Changing Your Address: Not As Simple As It Seems

Changing your address isn’t the hardest part of moving, but making sure everyone who needs your new address has it isn’t as easy as you might think. Unless you fill out an official US Post Office change of address form, your mail won’t follow you to your new address. And unless you remind yourself to mail out change of address cards to all the companies you do business with, your magazine subscriptions will be worthless in a few months.

Of course, that’s all common sense. But did you know you don’t have to go down to the post office to get the change of address form?

Read over the following tips to make sure that when you move, your mail will be moving with you:

  1. Before you’ve even begun your relocation, head down to the post office and take a minute to fill out the US Postal Service’s official change of address form (also known as PS form 3575; if you don’t see them out, just ask a clerk).
  2. The most important part of filling out the US Postal Service’s change of address card is including your old address and your new address. However, it’s also vital you remember to include the names of anyone else who is moving with you. If you only include your name, your husband/wife’s mail won’t follow you.
  3. If you don’t feel like waiting in line at the post office, you can have your mail forwarded from the comfort of your own computer by completing a short form at the US Postal Service’s address change webpage.
  4. Think you’re done? Sorry, nothing involving official government documents is ever that easy. Turning in your change of address form to the post office only means that your mail will be forwarded for a limited time. First-class mail – letters and such – are forwarded for one year. Periodicals – newspapers and magazines – are only forwarded for 60 days. After the forwarding period expires, anything that arrives for you will either be sent to the post office’s dead-letter room or stay with whoever’s moved into your old place.
  5. If you’re a college student who is moving away from school (either for the summer or for good), check with the campus mail service to see what their mail-forwarding policies are. Colleges and universities have their own delivery systems, separate from the post office, and usually their own forwarding policies.
  6. To keep receiving your mail after the US postal service stops forwarding it, you need to send out change of address cards to everyone you do business with. These change of address cards are available at the post office for free.
  7. Most of the bills you receive – from your utilities, your credit card company, or your insurance carrier – have a section where you can update your address information. Take advantage of it, and you’ll save yourself a little trouble down the road.
  8. Keeping track of who you’ve given your new address to and who still needs it can get pretty confusing pretty quickly. Make a checklist of all the companies that need your address (don’t forget the IRS) and all the friends and relatives you want to keep in touch with before you start mailing anything out. Keep your change of address checklist after you’ve moved into your new home, so if a few months down the road you can’t find your current phone bill, you’ll know exactly why.

It is important to update your address not only with your personal contacts but also with any other entities you interact with. This includes banks, insurance companies, government agencies, and other businesses that use your address for verification and communication purposes.

By updating your address promptly, you can avoid any delays or issues that may arise from outdated information. Take the time to ensure that all relevant parties are notified of your new address so that you can continue with your daily routines without any disruptions.


An associate editor, working in tandem with global teams while residing in Minnesota. She has a strong interest in economic growth and holds board positions in various non-profit organizations.

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