USPS Hold Mail – How to Hold Mail While You are on Vacation

According to a study it is found that most of the Americans still prefer paper billing statements for receiving bills in spite of growing online banking and bill paying. They love to keep records on paper and it seems convenient for them having a full record in a paper file. According to an analysis of three months of 2014, a large US utility billing company found that only 37% of customers paid their bills using mail but 91% of them still choose to get paper bills. This is the trend of post mail but here we are not discussing about the trend but an important think for the people who are the parts of USPS, today here we are going to talk about complete details of USPS hold mail.

Whenever you want to go on vacations or you are in hospital or anywhere away from your house the first thing that comes to your mind is mail that what will happen to your mail if you go somewhere for some days. Once I went on a vacation but I forgot about the mails that what would happen with my post mails in my absence and when I came back I found my important mails missing and the mailbox full of mails. That was the worse moment for me because there were lots of important mails in the mail box and I lost them but today I am writing this for you to avoid this type of loss. Give it a read and you will find the best ways to keep all your mails save.

I tried so many things to avoid this but whenever I came back I found my mail box full of mails. Once I asked my neighbor to pick up the mails regularly but he missed some and which cause mail loss. So I cannot trust anyone then I tried a new method of holding mails and this helped me so much. I put a temporary hold on my mails till the last date of the vacation and received all the accumulated mails after the arrival. The method is called USPS mail hold but before going to this method let’s have a look on the three things that you can do for this.

Three Ways to Avoid USPS Mail Loss :-


  1. Ask your trusted neighbor or any family member to pick up the mails regularly.
  2. Let it pile in the large enough mailbox.
  3. Put a hold on your mails using hold mail method at the Local US Post Office.

These three things you can use to save your mails. If you use the first thing or method you will need a trusted person who can collect mails regularly in your absence. If you choose second method, it is also beneficial but for that you need large mailbox and if you choose the third method then it the the best way to save your all the mails. For this you need nothing to do except inform the local post office branch that you want to use mail hold service. The methods to do this are given below.

Things that you must keep in mind before requesting US mail hold are as follow :-

Things to keep in mind before requesting Hold Mail :-

  • Firstly decide when and how long you want US Post Office to hold your mail –
  1. US Post Office will hold your mail from minimum 3 days to maximum 30 days.
  2. You must assign a starting date and ending date for your mails to held. Post Office will not deliver any mails on these days but the delivery will resume after the ending date.
  • Secondly determine when to submit your hold mail request –
  1. You must determine when to submit your United States mail hold request. If you request over a phone or in person then it should take 1 day minimum to take effect and if you submit a request online then it may take effect the same day but only if you submitted the request before 2 a.m CST.
  • Choose the method to submit a request –
  1. The most important thing is to choose the method to submit United States post office hold mail request. You can use three methods to do this over a phone, in person and online.

Now you are aware that there are three ways to submit any request regarding holding any mail. These three ways are :-

Three Ways to Hold USPS Mail :-

1. In Person 


In personYou can hold your mails during vacation in person. For this you have to go to the nearest post office and fill out PS Form 8076. You can visit there in business hours. Avoid lunch time if you want to save your time just to hand over a form. Check the form that all the information you filled there are correct and hand over it to the clerk desk. You can also mail it back to the post office. Write down the confirmation number after hand over the form because it can be useful for you. It is the best method for those who want to make sure that their holding form is complete without any mistake because you can ask anyone there what to fill in the blank spaces of the form. After doing this your US postal service hold mail request is done. Enjoy your holiday.

2. Over a Phone

2013-september-100907 - Copy

The second way to do this is talking the US Postal service over phone. You can talk with them over a phone and tell them the starting and ending date of the mails to hold. US Post office has a toll-free 800 customer service number. They deals with the mails issues, requests and questions nationwide. You can call them and they can also connect you to the local post office if necessary. You can submit your hold mail USPS request in just few minutes. It is also a great method to do so. You can also tell them the preferred method to collect all the accumulated mails after the end date. Record the confirmation number in case you want to cut-off or extend the trip date.

