You’re moving, so you already packed everything, rented a storage unit, and hired a truck. However, there’s still one important thing you must do! You also need to change your address with the United States Postal Service – and that task should be completed by the time you actually start living in your new house.
Changing your USPS address in a timely manner protects you from missing important bills, deliveries, notifications, and so on. Once you have updated your address with the United States Postal Service, all the correspondence sent to your former address will be forwarded to the current one. Changing your USPS address is a pretty straightforward and simple process that can be done in a matter of minutes, so there are really no reasons to postpone it.
The USPS Address Change Can Be Done Online
The simplest way to change your USPS address is by doing it online. Go to the dedicated page on the official USPS website and follow the instructions. First, you must choose between the different types of moving – individual, family or business. You also need to list your contact information – full name, phone number, and email address.
Then, you must tick the appropriate box for either a permanent or a temporary move and fill in your preferred mail forwarding date. The USPS mail forwarding date can’t be more than 30 days prior to the day when you are applying for the address change, or more that 3 months in advance of that day.
Pay extra attention and fill in your old address and the new one correctly – otherwise, you will be facing an entirely different set of problems. At one point, you’ll have to confirm your identity by making a $1 credit or debit card payment, so have your card information to hand.
You can also change your USPS address by phone. Call 1-800-ASK-USPS and complete the steps indicated by the phone operator. You’ll still have to pay the identity verification $1 fee. Before making the call, it’s a good idea to have all the necessary information – old address, new address, card details – written down, to avoid any mistakes.
USPS Change of Address at the Post Office
Another way of changing the USPS address is by visiting your local post office. Request a Mover’s Guide packet at the post office. The packet contains the PS Form 3575, instructions to help you fill it in, and different flyers and discounts to moving-related services.
The 3575 form is very similar to the online documents detailed above. Check the appropriate boxes for your situation – whether it’s an individual, family or business move, and a temporary or a permanent one. Write down the mail forwarding start date, and the date for discontinuing the service in case of a temporary move.
You also need to type in your full name, the old mailing address and the new one. Don’t forget to sign the form. Once you have filled in all that information, give the form to the postal worker helping you at the counter or simply put it into the letter mail slot. You will receive a letter to confirm the USPS address change at your new place after about a week. If you don’t get the letter, contact the post office and let them know about your situation.
Beware of Scammers
The address change and the USPS mail forwarding service has a $1 identity verification fee if done online or by phone, and it’s completely free of charge if you go to the postal office. Beware of websites that offer to do it for you at a cost – there is absolutely no reason to pay $20 or $30 to change your USPS address.
Make sure that you fill in the USPS change address forms only on the official USPS website – there are unscrupulous sites that mimic how it looks in order to trick unsuspecting customers. If you’ve already done it and something feels amiss, monitor your bank statements closely during the following weeks. If your credit card is charged by more than $1 for the address change, it means you were the victim of a scam and you should contact the Better Business Bureau.
The USPS change of address is an important part of the moving process and shouldn’t be neglected. You can do it online or in person, and you can even complete the task in advance of the move, to avoid the hassle of important mail arriving late or even being lost.