How to File a Change of Address With USPS
Once you sign up for a Virtual Post Mailbox, you may begin forwarding your mail to it. You will need to file a Change of Address (COA) form with USPS and update your mailing address information with those who send you mail. This quick guide will help you transition your mail over to us smoothly and easily without losing any mail.
Filing a USPS Change of Address Form
A Change of Address is a request to have USPS forward your mail to a new destination address. This can either be temporary or permanent. There are three ways to submit a request:
- Online: This is the fastest way to file. A $1 verification fee will be charged to your credit card. To learn more, you can search USPS's FAQ site here for "Change of Address".
- In Person: File a PS Form 3575 in person at your local post office. This is free. You will no longer be able to print out this form at home to take to your post office. So if you pursue this option, you must obtain the form directly from your local post office.
Both methods require verification that you are authorized to make a Change of Address request.
Moving Out of the Country?
Make sure to file your Change of Address request with USPS before you leave. Otherwise, you may end up having to update your mailing address with senders before moving. You need to do this either way, but at least you have more time if you do file your request with USPS.
Updating Mailing Address For Your Mail: Not Sure Which Address You’ve Updated?
If you forget to update your mailing address with some senders, do not worry. If you filed an address change, you can easily see which mail was forwarded by USPS. You can then update your mailing address with the sender without skipping a beat.
Once you have your new Virtual Post Mailbox, you can immediately notify those people and businesses that send you mail. These may include:
- Telephone, gas, electricity, and other utility companies
- Tax entities and business-related government correspondence
- Banks and credit cards
- Magazines, catalogs, and mail offerings
- Subscriptions for professional organizations, clubs, and school alumni newsletters
Only forward mail you wish to receive in your Virtual Post Mailbox. If you are moving within the USA, you can continue to have certain mail delivered directly to you. This may include magazines or Netflix DVDs.
Change of Address Confirmation
Once you have submitted your address change, USPS will mail you up to three forms of confirmation:
Change of Address Validation Letter will be sent to your old address if you still reside there and are planning to move in the near future. If you have already moved, then this letter is not sent.
A Permanent Change of Address Confirmation Letter will be sent to your new address. You will see this mail inside your online postal mailbox.
A Welcome Kit will be sent to your new address. This kit contains offers and coupons related to your new address.
When you receive your confirmation letter in your Virtual Post Mailbox, you know that USPS has processed your request, and your mail will start being forwarded.
How long will USPS forward my mail?
USPS will forward your mail for up to 12 months for First-Class Mail, Express Mail, and packages. Periodicals and magazines will be forwarded for up to 60 days.
How long before mail is forwarded to my new address?
After USPS processes your Change of Address request, mail may take seven to 10 business days to arrive at your new address. So it might be about two weeks before you see your mail online.
Change of Address for Multiple People in Your Household
You need to fill out a separate Change of Address request for every recipient’s mail that you forward IF there are different surnames in the household or only some householders are moving. This is tedious, but USPS only forwards mail that matches the recipient name on the request form.
It is possible to complete only one Change of Address for an entire household with the same last name. This is ideal if your entire family is moving or if you’re looking to move everyone’s mail to your new mailbox.
Changing Your Business Address
You need to file a separate form for your business if you want to forward your business mail to the new address.
What kind of mail is forwarded?
First Class, Priority and Express Mail get forwarded for 12 months at no charge. Periodicals (newspapers and magazines) get forwarded for 60 days at no charge. After 60 days the publisher is notified of the new address and the mail piece is wasted. Standard Mail A (circulars, books, catalogs, and advertising mail) is not forwarded unless requested by the mailer. Standard Mail B (packages weighing 16 ounces or more) are forwarded locally for 12 months at no charge. You pay forwarding charges if you move outside the local area.
Read the comprehensive FAQs from USPS if you have more questions.