Delivery and Retail

Re-emphasis of Policy on Corrections to Change-of-Address Orders

The Postal Service™ holds a special trust with the American people. We are obligated to maintain that trust by ensuring the security of the mail and confidence in the reli­ability and integrity of our systems. The American people have a right to expect that the Postal Service and its employees will protect the information concerning a cus­tomer’s place of residence.

The Postal Service receives approximately 47 million change-of-address (COA) orders each year. As with any system or process, some mistakes will be made by the customer or by the Postal Service during data capture. When errors occur with data elements of a customer’s name and/or address, there is an expectation that Postal Service employees will recognize the problem and correct the deficiency.

PS Form 3546, Official Change/Correction to Mail For­warding Change of Address Order, is an official document whereby employees make corrections to the spelling of a name or elements of a mailing address. It is an internal form that must be used to modify an existing COA record or to request the deletion of a COA record.

All corrections to COA information by employees must be made using PS Form 3546 and be properly annotated on PS Form 3982, Changes of Address (pink card). These are essential steps to ensure the correc­tion flows through the Postal Automated Redirection System (PARS) to the national database.

Customers who contact Postal Service personnel to report any irregularity concerning the legitimacy of a change-of-address order must be given prompt attention. Refer all cases to appropriate management personnel for action. Management will contact the local Inspection Ser­vice office to report the incident. Customers should be advised to call 800-ASK-USPS (800-275-8777) immedi­ately to report the incident. Also, where there is suspicion that the change-of-address order is fraudulent, forwarding of mail should be suspended at the delivery unit. A PS Form 3546 must be submitted to cancel the change-of-address order, and an exclusion in the Change of Address Reporting System (COARS) must be submitted to stop the interception and forwarding of mail from that address.

The Postal Service and the customer benefit by employ­ees’ attentiveness in correcting the routing of customers’ mail. Employees at every level are encouraged to assist in our effort to achieve the best customer service possible. The Postal Automated Redirection System (PARS) and the COA Forms Processing System (CFPS) increase the need for accurate and error-free data processing information. Automated equipment will receive immediate access to data when corrections are submitted using a PS Form 3546 and entered into these systems.

The future of the Postal Service depends on the quality of the service we provide. The forwarding of mail to our customers and timely notification of address changes to mailers increase the value of the Postal Service. Proper use of PS Form 3546 is critical to ensure an error-free mail for­warding process.

Strict adherence to these procedures is essential.