Everything You Need to Know About USPS Forward Mail Service

Relocating permanently or temporarily is stressful. You don’t want to lose any mail items. This is where the United States Postal Service (USPS) comes in.

In this article, we’ll tell you all you need to know about USPS mail forwarding, how you can apply to the service, which items the USPS doesn’t forward, and the other options for mail forwarding.

This way, your family and friends will send you letters at the same location they have always used, and you get to receive them at your address.

USPS forward mail

What is USPS Forward Mail Service?

The USPS mail forwarding service is a unique solution that the USPS provides to many people. If you’re relocating or traveling, you may wonder what would happen to your mail. That’s when mail forwarding services come in handy.

You simply fill out a change of address form, and you’re good to you. Your mail will be automatically forwarded to your new location permanently or temporarily.

It is a great service that you can apply for by simply filling out a mail forwarding request to forward mail to your new address. The good news is you don’t have to apply to forwarding mail at the post office, and you can apply your permanent or temporary change to your address online. The USPS postal service offers a couple of options for mail forwarding services.

Regular Mail Forwarding

Regular Mail Forwarding or Standard Forward Mail is where the USPS forwards mail piece by piece after a permanent or temporary change of address. In addition, the USPS forwards certain mail items for free, like First Class mail, periodicals, Priority Mail, etc.

The USPS forwards Media Mail and USPS Retail Ground for a fee. However, it’s important to note that some mail items are not forwarded by the USPS, like Marketing Mail, except by request.

Premium Forwarding Services

This mail forwarding process from the USPS offers more flexibility and control over receiving your forwarded mail. This service is perfect for those who only want to forward their mail for a while or wish to receive their business mail in one place.

Premium Forwarding Service offers two solutions: residential and business. This option is different from regular mail forwarding because it’s a temporary change of address.

How does USPS mail forwarding work?

If you’re wondering how you can start to forward mail to have your important mail forwarded wherever you need it to be, you’re in the right place. You can subscribe to the mail forwarding service by visiting your local post office or online and filling out a change of address form (USPS mail forwarding form).

All your mail will be forwarded from your old address to your specified address. It doesn’t matter whether you want temporary or permanent mail forwarding. The USPS offers great options to forward your mail with so much simplicity and ease. It’s hassle-free, and you can either visit any local post office or online.

Apply to Mail Forwarding Service by Visiting your Local Post Office

  • Visit your local post office
  • Request the Free Mover’s Guide Packet
  • Inside the Mover’s Guide, you’ll find the PS Form 3575
  • Fill out the form with your new address information
  • Hand the form to the postal worker
  • After five business days, you’ll receive a confirmation letter at your new address.

Apply to Mail Forwarding Service Online

  • Visit the USPS website to apply to change of address online
  • Fill out your personal information, new address, old address, etc.
  • Select whether you want your change of address to be permanent or temporary.
  • Pay the identify verification fee ($1.10)
  • You will receive an email from the USPS with a confirmation code
  • You’ll receive mail at your new address

It’s important to note that although requests are processed fast, you must apply to the change of address form (your USPS mail forwarding request) as soon as possible. It usually takes only three business days for your mail to be forwarded, but it’s better to apply for the mail forwarding service as soon as possible to avoid any lost mail.

How long will USPS forward mail?

Standard mail forwarding lasts for 12 months. Suppose you wish to continue to have your mail forwarded for 6, 12, or 18 more months (18 months is the maximum). You can extend a temporary change of address request by visiting any post office or online. You’ll need a confirmation number to edit your request online, or a visit to the post office will do.
After your extension ends, USPS will not forward your mail to the new address. Instead, USPS will send it generally to your former address. (USPS will also mail you a reminder email when you have one month left in your mail forwarding.)

What mail will USPS not forward?

Before you file a mail forwarding request, it’s crucial that you know which mail the USPS forwards and how much because the last thing you want after you file this request is to lose your mail items in the process. So, let’s walk you through some of these mail forwarding regulations.

The mail forwarding regulations of the USPS

  • Priority mail, priority mail express, and first-class packages are all forwarded for free and fall under premium shipping services.
  • Media Mail and USPS Retail Ground are all forwarded for shipping costs.
  • USPS Marketing Mail is not forwarded except upon request and for a fee.

How much does USPS charge for mail forwarding?

Like any service, forwarding mail from the USPS comes with some fees. These fees fall under many categories.

  • Standard Mail Forwarding

Standard mail forwarding can be permanent or temporary; you pay shipping fees for certain mail items, but most items are forwarded for free.

If you apply and fill out the form online, you pay $1.10 for identity verification, and it’s a one-time fee. However, if you visit the local post office and fill out a change of address form, you pay no fees for requesting mail forwarding services.

The USPS has issued a warning that some third-party websites claim to be affiliated with the USPS and charge $40 for change of address requests. As a result, the only way to request a change of address is through the USPS official website or the post office.

  • Premium Forwarding Services (PFS)

Premium forwarding services are divided into premium forwarding residential and premium forwarding commercial. These services are a temporary change of address.

  • Premium forwarding service residential:

Users pay a one-time enrollment fee, which is non-refundable. For online enrollment, you pay $21.95; for post office enrollment, you pay $23.90 in addition to the $23.90 weekly fees.

  • PFS commercial:

This service is dedicated to businesses. They pay commercial enrollment fees of $21.95 and reshipment fees based on reshipment frequency and postage.

How to modify USPS mail forwarding requests?

Plans change; just like you, you sometimes need to cancel your request. Sometimes, you must modify those requests to accommodate changes to your travel plans, such as cutting your trip short.

