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How to Change Your Address and Who to Notify When Moving

Posted May 4, 2022 In Plan the Move,
Milly Andrews

Born and raised in Portland, Milly has had a lot of experience moving and writing about the relocation process.

Informing others about the move is an important task of every relocation process, but do you know who to notify when moving? From people close to you to government institutions, the list is a lot longer than you would initially think. Our simple guide will help you learn who to notify of address change and help you cross this task off your relocation checklist easily.

Who All Needs to Be Notified When You Move and Why?

When you plan a change of address, who to notify? If you’ve chosen some of the best countries to live in for your new home, updating your personal information is one of the essential relocation tasks. While you can get the help of an overseas shipping company for other relocation-related work, informing others about the move isn’t something movers can handle instead of you.

If living overseas is your plan for the future, you must count on informing more than just your friends and family. All the institutions and providers you are doing business with have to be updated as well. It doesn’t matter if you plan to move to Canada or go further away and relocate to Norway – this is something that needs to be done before the relocation day if you don’t want any financial or other consequences.

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When Planning the Change of Address, Who to Notify First?

The United States Postal Service (USPS) should be one of the first institutions to tackle so that all important mail can find you abroad. Usually, you can do it online, over the phone, or in the local postal office. However, the situation is a little bit different when moving overseas. When you plan to move abroad, you will have to fill out the same form as for local or interstate moves, but the difference is that it can be filed only at the postal office.

What if You Are Not Familiar With Your Future Location?

It should go without saying that in order to update your place of residence, you must be familiar with your new city, ZIP code, street name, and home number. However, it’s not always that simple when it comes to relocating abroad. Maybe you know that you want to move to Germany or set a goal to relocate to Japan, but you are not quite certain about which city you’ll choose. What to do then?

USPS offers the possibility of changing the address after moving internationally. All you have to do is to write a letter to your local Post Office back in the States and inform your new postal establishment about the situation. Be as detailed as you can when you explain the destination where you want your mail forwarded. If you’re not certain which information you should provide, take a look at PS From 3575.

When Should You Change Your Address When Moving?

If you want to reduce the amount of relocation stress during the preparation time, it’s best to finish this as soon as possible – providing you are familiar with your future location. That’s why you should do it at least a couple of weeks before the move.

At the same time, keep in mind that a COA (change of address) request can be for a temporary or a permanent move. If you plan to live abroad for less than a year, you can file for a temporary COA, and the mail will forward to your new home until the end date specified on your request.

Can You Fill the COA Request for Family Members?

If you are not relocating abroad alone, you’re probably wondering if one person can request a COA for someone else. USPS form has individual and family options, to facilitate the process when you are relocating with your family members. However, it’s not all that simple. The only way you can fill one form for all of your family members is if your entire family is relocating and if all of you hold the same last name. Otherwise, each member should file the form individually.

What Is the Best Way to Notify About the Change of Address When It Comes to Government Agencies?

Updating your location with USPS is just the tip of the iceberg – so much more needs to be done when it comes to informing others about the move. Before getting international moving services, you must be certain that the governmental institutions are updated. Here is a checklist of who needs to be informed:

  • IRS – even if you decide to live in another country, you’ll need to continue paying taxes to the States, which is why the Internal Revenue Service should be directly informed (by specially designed forms or in writing). Count on approximately five weeks for this update to be processed.
  • Social Security Administration – the good news is that you can continue to get your social security benefits seven if you opt for moving abroad, as long as you are eligible for them. You can get in touch with SSA over the phone or simply log in to your Social Security account and choose the Update Contact Information option.
  • Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) – RMV needs to be informed about the move as well, and it needs to be done within thirty days from the date of the move. You can do it online or over the phone.
  • Voter registration – if you are a US citizen, you can vote no matter your current destination. However, your personal data must be updated, and you must re-register. If you want to register to vote from abroad, you can do it simply by using an online tool.

Before Hiring an Overseas Moving Company, Talk With Your Employer and Landlord

Before getting packing services and choosing the best option for professional overseas vehicle shipping, be sure your landlord and employer know about the move. You likely have a binding contract with them and certain obligations you have to meet before you quit the job or lease. It’s one of the essential questions to ask an employer or a landlord before you start organizing the move.

Most job termination notices must be submitted at least two weeks before your planned last day. The lease notice, on the other hand, usually depends on the lease term. For example, if you’re on a month-to-month agreement with your landlord, you should count on informing a landlord at least thirty days ahead. However, keep in mind that you may have to pay an additional fee for early termination if you decide to move with the lease that is still active.

Healthcare and Insurance Providers Need to Know About the COA as Well

Updating your healthcare also must be on your relocation abroad checklist. More often than not, you’ll have to cancel your health insurance policy and find the healthcare solutions in the country you are relocating to. But what if you’re under government health insurance programs such as Medicare? Medicare residency also must be updated as soon as you know the exact location and effective date. However, know that Medicare coverage in another country will most likely be limited – keep that in mind before you decide about shipping overseas.

Something similar goes for life and car insurance providers. In most cases, you will have to accept the new policy for the same company or search for a new company altogether. Remember that incorrect personal data on the contract (such as a wrong place of residence) can even prevent you from collecting an insurance claim.

Do Financial Institutions Have to Be Notified?

When relocating across the world, let financial institutions such as banks, loan providers, and payment services know you’re relocating. Keep in mind that some banks operate internationally, while others are strictly connected to the US grounds. This information is crucial for determining whether you simply need to update the residence to an international one or must open another bank account in your future country. It’s a good idea to get in touch with some members of expat communities before the move and find out a better solution.

The loan situation can be a little bit more complicated because you still need to return the money you borrowed. With some loan providers, payments from another country will be possible. However, some won’t provide you with that possibility. In that case, ensure your loan provider has your residence data from your parents or other trusted person.

Remember to Cancel Utility and Other Services

When thinking about who gets notified when you change your address, do not forget about your internet, electricity, water, and gas services. While transferring them is possible with local and sometimes cross-country moves, you’ll have to cancel them when you want to move overseas – if you don’t want to continue paying them after crossing the pond, that is. Of course, if you are relocating for the first time and leaving your parents behind, this step won’t be necessary.

For the same reason, think about all the memberships on your name and make sure you don’t make one of the common relocation mistakes and continue paying them automatically after the move.

Who to Notify of the Change of Address? Remember Your Online Accounts

If you have an account with online retail stores, updating them also needs to be a part of your relocation to-do list. Imagine the following scenario – you find the product online, decide to buy it, pay for it, only to realize that you’ve left the previous location and your product is being shipped to your old place. You do not need that kind of inconvenience – think about all the online shopping accounts and update your data.

When Wondering Who to Notify When Moving, Think About Your Loved Ones

It should go without saying, but people are sometimes consumed with everything that needs to be done relocation-wise and forget to inform family members and friends about the move. People close to you will most likely know your plans from the moment you make them, but what about those with whom you are not in contact constantly?

It would be best to throw a relocation party and invite everyone close to your heart. Not only that no one will feel left behind, but you’ll also get a chance to spend some time with the people who mean a lot to you before you finally move thousands of miles away.

Do Not Forget About Other Relocation Tasks That Lie Ahead

Notifying everyone about the move is just one of many important tasks you must face during your international move. However, there is plenty more to be done. If you want to save your time, energy, and nerves, make sure you get as much assistance as possible. Maybe an international moving company can’t help you contact the IRS, bank, or utility providers. However, it would be best to get every service they excel in – it’s one of the easiest ways to ensure you move efficiently and without a hitch.

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