There’s so much to do when you’re moving that changing your address can easily fall to the bottom of your to-do list. After all, if you change your address with the post office, that’s really all you need to do, right? Unfortunately, changing your address isn’t quite that easy. Many financial institutions and other organizations require a call or letter from you before they will update your address. While this requirement is designed to protect you, it does increase the number of companies you need to contact after a move.
It’s a good idea to start with the post office, though. Most post offices will have change of address cards that can be filled out on the spot. If you go to a post office, there’s no charge for changing your address. You also can change your address online through the U.S. Postal Service web site. Online, you’ll need to verify your identity by using a credit card, and you’ll be charged $1.
After your change of address is processed, mail sent to your old address will start going to your new home. The USPS mail forwarding service lasts one year for first-class mail, but only 60 days for magazines.
Certain classes of mail, however, will not forward to your new address. Companies and organizations you’ll need to contact directly to change your address include banks and credit unions, insurance companies and utility companies. Don’t forget to notify the Internal Revenue Service and the motor vehicle department as well.