Make Sure Your Mail Goes Where You Go!

February 04, 2009 

Fort Myers, Cape Coral FL -   The first rule of mail forwarding is to always notify the Post Office of the address you are relocating to as well as the address you are moving from. The U.S. Postal Service does not have a nationwide network that alerts them when a customer is relocating. The only way your carrier will know that you have returned and desire delivery will be for you to notify them.

Pick up two Mover’s Guides, available from your carrier, the Post Office, or on the website at You can also call 1-800-ASK-USPS to complete a change of address or place your mail on hold. The Postal Service website at will accept a change of address or request to hold mail. When completing a mover’s guide, address one to each Post Office location involved in the relocation. This is especially important for seasonal residents who travel back and forth throughout the year. Help your carrier give you the best service possible by keeping him/her fully informed.

The second rule of mail forwarding is to be sure you fill out the change of address card completely, indicating whether the change is for an individual or family. Changes involving more than one last name must be entered on separate cards. It is also important to indicate whether the change is temporary or permanent. A permanent change of address will automatically notify major mailers who use an address update system of your new address. A temporary change will keep this information from being released. Temporary change of addresses can be entered for a period of one to six months. If you will be away on a temporary basis for longer than six months, you will have to renew your temporary forwarding status prior to the expiration for the additional time, no longer than an additional six months. Once a temporary change of address has expired, there is a waiting period of 45 days to file another change.

The Postal Service suggests that you file your Change of Address Form 30 days prior to your move date to ensure timely mail forwarding. Keep in mind that the “turnaround” time of your mail will delay it by a minimum of four days; you may want to adjust your starting date accordingly.

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.

Premium Forwarding Service is offered as the perfect solution for seasonal residents; all of your mail (including standard mail) is forwarded to you once a week using Priority Mail service. This service is offered for only $11.95 a week.

To ensure the accuracy of information entered for forwarding requests, an official address conformation letter is sent out to both the old and the new address given on every change of address entered. Customers should check the information given and notify the Postal Service immediately if there are any errors.

Forwarding of mail is a monumental and expensive task for the Postal Service. In other countries, residents are charged a fee for forwarding of mail. The United States Postal Service is proud to offer this service free of charge and strives to provide the very best mail forwarding service possible.

Please Note: For broadcast quality video and audio, photo stills and other media resources, visit the USPS Newsroom at

An independent federal agency, the U.S. Postal Service is the only delivery service that visits every address in the nation — 146 million homes and businesses. It has 37,000 retail locations and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to pay for operating expenses, not tax dollars. The Postal Service has annual revenues of $75 billion and delivers nearly half the world’s mail.

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