Ask-USPS-contact-usThe phone number of US Postal service is 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777). You can call them Monday – Friday from 8am until 8:30pm ET and Saturday from 8am until 6pm ET.

3. Online


It is the best, fastest, most convenient and most reliable way according to most of the people. Most of the people choose this method to hold their mails. It is very simple. You can do this after reading the steps given below, here you will find the step by step process and method to do so online. For this you will need a computer with internet connection. If you have these basic requirements then follow the steps :-

Step 1 – Open the Official USPS website :-

Visit the official site of United States Postal Service (USPS). It is not the official site of USPS, you need to click here to visit the official site. Here we provide the solutions of the problems, answers of the questions to help the people. After clicking the link above a new tab will open in your browser but don’t close this tab also because with this tab you will follow the step-by-step instructions to complete your task. So keep both the tabs open so that you can read the instructions from here.

Screenshot (1)When the site will open you will find some categories and there are two categories in which you can see the “Hold Mail” option, the first is “Quick Tools” and second is “Track & Manage”. You can see now the Hold Mail option clearly on your computer. Click on this option for USPS hold mail service. Screenshot (2)

You can also jump directly to the hold mail page by clicking the blue box below :-

Hold Mail Service





Step 2 – Fill out the required blank spaces :-

Here you can see the blank fields asking you to enter the correct information of yours. Enter the correct details of yours so that postal database can submit a request of holding mail to your nearest post office. All the required fields are marked with blue star. In the first blank space you need to enter your first name, then your middle name and last name. You need to provide your working phone number. Enter the full address in the other fields and at last of course your ZIP Code. After filling all the required blank spaces click on the “CHECK AVAILABILITY” option.


If your entry is correct it will process and take you to the next page. If holding service is available there it will show you the result like in the image below. If your entry is incorrect then it will show some error and ask you to fix or correct the information and try again.


If online hold mail service is not available for your address then still you need not to worry because you can request one at your local post office. The reason for your error might be that your provided information may not match up with the official record. So for this try to fill out the information that is in the official records.


Step 3 – Select the dates of Holding Mail :-

After the above step if there is holding service available at your address then the option below with the heading “When will we hold your mail?” will be enabled automatically. You can now select the dates of your choice. In the first empty space you have to select the starting date and in the second empty space you need to select the ending date when you are away from your home. But the main thing to keep in mind that mail hold United States postal service only give you the free facility to holding mail for a minimum of 3 days to maximum 30 days.


Below the dates option you can see the option “Pick a delivery option for your held mail.” when you will click on the arrow you will see two options in the drop down menu. The first option will be “Carrier delivers accumulated mail” which means all your held mails will be delivered to your mailbox and the second option will be “I will pick up accumulated mail“which means you’ll go to the post office personally to collect all the accumulated mails. So choose any one of these two options depending upon your personal choice. Then there is a blank space where you can write some additional instructions along with your request.

Step 4 – Submit your request and You’re done ! :-

You are one step away from your request to be submitted but before clicking on the Submit button double check all the information that all the information filled by you are correct. Read the legal disclaimer also at the bottom. You wouldn’t want any mistakes like mail held for the wrong dates and address mistakes. Before submitting, have a look on the form and make sure about your information and click submit at the end and wait for the success response from the site.

After the success of holding mail request you will receive an email containing all the information about mail hold USPS.  You will also receive a letter of confirmation containing the same information. It is for the security purpose. In case anyone else tried to hold your mails by mistake or purposely you can contact your post office and cancel this request.

These are few methods and ways to hold your mail. You can put hold on mails during your vacations or when you are away from your home. These methods will help you to receive your mails safely when you will come back to your home. You can pick any one of the above methods. But mostly people likes to use the online method because it saves our time. Be careful while applying for the request online because you wouldn’t want to waste your time editing the information after knowing your mistake and somehow you won’t be able to find the error it may cause mail loss, so fill all the information correctly. If you don’t want to take risk thinking about the mistakes online then you can also do this over a phone and in person. After all choice is yours.

