Standard Forward Mail | USPS (2024)

Getting Started

Plan ahead. Although mail forwarding may begin within 3 business days of your submitted request, it's best to allow up to 2 weeks. Mail will be forwarded to your new address as it comes, piece by piece.

What Mail Is Forwarded

  • First-Class mail and periodicals (newsletters and magazines) are forwarded for free.
  • Priority Mail Express®, Priority Mail®, and USPS Ground Advantage® items are forwarded for free.
  • Media Mail® items are forwarded, but you must pay the cost for shipping from your local Post Office location to your new address.
  • USPS Marketing Mail® is not forwarded.

Your change of address order only changes your mailing address with the Post Office. You must still update government agencies (like for your benefits, driver's license, and voter registration) and companies (like banks, insurance, online stores, etc.).

Where to Go to Change Your Address

Choose to change your address in a few simple steps online or visit your local Post Office location.

You must submit your change of address request in person at a Post Office location if:

  • You're moving outside the United States
  • You're submitting a change of request for someone else
  • You're unable to verify your identity online

How to Change Your Address Online

  1. Go to the Official USPS Change of Address® website.
  2. Choose an option for either an "Individual," "Family" (where everyone has the same last name), or "Business" move, and complete the form.
  3. Verify your identity: Opt in online to receive a verification code or link on your mobile phone.
  4. Pay the $1.10 identity verification fee. The billing address on your credit card must match either your old or new address.
  5. If your online identity verification succeeds: USPS will email you a confirmation code. Use this code if you need to modify or cancel your request.
    1. You'll get a Move Validation letter to the address you’re moving from (your "old" address)
    2. About 5 business days before your change of address start date, you'll get a Customer Notification Letter (with your confirmation code) to your "new" address. You'll also get a welcome kit with coupons from USPS partners.
    3. Mail will be rerouted to your new address piece by piece.
  6. If you can’t verify your identity online: USPS will send you an email with instructions and a barcode. Bring the email along with acceptable photo ID to a local Post Office location.

Change Your Address

How to Change Your Address at the Post Office

  1. Visit your local Post Office location with acceptable photo ID and any other required documents.
  2. Request a free Mover's Guide packet.
  3. Fill out the PS Form 3575 found inside the packet, and give it to the retail associate. They will use your photo ID to verify your identity, then process your change of address request.

Visit Change of Address FAQs

If You're Unable to Verify Your Identity

  • To submit a change of address, you must verify your identity.
  • If you can't verify your identity online, go to a Post Office location with acceptable ID.
  • If you can't verify your identity at a Post Office location, you will not be able to complete a change of address with USPS.
  • If you can't submit a change of address with USPS, your only option is to directly contact everyone who might send you mail—people, companies, and government agencies—and give them your new address.

Change of Address Requests for Special Situations

Submitting a Change of Address Request for Someone Else

If you're changing an address for someone else (as their "Authorized Agent"), you'll need to go in-person to a Post Office location and bring acceptable ID and additional documents (depending on who you’re changing the address for):

  • A child under the age of 18: Their birth certificate
  • A person who is unable to act for themselves: Power of Attorney

Stop or Forward Mail for the Deceased

To submit a change of address request for someone who is deceased, you must go in-person to a Post Office location with documents showing you're the executor or administrator authorized to manage their mail. (Having their death certificate is not enough.)

Managing Mail for the Deceased

International Moves: If you're going to move outside the United States, before you leave the U.S., you must go to a Post Office location to verify your identity and submit your change of address request in person.

Businesses: If you are submitting a business change of address request in-person at a Post Office location, you must have documentation, like a notarized letter, power of attorney, or letter on company letterhead (signed by someone in a leadership role) that shows you’re an "Authorized Agent" who can submit a change of address request for the business.

U.S. Military Moves: For U.S. military moves, first work with your command; your AMPS relocation info will automatically be shared with USPS. If you still need to submit a change of request with USPS, you can do so either in person or online. For online requests, if you are moving from a military address, your email address must end in .gov, .mil, or .edu. Important note: If you need to verify your identity in person, you can only do so at Post Office locations in the 50 states and Puerto Rico. If you are outside of the U.S., you cannot verify your identity in-person and won’t be able to submit a change of address with USPS.

Related Mail Services

USPS Hold Mail Service

If you'll be away for 3–30 days, you can "pause" all mail delivery to your address with USPS Hold Mail® service. Your local Post Office will hold all mail to your address until you return. Your mail carrier will deliver all your held mail on the last day of your hold, or you can pick up your mail at the Post Office.

Schedule USPS Hold Mail Service

Extended Mail Forwarding

Standard mail forwarding lasts 12 months. You can pay to extend mail forwarding for 6, 12, or 18 more months (18 months is the maximum).

To purchase Extended Mail Forwarding, you can add it when you first submit your change of address request or if you later edit your request. (USPS will also send you a reminder email when you have 1 month left in your mail forwarding.)

