Your Checklist for Moving Within Georgia
We all know there’s a whole slew of things to do when moving across the country. We don’t expect a simple process.
But what if you move just down the street?
If you’re planning to or have recently moved from one home to the another within Georgia, then this post is for you. Though the two homes might only be 10 miles apart, you’ll still need to check a number of items off your list.
So what do you need to do?
- Update your mailing address
- Update your driver’s license, permit, or ID
- Update your vehicle title and registration
- Update your address with the IRS
- Update your benefits information
- Update your voter registration
- Enroll your children (if any) in a local school
- Apply for homestead exemption (if you have bought a home)
You do not need to update the address on your passport.
You can easily update your address with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) online with an email address, credit card, and a $1 fee. To avoid the fee, pick up a Mover’s Guide from your local post office and complete the required instructions.
Complete the change of address within 3 months before moving. (You cannot change your mailing address sooner than that.) USPS will forward mail from your old address for up to 12 months, depending on the type of mail it is. Make sure to update the address for your bills, statements, subscriptions, and rewards programs before the forwarding period is up.
Driver’s License, Permit, or ID
Once you’ve moved, start here! You’ll need an updated license or ID to complete many of the remaining steps.
Within 60 days of moving, you must update the address on your driver’s license, permit, or ID card. You can update online or at a Customer Service Center.
You can change the address on your driver’s license or ID card once for free during the card’s term, as long as you request the change at least 150 days before the card expires. Otherwise, the change will require a card renewal, which costs the typical renewal fee and extends the card’s expiration date. If you renew online, you’ll receive a $5 discount.
Vehicle Title and Registration
Once you’ve updated your driver’s license or ID card, you can change the address on your vehicle title and registration certificate (tag receipt) at a County Tag Office. You must complete this step within 30 days of moving.
Notify the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that your address has changed with Form 8822, on your tax return, as a written statement, in person, or over the phone. Learn the details required for each method from the IRS Address Changes page.
The timing and process for updating your benefits information varies by program. Please check with the specific program for details, but we’ve listed a few common programs here to get you started.
If you receive benefits from one of the following programs, log into Georgia Gateway to update your address and other information. Once you’re logged in, follow the “Report My Change” link at the top of the Customer Portal homepage:
- PeachCare for Kids®
- Childcare and Parents Services (CAPS)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/Food Stamps)
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
- Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
Contact the appropriate organizations for each of the following programs:
- Unemployment insurance: Georgia Department of Labor
- Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income, or Medicare: Social Security Administration
- Veteran benefit payments: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (You may also contact the Georgia Department of Veterans Service for assistance.)
Generally, you need to update your voter registration at least 30 days before an election. However, you may vote at your former polling location if either of the following apply:
- You moved within the same county and haven’t yet updated your address with the board of registrars. (You will still need to update your address to continue voting in future elections.)
- You moved to a new county within 30 days of an election.
You will need a valid driver’s license or ID associated with your new address to update your voter registration.
Young Georgians between 6 and 16 are legally required to attend a public or private school or a home study program. To ensure a smooth school transfer for your child, talk with the administrative offices of your child’s current and future schools. They’ll help you figure out what documents you need.
New student registration usually takes place in the spring. Please contact your local school district for specific information, as registration details and transferable credits and grades vary from one system to the next.
If you bought a new home before this past January, you can apply for a homestead exemption. This exemption will legally excuse you from a certain amount of taxes that you owe on your property, possibly saving you hundreds or thousands of dollars a year.
The specifics rely on your county or city, but the basic eligibility requirements are:
- You must occupy the home
- The home must be your legal residence
You must file a homestead application by April 1 to receive credit for the current year. Applications filed after April 1 will be granted in the following tax year.
Learn more about homestead exemptions in our recent blog post.
Settle into your New Home
Finished all that? Great!
Now that you’ve checked off everything with a deadline, here are a few final pieces to complete your move and settle into your new home:
- Find a local public library
- Locate nearby state parks
- Check out events and things to do in your area
- Enjoy your new home!