As you probably know, the USPS (United States Postal Service) mail forwarding service is there to forward post from one address to another one.
It’s useful for those who are moving house and will, therefore, need their mail delivered to their new address. Some people even use it if they go on holiday and want to redirect their mail for a short time!
The service costs just $1 (for verification), whether you need it temporarily or permanently. All you have to do is complete the online Official USPS Change of Address Form and you’re good to go.
Alternatively, if you fancy popping down to your nearest Post Office, you can fill it out there. However, the online method is a lot quicker!
Online, you will be asked to enter your old address, new address, start and end (if applicable) date for mail forwarding, personal information, moving type and various other bits and pieces.
After you have submitted the Official USPS Change of Address Form, check your emails. You should find a message waiting for you which contains your confirmation code. This is vitally important! Why? Because you will need this to cancel, edit and even just view your change of address application. Keeping it safe allows you to change your phone number, email address, mail forwarding date, notification preferences and your moving status.
Don’t forget to check that your mailing list is up to date after you have done this. Make sure to let your banks, credit card companies, friends, family, any subscriptions (magazines, boxes, food services) and business partners (only if you have moved offices) know that you have changed your address. This will ensure you get your mail delivered to you and not sent back to the Post Office — a lengthy process otherwise.
Okay, so, we have gone over the whole change of address form, but what happens if you don’t need the service any more or you are no longer going on that trip of a lifetime? Don’t worry, you can cancel whenever you need to. And this is how.
How to Stop USPS Mail Forwarding
The First Step: Change of Address Form
The first thing you need to do is go to the USPS official website.
Once it has loaded, take a look at the top menu and hover over “Track & Manage”.
From here, select the option called “Change of Address”. At this point, the website will take you to the change of address form.
Now, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page. You will see a line that says “Have you already changed your address? View or Edit”. Clicking on this will take you to a different page.
On to step two…
The Second Step: Confirmation
Here, you will have to type in your new zip code and the confirmation code. You should have been given one of these in the email sent after you initially applied for the online change of address.
Alternatively, it would have arrived in the mail at your specified new address. This will only happen if you applied for the change of address at your local Post Office.
Once you have entered your new zip code and confirmation code, just hit the submit button.
For those of you who have misplaced your confirmation number or lost it among numerous piles of paperwork, there is something you can do to rectify it.
You will have to make a trip to the US Post Office to tell them you aren’t able to process the cancellation online. They will ask you to confirm your identity (for security purposes, of course). Then, you will fill in a form. Don’t worry, the process isn’t any harder than doing it online! Just takes a bit more time.
The Third Step: Choose an Option
At this stage, you will be given a few options to choose from. These include links to:
- change the mail forwarding start and end date
- change your email address or phone number
- toggle between moving or not moving
- cancel your mail forwarding completely
Bear in mind that your name and address can’t be amended from this page. So, if these do need to be changed, you will have to cancel your change of address order and start again.
Remember that only two amendments can be made a day so don’t waste them! On the other hand, cancellations are available at any time (thankfully) so you are in luck.
The Bottom Line
As you have most likely gathered, your confirmation code is pretty crucial when trying to stop your USPS mail forwarding service. Losing it just elongates the process so just keep it safe and you will have stopped the forwarding service in no time.
Do You Want An Easier Alternative?
For a more effective way to control your mail (instead of activating and cancelling every time you move somewhere new or decide to take a vacation around the world), you should apply for a virtual mailbox service.
This will allow you to forward mail anywhere, whenever you feel like it. All your mail sits in a digital app for your convenience. No matter where you are in the world, you have full control of it.
Basically, a street address with an actual mailbox is assigned to your online account. As new mail filters in, it is scanned and immediately uploaded to your corresponding online box. It does not get any easier than this. You are even notified when new items are put into your virtual mailbox — all you need is your secure login details to access it.
The coolest feature is the images of your envelopes and packages displayed in the app! You just let us know which to open and scan and which to combine and ship. It’s completely up to you.
You will never have to fret about filling out a change of address form or activating mail forwarding ever again. What a life!