No one wants to lose mail items. There are various reasons why mail forwarding is the best option for many people. We’ll explore some of these reasons in the article. We’ll also specify how to forward mail conveniently through USPS service and provide alternatives.
Why You Need to Forward Postal Mail to Another Address
You Recently Moved Out of Your House
A change of address is a compelling reason to redirect mail to another address. If you’ve recently moved out, a good option is to keep forwarding mail from the old address to the new address until all your mail senders know your new one.
You Frequently Travel and Have No One Around to Receive Your Mail
If you frequently travel, you may choose to have your mail forwarded to your location, especially if you have no one to receive your mail on your behalf. Some people count on their neighbors, but that’s not always a reliable option if you and your neighbors are traveling simultaneously. So, mail forwarding services are a good option for travelers.
Different Types of Mail Forwarding
Forwarding Mail to Yourself
If you plan on moving out, you can easily visit the local post office and fill out a change of address form (COA). You can also submit an online request. This service works if you’ve not notified mail senders of your new address and want the mail forwarded from the old to the new address. When you apply for this service, you request how long you want the USPS service.
Forwarding Mail to Someone
You’ve recently moved out to a new house. Now, you’re receiving someone else’s mail. You can easily forward their mail to them if you know their new address. When you receive their mail, cross out the old address with a black marker, write the new address, and write “move or forward” on the envelope. You can keep it in the mailbox or carry it to the post office.
You can also request a PS Form 3375 from the post office and change their address so you don’t receive their mail again.
Finally, you can contact the sender and tell them the person has moved out. However, this is not a convenient option if the person receives a lot of mail items.
Forwarding Your Mail Using USPS Mail Forwarding Service
In this section, we’ll walk you through the USPS Mail Forwarding Services and how to forward mail using the United States Postal Service or the USPS. We’ll include the steps of how to request mail forwarding services in person and online, and we’ll also include information about the USPS Premium Forwarding Service (PFS)
Standard or Regular Mail Forwarding
The USPS recommends that if you intend to stay away from home temporarily, you need to submit a temporary change of address, and the USPS will forward mail for 15 days and up to 1 year. If you are moving out, you submit a permanent change of address request.
For regular mail forwarding, USPS will forward your mail piece by piece and forward priority mail, periodicals, and first-class mail for free.
Extended Mail Forwarding
Standard Mail Forwarding is only for 12 months, regardless of whether your submitted request was a temporary or permanent change of address.
If you want USPS to forward your postal mail for more than 12 months, you can purchase extended mail forwarding along with your change of address request or update your request later.
For an additional six months, extended mail forwarding costs $19.95. For 12 months, it’s $29.95, and for 18 months, you pay $39.95.
USPS Premium Forwarding Service (PFS)
The USPS PFS has two options: PFS Residential and PFS Commercial.
The USPS Premium Mail Forwarding Service gives customers more flexibility when it comes to when they receive their mail. Unlike Standard Mail Forwarding, which is forwarded piece by piece, customers can control when they receive mail with premium forwarding services. In addition, the United States Postal Service offers paid mail forwarding (Premium).
The forwarded mail is delivered once a week for premium forwarding service residential. Customers pay a one-time enrollment fee, and Priority Mail ships their mail.
USPS mail forwarding cost of enrollment of this service at the Post Office is $25.45 plus the weekly fees.
As for the PFS commercial, customers pay an annual enrollment fee. Customers also pay postage for envelopes based on the mail volume, and they can choose the delivery frequency (how often they want to receive their mail). Mail is bundled and shipped via Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express.
How to Request to Forward Your Mail In Person
Standard Mail Forwarding
If you want to redirect your mail, the process is easy. Here is how you request mail forwarding in person using the USPS standard forward mail.
- Visit your local post office. You can check your local post office here.
- Ask for a free Mover’s Guide packet.
- Fill out the PS Form 3575 (the USPS mail forwarding form) inside the Mover’s Guide packet.
- When you apply for a change of address at the post office, you don’t pay any fees.
- Request standard mail forwarding (temporary or permanent).
- You can extend mail forwarding for additional fees.
- After you fill out the change of address form, hand it to the postal worker.
