By Sam Wasson
Updated Oct 10, 2022
When moving, your to-do list can feel never-ending. From making down payments to packing and coordinating with movers, your to-do list can become overwhelming. Unfortunately, one task that homeowners are quick to overlook is updating their addresses with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and other government agencies. Failing to keep your address current can result in missed mail, lost packages, and other problems. To help keep important mail coming your way, we made this quick guide that:
When you begin your move, you should look into the options offered by the USPS regarding your mail. The USPS offers services for temporary and long-term relocations, such as:
To permanently update your address with the USPS, you have two options. First, you can try to update your address online. This process can take some time and require additional security verifications, but it can be done at any time and is exceptionally convenient. Alternatively, if you are having difficulty with the online process, you can find a local USPS office and update your address in person.
You can go to the official USPS Change-of-Address page to do an online change of address. Here you will have to:
First, you need to find a local postal service office with its location finder tool. Once there, you will be given a Mover’s Guide Packet. This packet contains a COA order (PS Form 3757), instructions for completing the form, and coupons for other moving services. The 3757 Form resembles the online application, requiring:
You will also be requested to show identification (such as a driver’s license) while filling out this form.
Once the form is submitted, you will receive (at your old address, before your indicated move date) a Move Validation Letter (MVL). This letter is to confirm that the COA is correct and valid. You will only need to respond to the letter if the new address is incorrect or you did not request a COA.
Finally, up to five business days after your listed move-in date, you will receive a Customer Notification Letter (CNL) or a Welcome Kit. The CNL contains your new address, old address, the start date for mail forwarding, and a confirmation code. You can use this code at managemymove.usps.com to change or cancel your change of address request. A welcome kit contains the same information as a CNL but also information for new residents, a community guide, and coupons for services relevant to new residents.
Along with the United States Postal Service, you will need to contact several other government agencies during a move. Here are some of the most important ones:
Changing your address can be tedious, but it is necessary for any move. Thankfully, you can either hop down to a local post office and fill out a change of address form or use the USPS website to take care of it. If you need any of the other services offered by the USPS, you can read more about it at www.usa.gov/post-office.
Unfortunately, numerous scam websites offer to update your address for a $40 (or more) fee. You can visit the USPS website yourself and update your address for only $1.10, or visit a local post office and update it in person for free. Also, remember that no official change of address form should require a social security number.
Yes. Using the confirmation code in your CNL, you can cancel your COA on the USPS website.
You can update your address for international moves, but you cannot do so online and must fill out a 3757 Form in person at a post office.
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