While there are many tasks to take care of when moving from one home to another, one of the most important is remembering to forward your mail to your new address.
Here are 9 Things to Remember When it Comes to Forwarding Your Mail with the USPS
1. Select the proper form
There are three forms on the USPS site, and you could run into issues if you choose the wrong one. There are forms for individuals, families and businesses. Unsure of what change of address form to use? Either stop by the local post office or give them a call.
2. Know when the mail forwarding begins
When you have fully submitted your change of address form, the service will go live in seven to 10 days. So, you’ll need to make sure you fill out the form in enough time to get all of your mail in a timely manner.
Be sure to select the correct day for the service to start forwarding your mail to the new address, and don’t worry, they won’t redirect your mail before then.
3. Make sure the address change is set up correctly
Once you’ve filled out the form and submitted it, you’ll receive a validation letter. This goes to your current address so the postal service can make certain that you genuinely want your mail forwarded to another address.
When the USPS has completed the processing of your request, it will dispatch a notification letter or a welcome pack to your new address. This packet will include a confirmation code you’ll need if you want to cancel or change the service.
This letter needs to be kept safe so that you can refer to it in the future and use the code. When you set up a change of address on the USPS site, they’ll send you an email with your confirmation code and also confirm your change of address request.
If you do this online, the letters still will be sent in the mail. Setting this up online gives you the advantage of being able to locate your confirmation code within your emails if you do misplace the letter.
4. Know what to do if you don’t receive a confirmation letter
If you filled out the appropriate forms in plenty of time before your move and still haven’t received a response from the USPS, you should visit a post office to follow up on the status of your request.
The post office should be able to find out what has happened and move things along. Of course, you’ll need something to prove you’re who you claim to be so the post office can help you.
5. What to do if you change your mind
If you thought your moving plans were set in stone, but then something comes up out of the blue, you’ll want to know how to either cancel or update your change of address forms. Getting your mail on time is critical for most people, so don’t let this become a task you forget. If your plans change, get your address forms squared away immediately.
6. Be aware of how long forwarding lasts
The USPS address change forwarding typically lasts for a year. This should give you enough time to make sure your address has been updated with every business you still want to maintain contact with, and it also should be plenty of time to update all your friends and family. The service only lasts two months for magazines and newspapers, so be sure to update your details with these services before the mail forwarding comes to an end.
7. Know that mail forwarding costs are not significant
If you go to the post office and submit your request, it will cost you nothing. The service will only cost $1 when you fill out the forms online. This fee is to check that your identity is valid using your credit card information. If you visit a post office, your ID will be checked.
8. What happens if you don’t submit the forms in time?
If you fail to fill out the forms with enough time for the postal service to set up the forwarding, your mail be collected and stored for up to 10 days. After this time, they’ll try to return it to the sender.
9. Who should know that you’ve moved
One of the last pieces of the moving puzzle is to inform everybody of your move, including all of the vital institutions that will need to know your location. Think about the IRS, your doctor, credit card companies, insurance providers, etc. To jog your memory, here is a list of who to let know your address changed.