How to change address when moving


  • Every time you move house, your postal address changes too.
  • To keep receiving your mail, you’re going to have to change your address with the United States Postal Service (USPS).
  • Change your address before Moving day so that you don’t lose any important pieces of mail.
  • For your convenience, there are 4 ways to change your address when moving: 1) ONLINE, 2) IN PERSON, 3) BY PHONE, and 4) BY MAIL.

Finding yourself in your new home (FINALLY!) after a long and energy-draining moving day doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re expected to let your guard down.

On the contrary – the end of the first leg of your relocation journey only marks the start of the second leg – the immediate post-relocation period which, similar to its predecessor, is also filled up to the brim with tasks of all sorts.

The good news here is that you don’t really have a concrete deadline as was the case with your pre-move preparations (the move day, remember?), and that fact alone will let you take care of the jobs ahead at your own comfortable pace.

Before you can start to really settle in, you need to make sure that you update your mailing address so that your regular mail (postcards, letters, magazines and newspapers, bills, and government benefits) continues to reach you without any problems.

But just how to change your address when you move?

Once you understand why updating your address is crucial, you have 4 options in your change of address checklist:

  • change your postal address online,
  • change your residential address at a local post office,
  • update your address by phone, and
  • change the new address by mail.

If you have no idea where to begin the change of address procedure or you don’t know what to expect in terms of time, money, and level of difficulty, then the following step-by-step guide on how to change your address when you move house is exactly what you need.

Take advantage of this detailed Change of Address Checklist to keep things running smoothly.

Top 5 things to know before you change your address

Changing your address after you’ve moved house doesn’t seem like a relatively complicated thing to do, and in most cases, it does prove to be a straightforward entry on your to-do list.

But unless you understand your options well and follow the change of address checklist step by step, you could lose loads of time, maybe a bit more money than necessary, and possibly worst of all – important pieces of mail along the way.

Briefly, here are the top 5 things to know before you register your new address with the USPS (United States Postal Service):

1. Do you know your complete and correct new address?

USPS change of address
Welcome to your new home! Are you planning on moving house again anytime soon? If not, consider a permanent change of address.

It may seem like a silly thing to do, but it’s possible that you register an incomplete or wrong address with the U.S. Post Office due to the stress and fatigue of having moved all of your belongings and yourself to a new area in a largely unfamiliar part of the country.

Confirm with your realtor or your landlord the correct, complete, and error-free postal address of your new house or apartment. Make sure the ZIP code is the right one too before initiating the change of address procedure described below.

2. Temporary or permanent change of address when moving?

When changing your address after the move, you will need to decide whether you will file a temporary change of address or a permanent change of address.

Temporary change of address

A temporary change of address when moving means that your mail will be forwarded from your old mailing address to the new one only for a specific period of time – usually up to 6 months, with the option to extend it up to 12 months.

Choose this option if you’re moving temporarily, like spending the cold winter months in a place with a warmer climate, for instance.

The good news here is that business mailers won’t be given your temporary change of address (COA), and you know exactly what that means, don’t you? (Yay! No JUNK MAIL!!!)

Permanent change of address

A permanent change of address when moving means that your mailing address will be changed permanently, not just for a specified period. Choose this option if you do not plan to move house again in the near future.

The bad news here is that your new permanent change of address (COA) will be registered in the National Change of Address database (NCOA), which basically means that you should expect the usual helping of junk mail sometime in the near future.

3. Individual or family change of address?

The USPS change of address when moving means that you are required to include in the change of address form the names of all the people who are moving or have just moved with you.

Fill out a separate change of address request if there are members in your family with different surnames or if only some individuals are moving to a new location while the rest are staying behind. This is not particularly fun but the USPS will only forward mail that will match the name of the recipient written out in the request form.

If your entire family is moving as one and everyone has the same surname, then it’s much easier – you just fill out one change of address form for the entire household.

4. How long does it take for a change of address to take effect?

Moving change of address checklist
It’s nice to be getting your regular mail once more, isn’t it?

