Completing a Change of Address in the District of Columbia

To complete a change of address in Washington D.C., you can apply online or by mail if you’re moving locally, and in person, if you’re brand new to the area.
Written by Lindsey Muszkiewicz
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Whether you’re a new resident of the District of Columbia (D.C.) or moving from within the state, you’ll need a REAL ID. Once you have your REAL ID in hand, within-state movers can register their new address online, while out-of-state movers will have to register in person at the DMV. 
Moving is rarely a cakewalk, and little things always seem to go wrong—you’ve somehow misplaced all your spoons when packing, or have completely forgotten to make your essentials easily accessible for the next day (like your toothbrush). After moving, you might find yourself looking forward to collapsing onto your new couch and staying there indefinitely.
But there are a few crucial things to take care of first, like changing your address and applying for a new ID or license. We know how much energy moving takes—that’s why we’ve put all the information you’ll need to make a change of address in D.C. right here for you to follow. 
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Changing your address on a D.C. driver’s license

First, you’ll need to acquire a REAL ID. The REAL ID Act, a law that passed in 2005 with specific requirements for state-issued identification. Although not a “state,” this includes the District of Columbia. 
The good news is you have a grace period of 60 days to update your address or convert your out-of-state license to a DC DMV REAL ID. Here’s a quick way to check you have all the right documents in hand.

If you’re moving within the District of Columbia

D.C. DMV offers multiple options to update your address if you already have a
or a
Limited Purpose Credential
. To check if your license is a REAL ID, there should be a star in the upper right-hand corner of the card. OR, if you’re missing the star, you may have an
Enhanced Driver’s License
. Don’t worry, these are still federally compliant! 
If you don’t have these, you must
apply for a D.C. DMV REAL ID
in person and can change your address at the same time. 
That’s a lot of ways to go about changing your address, but no matter how you decide to do so, you’ll need proof of residency (two items of proof to be exact), proof of address, and your old driver’s license as identification. There is a
fee to update your address
, but it’s only $20 and can also be paid online! 

Moving to the District of Columbia from out-of-state

Moving from out of state is a more complex process—mostly because you’ll have to update and
convert your driver’s license
, which in D.C. can only be completed in person.  
You’ll have to get your documents together, which needs to include two
proof of address documents that
the DMV requires, as well as your old license and your
completed license application
. You should also have documents that can provide the following
  • Your legal name 
  • Your birth date 
  • Your United States citizenship status
  • Your Social Security number (SSN)
  • Your new address
You can use a wide variety of documents to provide this information, as long as they meet those minimum requirements. 
A passport or birth certificate can prove your name, birthday, and citizenship status. As for the rest, a Social Security card, W-2 form, or pay statement with your name and SSN can be used to confirm your identity if you don’t have a Social Security Card handy. To prove your new street address, you need two items such as an unexpired mortgage or rental agreement, a utility bill, or an updated
renter’s insurance
You’ll also need to bring your old ID or driver’s license. Once your documents are collected, head to the
nearest DMV office
and purchase your new
driver’s license
, which starts at $47.If you are receiving a non-driver ID card, the cost is only $20. 

Other things to know for changing your address in the District of Columbia 

It’s not just important to change your address for your license; you also can’t forget to update your mailing address with the United States Postal Service (USPS). They have a quick and easy
change of address form online
, so you won’t be waiting on missing packages that end up being sent to the wrong address. You’re also able to update your voter registration when you do this, all for free!  
You’ll also have to update your
vehicle’s registration
after receiving your new license from the D.C. DMV, which has its own
document verification guide
. Just like changing your address and applying for a new license, you’ll have 60 days from the time of your residency in the District of Columbia to update your vehicle registration. 

How to notify your insurance company of your change of address

One of the most important things when moving is updating your insurance company on your new address. This is crucial to avoid a lapse in coverage. 
The good news is that changing your address with them is as easy as calling your agent. These days, most insurance companies even have an app or online portal to enter important but simple updates like address changes. Check the terms of your policy in regards to changes of address, and when in doubt, call! 

Why notifying your insurance company of a change of address is so important

After your long week moving and dealing with the DMV, the last thing you want is to be stopped for a silly thing like a busted tail-light—and discover your insurance isn’t valid. 
And the District of Columbia being
the 9th worst city in America to drive in
, it’s a basic necessity to make sure you’re covered. And if you don’t notify your insurance company, allowing your policy to lapse, you could face up to an
8% increase in your premium
and large fines after 30 days of remaining uncovered in D.C.
Why does not changing your address matter so much? Insurance companies use your address to set your rate and determine the risk associated with certain ZIP codes. If your ZIP code changes and you don’t tell your insurance company, even if it’s accidental and you honestly forgot, it can still be considered fraud.
Key Takeaway Not updating your address with your insurance company can create sky-high rates on car, home, and renters insurance that last for years.
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How to find affordable car insurance in the District of Columbia

Updating your address with your insurance company is important to avoid a potentially devastating lapse in coverage—unfortunately, you may see your
car insurance
rate change based on your new ZIP code. 
Because of this, it’s recommended that you shop for updated car insurance after any move, whether it’s across the country or down the block. Thankfully, this may be one of the easier parts on your checklist of tasks when you move:
licensed broker
and super app
can find the best rates on car insurance in D.C. in just 45 seconds! 
Driving in D.C. can be a living hell, but that doesn’t mean finding affordable, quality car insurance needs to be. With Jerry, you can get the absolute best rates, with users saving an average of over $800 a year on car insurance! 
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As long as you’re only moving with D.C.—yes! Just head to the DMV’s online portal to fill out the
change of address form
Yes. All new residents are required to apply for a D.C. DMV REAL ID within 60 days of establishing residency. But good news: if you’ve already got a driver’s license from another state, you won’t need to take a driving test to get your new license.
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