Here at US Global Mail, it is our intention to make sure we address every single question you may have, when it comes to mail forwarding & mail scanning. As part of that effort, today we will be discussing a very common question you have been asking us, surrounding how to forward mail to another address. 


In order to do this however, we will need to realize the different types of reasons you would want to forward a letter to someone.

Bundle of paper mail

Wrong Destination


It is no secret to anyone that when it comes to forwarding mail, the USPS occasionally drops the ball. After all, who could blame them? There are over 150 Million addresses in the US that receive mail, and at some point there has to be some kind of mis-delivery. It is statistically impossible for the contrary to happen. 


Although it’s a large market, the USPS has indeed been seeing a decline in the quality of the service. There are several reasons as to why that is happening (whether because of federal employee shortages, or zip code politics etc.)


The bottom line is however, at some point, we all get “Mr. Baker’s” mail or our mail is sent accidentally to “Mr. Baker.” 


Which raises the question; what can you do?


Most likely, there will be some issue in the address of that envelope. It is so easy to misplace a zip code digit, or address the wrong State. For example there is the city of Columbia in South Carolina, and the city of Columbia in Maryland. If there is some kind of a mistake at the mail processing center that the USPS has, it could easily be sent north or south.


The best option available in such cases, is speaking with a USPS representative. Call your local Post Office and follow their instructions on how to handle this. The most likely scenario will be that they hold that mail, until it is claimed by the person it was intended to be sent to. Such unclaimed mail can be found in the USPS Mail Recovery centers.

Question mark above an individual

Change Forwarding Address


People move in life, and probably you have moved at some point if your life too. But…not only does your physical address need to change in that process, but also your mailing address. 


Unless you fill out a change of address form & submit it to the USPS, you will still get mail to your old location. The good news is, a change of address is the least bureaucratic process the federal government has in place.


Below we will be explaining how to forward snail mail. 


Some important things to know are that you can have a temporary change of address (15 days – 1 year) & a permanent change of address. You will also want to make sure that you complete this process directly with the USPS, instead of using third party services. Doing a change of address will only cost you $1 for verification purposes, while completing an address change with a third party service would cost you anywhere from $50 -$100 (and they would be submitting the information on your behalf.)


To have the USPS forward mail to a new address, make sure to complete the change of address online or offline by visiting your local branch. Regardless of which option you choose, you will need 2 forms of ID with you. 

Father moving his family house

Roommate/Family Moves Out


When a family member or roommate decides to move out, it is very possible that you will still keep getting their mail, either on an ordinary basis or more rarely. If the former keeps happening, most likely they never completed or did not fully complete the USPS change of address process. 


The good news is, you can have them do so, or if it’s a real close family member, you can do this for them. 


If it is something a bit more rare, then it is possible that the USPS goofed. Again, they handle over 150 Million addresses, and it is reasonable to expect that at some point they would miss a few pieces here and there.


To forward a letter sent to the wrong address, simply cross out the address on the envelope and rewrite the new address in black letters. Then simply place it into the mailbox and the mail carrier will take it from there. 


Another option, would be for you to reach out to the sender, and notify them that your friend or family member has recently moved. You can write up a letter and send to their address, or even call them and get it coordinated with your former roommate.

Roommate changing address


What You Can Do To Forward Postal Mail To The Right Recipient


Some times, when you get mail that belongs to someone else, it can just be a matter of a wrong zip code in the nearby area or even another home within your neighborhood. Depending on how far that individual is, you may want to consider actually dropping the envelope at their home. This will help you explain to them any regular mail you are getting from them, and any potential change of address that was not completed from them that they need to handle. If you would rather simply drop the envelope in their mailbox, that is an option as well. It is perfectly legal to open someone’s mailbox, just as long as it is not a locked mailbox.


When you get someone’s mail, many times it will be quite a few zip codes off; a wrong digit can set you hundreds of miles away. And to be honest, most of the wrong mail you get, will belong to another location very far from where you are. Whatever you do, do not throw away the envelope. Instead, just write a note (e.g wrong address) and place it in your mailbox or the outgoing box. When the mailman comes in the next day, they will be able to take it and get it delivered to the right side of town.


Something to keep in mind when writing out the note is that you shouldn’t write the note directly on the envelope and deface someone else’s mail. If you do so, you may ruin the recipient’s mail. The best option to adding a note, is to add it on the envelope with a paper clip.


Desktop and mobile view of a virtual mailbox

A Virtual Mailbox Alternative


You must be wondering; is there a better way?


Actually…there is!


For some reason, our phones have gone wireless, our cars no longer drive with a stick, we are able to shop online instead of relying on offline commerce and we trust our financial information on a bank app.


Yet… we still keep receiving mail the old fashioned way. Admittedly, e-mail was not capable of replacing paper mail entirely. But there is no real need for getting any piece of mail in your physical mailbox any longer, especially considering that 95% of it is junk mail anyway.


In the past 10 years, more and more people are switching to a virtual mailbox alternative. The convenience of accessing your mail from the comfort of your home, 24 hours a day and with a click of a button, seems very appealing. Additionally, mail forwarding can be reliably handled, because it is all accessed online. So whether your roommate moves, or you need to move, non of you would need to follow through with bureaucratic change of address procedures.


Getting all your mail online, is also an excellent way to prevent mail theft, which is raising plague in this country and the leading cause for identify theft. All mail is encrypted, making online cloud storage (via the secure AWS cloud) the safest alternative to vulnerable residential mailboxes.


So…what are you waiting for? Sign up today & get your mail today!


Oh…and the best part? Virtual Mailboxes are half the price of a physical mailbox.


For any questions, you can contact us here.

Recent blog posts

7 Great Package Forwarding Services

Package forwarding service comparisons with international shipping costs.

From Brazil? Shop US sites & SAVE!

Brazilians can now shop US websites without living in the US.

Hey, India! Order your favorite US items

Shop US products without ever leaving India. Get all your favorite products and electronics at discounted prices with our low international shipping rates