Mail Forwarding

  1. What is mail forwarding with USPS?
    1. A USPS change of address is the same as mail forwarding. USPS will forward any first class mail sent to your old address for up to a year (for “permanent” changes of address) and 6 months for “temporary” changes of address. For permanent changes of address, USPS will make your address available to mailers that already have you as a customer/subscriber but you still should update your address directly with important mailers like your employer, banks, schools, the DMV and IRS.
  2. How long does it take for mail to be forwarded to a new address?
    1. It can take up to 14 days of processing before you’ll start to see mail which is why it’s best to file ahead of time so everything is in place for your move date. In most cases, it’s processed under a week.
  3. Why does USPS charge for change of address online?
    1. It’s revenue disguised as a security feature. The billing address on the credit card must match one of your addresses, so they charge $1 (actually $1.05) but they allow you to enter any address so it’s really just a credit card address verification feature that generates $1 for them. They could also refund it after verifying. They could charge 5 cents (or anything less than $1). Filing a paper change of address form is Free.
  4. When should I change my address before moving?
    1. You should file your change of address as soon as you know your new address and the date of your move, no earlier than 30 days prior to your move. The post office will forward mail with your old address to your new residence beginning on the start date you included on the Change of Address form.
  5. Can I still file a change of address if I’ve already moved?
    1. Yes, USPS will process it and start forwarding mail asap.
  6. Do packages get forwarded with my change of address?
    1. No. Only First Class mail will get forwarded. Think letters, bills, notices and checks. You’ll have to update your address directly with businesses that are going to ship a package. If you shop online at retailers like Amazon, Target, Ebay, Etsy, Costco, etc., make sure you update your shipping address the next time you place an order.
  7. What address do I mail my change of address form to?
    1. If you decide to mail it, you address the envelope to the postmaster in the town where your old address was, like this: “Postmaster, United States Postal Service, Old City, Old State and Old Zip. Once they receive it, they’ll process it into the system.
  8. Will my magazines be forwarded to my new address?
    1. Your magazines will only get forwarded for the first 60 days so you are on the hook to update them directly to continue receiving them.
  9. Will catalogs be forwarded to my new address?
    1. Standard Mail like circulars, books, catalogs, and advertising mail are not forwarded as part of your change of address with USPS.
  10. How will I know my change of address has been successfully processed by USPS?
    1. You’ll get a letter and/or a packet in the mail at your new address from USPS. You’ll also start to see mail with yellow stickers on them start to arrive. That is mail that is being forwarded because it was sent to your old address.
  11. What is PS Form 3575?
    1. PS Form 3575 is the official name for the paper change of address card from USPS.
  12. Will mail from UPS or Fedex be forwarded?
    1. No, make sure to update your address directly with those who will send you letters or package from shippers other than USPS.
  13. Will my mail be forwarded forever?
    1. No, a “permanent” change of address only lasts a year but the National Change of Address database (NCOA) can help reduce that.
  14. What is the National Change of Address database?
    1. The NCOA, or National Change of Address, is a database maintained by USPS for mailers to update their customer records. Mailers pay a licensing fee to USPS in order to keep their lists updated with the most current customers addresses. Temporary changes of address do not get included in the NCOA.
  15. Can I extend my temporary change of address?
    1. Yes, you can file another temporary change of address if your temporary move will extend beyond 6 months.
  16. How can I eliminate junk mail when I move?
    1. There are various do not mail services. Contact us for more info.
  17. What if I have the same first and last name as a family member but only one of us is moving?
    1. It’s important that you include a suffix, like Jr. or Sr. if there is more than one person with the same full name.
  18. Can I forward my mail from prison, school or a hospital?
    1. No, there are multiple rules for mail forwarding that exclude certain address types including the aforementioned.
  19. Is change of address free at the Post Office?
    1. Yes, if you go into any Post Office and ask for a change of address form (officially known as Form 3575), they’ll hand you a Movers Guide packet. Inside the packet, along with a bunch of coupons, is the paper form that you can fill out and hand back to the clerk. It’s a free service.
  20. Why did USPS charge me $40 to change my address?
    1. The USPS never charges more than $1.05 to submit a change of address. There are some nefarious services and websites that will file a USPS change of address on your behalf for a fee of $20 or more. Sometimes that fee often includes other legitimate services like junk mail removal, coupons, etc. Always doublecheck the fine print before using a service like that and if you accidentally used one, contact them directly for a refund or file a complaint with your credit card company. If all you want is your mail forwarded by USPS, it is free with a paper form or no greater than $1.05 using the official USPS online form.
  21. I don’t have a printer. How do I use this form?
    1. You have a few options if you’re unable to print out your free USPS 3575 change of address form. You can:
      • Ask your mail carrier for a free form (sometimes they carry a few with them)
      • Head to your nearest Post Office, wait in line, fill it out and hand it back
      • Go to, fill out the form and pay $1.05 with your credit card