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Moving Paperwork Explained

Managing Your Paperwork When You Move

By Artur Camins

Researcher & Writer

Read More

March 6, 2023
6 min read

In addition to the obvious packing and heavy lifting, moving also requires a mountain of administrative paperwork. From forwarding your mail to managing your utilities, there’s a lot to do before and after your actual moving day.

Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, there are a variety of documents you’ll need to keep track of. In this post, we’ll explain the most important documents you need when moving and how to manage them effectively.

Moving Paperwork Overview

Before we dive into the details, here’s a quick overview of the moving paperwork you’ll need to manage:

Moving contract: a legal document that outlines the terms of your move, including the price and delivery date

Moving estimate: an estimate of the cost of your move based on the services you require

Inventory list: a list of all the items you’re moving

Bill of lading: a receipt for your goods that includes details about the shipment

Insurance policy: a document that outlines the coverage for your move

Change of address form: a form that notifies the post office of your new address

Various personal documents: driver’s license, social security card, passport, etc.

Also, to make the process easier, make sure to check out these helpful resources:

Moving Checklist  – Moving involves lots of little details. Our complete moving checklist can help ensure that nothing gets overlooked.

Moving Cost Guide – Still in the beginning stages of your move? Our moving cost guide is the perfect pre-move budgeting article to get you started.

How to Find A Great Mover – For a stress-free move, hire a top-rated moving company with verified customer reviews.

How to Manage Your Moving Paperwork

📝 Give Notice to Your Landlord

If you’re renting your current home, you’ll need to give your landlord notice that you’re moving out. The amount of notice required will depend on your lease agreement, so make sure to check the terms carefully. Typically, you’ll need to give at least 30 days’ notice.

📝 Set Up Utility Cancellation and Start Dates

📝 Inform Your Health Care Providers

📝 Forwarding Medical Prescriptions

📝 Update Your Address for Voting

📝 Inform Your Credit Card Companies and Banks

📝 Inform Your Children’s Current and Future Schools

📝 Update Your Address for Social Security and Medicare Benefits

📝 Get a New Driver’s License


How much will my move cost?

Find a great mover and get an instant quote for long distance professional moving services.

Recommended Resources

Moving can be a complex and overwhelming process, but there are resources available to help you manage your paperwork and stay organized.

Here are some helpful resources for managing your moving paperwork:


Managing your moving paperwork can be overwhelming, but it is an important part of the moving process. By staying organized and keeping track of all of your important documents, you can help ensure a smooth and successful move. Remember to update your address with various government agencies, healthcare providers, credit card companies, banks, and schools to avoid any delays or missed correspondence. Use the recommended resources and tips in this article to help you manage your moving paperwork and make your move as stress-free as possible.

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Frequently asked questions

What documents do I need when moving?

When moving, you will need to keep track of a variety of documents, including your moving contract, moving estimate, and any receipts or invoices related to your move. You will also need to update your address with various government agencies, healthcare providers, credit card companies, banks, and schools.

How do I manage my moving paperwork?

To manage your moving paperwork, start by creating a file or folder to keep all of your important documents in one place. Keep track of your moving contract, moving estimate, receipts, and invoices. Update your address with various government agencies, healthcare providers, credit card companies, banks, and schools. Consider using a moving checklist to help you stay organized.

What should I do before moving?

Before moving, make sure you give notice to your landlord, set up utility cancellation and start dates, forward your mail, inform your healthcare providers, update your address for voting, inform your credit card companies and banks, inform your children’s current and future schools, update your address for Social Security and Medicare benefits, and get a new driver’s license.

How do I protect myself from identity theft during a move?

To protect yourself from identity theft during a move, be careful with your personal information. Shred any documents that contain personal information before throwing them away. Keep your important documents with you during the move rather than leaving them in a moving truck or storage unit. Be cautious of any unsolicited emails or phone calls asking for personal information.

What is a moving estimate?

A moving estimate is a document provided by a moving company that outlines the estimated cost of your move. Make sure to get a written estimate from your moving company and read it carefully to understand the details and costs associated with your move. There are generally two types of moving estimates: binding and non-binding estimates.

A binding estimate is a written agreement that guarantees the cost of your move will not exceed the estimated amount, even if the actual weight of your belongings is more than anticipated. This can provide peace of mind and protect you from unexpected expenses. However, if you add items to your move or require additional services, the estimate may need to be updated, so make sure to communicate any changes with your moving company.

A non-binding estimate, on the other hand, is an approximation of the cost of your move based on the weight of your belongings and the services you require. The actual cost may vary depending on the actual weight of your items and the services provided. It’s important to note that a non-binding estimate can increase, but it cannot exceed 110% of the original estimate, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

It’s a good idea to get at least three estimates from different moving companies to compare costs and services offered. This can help you make an informed decision and find the best moving company for your needs and budget.

What other moving documents should I be aware of?

In addition to the moving estimate, there are several other documents that you should be aware of when moving:

Moving contract: This is a legal document that outlines the terms and conditions of your move, including the services provided, the cost, and the timeline. Make sure to read and understand the contract before signing it and keep a copy for your records.

Bill of lading: This is a receipt for your belongings and a contract between you and the moving company. It includes a description of the items being moved, the pickup and delivery dates, and the agreed-upon cost. Make sure to review the bill of lading before signing it and keep a copy for your records.

Inventory list: This is a detailed list of all the items being moved, including their condition and value. It’s important to review and sign the inventory list before the move and to keep a copy for your records.

Insurance documents: Moving companies are required to offer two types of insurance: released value protection and full value protection. Released value protection is included in the cost of your move and provides coverage for your belongings based on weight. Full value protection, on the other hand, provides more comprehensive coverage for your items. Make sure to review and understand the insurance options offered by your moving company and choose the one that best suits your needs.

By understanding these moving documents and taking the time to review and understand them, you can ensure a smooth and stress-free move. Make sure to keep copies of all important documents and keep them in a safe place for future reference.