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How To Forward Mail to a New Address

February 22, 2022 | 3 min read

When you’re getting ready to move, it seems like a thousand things are on your to-do list. Between packing, cleaning, and getting your new home ready, don’t forget you must also have your mail forwarded to your new place.

Here’s how to forward mail to a new address, step by step.

What Is Mail Forwarding?

Mail forwarding lets you easily transfer mail from one address to another.

Having your mail forwarded early in your moving process ensures that important mail makes it to your new address. It would also prevent your mail from piling up outside the door or going to new tenants occupying your old place.

Why should we care so much about your snail mail? Everything’s fully digital by now, right? Not completely. Critical items are still only sent by postal mail, like:

  • Communications from the IRS and Social Security
  • Passports and driver’s license renewals
  • Health insurance cancellation notices
  • New or replacement credit and debit cards
To ensure you don’t miss any important incoming mail, set up a mail transfer service through the change of address process with the United States Postal Service (USPS). This service will automatically forward your mail to your new address and inform some entities about the change.
5 Steps To Forwarding Mail to Your New Address

Whether you’re moving within the U.S. or abroad, temporarily or permanently, making sure you promptly get any important mail is essential.

To get started, here’s a handy guide about forwarding your mail to a new address.

1. Choose A Mail Forwarding Option
USPS customers have 3 mail forwarding options: temporary change of address, permanent change of address, or premium forwarding service residential.
  • Temporary Change of Address - piece-by piece forwarding of primarily First-Class Mail and Periodicals for a specified period of time
  • Permanent Change of Address - piece-by-piece forwarding of primarily First-Class Mail for 12 months and Periodicals for 60 days
  • Premium Forwarding Service - provides a single weekly shipment of all mail Priority Mail for a fee. This is temporary and is offered as an additional option to the free temporary or permanent Change of Address (COA) option.
2. Get Two Forms of Identification Ready

The USPS requires two forms of ID to complete a mail forwarding service by change of address (COA). You can present a primary ID and a secondary ID or two forms of primary IDs.

Your primary form of ID needs to have a clear picture on it. Examples are:

  • Government-issued IDs (driver’s license, state ID, Armed Forces card, certificate of citizenship, or proof of permanent residency)
  • Passport
  • University ID
  • Corporate ID
A non-photo secondary form of identification is also acceptable. Some examples are:
  • A lease, mortgage, or deed of trust
  • Voter or vehicle registration card
  • Home or vehicle insurance policy
  • Form I-94, Arrival and Departure Record
3. Go To the Post Office or USPS Website

You can complete the mail forwarding process face-to-face at the post office or handle it online.

USPS charges only $1.10 identity validation fee for online processing. The service is free if you do it face-to-face at the post office.

Take caution: Some third-party sites will ask you to pay a fee of up to $40 for the mail forwarding process. Make sure that you’re using USPS.com to avoid incurring any unnecessary charges.

4. Submit PS Form 3575 and Get Mail to Your New Home
  • Fill out and submit PS Form 3575 for a COA or change of address order.
  • You can choose the date when the change of address for mail forwarding begins. The start date can be either up to 30 days in the past or up to 90 days in the future.
  • USPS will then mail a Move Validation Letter (MVL) to your old address to validate the move. Within 5 days before the COA start date, you will receive a Customer Notification Letter in the mail at your new address.
  • USPS will stop delivering mail to your previous address on the COA date. Your mail will start arriving within 7-10 postal business days, from the COA start date, in your new address.
A Better Alternative

The USPS process described above is one option, but there’s a faster, easier, more flexible, and long-term solution—a virtual mailbox.

Setting up a virtual mailbox with Anytime Mailbox allows you to change your address and forward your mail quickly. But you can do more than just forward mail to this virtual mailbox address. You can also make requests to:

  • Open and scan a mail item
  • Forward mail or package to another location
  • Shred, store, or recycle mail
  • Schedule for pickup

With a virtual mailbox, you’ll easily manage your mail from anywhere in the world, right from your mobile device.

Simply pick a US location from our list to set up your digital address.

Go modern tech and hassle-free by setting up your virtual mailbox with Anytime Mailbox in just a few simple steps.