USPS Change of Address | Mail Forwarding

If you are moving, it’s good for a change. You must be moving for a good reason, but before moving to a new address, you need to set out few things like the mailing address. If you move to a new address, then all your mail will go to your old address, and you won’t be able to receive any mail. So in the case of address change you have to set few things so that all your mail will be there to your new address. But you need to understand the mail forwarding options that what you should do before doing any USPS Change of Address process. So have a look at the options given below

Mail Forwarding Options:

usps mail forwarding

People have two options regarding USPS mail forwarding, read the following for these options –

1. Temporary Change of Address: For this type of request, the minimum amount of time is 15 days. The government will forward all your mail to your new address which you mentioned in the form during the request. The maximum time for temporary COA (Change of Address) is 365 days.

2. Permanent Change of Address: Your mail will be forwarded to your new address for a certain amount of time depending on the class of mail. You may look for the mail class and forward time limits for different mail classes on the official site of USPS.

These are the two options. You have to choose any one of them, and then follow the next steps and yes! You must have a question in your mind that what if you do not file any Change of Address request. In that case, your mail carrier will pick up all the accumulated mail from your mailbox and will leave a letter for you advising you to pick up all mail from the post office. The post office will hold the mail for up to ten days, and after that, most of the mail will be returned to the senders, and if it fails, then they will discard them.

COA Request for Family/Individual/Business:

usps move type

You will see three options while changing your address – Family, Individual, and Business. You have to select any one of these options. But there are some conditions before selecting any one of them, and some are as follows –

  • If you are moving with your family and all your family members have same last name, then you can select “Family” option.
  • If your family members have different last name, then you have to fill out the form using “Individual” option for each of your family member.
  • If all family members have same last name, but some of them are staying, and some of them are moving, then still you need to fill the form using “Individual” option for each of them who are moving.

These are some conditions, but if you want to know these conditions with full details, then you may click here. Notify two weeks before your move to everyone who sends you mail. Now directly jump to the ways to change your address.

Read More: How to Hold Mail While You are on Vacation

How to Change Your Address:

You can change your address in various ways, and for that, you need to contact different mail senders. In the following steps, you will see how to change USPS mailing address, how to notify Social Security Administration, changing the address for IRS (Internal Revenue Service) and some other government agencies, personal contacts and business contacts, etc. Let’s have a look –

1. USPS Address Change:

online change of address

You can request USPS for changing your address and forward your mail to a new address. You can do this in three different ways which are as follows –

(i). Change Your Address Online: Go to the official site of USPS, click on the link for “Change of Address” or click here (you may also see an advertising stating that if you want to move then you can change your address online and it will cost you only $1) and follow the steps then –

  • Read the Privacy Act Statement or terms and conditions before clicking on “Continue,” after reading it, you can click on it.
  • After clicking on Continue option, another page will open, and on the top of that page you will be asked that “Is this move permanent or temporary?”, You can select any one of those options. (In any case, you need help while choosing these options you may click on the “Help” option on the top right)
  • After selecting the first option, it will ask you “When should we forward your mail?” then enter the Start Date when you want USPS to start forwarding your mail to the new address.
  • After selecting the date, it will ask you that “What type of Move is this?” and I have already written above about this option. You may read that again and can select any option according to your choice and rules of USPS.
  • Then Click on “Continue.”
  • A new page will open, Enter your full name and contact information there.
  • Then enter your old address and new address in the blank fields and click on continue
  • After clicking on continue option, it will ask you to verify your identity by providing the necessary information like your date of birth, social security number, phone number or other useful information.
  • You will also need to select the payment method for change address process, and it will cost $1.
  • If desired, select any special offer available in your new address and click on continue.
  • At last, a new page will open about confirm the order. Check all the details and proceed.

Requirements/Options: a. $1 is required for identity validation.

b. Eligible Credit Cards/Debit Cards are – MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express.

c. Your email address must end with “.gov” or “.mil” if you are moving from a military address.

(ii). Change Your Address at the Post Office: You may also change your address by visiting your nearest post office and then follow the steps –

  • Pick up PS Form 3575 and fill out the required options.
  • Fill your full name, your old address, new address, contact information, whether you are moving permanently or temporarily, USPS forward mail start date and other important things.
  • You can also select whether or not you’d like to receive catalogs or magazine subscriptions at your new address.
  • After completing the form, you may hand over this to the postmaster or may put it in the mailbox. (If you selected temporary move then post office will forward the mail up to 6 months, and then you need to fill that form again)

Requirements/Options: a. No fee required for doing this at the post office.

b. International addresses are eligible.

