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A Complete Guide: How to Change Home Address - California

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

Moving to a new home can be an exciting and overwhelming experience. Amidst the chaos of packing and settling into your new place, it's crucial not to overlook the proper way to change home address in California.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to ensure a seamless transition, with tips on updating your address with government agencies, utilities, financial institutions, and more.

Why It’s Essential to Update Your Home Address

Updating your home address is critical for several reasons:

  • Mail delivery: Ensuring that important mail, such as bills, statements, and tax documents, are delivered to your new address.
  • Legal compliance: Many states, including California, require residents to update their addresses within a certain timeframe after moving.
  • Voting rights: Keeping your voter registration up to date ensures that you can participate in local, state, and federal elections.
  • Safety: Emergency services, such as police, fire, and medical personnel, need accurate address information to respond promptly in case of an emergency.

Consequences of Not Updating Your Home Address

To avoid any potential issues, start updating your address at least two weeks before your moving date. This ensures that all organizations and agencies have enough time to process the changes and redirect any mail to your new address.

Failing to update your address can lead to a variety of negative consequences, including:

  • Missed mail: Unpaid bills and missed notifications can result in late fees, penalties, and damaged credit.
  • Legal issues: Not updating your address with the DMV or other government agencies may result in fines or other penalties.
  • Lost voting rights: If your voter registration is outdated, you may be unable to vote in upcoming elections.
  • Security risks: Misdirected mail containing personal information can expose you to identity theft and fraud.

Pre-Move Checklist

A well-organized pre-move checklist can make your moving process smoother and ensure you don't overlook any important tasks. Use this comprehensive pre-move checklist to help you prepare for your move and successfully update your home address.

1. Create a Timeline for Address Changes

To avoid any potential issues, start updating your address at least two weeks before your moving date. This ensures that all organizations and agencies have enough time to process the changes and redirect any mail to your new address. Moving to a new home is stressful enough; that’s why many charities offer assistance with moving expenses

2. Determine Which Organizations and Agencies to Update

Make a list of all organizations and agencies that need to be informed of your new address, including government agencies, utilities, financial institutions, healthcare providers, and others.

3. Gather Necessary Documents and Information

Before you begin updating your address, gather essential documents and information, such as your Social Security number, driver's license, proof of residency, and account numbers.

Updating Your Home Address with Government Agencies

When moving within California, it's essential to update your home address with various government agencies to ensure compliance with state regulations, maintain your voting rights, and receive important correspondence.

U.S. Postal Service (USPS)

To forward your mail to your new address, submit a change of address form online at the USPS website or at your local post office. You'll need to provide your name, old and new address, and move date.

Choose between a temporary (forwarding your mail for a specified period, up to 12 months) or permanent change of address, depending on your needs.

California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

Within ten days of moving, visit the California DMV website or a local office to update your address. You'll need your driver's license or ID card number, Social Security number, and new address information. You must also update your vehicle registration within ten days of moving. 

Social Security Administration (SSA)

If you receive Social Security benefits, update your address with the SSA by visiting their website, calling their toll-free number, or visiting a local office.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

To ensure you receive tax documents and refunds, update your address with the IRS by completing Form 8822 (Change of Address) and mailing it to the appropriate address listed on the form. You can also update your address when filing your next tax return.

Voter Registration and Political Participation

To update your voter registration, visit the California Secretary of State's website or your county's elections office. You'll need your California driver's license or ID card number, the last four digits of your Social Security number, and your new address.

Utilities and Home Services

Before moving, contact your current utility providers (electricity, gas, water, and trash collection) to either terminate the service or transfer it to your new address. Be prepared to provide your account number, move-out date, and new address.

Notify your cable, internet, and phone providers of your new address and schedule any necessary installation appointments at your new home.

Financial Institutions and Insurance Providers

Updating your address with banks and credit unions

Contact your bank or credit union to update your address for checking, savings, and other accounts. This ensures you receive statements, tax documents, and other important correspondence.


This complete guide to changing your home address in California covers all the necessary steps to ensure a seamless transition. By following the outlined steps, you can avoid the consequences of not updating your address and enjoy a smooth moving experience. For more valuable resources on government grants and assistance, head over to Gov Relations today.

Venturing into home improvements soon after a move? Our recent blog post unfolds the steps on how to apply for a Home Improvement Loan in Texas, making the transition smoother. Whether you’ve just changed your address in California, or are planning a renovation, discover the financial avenues available to turn your house into a dream home.

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.
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