Moving to a new place involves you taking care of a multitude of tasks. Because of this, it is quite possible that a couple of things slip your mind. In this digital age, fewer and fewer people use mail because of which, informing the postal office about your move might not top your priority tasks list. Don’t forget that you still receive all your bills, packages, magazines, etc., by post so it actually wouldn’t be smart to leave the U.S. Postal Services in the dark about your move.

Whether you are relocating temporarily or permanently, it is of utmost importance that you alert USPS about it and avail of their mail forwarding services. Now, you might have a lot of questions about USPS mail forwarding, especially – how long does USPS forward mail. That’s where we come in. Let us answer some of the blazing questions you might have about mail forwarding.

Reasons to Avail of Mail Forwarding Services

When you move to a new place, you will realize that you will need to cancel or transfer several services. The companies that provide you with these services will have to be informed about your new address. However, several service providers send you stuff through the mail. It would be a tad bit tedious to update your address with each company, especially if you are moving temporarily (for less than a year).

To add to that, you might do everything in your capacity to ensure that each and every service company and the important people in your life know that you have moved to a new place. But this doesn’t eliminate the possibility of you forgetting to inform some important service providers or people. You don’t want to miss out on important mail, packages, bills, invitations, notices, etc., do you? To avoid this, it is best to just ask USPS to forward all your mails to your new address.

What Mail can be Forwarded by USPS?

The United States Post Office forwards some mail for free and charges a small fee to forward some other type of mail. Want to have a look at what can be forwarded by the USPS? Read on to find out!

● First-Class™ mail
● Periodicals (newspapers or magazines)
● USPS Retail Ground® (have to pay the shipping costs)
● Media Mail® (have to pay the shipping costs)

Please note that the USPS does not forward any USPS marketing mails to your new address. It is also crucial for you to know that changing your address at the USPS does not mean that your personal, as well as state records, get updated as well. You have to individually change your address with every institution and agency after you move to a new place.

Also Read: Moving Paperwork – Important Moving Documents and Forms

How Does USPS Mail Forwarding Work?

Changing your address at USPS and availing of mail forwarding services is quite simple. You can get this work done either online or by visiting the nearest postal office in person. How does this process work? Why don’t you find out for yourself!

1. Online:

Do you want to get done with this whole thing in the simplest way possible? Just visit the Official USPS Change of Address website and fill out the form given on their website. You should know that there are three basic forms that you need to choose from namely, Individual, Family, Business.

Individual: This form is used whenever only one person from a household is relocating to a different place.

Family: This form is used when the entire family (who shares a last name) moves to a new place. Filling-up this form would save you from the hassle of filling out forms for each individual member of the family.

Business: If you move your business to a new location, you will be required to update the address with the USPS. If you are authorized to change the address of the business on the behalf of the company, you can fill out the appropriate form online and get the work done.

You also have to fill in information about whether your move is temporary or permanent. Once that is done, you will be asked to pay an identification verification fee ($1.05) via your credit card. Once that is done, you need to fill in details about your old address, new address, and the date you want USPS to start forwarding your mails.

After you are done filling the form, USPS will send you a confirmation code via email. They will also send you a welcome kit that includes a lot of coupons in it sent by the USPS partners to your new place. All you have to do now is wait for your mail to arrive at your new place from the provided starting date.

2. Via Mail:

Completing paperwork online doesn’t agree with you? Don’t worry. You can get your mail forwarded to your new address by visiting the nearest post officw. When you visit the local Post Office, you have to ask them for a free Mover’s Guide packet. Then, request the PS Form 3575, fill-it out, and submit it to them.

You will receive the confirmation via a letter that will be sent to your new address in about a week. You know what is great about getting this work done via mail? You will be exempted from paying the $1 fee. So basically, you can get this work done for free.

What Exactly is Premium Forwarding Service?

In order to ensure that you receive every piece of your mail, USPS lets you avail of its Premium Forwarding Service Residential® (PFS-Residential). This service is great as it offers you maximum flexibility and control over when and where you receive your mail.

If you avail of this service, USPS will gather all the pieces of mail that are addressed to you or any of your members. Then they will package it and send it as a single shipment to your new address through its Priority Mail Service. The duration of this service can range from 2 weeks to a maximum of 12 months.

