How Do I Find A Forwarding Address?

Written by
Amber Hobert
Published on
September 5, 2023
Table of Contents

What Is A Forwarding Address?

A forwarding address is provided to friends and family when you move. The post office will use this address to reroute mail sent to your previous address. People change their addresses every day. You may find that a friend or family member has recently left their current home and didn't leave a forwarding address.

So with all these changes, it can be challenging to keep track of new address details. Today, changing residences is a normal part of life. People move for many reasons: a better job or career path, higher education; a life partner; property ownership; retirement; and so on.

Keeping tabs on someone's whereabouts, let alone their mailing address, can be a challenge, and so in this article, we will discuss how to find the forwarding address of someone who has moved.

Finding A Forwarding Address For Friends Or Family

Mail to their previous address

An easy way to find the forwarding address of someone who has moved is to mail their old address. You can get someone's updated address using the USPS "Address Service Requested" option.

This service includes forwarding and address correction requests. When you send mail to someone, and the post office cannot deliver it, they will return it to you with an explanation of why it wasn't delivered.

You can also use the USPS "Change Service Requested" option. If the mail is not deliverable, it is returned with the new address of the sender. This way, you know the new forwarding address to reach the target.

This method can be helpful but can also be challenging if the person has never filled out a USPS change of address form.

Consult friends and family

You could also ask your friends and family for the name and address of the person whose mailing address you are trying to find. This will only work if you know their family or a friend. Friends and family may know if the person has relocated and have information about their new address since they may have had the same problem.

Consult their alum office

Contacting the alum office is an additional, relatively uncommon, but worthwhile way to find a forwarding address. If you and the individual whose forwarding address you need attend the same college or university, you can try contacting the alumni office of your old school.

If you are both graduates, there is a significant probability that they can provide you with current contact information, such as a new address or the last known address.

You can never predict what information they will supply.

You could also look at the person's social media profiles and recent photos instead of calling the alum office. This might indicate whether or not they relocated, primarily if they utilized location tags!

Use a tool

An easy technique to locate a relocated person is to use an online people search engine. This search does not rely on (United States Postal Service) USPS linking current and previous addresses. Also, you do not need to know the individual's acquaintances and relatives to locate them.

Provide the first and last name, state, and city, if known. If you believe they have relocated to another state, you can pick "All States." A search report from such a tool may include the individual's address and a great deal more information. You may see a list of their former addresses.

It may be included if they have a business address in addition to their home address. There may be further contact information, such as email addresses and telephone numbers. There is likely much more that you can get from the search. There may be work and education history records.

A list of social media accounts is another potentially important piece of information you will get from such tools.

What do these tools do?

These tools look through available records to the public to find the information they give you. The search is legitimate in every way. You might discover these details for yourself if you knew all the locations where public records are kept and had an infinite amount of time to do so.

Having a virtual assistant do this background research is much more convenient. If you are concerned that the person will discover that you searched for them via a search engine, you can inform the individual if you choose to do so.

The majority of tools, however, will not alert you to the subject of your search. While searching is free, you may be required to pay a subscription to access a report. But if you buy a membership, you can look at and download as many reports as you want.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I forward mail to myself?

If you have received mail at your old address and wish to forward it to your new one, you must first submit a mail forwarding request. You can handle this online or at a local post office. You must bring two kinds of identification when applying for mail forwarding at the post office.

You can request either a temporary or permanent change of address. You can change your mailing address for 15 days up to a year with a temporary change of address. A permanent change of address enables an individual to change their address permanently. Online applications for this service cost as little as $1.

How do I forward mail to someone?

If a family member or roommate has moved out, but you are still receiving their mail, you have two options: You can use USPS to forward the person's mail to their new address if you know their new address.

First, you must blot your address on the envelope with a black permanent marker, followed by your new address written in block letters. Then write "move or forward" on the envelope and return it to your mailbox or the post office.

The second step is to visit the post office and request a PS form 3575 to alter the address of the moving individual so you will no longer get their mail. However, before mailing the items, please verify that the stamps are legitimate. If not, consider purchasing replacements.

Thirdly, you can call the sender and advise them that the recipient has moved, so they will cease sending you mail. Consider calling the recipient to confirm if they have gotten their letter and encourage them to file for a change of address if they have not.  If, after two weeks, they still have not gotten their mail, you must call USPS to determine its status.

What do I do if I mistakenly receive someone's mail?

If you receive mail addressed to an unidentified recipient, the sender made an error when writing the address. Even a single-digit alteration can reroute mail to a different address; if the message is critical, this might cause significant problems.

If you've received someone else's mail by error, contact USPS immediately so they can send a representative from the post office to retrieve it.

If you tell your mail carrier about the problem, the mail will go to the post office's Mail Recovery Center (MRC) until the recipient claims it.

Are there alternatives to USPS mail forwarding services?

Yes, you can purchase a virtual mailbox instead of going through the trouble of changing your address, purchasing new stamps, and mailing your mail to your new address.

A virtual mailbox is like a regular PO box, but it is much better and more modern. You will have access to premium mail scanning and forwarding mail services with a virtual mailbox.

You will register with a physical street address to receive your mail and shipments and forward them to anybody, anywhere, at any time. Thus, you will have the flexibility of getting mail wherever you are.

A virtual box has the following advantages:

Simple to use

You have complete control over all of your emails. You will receive new mail, have the option to forward it, and can even deposit cheques. If the digital mailbox service you choose also has virtual office services, you may be able to get a dedicated phone number that a real receptionist answers.

Freedom to travel

Your mail and packages can reach you anywhere in the world. This gives you the freedom to travel whenever you want.


You might not want to give out your home address for many reasons. If you are starting a business, the public would know where you live. Using a virtual address is a great way to protect your privacy while still getting the benefits of having a physical address.


Most virtual mailbox services take many steps to ensure your legal, business, and personal papers are handled safely. Communications with end users are encrypted with bank-grade SSL encryption, and a password protects your account and, if you choose, two-factor authentication (2FA).

It's also important to know that every mailbox provider in the United States has to follow strict rules set by the USPS, and those who don't protect user data can get in trouble in a big way.

Registered agent services

If you are considering getting a digital mailbox for your business, a premium mailbox provider offering registered agent services can be a big help. A registered agent can take care of important papers and legal files on your behalf, giving you much freedom.

When do I need to find someone's forwarding address?

There are many reasons why you might need to find someone's forwarding address, such as:

Keeping your address book up to date

Are you the type of individual who always sends birthday cards? Do you like having things in order? Then you need to make sure your address book is up to date. The US Postal Service is a great way to discover what's happening. You can always use the information in this article to ensure your mail forwarding records are correct.

Sending bulk invitations

If you want to send an invitation or another piece of mail to a list of people, it can be hard to find each person's current address, especially if you want to send a lot of mail.

Sending important documents

Sometimes you have to send important papers through the mail, but you want to be as cautious as possible so they don't get into the wrong hands. By confirming the person's forwarding address, you can be sure to include the correct address, which will put your mind at ease.

Talk To An Expert About Virtual Mailboxes

In this article, we provided details on how to find the forwarding address of someone to whom you want to send a mail. So, if you have someone who has changed locations, you can leverage the information provided here to track the person's forwarding address.

One way to avoid the stress of looking for forwarding addresses is to leverage a virtual mailbox with a mailing service. A virtual mailbox will deliver your mail anywhere for a small fee. Talk to an expert virtual mailbox and mailing provider today!

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