In general, a change of address when you move will take effect roughly 7 business days after your change COA request. Of course, the exact processing time will depend on a number of factors, including your exact location, time of year, number of requests currently being processed, and so on.

The processing time for the old address can take around business 3 days – add 3 more days to process the request for the new address and there you have the 7-day period when your mailing address will be in limbo.

Note that it’s possible that your request is processed much faster – for example, for a local change of address.

5. How far in advance to do a change of address when moving?

Opinions differ on the matter of how far in advance you should change your address when moving house. Some experts advise that you do it at least two weeks before you move so that by the time you arrive in your new home, your mail will have already been forwarded to the right mailing address.

This piece of advice does make a lot of sense but it’s still possible that some pieces of mail get lost during the chaotic move-out and move-in periods.

Speaking of chaotic periods, the main issue with changing your address before moving day is the increased chance of you forgetting to do so due to the overwhelming number of tasks you have to complete, sometimes at once.

Therefore, to make sure no important job slips your mind during the crazy busy preparations, do follow your MOVING CHECKLIST – the one that is free, detailed, comprehensive, downloadable, and printable. Oh, and interactive too!

Other moving experts seem to think that the better option is to change your address right after the move is complete and you’re already in your new home.

However, to make sure no mail is lost, you are advised to leave some cash with a good neighbor or the new homeowners or leasers, and ask them to forward your mail to the new address until your post-move COA request kicks in.

20 Things to Do Before Moving: The Ultimate Checklist

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How to change your address when you move

Now that you’re familiar with the top 5 essential things to know before changing your address when moving house, let’s take a look at the 4 options you have to do just that.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to choose the COA method that will work best for you. Yes, you do want to check that task as complete so that you can concentrate on other equally important tasks.

Here’s the change of address checklist you’ve been waiting to read:

1. Change your address online

The online change of address is extremely convenient because

  1. it will save you precious time,
  2. you can do it from the comfort of your own home, and
  3. you can do it whenever you find some free time without having to worry about the business hours of the local post offices.

To change your address online,

  • ACCESS the official USPS Change of Address Form:;
  • FILL OUT the required fields by providing accurate information;
  • PROVIDE a valid e-mail address where you should receive a confirmation mail from the USPS;
  • EXPECT to be charged a verification fee of $1 to your credit card or debit card. This is standard procedure to verify your identity and safeguard your personal information so that no address fraud is possible;
  • WAIT for the e-mail confirmation of the address change to know everything has worked out just fine.

2. Change your address in person

Change of address when moving house
The U.S. Post Office on Wheels can be exactly the thing you need in order to change your address when you move.

If your local post office is just a short distance away and you do find some spare time in your post-move schedule, it’s worth it to visit the USPS office in person and get that change of address task done and over with.

To change your address in person,

  • VISIT the nearest post office;
  • ASK the post office personnel for PS Form 3575 and fill it out right there on the spot;
  • DOWNLOAD and complete that infamous change of address form at home prior to your personal visit. To save precious time, get free access to PS Form 3575 here;
  • GIVE the filled-out form to the postmaster and head back to your soon-to-be-old home to continue your pre-move preparations or head back to your new home to keep on unpacking and getting your life back on track;
  • ENJOY the good news: changing your address at the post office will not cost you anything since you will be asked to prove your identity in person.

3. Change your address over the phone

This change of address option is another way to save yourself a trip to the local post office. Largely considered an alternative to the online COA method, changing your address over the phone may be great for you if you don’t feel particularly confident doing things online.

To change your address by phone,

  • CALL  this phone number: 1-800-ASK-USPS and follow the recorded instructions;
  • GET a credit card or a debit card ready as you will, once again, be charged an identity verification fee of $1;

4. Change your address by mail

Finally, you may choose to print out PS Form 3575 at home, fill it out by hand, and mail it to the USPS yourself.

It’s very difficult to find that Form 3575 simply because the U.S. Postal Services would rather you did your change of address online. However, we have found it for you – see below.

