Sometimes, your name and passport don’t serve as comprehensive proofs of your eligibility. There’s a particular list of official operations and tasks that require more information about you as an applicant. Proof of address (also called proof of residence) is usually needed if you, say, want to register at the DMV or open a new bank account. Below is a comprehensive explanation of this document’s importance as well as a fresh instruction for getting one for yourself in 2021.
What Is Proof of Address?
Proof of address isn’t a single document and includes several common ones that can be accepted as proof of address. It must be a valid document issued by the government or another eligible organization and contain the following personal information:
- your full name;
- your real current residential address;
- document issue date;
- the name of the issuing authority and reference to this entity.
The list of documents that can be accepted as a valid proof of address include:
- Utility bills – electricity, gas, water, etc.;
- Bank statements, credit card statements, reference letters;
- Social insurance statement;
- Letters from eligible public authorities;
- Vehicle registration sheet;
- Mortgage or rental contracts;
- Voter registration confirmation;
- Change of address form;
- Official letters from school, university, or employer.
That is only a selection of the most common options. However, you should also understand that particular organizations may accept only some of these documents or even request 2 different proofs of address. Rules for the age of documents can also be applied. Some papers can be accepted only within 3 months or less after issuance, while the others remain valid for a year or even more. You should always be attentive to such aspects to avoid delays. The best way is to ask every particular organization about the types of documents they accept as proof of address.
What Documents Are Not Accepted?
Although you can always request a range of necessary documents, the knowledge about commonly unacceptable proofs of the address will make your life a bit easier too. Here are the basics to remember:
- Even if your proof of ID has your address on it, it won’t be accepted in the vast majority of cases, and a separate piece of proof will be requested.
- Old proofs of the address of any kind can be rejected;
- Documents that reveal a residence address that’s different from the initially stated address will be rejected or even reported to the responsible organs;
- Photocopies and printouts are often not accepted or accepted only if you show an original document to the acceptor to verify the copy.
- Pension and insurance documents can be rejected;
- Invoices for purchasing goods will always be rejected;
- Handwritten bills will be rejected in 99,9% of cases.
Obtaining Proof of Address in 2021
There are always chances that you already have such a document, but don’t realize it. In this case, you can simply go through your mail or documents archives. This won’t work in a situation when you have moved recently, though. In such a case, you have to contact all the organizations you work with to notify them of the change as soon as possible. This relates to your banks, insurance providers, healthcare providers, and a custom range of other parties. Now, let’s figure out how to do things right and without useless guesswork.
Average Ways to Get Proof of Residence
The first option that you should try is to look around your home for some utility bills, paychecks, bank or credit card statements, etc. In case you don’t have a job or all the bills are not in your name, you should take a look on the records you have (you must have) in a file somewhere. You will surely find at least a rental contract, your insurance policies, or other documents from your school, university, etc. Well, you can also register to vote if the requesting party accepts official vote registration letters. If you have recently moved to a new state on your own vehicle, you can go and register it and use the document as proof.
Ways to Get Proof of Address Online
If you don’t find any paper proofs, open your laptop and try to find any official documents that can serve for the same purpose. For example, you can check out the letters from your bank. Most probably, you will find a month-old PDF statement. You can simply print it or mail it to the requesting organization. First, you should check whether it will be accepted anyway. If the requestor needs an original document, you can also request an original bank statement online and wait for it to be delivered by the postal service.
Write an Affidavit of Residency
Some organizations may request an affidavit of residency along with your ID card, utility bills, and other supporting documentation you have. An affidavit is an option to prove your residency under penalty of perjury or under oath. It’s a very serious document that is accepted in most cases.
To write an affidavit, you have to fill out a standard form by entering such information as a new address, move-in date, full-time residency statement, and other information. All the data must be clear and valid. Otherwise, it can lead to prosecution.
When the form is complete, you have to hire a Notary Public to notarize your affidavit. Only after this, the document becomes a legal instrument. Remember that a Notary Public won’t be able to notarize the form if you don’t provide your ID. You are also required to sign the form only in front of the Notary to let them ensure that you decide to do so without pressure.
Get Ready in Advance
The rule of thumb is to have at least one proof of address in your records. Otherwise, a request for such a document will reach you by surprise and ‘eat’ a significant amount of time that could be used to solve the current problem instead of searching for the papers and visiting a Notary Public. Prepare such obvious docs in advance and forget about problems.