Changing your address on legal documents starts with the change-of-address form. Once it arrives on the desk of a government agency, the change is made and you’re sent a confirmation letter. From there your mail will start arriving at your new address.
But how do you get a hold of the change-of-address form? Well, you could print it, but that’s not the best idea. Any links you find that aren’t directly linked to “.gov” websites—which are government websites—should be looked at with scrutiny and completely ignored. And who’s to say they aren’t outdated.
No, instead, getting in touch with your local postal office or other government agency is necessary.
Weigh Your Options
Printing a change-of-address form is basically useless. Any nearby post office will hand over a change-of-address form free of charge. It’s mailing the form that will cost you a stamp or two based on where the letter is headed; the further it has to travel, the more stamps it needs.
Alternatively, you can change your address online. Unfortunately, this too will cost you, though it’s very cheap. According to usa.gov—who handle the transaction—the fee is “…an identity verification fee to prevent fraud and make sure you’re the one making the change.” It’s no more than $1.05 to change your address online, so about the cost of a few stamps.
However, you need to watch out for scams. Some places will change large sums to change your address when it can be done for a dollar and some change. Be vigilant!
Changing Your Address in Person
Changing your address in person involves visiting the nearest post office and filling out the change-of-address form. That’s all there is to it, and the form is free! With that said, you’ll need to pay for postage, naturally.
When you walk into the post office, ask for PS form 3575 and fill it out. Once it’s finished, hand the form over to a clerk behind the counter and you can be on your way. When the change of address is made, you will get a confirmation letter within five business days.
Changing Your Address Online
A much quicker way of changing your address is by using USPS’ website. Their change-of-address form is available online, saving you a trip to the post office. However, do note that it will cost you $1.05. You will also need a valid email address so that a confirmation email can be sent to you.
The Post Office Isn’t Your Only Option
The post office is generally the best place to change your address, considering it’s typically nearby, but it isn’t the only place that can help you change your address. In the event that one of these government agencies are closer to you than the post office, these can be used as alternatives.
- IRS (Internal Revenue Service)
- SSA (Social Security Administration)
- VA (Department of Veterans Affairs)
- USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services)
- State Motor Vehicles Agencies (for driver’s license and registration)
- State Election Offices (change address on voter registration)
In conclusion, the process of changing your address is by no means difficult, but it can be tedious. It may seem difficult but it only appears that way because it takes time when, in reality, it’s a bunch of paperwork. To help with the process make a checklist of everything that associates with your address, like your driver’s license, voter registration, credit and debit cards, and so on.
In the event that you’re staying somewhere temporary, say, 15 days or longer, then it may be advantageous to send in a change-of-address to have your mail forwarded. The form does include an entry that you can specify if the move is temporary or not.