Change of Address: Temporary vs. Permanent
When you file a Change of Address with USPS, you have two options: Temporary or Permanent.
Temporary Change of Address
A Temporary Change of Address service routes mail from your current address to a new location for a short period. During this time, if you decide to use your new mailing address for the long term, you must manually update senders as you see mail with a yellow forwarding label arrive. Should you wish to cancel this service, you can do so by visiting the following USPS page:
Permanent Change of Address
A Permanent Change of Address tells USPS to reroute your mail permanently. If you are relocating completely and do not plan to move again for some time, then this solution may be your best option. Keep in mind, however, that this option does have some drawbacks.
When you file a Permanent Change of Address, your specifications are logged into the National Change of Address database. As your mail is forwarded, the NCOA system notifies banks and other businesses of your new location. This system will register as if you have moved, and if your new address is in another state, the IRS may get in touch with you as well.
The NCOA database retains your new data for a total of 48 months (4 years). If you decide to move back to the original address or receive mail there, you will not have the option to cancel this Change of Address service through the USPS system. Even if you do try to cancel your order, the NCOA system will override your cancelation request and continue to forward your mail until the original request expires.
If you have accidentally filed a Permanent Change of Address and you need to re-establish your home address, you may need to contact USPS’ Consumer Affairs to clear this up.