You’ve contacted your utility companies, scheduled a moving service, and started packing — but what about your mail?
Your to-do list is long when you’re moving, and it’s easy to overlook items such as mail forwarding. Fortunately, the United States Postal Service (USPS) offers easy ways to change your address and have your mail forwarded to your new address.
However, you probably have a few questions, such as how long the USPS will forward your mail, when you should notify the post office of your upcoming move, and what you do if your move is temporary? Read on to learn all about how, when, and why to forward your mail when you move.
Which USPS Mail Forwarding Form Should I Use?
Start the mail forwarding and change of address process by visiting the USPS website. Here, you’ll find the form you need to change your address and forward your mail, with a few choices:
- Individual: Choose this option if only one member of the household moves or if people in the home are moving to different addresses. Fill out an Individual Change of Address Form for each person who’s moving to a new, separate address.
- Entire Family: If everyone in the household moves to the same new address, choose the “Entire Family” Change of Address option.
- Business: If you’re filling out a change of address for a company, choose this option.
You can fill out and submit your form online. You may also choose to visit a post office in person and pick up PS Form 3575.
Do I Have to Pay to Have My Mail Forwarded?
Filling out and submitting PS Form 3575 in person is free. If you submit your form online, you’ll pay a small fee.
Why does the USPS charge for online requests? The fee helps ensure that you ask for an address change and keeps your identity safe by verifying your credit card information.
When Should I Submit Mail Forwarding Forms?
When you fill out PS Form 3575, you’ll be asked the date you want the forwarding to start. However, give the post office some lead time.
It takes the USPS from seven to 10 business days to process your forwarding and change of address requests as a general rule. Since you don’t want to miss any important mail, submit your forms at least two weeks before moving day.
How Long Will the Post Office Forward My Mail?
The Post Office will forward first-class and priority mail (including packages) for 12 months. They will forward magazines and other subscriptions, such as newspapers, for just 60 days.
Can I Extend Mail Forwarding?
If you’d like your mail forwarded for more than 12 months, you can request an extension.
Extended Mail Forwarding is available for six, 12, or a maximum of 18 months. You will have to pay a fee for this service.
What If I’m Only Moving Temporarily?
If your move is temporary, can you still have mail forwarded? Definitely!
When you fill out PS Form 3575, you’ll be asked if your move is temporary. If it is, simply enter the end date when mail forwarding should stop.
Keep in mind that the USPS doesn’t notify anyone about your change of address. That means you still need to provide your new address to the bank, subscriptions, friends, family, and anyone else who sends you mail.
Make Your Move Seamless
When you’re preparing for a move, don’t forget to forward your mail. You don’t want to miss any essential letters once you arrive in your new home.
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