When it comes to performing online searches for common services, Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) is warning people to be careful. There are many companies on the Internet looking to charge you for things you can do for free. Sometimes these companies purchase premium listings on Internet search engines which lands them at the top of common searches, such as ‘change your address’ or ‘Minnesota DMV.’
“Changing your address is a very simple process, one the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) offers for free when you do it in-person at a post office or mailing center,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of the BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota. “Online entities which offer to perform this service or others, such as assistance in renewing your driver’s license, do little more than provide information that’s readily available for free.”
BBB is aware of one company called MyPostalAddressChange.com, which references the USPS prominently on their home page. However, the company – which appears to operate out of Australia – acknowledges in the fine print they are “not affiliated with the Post Office or any other government agency.” Another company which has been brought to BBB’s attention is MinnesotaDriversLicense.org, which claims to be ‘Your source for Minnesota driver’s license information.” However, a disclaimer on their website states: "MinnesotaDriversLicense.org is privately owned and is neither operated by, nor affiliated with, any government agency.”
BBB has received complaints against MyPostalAddressChange.com, which allege consumers were deceived into believing they were dealing with the U.S. Postal Service.
“Usually the Internet is viewed as a savings tool,” added Badgerow. “In some cases, though, it’s actually leading to cases where people are spending money unnecessarily.”
According to information on the United States Postal Service's website, "change of address" websites charge customers to change an address and, in some cases, the change never gets made. The Postal Service has no affiliation with the businesses that operate these sites. The Postal Service official website is usps.com. The Postal Service does charge $1 for identity verification for customers who change an address online. Another option, which is free, allows customers to mail or submit in person a Change of Address order to any Post Office.
People interested in renewing their driver’s license or vehicle registration should visit the Department of Public Safety’s website.