The USPS offers flexibility and control over your mail forwarding requests, and just like canceling your requests, there are two ways in which you can modify your mail forwarding request: by visiting the post office or online through the USPS website. Both are easy ways. Let’s see how you can modify Standard Mail Forwarding and Premium Services requests.

Standard Mail Forwarding

Modify Online

  • It is easy to modify your request online by visiting the official USPS website.
  • Use your confirmation and Zip codes of the new address you sent your mail to.
  • Once you access your information, modify your request (change the start date or end date).
  • Note: you can only change two fields per day.

Modify In Person

  • Go to the post office with two government-approved IDS
  • The postal worker at the post office will help you with the required modifications to your request.
  • Modifications will apply after a couple of business days.

Premium Services

Modify Online

For PFS residential, the United States Postal Service forwards mail weekly by Priority Mail, so plan before making any modifications to this service.

  • Sign in to your USPS account on the official website
  • Go to your Profile and choose Activity History.
  • Choose PFS Order
  • Edit the start or end date from the calendar.
  • Press Update Order
  • Always modify the start date to “no later than Midnight CST before the start date.”

Modify In Person

  • If you apply for this service at the post office, you must modify it in person.
  • Contact the post office before the last ship date to modify the service.
  • If you wish to extend the service, paying before the service starts is preferable.

How do I know that my USPS mail forwarding request was received?

Rerouting your mail to a new address different from your current address is scary. After all, you don’t want to lose any mail items, and you might also wonder if the USPS received your request and will start forwarding mail to your new address or not.

After you apply for a change of address, whether online or at the post office, you’ll receive a Move Validation Letter (MVL) at your current address to validate that you want to change your address. It is simply an address confirmation. This way, you know the USPS will forward your mail.

You’ll receive a customer notification letter and a welcome kit at your new address. The customer notification letter will contain confirmation from the USPS with information regarding your new and old addresses, and you should revise them carefully.

The welcome kit will have a confirmation code that you should keep if you wish to make any changes to your request in the future.

Suppose you submitted your request online besides receiving the letters mentioned above. In that case, you’ll also receive a change of address confirmation via email with a confirmation code that you should keep for future reference and/or any changes you wish to make to your request.

It’s been two weeks. Where’s my mail?

To avoid asking this question and the stress of checking where your mail items are, you should plan as the USPS mentions on their official website. The change of address process takes time, and it’s best to make your request 30 days before your move.

Always notify the USPS if you want to forward your mail to one person or forward the whole family’s mail, and it’s also important to indicate if the change is permanent or temporary.

Revise the MVL carefully to ensure that your mail will be forwarded to the correct address. The post office will send two letters (one to the old address and another to the new address). Double-check, and if you don’t receive any of the letters or find missing or wrong information, notify the USPS immediately.

USPS Change of Address For Temporary Moves

USPS temporary mail forwarding to a new address is perfect for travelers. Your change of address form should indicate temporary along with the dates you intend to return to your original address.

Your forwarded mail will continue to reach your new address for six months, and you can continue to use the service of temporary mail forwarding for up to a year.

If you want to temporarily forward mail for more than a year, the USPS recommends Premium Forwarding Services (PFS).

Remember, if your plans change, you can modify your change of address form online or at the post office.

Does USPS Address Change Work for UPS?

Your mail forwarding or address change is made at the USPS, so it won’t apply to other operators like the UPS. However, according to the USPS official website, mail forwarding is mainly for first-class mail, not package service mail. So, writing your address when you order or modify your address at UPS is recommended.

It’s also important to note that the USPS temporary or permanent address change doesn’t reflect on other services. This means you’ll have to contact the bank for bank account information changes, including your address change. You’ll also have to change your address at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Cancel USPS Mail Forwarding Request

Although the USPS change of address is convenient, sometimes plans change. You can cancel your change of address order at any time.

mail forwarding

Is the USPS the only option available for mail forwarding?

You might be asking if the USPS is the only mail forwarding service provider out there. Is there a mail forwarding company that handles mail instead of USPS?

Many mail forwarding services forward your mail and handle your mail for you through a mail system, and you won’t have to change your address to receive the mail addressed to you, and you won’t have to receive junk mail, either. So let’s find out more about those services.

How does mail forwarding work at virtual mailbox companies?

When you subscribe to this service, you get a virtual mailbox. Service providers will receive mail on your behalf, and you can manage your mail online. In addition, you can forward only the items you wish to receive. So, no matter how often you change your mailing address, you can easily change your address through the application to receive your mail or packages.

Also, through the service, you get a real street address and not just a post office box to receive packages and parcels from first-class package services anywhere. So it’s the perfect solution for businesses.

You don’t have to worry about whether it’s a temporary or permanent address change. And you’ll receive only mail addressed to you. No more worries about receiving someone else’s mail or adding their mail to outgoing mail.

Just as you can simply check your online application and start forwarding mail, you can also view and press shred to get rid of your junk mail.

This is another mail forwarding option to think about. This is also perfect for businesses that want to get more than one real stress address without submitting a business change of address form.

Final Words

In conclusion, USPS mail forwarding is a valuable service that ensures your mail reaches you, even when you change your address or move. As discussed, the process is relatively straightforward, with the USPS efficiently rerouting your mail to your new address for a specified period.

Knowing the duration of mail forwarding is essential, as it may vary based on your preferences and circumstances. Additionally, if you encounter issues with USPS Mail forwarding not working as expected, troubleshooting steps, as outlined in our sources, can often resolve these problems.

Ultimately, USPS mail forwarding provides peace of mind during times of transition, ensuring that you stay connected and receive important correspondence at your new address. If you’re planning a move, consider utilizing this service to make your transition smoother and more convenient.

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