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How to Set Up Mail Forwarding and Change Your Address

A mail box overflows with newspapers, letters, and more, likely because mail forwarding or address changes weren't set up before moving in Ottawa.

Brent Oswald

Brent Oswald

One Less Thing to Worry About While Moving in Ottawa

Thanks to online forms and submissions, changing your address before a move has never been easier. And while it’s one of the easier tasks during a move, it gets overlooked during this stressful time.

You may not forget to set up your Internet and hydro. But you might forget to change your address with some places, only realizing months later when you haven’t been important mail.

When it comes to sensitive mail that has your financial and personal information (i.e your date of birth and your social insurance number), you can’t be too careful. If this mail gets into the wrong person’s hands, you’re at risk of having your identity stolen.

Set a date and time to change your address with every account or service you can think of before moving in Ottawa. And consider using Canada Post’s change of address mail forwarding service. This service redirects all mail to your new address in case you forget to change your address with some places.

What Is Mail Forwarding?

Canada Post offers a mail forwarding service for a one-time cost that will forward your mail from your old address to your new one after you move.

This is an essential service so you don’t lose any important mail, or have it end up in the wrong hands.

You can buy this service for four months or 12 months. You can make the purchase online or by visiting a local post office.

Do note that this service does not apply to:

  • Newspapers and flyers;
  • Prepaid envelopes;
  • Mail administered through a private mailbox company;
  • Mail in a shared delivery location—i.e. a hospital, hotel, office, or college dormitory; and
  • Parcels.

Make sure to notify senders of your new address when shopping online and expecting parcel deliveries.

Mail forwarding allows you to receive important mail from senders who you’ve forgotten to change your address with. But it does not inform senders of your new address.

You will need to do a change of address either online, in person, or by mail with all accounts, government departments, and services you use.

How to Change Your Address

You should be able to change your address online for most government services, financial institutions, and online accounts. When signed into these accounts online, click on “Profile” and “Change Address.”

The Government of Canada’s website has information about changing your address with federal departments, like immigration and citizenship services, and Canada Revenue Agency.

Service Ontario allows you to change your address online for your health card, driver’s licence, and vehicle permit. You will need your new address, the numbers on your cards, and the current postal code that your cards are registered with.

By law, you must update your address for your driver’s licence and vehicle permit within six days of moving to a new address. For your health card, you have 30 days to update your address. But if you plan to update your address online for one, you can choose to update your address for all at once, saving you time and headache later on.

Along with other tips and life hacks to make your move less stressful, consider using this checklist so you don’t forget to change your address with all important companies, services, and departments.

Your Change of Address Checklist

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.  Use this checklist as a starting point to make sure you’ve got all your bases covered when it’s time to change your address.

Priority

Start here with mail forwarding and address changes. These should be your top priorities, as mail forwarding with Canada Post gives you a bit of breathing room to gradually update your address elsewhere over a longer period of time.

  • Canada Post—sign up for mail forwarding;
  • Employers—for your paycheques, tax forms, employee benefits, etc.
Financial Services

If you still receive paper bills, don’t forget to update your address with any financial institutions you have an account with. If you went paperless, it’s still worthwhile to stay current with your bank.

  • Banks/credit unions
  • Credit cards
  • Student loans
  • Loan issuers
  • Investments
  • Financial assistance
Insurance Providers

It is absolutely vital your insurance providers have accurate details about your residence and how to reach you.

  • Health and dental insurance
  • Home/renter’s insurance
  • Car insurance
Utilities & Home Services

Updating your utilitieis and home services should ideally take place while you switch over to your new address and home.

  • Power/hydro
  • Gas
  • Water
  • Home phone
  • Cell phone
  • Internet
  • Cable
  • Landscaping
  • Snow removal
  • Cleaners
Government Departments

If you receive regular mailings from the Federal or Provincial governments, such as rebates or tax benefits, updating your address is a must. Note that updating your address with Canada Revenue Agency can also take place during tax season when you file a return.

  • Provincial health card
  • Driver’s license
  • Provincial vehicle permit
  • Canada Revenue Agency
  • Citizenship and Immigration
  • Veteran Affairs
  • Elections Canada
Online Services

Don’t forget to update your delivery addresses for any online accounts you might have. This can save you from missing a shipment.

  • Netflix and other streaming services
  • PayPal
  • Online shopping accounts
People

It goes without saying that family, friends, and healthcare providers should have up-to-date addresses when you move!

  • Doctors and Dentists
  • Lawyers
  • Babysitters
  • Veterinarians
  • Family
  • Friends
Miscellaneous

Add any other miscellaneous people, places, or services you need to change your address with, i.e. any place that has your credit card billing address, such as your gym.

Why It’s Worth Doing Quickly

Set an afternoon aside to change your address with all the people and places on your checklist. While you can change your address for most places online, you may need to call some places as well.

Many services allow you to have your change of address effective on a specific date, so you can do this well in advance of your move.

By setting aside the time to do this, you can get it out of the way quickly and efficiently, having one less thing to stress about during your busy move.

Setting Up Utilities Ahead of Time

For added peace of mind, contact your utility providers ahead of time to switch over your accounts to your new address.

Most utility providers allow you to do this online, and you can even set the move-out (end service) and move-in (start service) date for your new home.

The last thing you want is to move into your new home and not have any power or water. Be sure to make this a priority when changing your address with all of your service providers.

Get your address changed ahead of time so you can have one less thing to worry about in the hectic time leading up to your move.

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Brent Oswald is the owner and manager of TLC Moving and Storage, a fully insured professional movers. They provide nothing but the highest quality service for all your commercial and residential moving needs, for long distance and local moves as well. With over 30 years of experience moving Ottawa families and businesses, TLC Moving & Storage provides Full packing service, Local and long distance moves, Office moves, Residential moving.