Moving House Checklist > Redirecting Mail

You know what it’s like when you feel like you’ve forgotten something crucial. This feeling is a fact of moving house – but it doesn’t mean you can’t be systematic in covering everything off. Here’s our quick checklist on how to redirect mail when you change address.

Redirecting your post is super easy to do and saves you plenty of trouble down the line. If you forget to redirect your mail when you move, there’s a chance that personal or sensitive information falls into the wrong hands. And this means that you could become the victim of identity fraud. You don’t want to miss important documents sent to your old address either.

Below, we’ve outlined the different ways to redirect mail – so that every time you move house you take your identity with you!

When should you apply?

It’s best to apply three weeks before you move, but ideally as soon as possible. This gives plenty of time for a Redirection to be set up. Royal Mail, for example, needs at least five working days to carry out this process.

You can apply:

  • A maximum of six months before you move
  • Up to six months after you’ve moved

Note: If you give less than five working days’ notice of your move, some of your mail might be delivered to your old address.

Royal Mail offers a variety of ways to redirect your mail. You can redirect mail to any UK or overseas address for 3, 6 or 12 months from just £33.99.

You can also redirect other people’s mail if you all live at the same address. It’s possible as well to arrange a Redirection for the mail of someone who has died. In all cases, you’ll need to apply either at a Post Office® or by post.

You can’t, however, arrange a Redirection for people who don’t live at the same address as you, unless you have Power of Attorney.

How to Redirect Mail by Paper Form

You can apply by post to have your mail redirected. All you need to do is complete Royal Mail’s application form.

As part of this, you’ll have to provide proof of identity and original documents showing the address you’re moving from. Royal Mail will not accept photocopies but they will return originals to you – so you don’t need to worry about losing these.

Note: Make sure your details are correct! Otherwise, any mail on its way to your old address won’t be redirected.

If everyone applying shares the same last name, Royal Mail only needs identification from the person sending the application. If you have different last names, you need to send identification for each person, choosing one of the following:

  • Two different utility bills from the last six months (not a mobile phone or store / charge-card statement, bills printed from the internet are not valid)
  • A bank/building-society statement from the last six months
  • A credit card statement from the last six months

How do I pay?

Royal Mail only accepts payment by cheque payable to Royal Mail Group Ltd. If you have different last names, you need to enclose a separate cheque in the name of each different last name.

Then, post your completed application form, proof of identity and cheque(s) for the Redirection service you require to:

Royal Mail Redirection Centre

PO Box 944

STOKE ON TRENT

ST1 5DB

United Kingdom

For security purposes, Royal Mail will send an acknowledgement letter to your old address to confirm that you have set up a Redirection. This is just in case this was set up without your knowledge. If you’re already aware of it, then you can safely ignore the letter.

How to Redirect Mail Online

The fastest way to apply for a Redirection is online. You can apply here using Royal Mail’s online application form.

You’ll need:

  • A Royal Mail online account (you can set this up as part of your application if you haven’t got one already). It’s very quick and easy.
  • The names and dates of birth of everyone who needs their mail redirecting.
  • The full address and postcode of your old and new addresses.
  • To give at least 5 working days’ notice of the date you want your Redirection to start.
  • A valid credit or debit card (American Express or pre-paid cards not accepted).

Note: For moves involving more than 8 people, you’ll need to apply at the Post Office or by posting the form you can download from the Apply and Buy section.

How to Redirect Mail in Person

You can also apply and buy at your nearest Post Office® by following the below steps. You will need to do this if you’re applying for >8 people, on behalf of the deceased or for people you have Power of Attorney for.

Download, print and complete the online application form or pick up an application form at your local Post Office®. You’ll need two forms of proof of identity that show the address you’re moving from. These must be the originals as photocopies are not accepted.

If you are providing bills and statements as ID, they must be dated within the last six months. If everyone applying shares the same last name, the ID of the person applying will only be required at the Post Office® branch. Otherwise, you’ll need two different forms of original identification – not photocopies – for each different last name on the form.

Practicalities of Redirecting Mail

Your mail will go to the delivery office for your old address first before it’s forwarded. This will add at least a day to its journey. From there, it will be forwarded using a 1st Class Mail service to your new address, unless it was sent by Special Delivery Guaranteed®. Items sent by this service will still require a signature, but guaranteed delivery dates won’t apply.

If you’ve moved outside the UK, Royal Mail will forward your mail by International Standard.

Exceptions

Laws and restrictions prevent Royal Mail from redirecting certain items to addresses both within and outside the UK. You can find out more about this on the Royal Mail website.

Who else should I notify about my move?

You can keep it secret and go into hiding. But it would probably be a good idea to let your family and friends know where you’re heading! You can do this via text or even mail the people you care about with personalised letters, as an extra touch.

Electoral role

Updating your information on your electoral role ensures you get to vote in local and national elections at your new address. Being registered at your new house will also help your credit score, as it helps lenders check your name and address.

Delivery platforms and subscriptions

If you’re someone with a lot of subscriptions and regularly receive parcels and packages, then you’ll want to update your address on these platforms  as soon as you move. This way, your deliveries will arrive at the right place, at the right time.

You’d be surprised how often people accidentally order packages to old addresses, especially with modern e-com sites’ (usually super helpful!) tendency to save and pre-populate our address details …

GP and Dentist

You’ll need to tell your GP, dentist and any other medical professionals about your change of address so they can update your records. If you’re moving to a different catchment area, you’ll probably be signing up to a new GP anyway, in which case you’ll give your new address when registering.

Bank

The importance of informing any banks and building societies you use should not be overlooked. They will need to update their records for you, and you certainly don’t want any bank details sent to your old address!

Home insurance

Remember to inform your home insurance provider of your change of address, as you will need a new policy for your new home. This may well see a change in your premium. For example, your insurer may deem your new area to be riskier (or safer) than your old address.

Moving house is a perfect time to change your home insurance provider, especially as you’ll likely have an up-to-date inventory list to inform your contents insurance. Even if you’re keeping the same provider, it’s vital they have an up-to-date address for bills and any subsequent contact.

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