How Long Can You Forward Mail After A Move?

Written by
Amber Hobert
Published on
January 3, 2023
Table of Contents

Whether your move from the states is temporary or permanent, you should tell the United States Postal Service before or soon after. This ensures all your important mail and packages get to your new address. Mail forwarding is just one of the many things individuals need to do as soon as possible when they move.

Friends, family, businesses, and organizations may have yet to notice you've relocated for months. Not everybody will get the message, even if you send a relocation notification with your new location.

The easiest way to ensure your mail and packages don't get lost after moving is by changing your address online and having your mail forwarded. So, how long does the US Postal Service keep forwarding mail? I will answer this and many other related questions in this article. So, read on!

How Does Mail Forwarding Work?

With mail forwarding, your old address is considered, and your mail is sent to your new address. When your mail bearing your prior address is received, it will be sent to your new address instead.

In other words, USPS will retrieve your lost mail and reroute it to your new address. Remember that mail forwarding will send your first-class package to the new address. Still, you must manually update your address with your online store to avoid confusion.

How Long Can I Forward Mail After Moving?

While you won't be permitted to forward mail indefinitely, you will be able to do so for an extended period.

For 365 days, USPS can forward mail such as:

  • First-Class Mail
  • Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express
  • Library Mail
  • Media Mail 
  • First-Class Package Service-Commercial
  • USPS Retail Ground

This is a 12-month period during which you will not be concerned about losing your valuable parcels or letters. Periodicals, including newspapers and magazines, have a sending limit of up to 60 days. If you wish to keep your subscriptions, you only have a few months to update these media providers with your new address.

How Long Does It Take To Start Forwarding Mails?

The Post Office recommends that you schedule send time. Mail forwarding could start three business days after your request is complete, but it can take as much as two weeks in some circumstances.

What type of mail is forwarded?

The Post Office covers premium forwarding services such as priority mail express, priority mail, and first-class mail. Others are periodicals, such as magazines and newspapers. USPS will also forward First class mail, USPS retail ground, and Media Mail.

However, you are responsible for paying postage costs. The distance between your local post office and your temporary address is used to figure this out. USPS will not send any promotional mail to your new address.

What happens if I fail to tell USPS about my new address?

When the mail in your mailbox or PO Box gets too full, the postal carrier will transport it to the post office for you. The postal office will hold your mail for up to ten days if necessary. Afterward, the US Postal Service could either return the mail to its rightful owners or dispose of it.

What if I'm only going to be somewhere for a short time?

Having your mail sent somewhere else when you are temporarily moving is very convenient. USPS says the service can forward mail for 15 days up to 185 days (6 months). If you want your mail to be sent to a temporary address for more than six months, you must extend the temporary forwarding period.

You can extend the forwarding period up to a year by filling out a second change-of-address order to begin on the first day of the second six-month period. You can choose when you want your mail sent to another address.

Does USPS ever let you forward mail for more than a year?

Under certain conditions, the Post Office may add one more year to the time it takes to forward mail.

To get this extension, you, as the customer, must show if they need to get it to avoid causing them financial trouble. You must also show that efforts are being made to inform people about the new address.

How Do I Modify My Current Address Online?

Whether it's a permanent or temporary change, you can make it online through the USPS Change of Address page. Customers are charged $1.05 for the privilege of verifying their identities. To have your mail forwarded, specify both your old and new addresses and the date you'd like the forwarding to begin.

After submitting the form online, USPS will send a confirmation email with a unique code. The Postal Service will then ship you a welcome packet with discounts and deals from local businesses that participate in the Postal Service's discount program. All mail will be forwarded to your new address as of your start date.

How Do I Get A New Post Office Box?

You can sign up for a personal PO Box in your new area or look for one online if you need assistance setting one up close to your new house. Pick a mailbox size and rental period that suits your needs.

Complete the application for a Post Office Box and take it, along with your confirmation email and two forms of identification, to the post office in your area.

How Do I Change My Address?

If you prefer to go to the postal office in person to change your address, you can do so; you won't have to pay the $1.05 fee. Instead, you need to find your nearest post office. When you get there, ask for a free mover's guide and fill out the PS Form 3575 that's in it.

Who Else Do I Need To Let Know That I'm Moving?

When you change your address with USPS, your bank and other personal records are not automatically updated with your new address. You'll have to do this yourself. Here are five institutions you need to inform that you have changed your address:

Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

If you move, you must notify the IRS of the change by submitting Form 8822. With this form, homeowners can report a change of address whenever it occurs. Your tax return and correspondence with the IRS will be redirected to your new address.

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

After moving states, you will need to change your driver's license as soon as possible. Before heading out to the DMV, make sure you have everything you need by visiting their website.

Social Security

If you get disability or retirement payments from Social Security or are signed up for Medicare, you need to inform the Social Security Administration about your new address.

Banks and credit card service providers 

As soon as you move, you should tell your banks and credit card companies where your new billing address is. This ensures that you won't overlook any vital correspondence.

Electoral office

Remember to register to vote! If you've recently moved, you must notify the new state's election office. You'll likely be assigned a new voting location for future elections.

Consult A Mail Expert When Moving

In this article, I explained that you could forward your mail for one month to a year. However, this depends on the content of the mail. However, some scenarios may allow you to forward mail for less than one year.

In some special situations, you may also be entitled to forward your mail for more than one year. Therefore, the length it will take you when forwarding mail depends on some factors, especially the type of mail you are trying to forward.

Therefore, If you are moving and expect some mail to be forwarded to your new location, it is best to talk to a moving company that offers mail forwarding services. This is to ensure that all your mail is forwarded to your new location on time.

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