With a simple online form, the United States Postal Service (USPS) offers users the ability to set up mail forwarding without visiting or calling their local post office. The Postal Service provides different forwarding and delivery options depending on the duration of forwarding and the types of mail that need to be forwarded, most of which are free, though the automated forwarding form carries a fee.
The Postal Service offers a variety of forwarding services to fit different needs. When you are changing your primary residence, the permanent change of address service forwards mail, piece-by-piece to your new address for one year. Packages will not be forwarded, and magazines are only forwarded for 60 days. If you are going on a long trip and need to temporarily forward your mail, you can use a standard temporary change of address or premium mail forwarding. A temporary address change offers the same service as a permanent address change for a period no longer than one year and no less than two weeks. Premium forwarding service packages mail and forwards it in bulk once a week and also includes package forwarding. If you will be away for less than two weeks, put your mail on hold because you cannot use the forwarding service.
You can only forward mail for a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of one year for temporary forwarding, whether through the temporary change of address or premium forwarding service. When you use the Internet or telephone change of address services, you are required to provide a MasterCard, Visa, Discover or American Express credit card number. The Postal Service verifies that the address on your credit card matches either your current or forwarding address and charges your card $1 for the service.
How to Set Up Forwarding
Begin the official change of address form by verifying that you are or have authorization to set up mail forwarding for the individual listed on the form. Click the radio button for permanent forwarding or temporary forwarding as applicable in your situation and enter a start and end date for the service. Enter your name, current and forwarding address information and email address for confirmation. Complete the form by providing your credit card information for verification purposes and the associated service fee. You can also call the automated telephone change of address service at 1-800-275-8777. Walk through the same questions on the phone and provide your credit card for address verification.
How to Change or Cancel Forwarding
If you have set up temporary forwarding for vacation or short-term move, the service will automatically end on the date you specified on your change of address form. If you need to change or cancel the forwarding service at any time, go to the “View, Update or Change” page and enter your forwarding zip code and the confirmation number from your email change of address confirmation. You can use this form to change forwarding start and end dates, convert a temporary change to a permanent one or completely cancel a permanent change or address or a temporary one that has not started.
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