(iii). Request the Form by Phone: You can ask your mail carrier to bring a form to your address, or you may also call your local post office to mail a 3575 form. The USPS phone number is 1-800-275-8777. It will cost $1.05 if you want to do this process over the phone.

change of address over phone

2. Notify Social Security Administration (SSA):

Social Security change of address process can help you by changing your address, and for this, you have to do following things –

(i). Determine whether you receive benefits or not from SSA: Firstly you need to determine whether you receive benefits or not from this department and for this you must receive one of the following things: –

  • Retirement
  • Medicare
  • Social Security Income
  • Survivors benefits

If you receive any one of these benefits from this department, then you can request to change your address because SSA is in charge of federal benefits.

(ii). Change your address at Social Security Office: You can go to your nearest Social Security Office and tell them that I want to change my address and it is one of the best ways to change your address. If you want to receive the government benefits continuously, then contact them personally. To find the nearest office, you can go to their website and enter your new zip code. At the office, the representative can help you to do so and for this just give him/her the details, and you are done.

(iii). Change Your Address Online: You can also change mailing address online by logging into your account. After logging in, you can update your personal information. Change your old address with the new one, and it is done. You need not do anything else.

3. Change Your Address For Internal Revenue Service (IRS):

Changing your address for Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will also help you while moving.

change address with Internal Revenue Service

(i). Positive Standing with Internal Revenue Service: It is most important that IRS should always be aware of your current address or the address where you are living at. So you have to stay updated with IRS and tell them about your changed address.

(ii). Submit a Written Statement: Download a form no. 8822 and take a print out of, it and fill out the required information like your full name, your old address, new address and Social Security Number (SSN), etc. Fill these type of information with your signature.

(iii). Write your New Address when Filing a Tax Return: The easiest way to update your information is to write down your new address while filing a tax return. By this method, your personal information will be updated without doing any paperwork. You can do it very easily.

(iv). Contact them on their Phone Number: You can also contact them by phone. If you don’t want to mail your SSN, then it is a better option for you. For this, find the phone number of your nearest office and before calling them, make sure you have complete information like your full name, your SSN, date of birth and address. Call them and ask them to update your information.

4. Change your address with some other Government Agencies:

change address with other government agenciesYou may contact most of the Government Agencies for your address change. I have already written about some important government sectors and the methods to do this like USPS change address and social security change of address process, but still, there are some Government Agencies you may contact with regarding your address change. These some other agencies are as follows –

(i). Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): If you are a veteran who receives benefit payments, then you should contact Veterans Affairs. Contact them and ask to update your address.

(ii). Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV): You may also contact to Department of Motor Vehicles for updating your address on driver’s license and motor vehicle registration.

(iii). State Election Offices: Change your address on voter registration records, and for this, you have to contact state election offices.

(iv). U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): If you are a non-U.S citizen and want to register your address, then contact USCIS.

5. Write a Letter for Change of Address:

usps moveYou may also write a letter to your mail senders. You can notify your personal and business contacts for updating your address. I have already talked about contacting the government agencies so now it is the turn for personal and business contacts. For this, you have to prepare before leaving the place. Firstly you have to prepare a list of your all contacts and divide it into two parts – 1. Personal and 2. Business. Basically what you have to do is that you have to write a letter to both your contacts and your business contacts, and for this keep all the mail or its envelopes in a pile and by this, the chances are less to miss those correspondences you only get very infrequently. After doing this, use a template for your change address letters. Keep your content simple and formatting clean and now start the writing process by following the steps given below.

(i). Write letter/email to your Family and Friends: It is important to inform your friends and family members that you are going to change your address soon. You can inform them by many different ways. If a majority of your contacts have an email address, then you may send them a mass email containing your new information. You may also write about your moving on the invitation card, if you have any party or event. But you should do all this process before leaving that place. If you are very close to your friends and family, then there is no need to send regular mail or letter to them, you can send postcards to them. It is a better option and if you are not close to them, then write a letter informing them your updated information.

(ii). Write letter/email to your Professional Contacts: It is important to inform your professional contacts about your address change. You should professionally send them a mass email. If you run a business, and you have clients, then it is important to inform them also. So for this, you can print some postcards and send it to them. Try not to send any hand written letter to them if you are not close to them.

(iii). Notify the Banks or Credit Unions: If you deal with a bank or any credit/debit card service, then you must inform them about this address change like post office change of address process. It might be possible to change your address online, if it changes online, then it’s good and if not, then you have to visit your branch. One thing that you should keep in mind is that you note that you want your address changed for your account statements and credit or debit cards.

(iv). Check Your Bills to Change Address: Most of the utility and credit cards bills have blank space to fill in the new address, for this look at the back side of the bills, and don’t forget to select the option on the front, noting that you want to change your address. If you are leaving the place before next bill, then you should contact your utility company or credit card company. You can also search for it online.

(v). Notify Your Newspapers and Magazines Subscriptions: Nowadays, many newspapers and magazines have online facility to change address. For this, you will need subscription ID number from the label.

(vi). Notify Your Doctors: Notify about your new address to your physician, dentist, and any other specialist. You can do this over the phone call. Sometimes it needs patient ID number. So be prepared for this before calling.

