Home / Categories / Moving Tips / How to Change Your Address When Moving

How to Change Your Address When Moving

By Heather
December 27th, 2012 - 9:38 AM

When you’re planning a move to a new city, there are so many things you have to remember; changing your address is at the top of the list.  The United States Postal Service offers a couple of convenient options to make the process easy: a temporary change of address if you plan to move back within 12 months; or a permanent change of address if you have no plans to move back.   

Keep in mind, when you choose the “permanent move” option, the USPS will forward your mail for 12 months, so don’t forget to change your address with all necessary companies and individuals (e.g. the IRS, Social Security Administration, State Department of Motor Vehicles, Credit Bureaus, Department of Veterans Affairs, etc.).  Magazines are only forwarded for 60 days, so make the magazine subscription companies aware of your new address too – Top 550 Magazines is a good resource for doing that.

Here’s how to complete the change of address process:

The postal service recommends completing your change of address form two weeks before your moving day (the earliest you can submit the form is three months in advance). 

  1. Get a change of address form 
    You can pick it up at your local post office, print it off at USPS.com, or request it from your mail carrier.  If that’s not convenient, the USPS also offers an easy way to change your address online or by phone – it just requires a $1 payment by credit card or debit card (for ID verification).
  2. Complete the form 
    If everyone in your household is moving, and they all have the same last name, just fill out one form using the “family” option.  If not everyone in the household is moving with you (whether the same last name or not), or the individuals moving with you have different last names, you’ll need to fill out a separate Change of Address form for each person moving – use the “individual” option.

    Now, just indicate whether it’s a temporary or permanent move; enter the date you want your mail to begin being forwarded; enter your personal information (name and addresses); then sign and date. 

  3. Submit the form 
    If you’ve picked up or printed off a hard copy, you can bring it by your local post office, hand it to your mail carrier, or mail it in.
  4. Wait for confirmation 
    If you submit the change of address online, you’ll get an immediate email confirmation.  All other submissions will receive a Change of Address Move Validation Letter (if you still live at your old address), or a Permanent Change of Address Confirmation Letter (sent to your new address). You’ll likely even get a Welcome Kit with helpful information for new residents, a community guide, and coupons.  Once the USPS is notified of your new address, it may take seven to ten business days for your mail to begin being delivered to your new address.  If you don’t get your mail within 10 business days, you can call 1-800-ASK-USPS to check the status.

    Just remember to hold on to the Confirmation Code included in your confirmation email or on the change of address order confirmation sent to your new address – you’ll need this to view, update or cancel your change of address order.

For more detailed information about changing your address with the US postal service, visit the US Postal Service Frequently Asked Questions page.