I knew that when I bought my new house I’d have to change my address all over the place, but how to go about doing that wasn’t always very clear, so hopefully this post will help someone else who is moving one day. The first thing I did was to make a list of all of the different entities that had my physical address: my employer, my bank, cell phone provider, magazines, clubs I belong to, well, you get the idea.
None of it was particularly difficult, though I did have to FIND where to change my address a number of places. The obvious first place to change my address was at the post office, well, when I got there all they had were post cards telling me to change my address on the United States Postal Service (USPS) website. For some reason they charge $1 to “prevent fraud” when changing addresses. Whatever, it’s a ridiculous fee, but I don’t really have much choice if I want my mail forwarded. The USPS change of address process also gives you the opportunity to get some great coupons that help with getting a new place. 10% off my order at Lowe’s will more than make up for the $1 I paid to process the address change.
Changing address on my driver’s license and car registration was free through PennDOT‘s website, and if you change your driver’s license first, you can change your vehicle registration all in the same transaction. It was super simple and you can print out a temporary driver’s license and vehicle registration until the real forms come in the mail.
When I looked into changing my address with my bank the website had a form to download and take to a notary. There’s no way I’m paying a notary just to change my address, so I went down to the local branch with my account numbers and ID (my old driver’s license and my new temporary license) and they were able to change my address right there and order new checks all at the same time.
The last thing I had to do that I wasn’t quite sure about was to notify the City of Bethlehem that I was becoming a resident and to tell the City of Allentown that I was no longer going to be living there. I called Bethlehem City Hall asking who I needed to talk to and was transferred to someone in the tax division. That person was very nice and told me I’d need to contact two companies that handle Bethlehem’s taxes (outsourcing, yay?). When I asked if there was anything else I needed to do she told me no, so I hope I got everything.
The first company I was told to call was Keystone Collections Group at 724-978-0300. They manage Bethlehem’s Earned Income Tax (EIT) collections (the city tax you see taken out of your pay check). The woman I spoke with there wasn’t sure why the city told me to call her because apparently all of the EIT stuff is automatically set up when my employer withholds EIT, but while I was on the phone with her she did set up my EIT account for Bethlehem and also closed my per capita tax account for the City of Allentown.
I then was told to call Berkheimer at 866-701-7208 to set up my per capita tax information for the City of Bethlehem. The woman I spoke with told me that you’re only supposed to pay one per capita tax per year, regardless of how many times you move, so since I already paid my per capita tax to Allentown, that I wouldn’t be billed for Bethlehem until 2012.
Once I told Bethlehem that I’d become a new resident I had to tell Allentown that I wouldn’t be a resident. Unlike Bethlehem, Allentown didn’t have a general information phone number for city hall, just a long phone directory of the various departments. Since I didn’t quite know what department I wanted I took a guess and called the per capita tax number. The person I spoke with said that I just needed to call Keystone Collections Group (which I already had) to tell them I was no longer a resident and since I wasn’t a homeowner in Allentown there wasn’t anything else for me to do other than get a moving permit if I needed one.
I’m not moving my things to the new house “in bulk.” I’m taking a few things in my car every day when I go to work and in my dad’s Explorer on the weekends, so based on the wording on Bethlehem’s website I don’t think I need a moving permit unless I need a moving truck. Hopefully I won’t need one since this is my first house and I don’t have a ton of furniture, but if I do end up needing one, I’ll apply for the moving permit when that time comes.