You can write letters to these contacts. Sometimes it just needs a phone call to do this task. Now you are aware of the change of address USPS or U.S Post Office change of address process, social security change of address process and changing with some other government agencies.

Change of Address Confirmation:

There must be a question in your mind that how you are going to know about the confirmation of your changed address. If you have the same question, then read the points below –

  • If you submitted your post office address change request online, then you will receive an email containing the confirmation code.
  • If you moved to your new address, then you will receive a Welcome Kit to that new address containing coupons and offers.
  • A permanent change of address confirmation letter will be sent to your new address.
  • Once you schedule your Change of Address, U.S Postal Service will promptly mail a Move Validation Letter (MVL) to your old address to validate your move.
  • In any case, you don’t receive any confirmation, then according to privacy and security rules, U.S Postal Service will not issue any duplicate Change of Address Confirmation letter (except for special or unusual circumstances). You may call on 1-800-ASK-USPS for more information.

How to Modify or Cancel a Change of Address request:

cancel change of address

To cancel or modify the change address USPS request you must have your confirmation code which you received while placing the COA (Change of Address) order if you want to do this online (if you don’t have the authorization code, then read about this below). Follow the steps to cancel/modify COA order –

  • Go to the following link –
  • Enter the Confirmation Code in the first empty field.
  • Enter your New Zip Code in the second empty field.
  • Click on Submit option.
  • Now you can edit various fields according to your need. You can cancel/modify the COA order from here.

If you have lost your Confirmation Code, then you have to go to your nearest Post Office and, there ask the Postal Clerk to change/modify your COA order.

Note:-  * You cannot do more than two changes in a single day, and if you try it for the third time, then it will show you the error message that says – “You have exceeded the amount of changes that you can make within the same day. Please try again in 48 hours.

* You can still cancel your COA order even if you have exceeded the limit.

Read More: How to Stop Junk Mail

How Posts Offices Sale your Updated Address:

Have you ever wondered how you receive junk mail even after changing your address? In fact, it doesn’t matter whether you changed your address or not, it will follow you. It is because of the Change of Address form, when you make a request regarding COA, USPS adds your name and the details into a database of 160 million previous address changes over the past four years. USPS deals with the brokers who pay it. So in exchange for money, USPS sell out your information, and these brokers use this information to send junk mail. You cannot get rid of junk mail properly, but you can reduce the amount of junk mail you receive every week by reading our article on How to Stop Junk Mails. They use this information to send you the catalogs, promotions, offers, etc. Most of these are useless for us, but still, they are sending it to us. I won’t go in deep, but you can understand now that how Posts Offices sell your updates address information.

Tips on Change of Address:

  • If you are going to send a letter or fax for COA order, then write your full name, account number, full old address and full new address.
  • Don’t forget to sign the letter.
  • If you deal with any utility company or other companies, then contact them in advance (before leaving the place) and tell them the full detail like when to stop, when to start, when to transfer, etc.
  • If you have any complaint, suggestion or compliment, then you can contact USPS by various ways like Email Us Form, or you may call on 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) or TTY: 1-800-877-8339.
  • If you are living with a roommate and only you are changing your address, then don’t forget to make it clear to post office.
  • USPS wants you to submit U.S Postal Service Change of Address request two weeks before moving to your new address because it takes 7-10 business days for processing your request.
  • Change your voter registration also while moving.
  • Don’t forget to notify your creditors. It is important to notify them so that all your bills could reach your new address. You can alert some creditors using the methods written above.


  • USPS moving or forwarding service is effective, but they are going to share your address with others too.
  • If you change your address, then you are going to receive junk mail and if you don’t want it, then read our article on junk mail.
  • Newspapers and magazines will be forwarded to your new address for 60 days for free and after that they will discard them to notify the publishers of newspapers and magazines that you have a new address and do it while placing an order for COA before leaving the place because publications take as long as 60 days to do this.
  • According to United States Postal Service regulations under Sections 2, 1001, 1702 and 1708 of Title 18, United States Code (U.S.C.), “Anyone intentionally submitting false or inaccurate information on a COA request form is subject to punishment by fines or imprisonment or both.”
  • A U.S post office address change request must be filed by the addressee or by someone authorized to file.

Final Words: These are some U.S postal service address change methods. I tried to write every possible way to tell you the ways to change your address. These are the best ways, and most of the people have done this, and they find these methods effective. I suggest you to do every possible thing to notify everyone about your updated address because if you don’t do so, you may lose some of your important mail. It happened to me that’s why I am writing this post. If you are going on vacation for some time and want to hold your mail, then you can read our article on USPS hold mail. I have written the best ways to hold your mail in that article, and if you want me to add some other important ways on Change of address topic, then you can leave a comment below. You can suggest the best ways for this help others and if you want to know anything regarding USPS, then don’t hesitate, just ask anything, and I’ll try to solve out your problem and keep checking

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