How to Change Your Address and Have Your Mail Forwarded
Are you going to be moving soon? When buying or selling a home, one of the most vital tasks is getting your address changed and having your mail forwarded to wherever you’re going.
The United States Postal Service, or USPS, is reliable and fast. However, it confuses many. The only obstacle that you might encounter is the somewhat complicated process involved in USPS mail forwarding due to address change forms.
Worry not, because we have gathered and simplified all the information that helps you use this mail forwarding service. Also, we present you helpful answers to the most frequent questions about working with USPS.
Among the issues that you might encounter, besides choosing the appropriate form, there is also the calculation of your expected mail delivery date. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about forwarding your mail.
The Appropriate USPS Mail Forwarding Form
There are three form options that you can choose from depending on what mail you want to forward with USPS. You have to select the right forms for you each time you change your address. These forms are called USPS Change of Address forms, or simply COA.
- The individual form is right for you if you are the only person moving at that address. If you have roommates at the same address, each of them has to fill in a separate COA. The same individual form is the right one if you have siblings with the same last name who lived in the same house. If one of you moves to a different place, then your siblings have to fill in an individual COA form.
- Family form – it is the easiest form for a member of a family that has the same last name. When the relatives move into the same house, you will fill in a Family Change of Address Form. This type of form, once filled in, will ease USPS mail forwarding for your entire family to a great extent.
- Business form – even businesses go through address changes. Thus, there is a specific form called the Business Change of Address Form for ease of managing all forwarding mail services. This form can be filled in by any person authorized by the company to forward mail with USPS. It is a simple and fast method to change the company’s USPS mail forwarding address.
Change Address in USPS System
As we have already mentioned, under certain circumstances, you can fill the COA form. Depending on your preferences, you can fill in this form online or in person.
If you opt for the online form, everything will happen right from home, with no need to get personally to a USPS office. However, if you want to fill it in on paper, you need to go to one of their offices.
Until a while ago, USPS allowed its clients to print the COA form from their computer at home. However, currently, they do not allow this anymore. If you want your form on a piece of paper, you have to check for the closest USPS office to your home and then take the official form from there. It is called PS Form 3575. You fill it in, and then you file it at the same postal office.
Also, please note that this COA request form can be valid for a determined period or permanently.
When Does the Address Change Become Official?
After filling in the COA form, it takes USPS between 7 and 10 days to process this data and introduces it at the official delivery address in your case. Keep in mind this period of processing if you are moving right now and immediately receive your mail at the new address. It will be essential to fill in the COA form in an ample amount of time before your move.
Prices for Forwarding Mail With USPS
The mail forwarding is completely free if you choose to fill in your Change of Address Form, known as PS Form 3575. This is not the case, however, if you decide to fill in the form online. This option requires you to deliver USPS your email address as well as a fee of $ 1.05.
As you can see, this fee is more a symbolic one, and it serves mostly for identification purposes. The post office does this for your online identity safety. The fee comes only to guarantee that your identity is that which you declare online, verifying it with the credit card.
When does the mail forwarding date become valid? This date for forwarding your mail to the new address is a part of filling in the form. You have the option to select the exact date you decide for your mail to be forwarded by USPS.
As we previously said, there is that 7-10 day request processing period. So, keep in mind this time buffer before selecting your desired date.
Confirmation for Mail Forwarding
You can have certainty for USPS receiving your forwarding request after getting a Move Validation Letter at the current address. After you fill in the right form and file it, they will send you this confirmation as soon as possible, and so you know your request is being processed.
After your new address is entered into the USPS system, they will send you another notification – the USPS Customer Notification Letter or the Welcome Kit, this time at the new address. You will also have here a Confirmation Code. The purpose of this code is for you to have access to modify or cancel the COA form request anytime in the future.
The same happens if you send your COA form online. You will receive these confirmations both in your inbox and at the mail addresses, old and new.
What if Confirmation Doesn’t Come?
Wait for around 10 to 14 days. If you still don’t see any confirmation after this time, you need to go to the post office. They will help you solve the issue as long as you bring in an ID and the Confirmation Code you have right now.
Is There an Ending to Mail Forwarding?
The request for mail forwarding with the USPS is not a lifetime solution. USPS has various terms for forwarding your mail. Usually, there are 12 months during which your request is valid. This is the case for all Priority Mail, First Class Mail, and Packages. During this one year’s time, you can update everybody that usually mails you about the new address (from family to institutions).
Please keep in mind that the mail forwarding USPS service doesn’t replace a notification towards the people and places you work with, such as banks, your employer, and all the others you do business with. This is your responsibility.
Making an address change and forwarding mail is a key component to moving. If your move is a certainty, it makes sense to take care of your address change early on in the process to ensure you’ll get your mail in a timely fashion. Hopefully, you have found these mail-forwarding tips to be useful.