So you have had a busy last quarter and are ready to go off the grid for a while to some exotic vacation place…great!


But what happens with your USPS mail while you are away? 


In this blog we will be showing you how to complete a mail hold with the post office.


Make some notes, read carefully and safe travels!


Mailbox is overflowed with mail

How To Hold Your Mail in 3 Simple Steps:


  1. Head over to the Postal Service website & click on “Hold Mail” under “Track & Manage”
  2. Enter your mailing address
  3. Confirm whether “hold mail” is available for your location


See, the good news is, the USPS has predicted that you won’t be at home 24/7 all days of the year. And even though you can get a pretty nice & large mailbox these days, the capacity is not exactly unlimited. There is nothing that screams more “I am away” than an overflowed mailbox. That in return will set you up for some unexpected visitors that are curious why you haven’t picked up your mail in such a long time. 


Once you have completed all necessary steps on the Postal Service website & receive confirmation of the eligibility of your location, you will want to enter the travel dates and select from one of two options:


  • Get mail delivered when you return home
  • Pick it up at the Post Office


After that step is completed, you will receive a confirmation number that will be e-mailed to you within a few seconds. You will be given the option to edit your travel information and delivery options as well. That is where that confirmation number comes in handy. 

Post office clerk handling mail from customer

In Person USPS Hold Request


If you are more traditional and find that completing a mail hold online is too complicated, don’t sweat it; there is an option of completing a hold request in person or over the phone. 


To complete a hold request in person, you will want to visit your local post office branch and complete a 8076 form that will Authorize the Postal Service to hold your mail. That form will ask you similar information that the online form would ask (e.g address, calendar days you will be away, and an option to get mail delivered once you are back home, or an option to pick it up from the branch location.)


To complete a hold request over the phone, you will want to call their main hotline 1-800-ASK-USPS


Business person looking at this watch

How Long Does It Take?


This is an excellent question, and depending on how far ahead you thought of this, the answer could delight you!


Once you have confirmed eligibility and are able to complete a hold mail request for your location, the post office can start the hold process within a day. Having said that, we would recommend all “to- be” travelers to complete a mail hold order at least 7 days prior to the day you leave. If you do happen to remember it last minute, then we would recommend you visit in person the local post office branch that is responsible for mail delivery to your address. This will ensure that you fill out the paper form properly and there are no mistakes that could delay your mail hold.


The inside of a post office building

How Long Will The Post Office Hold Mail?


The Post Office will hold your mail for up to 30 days. It is important to keep in mind that hold mail is not done for an infinite number of days, and if you exceed the 30 day period, they will forward your mail to a temporary address you listed when completing the form. 


Depending on where you will be travelling to & how long you plan on being there, you can always select the option of receiving your mail at your new location. Of course there will be an additional fee associated with that, but it may be a good alternative if you need access to that mail urgently. 


Virtual mailbox on a desktop & smart phone device

A Better Alternative


Time constraints and geographic limitations are not avoided when you complete a hold mail request with the USPS. Some times, you may find yourself needing to extend your overseas visit, or happen to travel to a place that is too far to consider direct mail forwarding from the US. In other cases, you may need access to important documents, while you are away. 


The use of a Virtual Mailbox can come in handy in cases like this. You get to view all of your snail mail online, and even select from within your account one of the following options:


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