How to Update Your Address with the DMV

How to Update Your Address with the DMV

One of the necessary evils of moving is updating your address with the powers-that-be. This process is called “completing a change-of-address”, and one of the many institutions you need to do this with is the good ole DMV.

Hooray!

No matter where you’re moving to, in-state or out-of-state, you need to complete this “change-of-address” process with the DMV. Doing so allows the DMV to update your records, driver’s license, vehicle registration and vehicle title. If you don’t do this, anything the DMV tries to send you will be mailed to the wrong address, and you will get a hefty ticket if a cop pulls you over!

Now what exactly does this “change-of-address” process require of you? What do you have to do?

Well, unfortunately, the answer to those questions is complicated, because the process is different in each state.

That’s right. Each state has different regulations on what forms and tests are required, what fees will be applied, how much time you have to complete each step and what you can complete online or by mail versus what requires an in-person appointment.

While we could make this Moved’s longest blog post yet by listing each state’s information here, instead we’ll point you to an extremely useful database that already has all the information you need.

Click on this link to be directed to the DMV.org home page. Once there, select your state from the drop-down box at the top of the page. On the next page, click the green “Address Change” box at the lower-right corner, and you’ll be taken to a page that will tell you what you need to do to change your address with the DMV in your state.

General Rules

While we’ve got you here, read on for some general rules and tips to keep in mind during this process.

  • Be (very) wary of timelines! While some states are friendly, like California, and give you up to 10 days to inform the DMV of your new address, others (lookin’ at you Connecticut) require a form within 48 hours of your completed move.

  • Filling out forms. Some states require separate forms to update your vehicle registration and title certificate.

  • Inspections and paperwork. Many states require up-to-date car insurance and vehicle safety and emissions inspections results in order to register your vehicle.

  • License plate (in-state). If you’re moving somewhere within your current state, there’s obviously no need to change your license plates.

  • License plate (out-of-state). You may need to pay for a new license showing your updated address. Some states only require you to put on small labels with your new address, and others require no updated license at all.

  • Driver’s license (out-of-state). If you’re moving to a new state, you’ll need to get a new driver’s license. Thankfully, if your license is still valid, often all that’s required for a new one is a vision test.

  • Old plates. Note — some states require you to send your old plates back to a DMV in the state you moved from.

Changing your address with the DMV can be a small step, easily forgotten. Avoid potential fines and add it to your moving checklist!

And head here for more information on who you need to update your address with when moving.

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