To change your mailing address by mail,

  • DOWNLOAD the USPS Printable Change of Address Form – PS Form 3575 – do it here;
  • PRINT OUT the COA form and follow the detailed instructions from the link above to fill it out correctly;
  • BUY First Class postage and mail the filled form to POSTMASTER, United States Postal Service;
  • KEEP your eyes open for a move validation letter sent to your old address;
  • EXPECT to receive a confirmation letter sent to your new address within 10 days after the actual change of address request has been processed and come into effect.

Moving House Superstitions: How to Bring Good Luck to Your New Home

Who to notify when you move house

Changing address when moving
You do NOT have mail. Possible solution: read this article AGAIN.

Finally, let’s say a few words about who you should notify when you move to the new address.

Over time, the people who matter in your life and the institutions and organizations that you interact with will learn that you’ve moved and that you now have a different postal address.

However, it’s necessary that some people and businesses know about your recent change of address as soon as possible. Therefore, the most effective way to ensure that you don’t lose touch with important individuals and institutions is to share personally your new address and contact information.

Who to notify when changing address?

Here’s a 10-point Who to Notify When Moving Checklist to help you stay in touch:

1. Friends and family

Most of them will be perfectly aware of your recent household move but there will always be some individuals who will still be in the dark.

You can take the personal approach (arranging face-to-face meetings and making phone calls) or you can choose the faster impersonal news-breaking approach (posts on your social networks or phone texts).

2. Utility companies

Updating your address with the following utility providers is very important:

  • electricity,
  • gas,
  • water and sewer,
  • telephone,
  • Internet, including Internet streaming services
  • cable or satellite,
  • domestic waste collection.

3. Government institutions

Make sure you inform the following essential government agencies of the new updated address information:

4. Financial institutions

Who to notify when you change your address? Yes, it’s tedious but you should also inform some financial institutions about your recent house move and consequent change of address:

  • banks,
  • credit card companies,
  • lenders.

5. Insurance companies: home + car

Homeowner insurance and renter’s insurance will only work if they are for the right home, and the right home comes with the right address. Don’t forget to contact your home insurance companies and inform them of your new postal address.

Also, get in touch with your car insurance company – especially after moving to a new state – and make sure that there’s no need to modify the coverage of the insurance policy in any way.

6. Your employer

You’re going to need to provide the new address to your employer so that the HR department can update your contact details. The thing is that even if your paychecks get deposited into your bank account directly, you’re still to receive important documents to the postal address of your new home.

7. Voter registration

Who else to notify when you move? If you are a registered voter, then you’ll have to contact the office of your registrar of voters and provide your updated address – if you don’t, then you may not be able to vote in upcoming elections in the new area you just moved to.

8. Various service providers

This change of address checklist can be rather long, so here are the most important service providers you should contact as soon as you can:

  • family physicians (General Practitioners) or specialized doctors,
  • dentists,
  • veterinarians,
  • accountants,
  • lawyers
  • schools,
  • babysitters or daycare centers,
  • delivery services,
  • cleaning services.

9. Clubs and organizations

Contact any clubs or organizations that you’re a member of and inform them of your recent change of address. If needed, you may need to get in touch with important charitable organizations (charities) that you’re involved with.

10. E-commerce websites

If you can’t seem to get enough of online shopping, then you’re going to need to update your address information with the major retail websites you use – for example, Amazon and eBay.

That’s especially true when you’re used to using the one-click checkout feature that enables you to save time when shopping online. Also, update your address with various payment services like PayPal.

Must-read: 21 Things to Do After Moving Into a New House

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  1. There are many blogs which i have read but this blog about , but this blog is easiest and understandable thank you for it.

  2. I lost a few essential pieces of mail because I was too busy doing other things like packing and stuff. I never thought that changing the address was such an important task. I mean, seriously, how was I supposed to know that before the move? Nobody even mentioned it!

  3. Resourceful article. I have read your article. You have revealed some of my query. It’s actually a great and useful piece of info. I’m happy that you just shared this useful info with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

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