We live in an ever-changing world where the situation when you live in the same house all your life is quite rare. Once you decide to move, it is of crucial importance to think about the topic of your mail forwarding.
You can change your address with the Post Office online($1.10 fee) or in person at the nearest local facility(for free). To fill out a change of address request online, visit USPS’s site here. In-person requests require you to fill out a PS Form 3575 and turn it in to a postal worker. It is best if you submit your form at least 2 weeks prior to moving houses.
In this article, we will provide you with all the necessary information so your mail will never be delivered to your old address by mistake.
When Should I Change my Address with the Post Office?
Ideally, you should change your address with the post office 2 weeks before you move.
However, you can designate a start date up to 30 days before the date you fill out the paper or online form. You can also specify a start date up to 90 days in the future.
These time frames apply to individuals, families, businesses, and military members making domestic or international moves.
How To Change Your Address With The Post Office?
As previously discussed, there are 2 ways in which you can easily change your address, here they are.
Fill out an Online Form
We mention this one first because in pandemic times nothing can be better than handling things from the comfort and safety of your own house. To fill out a change of address request online, visit USPS’s site here.
This is a simple and pretty straightforward way to change your address, and it will only cost you $1.10.
Visit the Post office
In case you are not big on online forms, USPS has got you covered. You have the option to visit your local post office and fill out your form in person. This way is great if you have some questions regarding changing your address and want to discuss it with the post office worker.
In-person requests require you to fill out a PS Form 3575 and turn it in to a postal worker. This is completely free of charge.
Make a Call
You can also change your address by calling the 1-800-275-8777 number. Bear in mind, they will need to prove your identity, so make sure you have your credit card next to you when you call. You’ll also need to pay the $1 verification fee for address changes over the phone.
Regardless of which way you choose, after you have filled out your change of address request, you should get a confirmation letter or email from the post office in 5 business days which means everything is fine and your request went through.
If you don’t receive the confirmation, it is best to contact your post office and make an inquiry.
How Long Does the Process of Changing the Address Last?
When you make an address change request, you’ll need to indicate if it’s temporary or permanent.
The time limits for permanent change of address requests are as follows:
- 12 months for First-Class Mail, First-Class Package Service-Commercial, and Priority Mail.
- 12 months for Priority Mail Express.
- 12 months for USPS Retail Ground shipments to domestic addresses only.
- 60 days for print magazines and newsletters.
- 12 months for Library Mail, Media Mail, and Bound Printed Matter to domestic addresses only.
Temporary changes of addresses have a minimum forwarding time limit of 15 days and a maximum limit of 364 days. You get to specify how long you want your mail forwarded within those limits.
People who have two homes in different states benefit from temporary changes. Let’s say you live in Minnesota during the spring and summer but live in Arizona in the fall and winter.
Each time you relocate for the warm or cool seasons, you’d fill out a temporary change of address with the specific date ranges.
No Requested Changes
If you forget to fill out a change of address form, the post office will hold your mail for up to 10 days. This happens if you move and you don’t fill out a change of address request.
In these instances, you’d have to pick up your mail at your local Post Office. After the 10 calendar day period, the Post Office will return most of your held mail to the senders. If the items can’t be returned, the Post Office will throw them away.
How do I Know if my Address Change Went Through?
After you submit a change of address, the Post Office will send you a Move Validation Letter to the address you’re moving from.
Five business days before you move, the Post Office will also mail a Customer Notification Letter and Welcome Kit to your new home. Both of these pieces have your confirmation code.
If you need to make changes or cancel your change of address request, you will need your confirmation code.
People who submit a change of address request online will also receive an email confirmation. The email will contain your confirmation code, so you don’t have to wait for it in the mail.
If you receive a confirmation letter or email for a change of address you didn’t request, you can dispute it online or with the local Post Office.
Does the Post Office Charge to Change your Address?
If you change your address online, there is a one-time fee of $1.10. This fee is to verify your identity and ensure someone isn’t making a false request. Filling out a change of address form in-person at a local Post Office is free.
Requests to extend mail forwarding benefits also carry separate fees, depending on how long you need them for. Here is a breakdown of the charges:
- $19.95 for a 6-month extension
- $29.95 for a 12-month extension
- $39.95 for an 18-month extension
You don’t have to extend your mail forwarding, especially if you’ve updated your address with each company or organization that sends you mail. Since magazines and newsletters have the shortest forwarding window, make it a priority to contact them with your new address.
How Long does it Take for Mail to be Forwarded to a New Address?
It takes 7 to 10 business days from the start date of your change of address request. This does not include holidays the Post Office has.
So, if your change of address start date is December 24, you won’t start seeing forwarded mail at your new address until the first week of January. And that’s assuming December 24 falls on a weekday.
If you’re not receiving any forwarded mail to your new address after 10 business days, you should contact your local Post Office.
Does all Mail Get Forwarded when you Change your Address?
The best thing to do is to inform everyone that sends you mail of your change of address. Most creditors and lenders, for instance, let you notify them online or by mail when you send in your bills.
The Post Office does make every effort to forward the types of mail listed under the Permanent Changes section. However, there are time limits and some pieces may fall through the cracks.
As soon as you’re aware that an organization you do business with or a sender is trying to send you mail at an old address, contact them to update it.
One way to keep track is when you receive a piece of forwarded mail from a sender, make a note to reach out to them online or through their customer service line.
Sometimes the people who move into your old residence will write on the mail they receive in your name. By writing “return to sender” or “no longer at this address, please forward,” the Post Office may end up delivering the pieces to your new address.
Related Post: How To Quickly Change Your Name With USPS?
Changing your address with the Post Office is relatively simple and only takes a few minutes. Filling out a request online offers the most convenience, but if you don’t want to pay a fee, you can make a request in person.
Martha had a chance to work for such major companies as USPS and FedEx, where she gained a lot of experience and learned quite a few nuances when it comes to handling mail and packages. Now she is a freelance writer who specializes in the logistics industry.