How do you inform USPS of a change of address? Moving house is a stressful affair at the best of times, so you will want the process of notifying USPS of the change to be as smooth as possible.
The good news is, you can now go through this process by completing a simple online form.
You can also fill in a USPS Change of Address Form 3575 at the post office.
In this guide, we will go through exactly how to complete the process of a USPS Change of address (COA).
So if you are ready, let’s take a look
How much does a UPSP Change of Address Cost?
We have mentioned the cost of the process first because there are many online scam websites that advertize change of address services.
These pretend to be affiliated with USPS and may charge you as much as $80. (We will discuss how to spot a fraudulent UPSP Change of Address website later in the guide).
IMPORTANT WARNING: A USPS CHANGE OF ADDRESS ONLINE COSTS $1.10. (Always visit the official USPS Movers Guide website, when making a COA request.)
When you make a COA request on the official USPS movers guide website you will only be charged $1.10. This is an identity validation fee, with the amount taken from your credit or debit card.
This is used to verify your billing address and details with the issuing bank. It stops anyone from making a change of address request without access to your account.
Note: to avoid this process and complete a COA request for free, you can fill out PS Form 3575 at your local Post Office.
How to make a USPS Change of Address Request
After heading to the USPS Mover’s Guide website you will see the following screen.
The form is well designed and allows the user to make the COA request in a straightforward manner.
Section 1: Who is moving
The first section is where you state who is moving to the new address. The choices are:
Although this is pretty self-explanatory, it is worth defining each in terms of the form.
If only one person is moving you should select “Individual”. USPS also recommends that if the individual receives mail in more than one mail, (maiden name and married name for example), they should fill out two requests, a separate one for each name.
This is self-explanatory, but if a family is moving you select this tab. Only one form is required if each family member has the same surname. In situations where a family member has a different surname, an individual request will need to be made for that person.
If your business is moving to another address, you will need to select this tab. It is important to note that employees of the business cannot have their “personal” mail forwarded through the business change of address request.
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Section 2: Contact Details
After you have chosen who is moving, you will need to fill in your contact details.
This includes a telephone number and a valid email address so that a transaction confirmation can be sent to you.
Section 3: What type of Move is this?
There are two choices here, temporary or permanent. USPS recommends that you choose permanent if you do not intend to ever move back to your old address.
A temporary move is for less than 6 months, with plans to move back to the old address in that time.
Section 4: When should we start forwarding mail to your new address?
In this section, you can state from what date your mail will automatically be forwarded from your old address to the new address.
USPS state that the date entered must not be more than 30 days prior to the date you make the COA request. Also, it can not be more than 3 months in the future from the date that the request is made.
Section 5: What’s your old address?
Simply enter the address you are moving from. Note that you have to place the zip code in first, and enter details from there.
The order is not like a traditional online address form, so double-check that the details you have placed are in the correct fields.
Section 6: What’s your new address?
This is the address you want your mail forwarded to, and are the details of your new residence.
As above, be aware of the order in which the address details should be entered.
Section 7: Privacy Act Statement
The next step is to agree to a privacy act statement. This is done by clicking Next.
Section 8: Payment Methods
You will now end up at the payment page. As already stated this will cost $1.10, and you can use the following cards to make payment:
- American Express
You will have to use a card that has the same billing details as those included in the COA request. As USPS takes the information from the card issuer in order to validate your identity.
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USPS Change of Address Confirmation
After you have made the change of the address request, USPS will mail to the old address that you are leaving, a Move Validation Letter. This is used to confirm and validate the move.
Examples of the letter and envelope can be seen below.
Customer Notification Letter & Welcome Kit
Within 5 days of the change of address start date, you will receive a welcome kit to your new address.
This will contain a Customer Notification Letter (click here for an example) that will include the Confirmation Code of the request.
It is important to keep this code safe as you will need it to make changes or cancel your change of address order. (You will also receive this code to the email that you left when making the original COA request).
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Mail Redirected to New Address
After you have received the above documents and on the start date of the COA, USPS will begin redirecting all your mail to the new address. No longer will any mail be sent to your old address.
Because of the redirect, it can take anything between 7 and 10 working postal days after the COA start date for mail to begin arriving at the new address.
How Long will Mail be Forwarded For?
How long your mail will be forwarded after making a permanent COA request, depends on the mail class that has been used. As you can see from the box below, magazines and newsletters will only be redirected for up to 60 days.
First Class and Priority Mail will be sent for a maximum of 1 year.
The 12-month time limit also applies to USPS Retail Ground. However, the fact that only domestic addresses are forwarded to means that anyone moving overseas should really look to a virtual mailbox service for mail forwarding abroad.
|Mail Class Used||Forwarded Duration|
|First-Class Mail® / First-Class Package Service-Commercial™ / Priority Mail® service (bills, invoices, personal correspondence, reply mail)||1 Year|
|Priority Mail Express® service (merchandise, printed material)||1 Year|
|Periodicals (magazines, newsletters)||60 days|
|USPS Marketing Mail® (advertisements, catalogs, retail offers)||Only forwarded IF the mailer specifies forwarding instructions|
|USPS Retail Ground®||1 Year (to domestic addresses only)|
|Library Mail, Bound Printed Matter, and Media Mail®||1 Year (to domestic addresses)|
Temporary Change of Address forwarding time limits
The minimum length of time you can have mail forwarded after a temporary COA application is 15 days. The maximum length of time you can forward mail to a temporary address is 364 days.
Your temporary COA request will have a start and end date, so you will be able to set the time range within that 15 to 364-day window. The same time limits based on mail class (listed above) apply to temporary COA’s.
USPS Change of Address: A Complete Guide
USPS Change of Address: FAQ
How to tell if the COA website is a scam?
As mentioned earlier, there are a number of websites online that will charge upwards of $80 to change your address with USPS.
Although these sites will send your COA request across to USPS, you are essentially paying a lot of money for a service that is merely forwarding your details. The cost with USPS is just $1.10.
So, how do you spot these illegitimate websites?
The number one sign is that they will charge you more than a dollar ten for processing the change of address.
Also, pay attention to the URL, (i.e the web address at the top of the browser). This should read: https://moversguide.usps.com/
The website should also feature the copyright-protected USPS logo and look like the screenshot above.
How to File a COA for an International Address?
It is currently not possible to make a change of address request to an international address.
In situations where you are moving abroad, the best course of action is to set up a virtual mailbox and use that as the new address.
You then make a COA request using your mailbox virtual address based in the U.S.
How to make a COA request for multiple persons with different surnames?
If there are a number of individuals in a household with different surnames, (a group of friends house-sharing and moving to a new rental for example), you will need to complete a separate COA for each household member.
How to make changes to a change of address request?
If you want to make changes to your COA request, (modify or cancel being the main ones), you will need the ZIP code of your new address plus the COA confirmation code you received from USPS.
With these you then carry out the following steps:
- Head to the USPS Manage My Move webpage
- Enter your new ZIP Code and Confirmation Code into the relevant fields.
- Click Submit.
- This will grant you access to a form where you can edit the various Change of Address fields from the original request. You can also cancel the order from this page.
If you lose your Confirmation Code you will need to visit the Post Office to make any changes to your COA request.