- Expect to receive a confirmation letter to your new address after five business days.
Premium Mail Service
If you want more control over when you receive your mail, you can apply for the USPS premium forwarding services. Here’s how.
- Submit your request to the post office of your PO Box.
- Take a primary ID ( a driver’s license with a clear photo).
- Also, take a secondary ID to confirm your residence at the forwarding address (your current address).
Note: If you submit your PFS request at the post office, you can’t manage or update the service online.
How to Submit A Mail Forwarding Request Online
Standard Mail Forwarding
- Visit the official USPS website
- Select permanent or temporary change of address
- If you enroll online, you pay an identity verification fee ($1.10)
- Complete the online form
- Once you complete the form, you’ll receive an email with a confirmation code (use this code to edit or cancel the request).
- You will receive a welcome kit to your new address with coupons from USPS partners.
- USPS forwards mail piece by piece to your new address.
Premium Mail Forwarding
- Visit the PFS Residential Online.
- You need to create a USPS account.
- After that, you complete the form.
- When you complete the form, you will see the total amount you’ll pay for the forwarding period, but they will charge your credit or debit card for the weekly fee.
- You can always add or remove weeks to your request later.
You can manage the PFS residential service online only if you enroll online.
How to Update/Cancel Mail Forwarding?
USPS forwards mail to your new address for a limited time until you notify correspondents that you have changed your address permanently.
Please update personal records with the Social Security Administration if you receive Social Security retirement or disability benefits. Also, contact the state election office to update your voter registration card and credit card companies to update billing addresses.
You can easily cancel the service if you no longer need it or edit your request. Here’s how.
Standard Mail Forward (Online)
- Visit the USPS website to update or cancel your request.
- Enter the new ZIP code and the confirmation code you received when you submitted your change of address request, and press submit.
- You can make the changes you need or cancel the request.
- You can make only two changes in one day.
Standard Mail Forward (In Person)
Note: You can always edit your change or address request online if you have submitted your request at the post office. However, if you lose the confirmation code, you can go to the post office to make changes or cancel the request.
- Sign in to your USPS account
- Visit your profile and go to activity history
- Click cancel the order, and you will receive an email confirming the cancellation.
- Click edit if you want to make changes to your order. Use the calendar to edit start or end dates and click update order.
PFS (In Person)
If you enrolled at the local post office, you must contact the post office to cancel or make changes. Contact them by phone or in writing before the last ship date on the PFS residential application.
You must pay to extend the service for the additional weeks before the new service period.
Alternative to USPS Mail Forwarding Service
There are many alternatives to USPS mail forwarding. The USPS mail forwarding service redirects mail for a short time (up to 18 months) to your new location. With the USPS, you must fill out the change of address form whenever you move to a new address. Then, the postal service will redirect mail from your old address to your new address. Let’s find out more information about the alternatives to the USPS service.
Virtual Mailbox Service
As an alternative, you could sign up for a virtual mailbox service. Service providers offer various locations you can pick. They will receive incoming mail on your behalf and can redirect mail items to any mailing address you decide.
With the virtual mailbox, you get an online account where you control your mail. You can ask service providers, for example, to scan certain mail items so you can read them online, start forwarding critical mail items as soon as they arrive, and shred whatever you don’t need.
Features differ from one service provider to another, but the service is mainly for you if you change your address frequently. Some popular service providers you might consider are iPostal1, PostScan Mail, Anytime Mailbox, Traveling Mailbox, and Virtual Post Mail.
How Do I Forward a Mail That Isn’t Mine?
If you know the person’s address, it is easy. Scratch the old address and write the correct address. Then, write “move or forward” on the envelope.
The best way is to request Form 3375 and change their address so you no longer receive their mail.
Is It Free to Forward a Postal Mail?
USPS forwards First-Class mail, periodicals, and premium shipping services for free. However, USPS doesn’t forward Media Mail and USPS Retail Ground for free.
What Are Some of the Alternatives to USPS Forwarding Service?
Forwarding your mail to a different address is easy, and there are many options you can choose from. We hope this article has helped you understand more about the USPS service and some of its alternatives.
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