How To Change Your Address With United States Post Office
How To Change Your Address With United States Post Office

In an incredible display of high-tech machinery, United States Postal Service: Systems at Work takes us step-by-step through their assembly lines, from the Advanced Facer-Canceller System (AFCS) — capable of processing 30,000 pieces of mail per hour — to the men and women of the USPS who keep things running smoothly from mailbox to mailbox.

It’s pretty riveting to see the high-speed, clockwork capabilities of how to mail, magazines, and packages of all sizes are sorted and delivered all across the country, all thanks to the United States Postal Service.

According to statistical data, roughly 38 million Americans move house each year. And when they do, they have to make sure that their mail moves with them to the new home.

There’s only one way a person’s mail can move with them to their destination – to update their postal address with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Just stop for a second and think about the staggering number of Change of Address (COA) requests that the USPS receives and processes each year.

When you yourself are moving out soon, you’ll also need to check the Change of Address task as complete in your MOVING CHECKLIST. But before you do, it’s only natural that you should get interested in the change of address cost.

How To Change Your Address With USPS

The United States Postal Service makes it easy and convenient to change your address on their website – you don’t have to leave the comfort of your new or old home.

Navigate to USPS.com and find the header for “Quick Tools.”

Click it, and a drop-down menu will appear. The “Change My Address” tool is on the bottom row, left-hand side.

This link takes you to the official change of address form, where you will fill in your contact information, answer a few questions and input your old and new addresses.

If you have a family where everyone shares the same last name, you can file one “lump” Change of Address form.

Otherwise, every person in your household with a different last name must submit a separate form.

If you prefer not to submit a change of address online, you can also visit your local post office and fill out a PS Form 3575.

MyMove.com recommends submitting your change of address at least two weeks before moving day.

That way, you can ensure that USPS has updated their files by the time you are in your new residence.

Expect USPS to send a Move Validation Letter to your old address, and a Customer Notification Letter and Welcome Kit to your new one.

How do you fill out the change of address form?

Photo: wpforms
Photo: wpforms

Have you ever tried to order a pizza online and been baffled by how hard it is to do something that’s so easy over the phone? Changing your address with the post office can feel a bit like that.

Not to worry. We’re here to walk you step-by-step through what you need to know.

1. Select the individual, family, or business change of address form

The first thing you’ll do when changing your address with the Postal Service is to indicate whether the update is for an individual, family, or business:

Individual. Select this option if you’re the only one who requested a change of address or if your household members have different last names.

Family. Select this option if you want to change the address for everyone in your household—and everyone has the same last name.

Business. Select this option if you’re going to change the address for your business.

2. Enter your contact information

Enter the requested information—your name, phone number, and email address—so the Postal Service can contact you and verify your identity.

The Postal Service gives you a 10-point checklist for moving. Move.org has gone 61 steps further. Check out our ultimate moving checklist!

3. Select permanent or temporary move

A change of address isn’t just for people who are moving and never coming back. It’s also for snowbirds, college students, and seasonal workers who plan to return home in less than one year.

If you are coming back after more than 12 months, select “permanent.” Technically, mail forwarding service lasts 6 months, but the Postal Service allows you to extend for an additional 6-month period (or a total of 12 months).

4. Permanent vs. temporary change of address form

Enter your change-of-address date if you select “temporary,” you’ll be asked for the date you’d like to discontinue mail forwarding. Enter the date, and you won’t have to spend the time to fill out another change of address form when you move back.

Indicate when you’d like your mail to start arriving at your new address. Just be aware the post office considers this a “move effective date,” and that it can take anywhere from three days to two weeks after that for your mail to actually start arriving.

5. Provide your addresses

Enter the addresses you’re moving to and from (including zip codes). If the address is a PO Box, the PO Box number goes in the street address field.

Note: You cannot submit a change of address form if you have a private mailbox from a third-party company like The UPS Store.

6. Confirm your request (online only)

The Postal Service will send you an email confirmation code once you have entered all the requested information and paid the $1.05 identity verification fee.

The confirmation code is what you’ll use later if you need to modify or cancel your request.

Who else do you contact to change your address?

The Postal Service will forward mail to your new address for a limited time, but you also need to change your address with companies that send you mail and provide services at your old address:

  • Animal care (veterinarian, pet microchip registry, animal daycare)
  • Financial services (banks, credit cards, loan companies)
  • Government agencies (DMV, IRS, Social Security Administration)
  • Insurance (health, auto, home)
  • Home security
  • Memberships and subscriptions (Costco, gyms, magazines, cable)
  • Online services (Amazon, Netflix, Venmo, TV streaming)
  • Utilities (gas, electricity, internet)

How to change your address online

Photo: quora
Photo: quora

Step 1: Go to the change-of-address form on MYMOVE:

Make sure to use the MYMOVE.com USPS change-of-address form. Mymove and the postal service offer a secure online system to change your address, so you don’t have to worry about your information being compromised.

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Step 2: Fill in the required information:

You’ll have to fill out a form with your email, phone number, and your previous and new addresses. USPS will also ask you about who’s moving — is it just you, your family, or your business? — to help gather the necessary information. USPS will also ask you to specify the date you want the postal service to start forwarding your mail.