What if you want to hold mails more than 30 Days? :-

You can hold mails only for a minimum of 3 days to maximum 30 days for free. But what if you want to hold your mails more than 30 days then in that case “Premium Forwarding Service” comes into play. You can hold your mails more than a month. But of course this service is not free, because US Postal Service doesn’t want to take on the burden for storing your mails for long time for free. You can check the FAQ on the official site of USPS and for more knowledge you can sign up.


Advice on Hold Mail Service :-

There are few tips and advises on Hold mail which you should know. Have a look on these tips –

Mail Hold Timing :-

I recommend you to make a request 1 week in advance. According to FAQ Page you can schedule the service almost 30 days before. This time seems to be enough for the staff and workers working hard at your local post office branch.

Mail Hold Resume :-

It is time to resume your hold mails. Try to select the I will pick up accumulated mail option while requesting because it is the best option to safely receive your accumulated mails. Suppose after coming from the vacation you are not at home or you are at your work place then all the mails would be on your doorstep or unlocked mailbox. It is also helpful in that case when you are late by one or two days. So always prefer this option to resume or receive your accumulated mails. If you choose Carrier delivers accumulated mail option then mail carrier will have left a mail containing the information about more mails if your mailbox is accumulated more than fits in it then you will need to pick up these from your nearest post office.

Edit or Cancel your Hold Mail Request (if needed) :-

If you want to cancel the hold US mail request then you can do so with your confirmation number. It is for that case if your vacation plan is cancelled. You have to enter your confirmation number if you want to edit or cancel the hold mail request and if you are doing this over phone or in person then you need to show this confirmation number to a customer service representative in the post office. You can also edit any date or personal information if you entered anything wrong and/or can also change the method to receive accumulated mails.

Contact US Postal Service Office :-

If you want to contact about hold mail service or anything else then visit the official site of USPS. It is not the official site as I informed you before so in case you want to deal with US Post then contact using the following phone number and links :-

  • Phone Number :– 800-ASK-USPS (275-8777)
  • By Email :– Official Form

This will help you out of your problem. You can also search for query on FAQ page of official site. The link is given below.

Alternative Ways to Hold Mail :-

I always choose hold mail service whenever I have to go somewhere. But one day I heard something very interesting from one of my friend and after listening to him I found that I can take my mail management to the next level. It is true that I can’t get rid of paper mails and frankly I really don’t want to but whenever I come back from my vacations I always find so many useless mails. I don’t want to see these useless mails any more and for this I have written some ways to avoid this and for making you an expert in mail management I am going to tell you another way to hold mail. There are few ways through which you can see my physical paper mails electronically. For this just read out the method below.

Rent a Virtual (Online) PO Box :-

You can rent a virtual online PO Box. It is a smart way to hold your mails and get rid of junk mails. These are small types of businesses which can help you a lot. They will provide you a private mailbox address in one of the states. If you are away from your home for a meeting, vacation or in hospital you can easily keep your eyes on every single mail. They will receive your all the mails on your behalf, they will scan the envelope and after that you can choose any action that what you want to do with that mail, you can forward it anywhere you want. They can also open it for you and you can view the scanned content online. Isn’t it a great way to get rid of junk mails, paper mails and all the mess. There are so many virtual PO Box type of business companies which you can choose. Earth Class Mail is also one of them. You can also try it. The best part is the security that you need not to worry about the security or privacy of your personal mails. You can choose this method also along with put mail on hold using Mail hold service by USPS.

