Having to go through the headache and hassle of changing your mailing address with the USPS every time you move your home or your business isn’t something anyone looks forward to, but it is critically important if you’re going to continue to receive your mail and your packages.
The USPS has certainly streamlined and simplified the process quite a bit over the last few decades, though it is important to understand that you’ll end up paying a dollar each time you have a change of address – especially if you use the online tools provided to help you go through the process without visiting a physical postal office.
Below we break down all the steps you’ll need to take when changing your mailing address through the USPS, but we also provide you with a fantastic alternative that guarantees you never have to change your address more than once going forward!
Let’s dive right in.
When Do I Need to Change My Address?
You have to go through a change of address process with the USPS anytime you are going to be moving from one location to another, regardless of whether or not you’re moving across the street or across the country.
This is true whether you are an individual moving apartments, a family moving into a new home, or a business moving into a new location.
Not only are you going to have to provide information about the move that you are making (including your new address) but you’re also going to have to provide a specific date that you want to start receiving mail at your new address, too.
As a general rule it’s a good idea to try and get your address changed with the USPS at least two weeks before you expect to get mail at your new location. It’ll take anywhere between seven and 10 days (in general) for your change to be implemented through the post office, so two weeks gives you a bit of a buffer to guarantee that everything’s ready to go.
What About Temporary Changes?
If you aren’t going to be moving on a permanent basis (heading back to school, going on a business trip, or taking a vacation, for example) you can ask the USPS to put a hold on your mail rather than change your address completely.
The beautiful thing about this is that you can implement a hold instantly, without a lot of lead time necessary to get the process rolling. Holds can be implemented for as little as 15 days or as long as six months (with some having an opportunity to extend their hold up to one year) and the post office will hold onto your mail for the entirety of that duration.
The trouble with temporary holds, however, is that the post office is going to literally hold onto your mail rather than forward it to a new location for you. This is especially challenging for those that are going to be away from their home or business or an extended or indeterminate amount of time but still need access to their mail all the same.
How Do I File A Change of Address with the USPS
The easiest way to file a change of address with the USPS is to jump online. You will get an e-mail update once the change has been made.
All you have to do here is:
- Go to the official USPS website
- Click on the “Track ; Manage” button near the top of the screen
- Then go through the Change of Address on-screen prompts.
All the information you need to provide will be requested. You will be asked to pay $1.05 in order to change your address online. This charge is not a billing fee, but rather just a verification charge to ensure that identity and credit card theft are avoided.
Of course, you could also visit your local post office and request the PS Form 3575 from your local postal master. You’ll have to present a valid photo identification (like your drivers license) to move through this process though you will be able to get it done 100% free of charge if you go in this direction.
Keep in mind that you do not need to pay a third party company, in order to complete your change of address. If you search online in order to complete the change of address, you will see several advertisements of companies that try and help you get that step completed. You can avoid them, and work directly with the USPS itself. These third party companies will submit the exact same information you would be required to send to the USPS. So why pay the extra fee?f
Keep Your Confirmation Code!
Regardless of the approach you take to change your address you want to make sure that you keep the confirmation code you’ve been provided from the USPS close at hand.
This is going to help you confirm the changes are actually active but it also gives you an opportunity to change any of the critical details regarding your address change as necessary, too. Without this code everything becomes a lot harder.
If you need to change or cancel your request for the change of address, you will need that confirmation number. That number can be found on the letter or e-mail you received when you made the initial request. To view, update or cancel your request, click here.
Other Government Agencies That Can Change Your Address
The USPS is a government agency, in perfect communication and cooperation with other agencies of the government. If you want to complete your change of address, there are a series of other agencies you can work through in order to complete that change.
IRS: If you will be expecting a tax refund, contact the IRS for your change of address. If you write the new address in the appropriate boxes in your tax return, you will be able to change the address.
Social Security Administration. Complete your change of address online, using your social security account. This applies if you get social security retirement, survivors or disability benefits. If you are enrolled in Medicare, you can also use your social security account to change your address. If you do not receive social security benefits or Medicare or if you would rather speak to someone on the phone, you can contact them here.
Department of Veteran’s Affairs. If you are a veteran who receives benefits or you want to keep your records up to date, you can contact the VA here.
US Citizenship and Immigration Services. If you are not a US citizen who is required to change their address, contact USCIS within 10 days of your move.
State Motor Vehicle Agencies. Contact your local state DMV agency in order to change your address on the driver’s license or motor vehicle registration.
State Election Offices. If you need to change your address on the voter registration record, you may need to contact your state election office.
Forward or Hold Your Mail
If you will be out of town for a short period of time or are heading out of town, you can request the USPS forwards mail to your new address or simply hold it at your local post office for a limited time.
Forward your mail. In order to get started with this, you will be required to fill out an official change of address form. That will cover the question of the type of move you require (at which point you can express interest in having them forward your mail)
Hold your mail. If you plan on being away for three to thirty days, the USPS can hold your mail at your local post office. Usually you can request this up to 30 days in advance, or as late as the day before you want the hold to start.
You can start by signing into your USPS account. Not all addresses are eligible for “hold mail” so you can easily check that out online. Keep in mind that the USPS has added an extra one time security measure for online hold mail requests. You will need to verify your identity online through a mobile phone password or request an identity verification that can be completed online. If for whatever reason, you are not able to complete the verification online, you can still get that done at your local post office.
After changing your address with the United States Postal Service comes the annoying step of having to change and update your mailing address with pretty much anyone and everyone you receive mail from.
This means contacting banks and credit unions, credit card companies, your friends, family members, and coworkers, governmental bodies and organizations, anyone you purchase magazines from, any website that you order products from, etc. – a list that can get really long, really fast.
There Has To Be An Easier Way, Right?
If you get dizzy just thinking about all the headache and hassle that updating everyone with your new address is (especially if you have to change your address on a semi regular basis) the odds are good you look for an easier way to simplify things as much as possible.
That’s where we here at US Global Mail come into play!
Helping more than 80,000 people with virtual mailbox solutions, it’s been our great pleasure to provide top to bottom private mail services to individuals that just aren’t interested in changing their mailing address every single time they make a change in their lives.
Providing customers with a physical street address and a virtual mailbox in a secure mail facility, there are a whole host of benefits that US Global Mail clients take advantage of when using our services, too.
Almost instant notification (with digital photo verification) of all mail pieces and packages as they come in, check cashing, mail forwarding, and a whole host of other services the USPS cannot provide are included with every level of membership.
For more details contact us at US Global Mail or visit our website today!