If you are a driver and you have moved to a new home, either in the same state or in a different one, it is your obligation to change your address, so that the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) has your registration information updated, otherwise you could be penalized by law.
To learn more about the address change on your driver’s license, do not hesitate to read this article and consult the different ways to do it.
What is a change of address on a driver’s license?
It is worth mentioning that the address change is something that must be done in all the states of the country, although each one has its own rules, so we recommend you to check the information about the change of address in your state.
We will take the California DMV here as an example, although there is not much difference with the rules of other states, since, generally, they are the same and the same steps must be followed.
REMINDER: Don’t forget, for your own safety, to check with the DMV in your state to find out what the rules are in that state.
Who must make the change of address?
As mentioned above, it is your responsibility to change your address with the DMV to avoid future penalties. To do this, you must complete the corresponding paperwork, which can be done in different ways (more on this later). The people who must make the address change are:
- People who moved to another address in the same state.
- In case of marriage.
- After a divorce, which implies a change of address and name.
How to make the address change on your driver’s license
Now that you know why you need to change the address on your driver’s license, we will explain how to do it. You have three options for making this change: online, by mail, or in person. Let’s take a look at each of these ways below.
To make the address change by mail, the applicant must download and complete the DMV form for his or her state. If you are unable to download the form, you should request it from the DMV phone number (you can find it on your state’s official DMV website), which will mail it to your address within approximately one week.
If you prefer to complete the process in person, you must go to the DMV office nearest you to request the printed form. After the document is given to the applicant, the only thing left to do is to fill it out and return it to a DMV advisor.
After the application is submitted, the address change process will begin, which can take up to 10 days.
To change the address online, the applicant must go to the official DMV website for the state in which he/she resides and follow a series of steps to complete the process.
- Log in to the address system on the local DMV website.
- Log in with your driver’s license number without spaces between digits or as required.
- Enter your last name, first name and middle initial.
- Enter your date of birth with the signs (For example, “10/04/1964”). Generally, the DMV system provides a box for the month, day and year to facilitate the process.
- Enter the last four digits of your Social Security Number (SSN).
- Enter the date your driver’s license was issued in the month, day and year boxes, as explained in the fourth bullet.
- Select the license change option and click on “Change Address”, or the button that allows you to continue with the procedure.
- Enter your old address.
- Enter the portal address and/or residence address you need to change, and click on “Continue”, or “Change”, as appropriate.
- Read the information provided on the screen and follow the instructions provided.
- Enter the new and updated residence address. Don’t forget to verify that all the information is correct and, if there are any typing errors, you should edit them.
- Review the DMV online service terms and conditions regarding the change.
- Accept the terms and conditions.
- Identify whether you want the DMV to notify the Secretary of State (voter registration) of the new information.
- Once you have completed the application, you will need to print and save it.
Tips on changing your address online
Here are some tips that will help you make the address change process go smoothly.
- Verify that the web page where you will make the change is the official site of the Department of Motor Vehicles corresponding to the state in which you reside, since not all states have the same rules to carry out this procedure.
- When you make the change online, the process is completely free of charge.
- After filling out the application and printing it, write down the date and time of the transaction, and the transaction number, if generated.
Frequently Asked Questions
When can I change my address?
If you have moved and, in addition to your address change, you need to renew a DMV-related document, such as a driver’s license, you can do these procedures at the same time.
What happens if I don’t change my address?
Although the DMV does not detail what happens if you do not notify the address change, most likely, if you drive without this updated document, you may face a penalty.
This will damage your driving record, since driving with an outdated certificate or with old information is against the law.
In case the driver is the victim of a traffic accident and does not have updated information, the legal situation may be aggravated and the driver’s license may even be suspended.