By: Daniel Bortz
Who to Notify When You Move: The Ultimate 15-Point Checklist
Knowing whom to notify when you move is essential to a smooth transition. We know, we know, calling up your electric company is probably the last thing on your mind while you’re throwing your life’s belongings in boxes and moving from point A to B. But trust us, if you let those notifications slide, there are consequences!
So, in an effort to help you move with minimum traumas down the road, here’s a checklist of whom to notify when you move—and how to get it done in a jiffy. Make sure to peruse this list at least a week before you move to make sure you don’t miss anyone big!
1. The post office
You knew this one, but you might not know that you don’t have to schlep to an actual post office anymore. Visit the U.S. Postal Service to start your official change of address.
2. Your employer
Odds are your boss and immediate co-workers know that you’re moving because you’ve been complaining about it nonstop—but what about your human resources department? Even if your paychecks get deposited directly into your bank account, you still want tax forms, retirement account statements, and other important documents sent to your new address, as these papers may contain personal information that could be used to steal your identity.
Forget to file a change of address for your utilities, and guess what happens: You end up paying the electric bill for your former home’s new resident! If you prefer to pay only your own bill, you’ll need to update your address with phone, cable, and internet providers, as well as your electric and gas companies.
Depending on where you live, you may also have to notify the water department, sewer utility company, and/or garbage collector.
When transferring your electric service, make sure service at your new house starts either the morning of your move or the evening before—otherwise, you might be spending your first night or two in the dark!
4. Banks, credit card issuers, and other financial institutions
Usually, you can update your mailing address for your bank, credit card issuers, investment accounts, loan providers, and other financial institutions online. Even if you use an online-only bank or credit union, this is a crucial step. Again, you don’t want sensitive information sent to your old mailing address.
5. The DMV
After moving, you may have to file a change of address with the Department of Motor Vehicles, update your car registration, or even get a new driver’s license—and some states have tight deadlines for these changes.
If you’re new to California, for example, you must register your vehicle within 20 days of moving into your new home. Generally, if you’re making an in-state move, you can submit a change-of-address request online, but requirements vary, so check with your local DMV office.
Pro tip: DMV.org/relocation provides customized guides for moving from one state to another.
6. Insurance providers
Health insurance, dental insurance, car insurance, life insurance, and homeowners insurance providers need your current address on your policy. If you don’t update these accounts, you could potentially have trouble filing a claim.
7. The IRS
Tax returns and other forms may contain sensitive information (e.g., your Social Security number), so let Uncle Sam know you’re moving. You can file a change of address with the IRS by mail and phone, or in person.
Note: It can take four to six weeks for a change of address request to fully process, so if it’s tax season and you’re waiting for your refund, keep that in mind.
8. Cellphone provider
Cellphone companies require customers to update their billing address. This is mandatory since your primary residence determines the tax rates on your wireless bill.
9. Social Security Administration
Although the Social Security Administration announced last year that it would send fewer statements in the mail in an attempt to cut down costs, individuals who are 60 and over, who aren’t receiving benefits, and who don’t have a My Social Security account online still receive paper statements. These statements contain detailed information on your earnings and contributions you’ve paid through payroll taxes—information that should be kept private. You can submit a change-of-address application online or by calling 800-772-1213.
Also, don’t forget to update your address with Medicare, Medicaid, or any other government programs.
10. Voter registration
If you’re a registered voter, an address change is required if you want your vote counted in upcoming elections. In some states, when you update your address with the DMV, your address on your voter registration will automatically update, but contact the office of your registrar of voters to confirm.
11. Your doctor, dentist, and other health specialists
To avoid missing and falling behind on your medical bills, update your mailing address with all of your health care providers.
12. TSA Precheck/Global Entry
If you hate waiting in long lines at customs or security at the airport, you may already have a TSA Precheck or Global Entry pass that lets you take an express lane. (TSA Precheck is valid for U.S. domestic flights, while Global Entry expedites U.S. customs screening for international air travelers.) But to keep your membership valid, you’ll have to update the address on your account by calling 855-347-8371 or submitting an update request online.
13. Shopping websites
Many online shopping sites have a one-click checkout feature that lets you save time, but this could prove problematic if you forget to change your address and order something to your old house. Take a few minutes to update your address on Amazon, eBay, and other online shopping accounts.
14. Newspaper and magazine subscriptions
Don’t want your magazines or newspapers arriving on your old doorstep? (Do you still have magazine and newspaper subscriptions?) Either update your mailing address online or call customer service and ask for an address change over the phone. Do the same for any other subscription services you have. (If your Blue Apron ingredients show up at your old house, good luck cooking dinner tonight!)
15. Family and friends
Of course, you want to share the exciting news with your relatives and close friends. But announcing the big move on Facebook won’t cut it. Some people don’t check Facebook on the reg—and (gasp) some folks aren’t on social media, period. And you really don’t want Grandma mailing your birthday and holiday gifts to your old address, do you?