Step 3: Pay $1.10:

Once you fill out the required fields, you will be asked to pay a $1.10 identification validation fee with a credit or debit card. This USPS change-of-address cost is a fraud safeguard and verification tool. USPS will ensure that the address linked with the credit/debit card matches either your old residence or your new residence. This way, the postal service can verify that it’s you making the change — not someone fraudulently requesting the address change on your behalf.

When you’ve completed the change-of-address process, USPS will send you a confirmation email to let you know that the request went through.

Step 4: Keep your eye out for the Move Validation Letter:

The post office will mail a letter validating your move to your original address, with a number to call if there’s a problem. They’ll also mail a letter to the new address in three to five business days to confirm the post office change-of-address.

Step 5: If you’ve made a mistake or need to make changes:

Luckily, if your plans have changed or you made an error, the USPS allows you to edit or cancel your original change-of-address. All you need is your confirmation number to get started.

How to file a U.S. Postal Service change-of-address in person

You can also file a mail forwarding request in person at your local post office. Go to the post office and either ask for PS Form 3575 or find it in the available labels and forms (if your post office has these out and available). You can also ask for a mover’s guide.

If you can’t remember the name of the form or guide, you can tell someone behind the counter that you’re moving and need to change your address. They’ll get you the form. Go ahead and fill it out and either hand it back to a person or drop it in the mailbox.

When should I file my address change with USPS?

Whether you’re moving permanently or temporarily, we recommend changing your address at least two weeks before Moving Day. This will give USPS enough time to send you the Move Validation Letter before the trucks arrive. It’s also helpful to notify all of the people, organizations, and companies that send you mail of your address change in the weeks before your move. That way you can make sure that important mail is sent to your new home.

Does a post office change-of-address update my address everywhere?

Filing an address change request with USPS only forwards your mail to your new address for a limited time. It doesn’t change your mailing address on file with any other company, government organization, or institution. You’ll have to do that yourself by contacting them using the information provided on a bill or website. This will also simplify the process and ensure your mail arrives at the right place.

Where else should I update my address?

There are a lot of places that won’t be covered by the USPS change-of-address, and there’s a good chance you might forget one or two. We’ve put together a change-of-address checklist that should get you through most of the common places that will require an address update.

Does it cost money to change your address?

Photo: mymove
Photo: mymove

The answer is YES and NO depending on the change of address method that you choose.

The cost to change your address with USPS ranges from free (in-person changes) to a small fee of $1.05 (online changes).

The Postal Service says the purpose of its online fee is to verify your identity. USPS accepts all major credit cards and debit cards (excluding prepaid and gift cards):

  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Discover

When the COA request is made online there is a $1.10 identity validation fee. When you enter your credit card or debit card number and billing address, we can electronically verify your card’s information with the issuing bank. If you prefer not to use your credit card, you can fill out PS Form 3575 acquired from your local Post Office.

Warning: There are third-party websites that will charge you fees of $40.00 or more to submit your Change of Address. The Postal Service is not affiliated with the businesses that own these sites and, unfortunately, will not be able to assist you, or offer any refunds for activity on ANY non-USPS site. If something goes wrong while filing a COA on a non-USPS site, you will need to contact the financial institution that issued the credit card for resolution. To ensure the best service, always use USPS.com for all Change of Address activities.

Why did USPS charge me $40 to change my address?

The U.S. Postal Service charges only $1.05 for an online change-of-address filing. This credit card charge is necessary for identity verification and, in turn, fraud protection. If you see anything indicating you'll be paying more than $1.05 to change your address online, you're not in the right place.

Why was I charged $80 to change my address?

One consumer reported this experience to BBB.org/ScamTracker: “They set up their site to perfectly mimic the USPS website and charge $80 for an address change that they never actually perform.” In most cases, these fake companies get away with your money and your address is left unchanged.

How much does it cost to change my forwarding address?

Go to USPS.com/move to change your address online. This is the fastest and easiest way, and you immediately get an email confirming the change. There is a $1.10 charge to change your address online. You will need a credit or debit card and a valid email address.

How much does USPS charge for mail forwarding?

Frequently Asked Questions. Does the USPS® charge a fee for mail forwarding? The USPS will forward your First-Class Mail® for free through a standard change-of-address form. If you fill out the form online, you'll be charged a one-time fee of $1.05 for identification purposes.

U.S. Postal Service Holidays: Is the Post Office Open?

The U.S. Postal Service observes 11 official holidays annually, including Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Post offices will be closed on Monday, Jan. 17, and the Postal Service will not deliver regular mail or packages.

Here are the Postal Service holidays:

New Year’s Day: Saturday, Jan. 1

Martin Luther King Jr. birthday: Monday, Jan. 17

Presidents’ Day: Monday, Feb. 21

Memorial Day: Monday, May 30

Juneteenth National Independence Day: Monday, June 20 (observed because June 19, the date of the newest federal holiday, falls on a Sunday)

Independence Day: Monday, July 4

Labor Day: Monday, Sept. 5

Columbus Day: Monday, Oct. 10

Veterans Day: Friday, Nov. 11

Thanksgiving: Thursday, Nov. 24

Christmas: Monday, Dec. 26 (observed because Dec. 25 falls on a Sunday)

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