A Checklist for Changing Your Address
Moving to a new home? Here are 10 logistics to nail down before you pack up
It might surprise you to hear that of all of life’s events, some find moving to be among the most stressful. That’s because moving—whether it’s down the block or cross-country—requires time, energy, patience, and plenty of planning. The sheer number of logistical details required to get settled at your new address can feel overwhelming.
Here are a few tips to help make your transition a smooth one, and keep your finances on track, too.
1. Officially change your address at the Post Office
In-person or online, the Post Office should be your first stop for an official change of address form. You’ll need to separately contact other government agencies like the IRS, Social Security Administration, and local elections offices.
Note: If you’re moving abroad, you’ll need to fill out this form to have your U.S. mail delivered overseas through a forwarding company.
2. Update your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and other IDs
Moving out of state? Many states require that you update your driver’s license and vehicle registration within 30 days of your move. Don’t risk getting pulled over with an invalid license or state inspection sticker by tackling this update early in your relocation.
3. Keep creditors and insurers in the loop
Let your bank, creditors, and insurance company know about your move. If you’re not set up for online bill payments, your mail—especially bills—can be delayed by weeks or months before reaching your new address. Creating online accounts to pay bills electronically can help keep payments on track.
4. Leaving a job as well? Make these important work-related updates
It can be difficult to get information from former employers after you’ve left the company. Employees come and go and contacts always change. Putting miles between you and an old job can make it even harder. Get copies of payment records before you move in case you need proof of employment history. Also, make sure your previous employer has your new address so you can get the forms you need come tax time.
5. Get connected at your new address (and disconnect from your old one)
Contact utility providers at your new address, create new accounts, and set service start dates. This way, you won’t have to worry about service disruptions when you move in. Do the same at your old address so you’re not paying for two places at once. It’s also a good idea to keep a record of your timely past payments to phone, gas, electric, and cable companies.
6. Alert healthcare and other professional service providers
If you’re moving out of town or state, you’re likely going to have to find new healthcare providers. Before you go, alert your current medical and dental providers and keep their information on file in case you need them to release records to your new providers. Also, let other professional service providers such as your lawyer and accountant know.
7. Have kids? Get school records and transcripts before you go
Gather all the records you need for kids to take with them to their new school to make the enrollment process easier.
8. Return (and retrieve) odds and ends
Fill necessary prescriptions before you go and have them transferred to your new area pharmacy. Return library books, rented appliances or property, and any gather up possessions loaned out or stored locally.
9. Cancel local subscriptions
Gym memberships, local newspapers, contracts with exterminators or lawn professionals—make sure anything you’re paying for that you can’t take with you is canceled or transferred.
10. Consider sending colleagues, friends, and family a note
A simple “I’ve moved!” card or email to all your contacts will let everyone know where to find you.
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