Important: You can’t cancel or request a refund for Extended Mail Forwarding. For more information and pricing, read the Extended Mail Forwarding FAQs.

Note: When your mail forwarding period ends, USPS will return your mail to the sender for 6 months with a label that has your new address.

Premium Forwarding Services

In addition to regular mail forwarding, USPS offers paid Premium Forwarding Service® options. For a fee, customers can have their mail packed up and sent to them: For residential customers, in a weekly Priority Mail shipment; for businesses, in daily, weekly, or monthly Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express shipments.

Premium Forwarding Mail Services

Standard Forward Mail | USPS (2024)


What is standard mail forwarding? ›

Standard mail forwarding lasts 12 months. You can pay to extend mail forwarding for 6, 12, or 18 more months (18 months is the maximum). To purchase Extended Mail Forwarding, you can add it when you first submit your change of address request or if you later edit your request.

Why isn't standard mail forwarded? ›

The post office says any Standard Mail such as advertising mail, catalogs, books, and circulars will not be forwarded unless requested by the mailer.

How much does the USPS charge for mail forwarding? ›

USPS forwarding is free for up to one year. The time limit is to give you the opportunity to notify all of your regular mailers of your new address. If you complete the COA (Change of Address) online, there is a charge of $1.10 on your card. This is to verify you are who you say you are.

What is standard delivery for mail? ›

Standard Mail, also known as "bulk mail", is processed by the USPS on a “time available” basis. Standard mail is not forwarded or returned if undeliverable unless a special endorsem*nt is used. Standard mail will typically be delivered in under 5 business days locally, but nationwide it could take 2 to 3 weeks.

Is it better to change address at Post Office or online? ›

To ensure the best service, always use for all change of address activities. The Change of Address Order (PS Form 3575) is available at your local Post Office within the Mover's Guide® packet.

What is mail forwarding rule? ›

Email forwarding is a feature that allows you to automatically redirect incoming emails from one email address to another. When email forwarding is set up, any messages sent to the original email address will be automatically forwarded to the designated recipient's email address.

What kind of mail will not be forwarded? ›

Standard Mail A (circulars, books, catalogs, and advertising mail) is not forwarded unless requested by the mailer.

What mail cannot be redirected? ›

Mail delivered by other delivery services or couriers, including Parcelforce. Mail addressed to a nursing home, boarding house, hotel, student hall of residence, hospital or other such multi-occupied premises cannot be redirected.

Does the USPS charge for change of address? ›

Go to to change your address online. You do not need to pay a separate company to change your address. Scammers may charge $40 or more to do what you can do for just $1.10 using the "Who is moving?" section of the official website.

How can I forward my mail for free? ›

You can request mail forwarding at your local post office or on the USPS website. If you set up your mail forwarding or change of address service through your post office, it is free of charge.

How long before I move should I forward my mail? ›

It's therefore a good idea to submit the forwarding request at least two weeks before your move if possible. This will ensure that nothing is missed in the first few days after you move. Once mail forwarding begins, the USPS will forward most of your mail for up to one year.

Is USPS mail forwarding reliable? ›

USPS mail forwarding is a great service to use if you know that mail is being sent to an old home or business address — but it's important to note that even with Premium Forwarding Services or a “permanent” change of address, the mail forwarding you'll get is temporary (and it may exclude important items not shipped ...

Who uses standard mail? ›

Standard Mail Definition

Only available in the US, this alternative is perfect for businesses looking to send mail at scale. For example, mailing out large volumes of marketing flyers or postcards for your next great direct mail campaign.

What is the difference between standard mail and regular mail? ›

The primary differences between First Class and Standard mail (aka Marketing Mail) are price, speed of delivery, as well as options for mail forwarding and returns on mail with outdated addresses. Below you'll find details on how to save on postage in 2021 with our first-class vs. marketing mail comparison guide.

How long should standard mail take? ›

How long does it take my mail and packages to get here?
Mail ClassNumber of Days
First-Class Mail1 to 5
Marketing Mail2 to 10
Periodicals2 to 9
Priority Mail1 to 3
1 more row

What is the difference between mail forwarding and change of address? ›

If you or your company has moved to a new address, the USPS mail forwarding service (also known as a USPS Change of Address) can be an extremely helpful service to utilize. Changing your address with the USPS will set up temporary mail forwarding.

What is standard mail protocol? ›

The common protocols for email delivery are Post Office Protocol (POP), Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP), and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). Each of these protocols has a standard methodology to deal with the emails and also has defined functions.

What type of mail will not be forwarded? ›

Standard Mail A (circulars, books, catalogs, and advertising mail) is not forwarded unless requested by the mailer.

What happens when your mail is forwarded? ›

Mail forwarding is much like it sounds: If letters or packages were sent to your former or inactive address, they will be passed along to your current address.


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