge for the service you requested as identity verification, and you’ll have to enter a valid credit card number and an email address.

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You Can Update Your Home Number for the Whole Family in the House, for an Individual, or for a Business

When filling out the form, you’ll get to click on who’s relocating and whose house number should be changed. If you choose the option “family,” everyone in the household with the same last name will have their letters forwarded. That can be the case if you have a military move or you are relocating with kids for some other reason.

In case an individual is relocating, for example, if you are headed to one of the best cities for college graduates, you have to mention if you receive letters by more than one name and fill out the form for each name.

As for the businesses, you have to emphasize if the whole business relocates.

Beware of the Scammers

There is one more thing to keep in mind – you could fall victim to a scam company trying to charge you $40 for this service, or even more. If you try an alternative way of changing your home number and someone tries to charge you more than $1.10, don’t agree on those terms. Everything can be finished for just a dollar on the USPS website.

Don't get scammed when paying the fee for updating your house number

You Can Update Your House Number in Person as Well

If you are old-fashioned and don’t prefer doing things online (or it’s just that your internet connection is down,) there are more options. You can simply walk to your local post office and ask them to give you the Mover’s Guide packet. Inside of it is a PS Form 3575 that has to be filled out. When you finish that, give it back to the postal worker or drop it off at the mail slot. You should get the confirmation letter at your updated home number in five business days.

If you need help with updating your house number, ask anyone at your local post office

For Non-Permanent Relocations, There’s an Option for a Temporary Change of Home Number

If you are planning on relocating somewhere for less than six months and then leaving and relocating to a different place that’s not the same as your old home, you should choose “Permanent” and fill out another request at that time. However, if you’re going back to your old home in less than six months, your relocation is considered temporary.

Ask your local post office for temporary updating of your home number or for holding your mail if you are leaving for a short period of time, such as for a vacation. Keep in mind that this service isn’t available at every post office. Holding your letters for up to thirty days is a free service. You just have to complete the PS Form 8076 for Authorisation to USPS Hold Mail.

Read everything listed on the USPS website

When Should You Change Your Address When Moving?

If you are thinking about “when should I change my address when moving,” the usual answer you’ll get to that question is around two weeks before your relocation. According to the US Post Office, that period depends on the type of your relocation. If you plan on having a temporary move, your minimum length of time for updating your home number will be fifteen days.

On the other hand, if you are figuring out what not to pack when relocating and leaving only your relocation essentials because you are leaving and not planning on coming back, you’ll have a different answer. The date when you apply for changing your home number and ZIP code must not be more than thirty days after your relocation, or more than 3 months before the relocation.

Your timeline will depend on the type of your relocation

You Can Always Change or Cancel Your Request

If something happens while you are figuring out what to do when changing address and you wish to change your request or to cancel it, you can do that without any fuss. For that, you just need to find the confirmation number. It’s written on the letter you received if you requested a home number change in person or on an email you received.

There's no need to worry if you suddenly decide to cancel your request

What Are the Places to Change Your Address When You Move? 

USPS is the first answer to where to change your address when you move, but there are more important government and non-government institutions and agencies you should contact once you decide to make this update.

Here's a list of the most important ones on the list of who to notify when relocating.

IRS - Internal Revenue Service

In case you expect a tax return or some other mail from the IRS, make sure to let this government institution know you are relocating. You can do that by changing your home number when filing for the tax return.

SSA - Social Security Administration

If you get Social Security Retirement, disability or survivor benefits, make sure you update your home number with this government institution. Use your account if you are using Medicare or your Social Security account. There’s also an option to do this offline – by phone or in person.

State Motor Vehicle Agencies

If you plan to transport cars, you have to update your address on your driver’s license and your motor vehicle registration. Contact your state and see the requirements for changing your information.

Election Offices

Are you a voter? Changing states also means changing your voter registration and the information your state election office has. Contact them and let them know you plan on relocating.

Banks and financial institutions

Your bank, credit card companies, and all other financial institutions that have your info must be informed that you aren’t living in the same house number anymore so that they don’t send you letters that can end up in the wrong hands.

Insurance providers

Every insurance provider you have should be informed as well. That includes dental, medical, renter’s, car, life, and all other insurance policies you may have. They also send sensitive and personal mail to your house, so they must know you aren’t living in the same place anymore.

Utility provider

Before you figure out how to transfer utilities, you should let your utility providers know that you’re relocating. If you can’t use the service of the same provider in the place you’re going to, find a new one on time.

Your employer

Your paychecks and tax documentation are usually sent to the address you provide to your employer, so make sure to inform them in a timely manner.

Check the video below to get useful information if you’re a non-US citizen changing their home number.

YouTube video

Don’t Forget to Notify Your Family and Friends

It’s usually one of the most tedious things to do before relocating. There’s no ideal answer to what is the best way to notify of an address change when it comes to your loved ones, except for informing them carefully and on time. Invite them for dinner and have a nice get-together so that you can say goodbye properly.

Your loved ones will be there to help you get through all of this

Find Professional Long-Distance Moving Services for Your Upcoming Move

Now that you have learned how to update your address and inform everyone important about that, it’s time to focus on having a stress-free relocation. The first step is to hire a reputable long-distance moving company and use their services instead of doing everything by yourself. Professional long-distance movers will provide you with exceptional cross-country moving, as well as auto transport and the necessary moving insurance for your belongings. If you want to speed the process up, get packing service from expert East Coast movers or West Coast movers and a 30-day free storage unit. Work with trained professionals and have a smooth relocation.

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