How to Change Your Address and Order Your Mail to be Forwarded

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The United States Postal Service (USPS) will forward your mail to a new address when you complete a Change of Address form online, over the telephone or at your local post office. The questions on the form are similar, regardless of which submittal option you choose. After you file a change of address, your mail will be forwarded for up to 12 months to a new permanent or temporary address.

Things You'll Need

  • Internet access
  • Telephone
  • USPS Change of Address form
  • Visit the USPS website (see Resources). Click on the "All Products & Services" tab on the top navigation bar. In the right hand column under "Browse All Products & Services", click on "Address Changes". Read the privacy act statement and click on the orange arrow to begin. Alternatively, you can visit your local post office and pick up a Change of Address form or call USPS at 800-ASK-USPS (800-275-8777) and make your request over the telephone.

  • Choose to forward your mail on a permanent or temporary basis. Choose "Permanent" if you are moving to a new permanent address. You will be prompted for a start date so the post office knows when to begin forwarding your mail. Choose "Temporary" if you will be returning to your old address within 12 months. In this case, you will be prompted for both a start date and an end service date. Click "Continue."

  • Indicate whether the change of address and mail forwarding is for an individual, family or business by clicking on the appropriate heading. You will need to fill out more than one change of address form if people moving from the same household have different last names or are moving to different addresses. Click "Continue."

  • Enter your name, your old address, your new address and your email address. In order to make an address change online, you need an email address so USPS can send you confirmation of the change. If you do not have an email address, you will be prompted to print the Change of Address form to mail or deliver to your local post office. Click "Continue."

  • Secure your transaction by entering your credit card or debit card information. This is how USPS verifies your identity and prevents someone else from having your mail forwarded without your permission. USPS will charge your credit card $1.00 for this security feature. If you choose not to enter this information, you can click on the link at the bottom of the screen labeled "Print your request" and mail or deliver the form to your local Post Office. Click "Submit." Note: USPS uses the same credit/debit card verification system for change of address requests made over the telephone.

  • Look for confirmation from USPS. Your change of address will be confirmed by one or more of the following ways: email confirmation sent to the email address provided in the online form; Change of Address Move Validation Letter sent to your old address (if time permits before you move); Permanent or Temporary Change of Address Letter sent to your new address; and/or a Welcome Kit sent to your new address.

Tips & Warnings

  • To make the mail forwarding transition as smooth as possible, notify your regular mailers (e.g., banks, credit card companies and magazines) of your new address prior to your move.
  • For any mailers that you do not contact prior to moving, contact them as soon as possible after the move. Mail is forwarded for up to 12 months, but magazines and newspapers are only forwarded for 60 days. This also will speed up delivery because the mail is being sent directly to you instead of via your old address.
  • To avoid any interruption in mail delivery service, submit your Change of Address request at least two weeks prior to your move.
  • If you don't start receiving mail at your new address within 10 days of your move, contact the USPS at 800-ASK-USPS (800-275-8777).

References

  • Photo Credit cassetta postale retrò image by Ramino from Fotolia.com
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