Whenever you move to a new house or apartment, it’s important that you get a postal address change as soon as possible. You want the mail to arrive at the same time that you do. This will avoid confusion and getting your mail mixed up with someone else’s.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you know someone in the area of both houses, have them check your mail during the transition. This way, you can be assured that both of your mailboxes are being checked.
Note: never check someone else’s mail unless instructed. To do so is a felony and punishable by law. If someone else possesses your old house, ask them if any mail has arrived for you. Do not check their mailbox even if your own mail is inside.
Change My Address
Anyone can change the address at which they receive their mail. All you really need to do for a United States postal address change is to fill out this form. The form is easy to use and will take effect immediately.
It’s important that if you opt for an online postal address change that you only use this website. Other websites may try to steal your information. We’ll talk more about how to avoid these scams later.
If you’d like to be extra safe, call your local post office and ask for a link to their official Change My Address page. They can e-mail it to you or read the link to you, letter by letter, ensuring you stay safe and secure.
Who Is Moving?
There are three forms that you can fill out. Each one is slightly different and will result in different mail being forwarded to the new address. Most likely, you will be moving as an individual, but let’s go over each form just in case.
As an individual, you will be moving by yourself. Only the mail with your exact name on it will be forwarded to the new address. This means siblings, children, and parents will have the same address.
This is what to choose if you are moving as a family. Luckily, you don’t have to type in every family member’s information. Instead, the “head of the household” or whoever is filling out the form will use their info.
Everyone with the same last name will have their mail forwarded to the new address. If some people are staying at the old address, have the people who are moving fill out individual forms. If the people moving have different last names they will need to fill out different family or individual forms.
You can only fill out a business postal address change form if the entire business is moving. If your business has more than one name, you will need to list every name under Business Alias. Don’t leave any alias out.
If you are moving to a new place but still work at the old business, as your boss to forward your mail to you. Or, try filing as an individual and use the business as your old address. Only use your name, not the businesses.
This is the contact info for the individual filling the form out, regardless of whether you’re filling out a family or individual form. You will need to put in your first, middle, and last name, as well as any suffix you may use.
You will also need to put in your e-mail address and your phone number. This will not set you up for regular texts or subscribe you to e-mail newsletters. They will be one-time e-mails notifying you of your postal address change.
Permanent or temporary? This is a question you need to ask yourself. If the change is permanent, you can forget about the old address once you move. If it’s not, you will need to remember when you decided to have your mail sent back.
Your decision will decide when your mail starts arriving at the new address. It all comes down to mail being forwarded. The United States Postal Service goes over what forwarding means.
But in short, it’s when the post office automatically sends all mail addressed to you to your new address. Regardless of the address on the mail.
Is It Permanent?
Whenever you choose “permanent” as your type of move, you will have to put in one date. The date that you want your mail to begin being sent to the new address. If you don’t know for sure, choose a date that is earlier as opposed to later.
You do this because you are moving. You don’t want whoever ends up in your old house to have your mail in their mailbox. But if your mail sets at your new house, no one will bother it. You can even have someone check it for you regularly.
Is It Temporary?
If you are only planning on living in your new place for a limited amount of time, you will need to do two things. First of all, you need to state when you want your mail to be forwarded there. Then you need to state when you want it sent back to the old address.
If you plan on staying at the new place temporarily then moving to another new place, then use the “permanent” form. You can change the address again later but you need to make sure your mail doesn’t get sent to your old house if it no longer belongs to you.
The Confirmation Code
After you fill out the form and submit it, you will get a confirmation code. This code will be sent to your e-mail. Or if done in person, it will be sent to you in the mail. Since the e-mail is nearly instant, most people filing for a United States postal address change online.
US Postal Address Change In Person
If you prefer to do things in person then go ahead. Postal workers are generally happy to help you through the process if you visit the post office. You only need to bring two things with you and trust us, it’s easier than the DMV.
To change your postal address at the post office, you need to bring with you an ID. This can be your driver’s license or some other form of identification. You will also need to bring proof of residency.
This can be a utility bill, doctor bill, or bank statement. They simply need to know that you live where you say you live so no one tries to forward someone else’s mail to their address. This security may be a hassle but it is a good thing.
Another way to be safe is to always double-check with government websites like USA.gov.
Price Of A Postal Address Change
This is one of the easiest ways to spot a scam or phisher. The postal service in the United States charges $1.05 per address change. This is for your security. It’s nothing to each individual but someone has to file the change.
If a site offers to do it for free or charges more than $1.05 then run away. It’s important that you make all of your changes on the USPS website. Again, if you’re unsure, contact the post office and they will help you.
Here are the most frequently asked questions about United States Postal Address Changes.
When Should I Make A Postal Address Change?
A good window is about two to three weeks before you move. Your request will be fulfilled by then and you can rest easy knowing there’s one less thing to think about. If you’re lucky, you know which day you are moving so the mail will be forwarded the right day.
What If I Enter The Wrong Postal Address?
Any information you enter can be changed at any time via the USPS website. Go back to the Change My Address page where you initially changed your address. The form can be used for mistakes as well as moves.
How Do I Get An Update?
Your status can be found on this official USPS page or by calling your local post office. If you do it online, you’ll need your confirmation number and your new postal code. To be safe, keep proof of residency on hand if you call the USPS.
Why Does USPS Charge For A Postal Address Change?
The main reason why they charge a small fee is to protect against fraud. You will use a card to pay. The USPS makes sure that the card matched either your old address or your new address. Again, this sounds fussy, but it’s way better than someone else forwarding your mail!
Will Changing My Address Update It Everywhere?
The short answer is no, the only thing that changes is your mailing address. You will need to change your address everywhere. Luckily, we have a guide on that as well. Check it out to make sure you cover all of your bases before you make your move.