Policies, Procedures, and Forms Updates


DMM Revision: Temporary Mail Forwarding Policy

The Postal Service™ has revised the Mailing Stan­dards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM®) concerning the duration and submis­sion of temporary change-of-address orders. The minimum duration for a change-of-address order is 15 days; the maximum duration for a temporary change of address order is 185 days; and the maximum duration for any addi­tional temporary change-of-address order is 179 days. This change does not reduce the maximum time for which cus­tomers can obtain temporary change-of-address service, which remains up to 1 year. The change only requires cus­tomers to submit a second request if they need the service for more than 6 months.

We revised the minimum time for temporary change-of-address orders to 15 days due to the time needed to pro­cess and redirect mail receiving temporary forwarding ser­vice, which may approach 2 weeks. The acceptance of short-term forwarding orders occasionally resulted in instances of mail not arriving prior to the date the customer left the temporary address. This mail would then be redi­rected again to the permanent address, resulting in addi­tional handling by the Postal Service and delay in receipt of mail for the customer.

Regarding the new 6-month maximum limit for initial temporary change-of-address requests, the majority of requests are for less than 6 months and most customers will not be affected by the new policy. A customer seeking the longest duration for temporary change-of-address ser­vice can submit an initial order for 185 days and a second order for 179 more days. We will send customers a reminder to submit a second temporary forwarding request if they desire additional forwarding time.

We are publishing the following revisions to DMM to implement the changes.

Mailing Standards of the United States Postal Service, Domestic Mail Manual (DMM)

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500 Additional Mailing Services

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507 Mailer Services

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2.0 Forwarding 2.1 Change-of-Address Order

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2.1.3 Temporary Forwarding

[Revise 2.1.3 as follows:]

A customer temporarily moving away may have mail for­warded for a specific period of time, not to exceed 12 months (364 total consecutive days). The Postal Service provides temporary forwarding service for a period of 2 weeks to 6 months (15 to 185 days) in response to an ini­tial temporary change-of-address order. Customers may extend the temporary forwarding period up to a maximum of 12 months (364 days), by submitting a second change-of-address order to begin on the first day of the second 6–month period (the 186th day), and expiring on the desired date, up to and including the last day of the second 6–month period (364th day). Every temporary change-of-address order must specify both beginning and end dates.

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We will incorporate the following revision into the next printed version of DMM and into the next monthly update of the online DMM available via Postal Explorer® at http://pe.usps.com.