Additional Tips :-

I have written almost every possible way for US Postal Hold Mail. One more thing that seems ridiculous is the junk mails. Most of the people suffer with this problem. They find so many junk mails in the mailbox. Because of these junk mails whenever I return from my journey or vacation I find lots of ridiculous offers from different companies and brands which are totally useless for me. Credit card offers, offers for products and catalogs, these are the things which makes me angry. I seriously don’t want my mails to get soaked when it is raining. Some times it is the reason that people come to know that me and my family are not at home. So this makes me frustrated all the time and for this I have written a article to Avoid Junk Mails. I mean I can’t handle these junk mails because these are worthless for me and for anyone who can purchase anything online with just few clicks. I admit that most of the festival time I love to watch catalogs and offers but only on TV Screen so why would anyone love these things on paper, it’s completely useless. This week I found so many catalogs and offers of a same product which I received last week. I have written a detailed article for this to avoid this garbage.

Read More :- How to Stop Junk Mail

Most Frequently Asked Questions :-

People care the most about their personal mails so for the security of their mails they want to know more and more things regarding the same issue or other issues. Here on this page I tried my best to solve all type of problems regarding US Postal hold mail service. Luckily on the official site of USPS there is a FAQ page where you can search your problem and it’s solution. I received so many questions like what if anyone want to hold their mail more than 30 days and for the solution of this question I have written the method step-by-step to do so. Many people asked about the benefits and the side effects of online holding mail. Read the full article carefully to short out your problems. Once a person asked me about other solution for the mails beside holding it at the post office. For him I have written about the virtual PO Box. You too can use this, it’s an amazing service. Different people asks different type of questions and for them I suggested the best possible way to come out of problems. Sometimes the questions are so interesting and worth writing. I am writing this article because of a request which I received from a person asking for the best way to hold the mails as he was going out of town for some days and there were nobody who could look after his mailbox in his absence. I hope this helped him.

You can go directly on the FAQ Page of official USPS site for the detail knowledge of any question by clicking the link below. You can search your query depending upon your problem. You can also choose the category of your problem using “Browse Topics:” option on the left. If you are unable to find the solution of your problem then you can also email or/and call them.

Yo Yo

If anyone of you want to ask something regarding USPS mail then leave a comment below. I’ll try to solve your problem. There are so many things that I could not cover on this page so for the rest you can read other articles on this site. If anyone has a better solution for the problems then he/she can suggest anything by leaving your thought or idea below. I hope you have found the solution of your problem if not then do let me know what problem you are facing. Keep following for more information about USPS.

19 comments Add yours
  1. Some important letters are marked Do Not Forward. How will the option of the PO collecting and sending you your mail work that out?

  2. I try to stop the mails for myself, my wife, my son and my daughter in my home address. But the form just allows to fill my name only. I did submit the form online. But I am not sure if I’ve stopped the mails to my wife, my son and my daughter.

    I tried to look for the answer, but failed to find any answers for my concern. Please let me know the one form in my home address with my name only on it has stopped all the mails for the family because we will all leave for the vocation together. I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.

    1. Hi @Steve Chen !

      You need only one household adult’s name to hold the mail for the entire address. You need not to submit the form for every single family member. One form or request of holding mail is enough for a single address. USPS won’t deliver any mail to your address till the requested date.

  3. Back from vacation a day early, is it possible to ck on line if you need to stop hold, and have mail delivered. And the request was done in person, not on line.

    1. If you made your Hold Mail request in person at your local Post Office, you will need to go back to your local Post Office to make changes or to cancel your Hold Mail request. After that your accumulated mail will be delivered to you according to the delivery option you chose.

      If you want to know more then call : 1-800-ASK-USPS® (1-800-275-8777)

      Hours of operation are :-

      Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
      Saturday: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET
      Sundays: Closed
      Holidays: Closed (Click here for postal holidays)

  4. How long does an airline suppose to hold mail? My 40 pound package has been in an airline for about a month now.

    1. Hi @Henrietta Johnson !

      It seems that your 40 pound package is in sorting process or on it’s way to destination. Sometimes it takes anywhere from 3-5 weeks to get through customs but your mail will eventually arrive. The USPS usually throws packages together per town and does not ship until they have enough packages.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *