10 Steps for a Successful Move and Relocation
By Doug Davis
Step 6: Address Change
Changing Your Address.
About 75 percent of Americans make a move of some sort within a five year period. That's around 45 million people each year. That's mind boggling, but changing your address and having your mail forwarded to your new residence can be a smooth process if done properly. There's also the option to do a Fast, Safe, Secure Online Address Change.
Forwarding Your Mail.
If you're moving but don't know exactly to where yet, you can put your mail on hold for up to 30 days by filling out a "Hold" form at the post office, or do it online at www.usps.com. When you DO know your new address, notify the post office as soon as you can to ensure an easier, quicker transition. Just giving people or businesses your new address does not guarantee delivery there, the proper form must be filled out. Forwarding of mail can cause delays, and only lasts 6 months, at which time first class mail will be "returned to sender", other types could be delivered to your old address or tossed.
It is important to inform all your billing companies of your change of address yourself. Filling out a change of address form at the post office does not automatically inform them, as some people think. Look on your last bill and there's usually a place to fill in a Change of Address, if not call them directly. Be sure to add the Motor Vehicle Department and any official court business to your list to contact.
Things to Know.
Make a list of every piece of mail that arrives that should be notified, including bills, individuals and catalog companies, and do so weeks in advance of your move. Check them off as you get them done.
Bulk mail will not be forwarded unless it is first class, and often can be delayed. Forwarding service only lasts for 6 months.
When filling out the change of address form, be sure to mark "Family" and each of your names if everyone is moving, otherwise certain mail will not be forwarded. If you are the only person moving, mark "Individual." If you are a Jr. or a Sr., be sure to indicate that as well