Don’t forget that this service is not available for free. You will have to pay an enrollment fee as well as a weekly fee for this service. If you enroll online, you will be asked to pay $20.10 whereas, you will have to pay $21.90 to enroll in person. After that, you will be expected to pay a weekly fee of $21.90.

When does the Mail Forwarding Service Start?

USPS suggests that you should submit a request for the mail forwarding services ideally two weeks before you move. This is so because USPS will take at least 7-10 business days to process your mail forwarding request. You don’t want to miss out on any mail, right? So, make sure you give them the accurate date (the day you move into the new place) and submit the request two weeks before you move to the new place.

How Long Does USPS Forward Mail?

USPS mail forwarding has an expiry date. Yes, you heard it right! Availing of the mail forwarding service does not mean that your work is done, especially if you are moving permanently to your new place. Mail Forwarding only buys you some amount of time so that you don’t have to rush through the process of informing all the companies and organizations you deal with as well your family members and friends.

You will be happy to know that USPS will forward some of the most important pieces of mail for up to 12 months. What type of mail is included in that? Go through the following list to find out!

● First-Class Mail
● First-Class Package Service-Commercial
● Priority Mail
● Priority Mail Express
● USPS Retail Ground
● Library Mail
● Media Mail

Now, you need to remember that USPS does not forward your periodicals (magazines, newsletters, etc.) for more than 60 days. This means that you will have to update your address with these media sources within 60 days of moving if you wish to continue with your subscription.

If you are moving temporarily for an indefinite period, you can initially request USPS to forward your mail for 15-185 days (6 months). Once you realize that you will be staying at the temporary address for more than 6 months, you extend the mail forwarding period.

All you have to do is fill the second Change of Address form. In this, the starting date would be the first day after the initial six-month period ends. Do keep in mind that you will be able to extend this period for only up to 12 months.

Note: You can also choose to extend the mail forwarding time period beyond one year, but only under some special circumstance. Want to find out more about this? Go through the rules and regulations regarding the duration of mail forwarding in detail on the official USPS website.

See also: How to Change Your Address and Forward Your Mail When You Move?

What Happens if you Don’t Ask the USPS to Forward your Mail?

Feeling particularly adventurous, are you? You can choose not to request USPS to forward your mail if you don’t want your mail to reach you. In this case, the Post Office will collect your mail and keep it with themselves for up to 10 days. Once those 10 days are over, USPS will either try to forward the mail or send it back to the sender. If the Post Office is unable to do either of these things, it will simply discard all your mail.

Who Should You Notify when you Move?

As we mentioned before, USPS only buys you time so that you can update your address with the organizations, agencies, and companies you deal with. So, make sure you notify the following places about your move and update your address with them as soon as possible.

  1. Government Bodies: Including voter’s registration, IRS, USPS, DMV, and social security.
  2. Utility Services Providers: Including water, gas, internet, cable, phone, electricity, and sewage.
  3. Financial Service Providers: Including banks, investment services, tax advisors, accounts, loan issuers, and credit card companies.
  4. Insurance: Including health, dental, life, car, renter’s, and homeowner’s insurance.
  5. Online Services: Including retail services, streaming services, and payment services.
  6. Memberships: Including retail clubs, periodicals, and religious institutions.
  7. Miscellaneous: Including employers, vets, and doctors.

Final Thoughts

As you might have realized by now, moving does tend to get a tad bit stressful. This is so because not only do you have to plan and make sure your stuff reaches your new place safely, but you also have to make sure that every person and organization that you are even remotely connected to, knows about your change of address. The only way to get all this done is to be meticulous and organized. So, make sure that you stay at the top of your to-do list and you will be done with everything in no time!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does mail forwarding expire?

A majority of your mail (a complete list of which is given in the article) will be forwarded to your new address for up to 12 months. Note that your periodicals will be forwarded for only 60 days. After the initial 12 months are over (60 days for periodicals), your mail forwarding will expire.

What mail does the post office not forward?

The post office will not forward Standard Mail A which includes catalogs, books, circular pr advertising mail. If you want all of it to reach your house, you have to request the post office to forward it to you. You should also know that Standard Mail B (packages with a weight that equals to or exceeds 16 ounces) will be forwarded locally for free for up to 12 months. But you might have to pay some fees if you have moved out of the local area.

Also Read: Top National Moving Companies in the US