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Is a move coming up in the near future? If so, I am sure you have a lot on your plate. Moving is one of life’s most stressful events. One of the many things you need to do when moving from home to home is a USPS address change. Forwarding your mail will be one of the more critical moving tasks that should be done early on in the process.
Doing so will ensure all of your mail finds you when you have moved into your new address.
While this might seem, on the face of it, to be a simple task, it can be more confusing than you might imagine. There are multiple address change USPS forms to choose from, and you need to make sure you pick the correct one to have your mail forwarded to you.
Let’s take a deep dive into doing the address change with USPS.
When you are looking for the right USPS change address form, there are a few options to choose from. You might need to fill out forms for every individual in the home, just one for everybody, or something in between. Let’s look at the different forms and when to use them.
If you only need to change an address for yourself, the individual form is the one for you.
The individual form will also be needed when roommates are moving home. They will have different last names and, therefore, a USPS change address form will need to be filed for each person. If this isn’t done for each person, mail won’t be forwarded to people who haven’t completed a form.
If people with the same last name, like family members, are moving to different locations, the individual form should be used as well. Perhaps the family home is being sold, and some members are heading off in different directions. They need to fill out the individual forms to make sure they continue to receive their mail.
If the whole family is moving home together, the family change of address form can be used. As long as everyone shares the same last name, this form should make sure the mail finds its correct owner. The family address change form is the simplest of the bunch.
If you are relocating a business, the United States Postal Service has a form designed for the purpose. If you have the task of making sure mail is forwarded to the new business location, you will need to fill out the business form. While different people in the business will receive mail, only one form needs to be filed as long as the whole business is moving to the same address.
Whichever option is right for you, the USPS will send a validation letter confirming your request to your current address, and this will include a confirmation code. The code allows you to make changes to your address change request if you need to. You can also expect to receive a notification letter and a welcome kit to your new address around five days after your move.
If you have completed the necessary forms online, they will send you an email confirmation along with the move validation letter in the mail. Make sure you don’t delete this email from the USPS, as it will contain the confirmation code that you will need to update or change your forwarding request.
To make sure you are who you claim to be, the USPS needs to verify your identity. This is done through your credit or debit card, taking a fee of $1.05 from your account.
There have been some scams associated with helping people change their address. If a company tries to charge you more than $1.05 to change your address, it could well be a scam, and you should avoid providing your details to them.
If you are going to be away from home for up to a month, you can get the USPS to hold on to your mail temporarily.
They will forward mail to you at a temporary address through the USPS Premium Forwarding Service for longer periods. This can be used for up to a year, where you will get your mail weekly at your temporary location.
If something unexpected takes place and your plans are disrupted, you can easily cancel your mail forwarding. As long as you have your confirmation code, which may have been both emailed and sent in a letter to you, it can be canceled online. If you can’t find your confirmation code, you will need to visit a post office for help.
With the confirmation code and your new ZIP code, you can make up to two changes per day on their website.
You will need to pay a visit to a post office to collect forms for certain moving situations. With these less common types of move, you will need to fill out the post office form to have your mail forwarded. In some situations, forwarding may not be possible, however.
If you are moving to another country or a business to a residential address or vice versa, these can’t be dealt with online. If you are changing your address to a PO box or changing to or from using a Commercial Mail Receiving Agency, you will need to visit the post office. If you need to forward mail from a business you have left, this also can’t be done online. Getting a P.O. box is fairly inexpensive, and some folks like to do this when their move is a temporary one.
When you have completed the correct form or forms, it could be a couple of weeks before anything happens. This is because it can take up to 12 business days for your request to be processed. For this reason, it is advisable to notify the USPS in plenty of time, at least two weeks before moving day.
Now that you know a lot more about the forms you need to fill out to have your mail forwarded to your new home, there isn’t any excuse not to get it done.
Though you might have a lot on your mind and many tasks to complete, changing your address with the USPS should be a relatively quick and easy thing to do for most move types. Just visit the USPS website and follow the instructions to file your change of address request with them.
Without questions getting your address change done with the post office and your mail forwarded is critical, but who should you let know you’re moving? Here are a few of the entities to make sure that have your new address:
Of course, there are many more, but these are the most vital.
Changing your address is one of those tasks you can’t forget about. It is one of the most critical moving mistakes to avoid. Working as a real estate agent for the past thirty-four years, I have seen countless times where folks have not done a timely change of address. Important mail ends up being delayed, and things get shipped to the previous address, creating unnecessary stress. Make sure you get your address changed early in the process to increase the odds your mail will arrive at your new address in a timely fashion. Hopefully, you have found this change of address guide to be useful. Best of luck!
About the author: The above article on “What Address Change Form Should I Use At The Post Office?” was written by Bill Gassett. Bill has been working in the real estate industry for the past thirty-three years. He works for RE/MAX Executive Realty in Hopkinton Massachusetts. Bill loves providing trustworthy information to buyers, sellers, and fellow real estate agents to make the best possible decisions. His writing has been featured on RIS Media, National Association of Realtors, Inman News, Placester, Today.com, Credit Sesame, and others.
About Rochester’s Real Estate Blog: Rochester’s Real Estate Blog is owned and operated by Kyle Hiscock of the Hiscock Sold Team at RE/MAX Realty Group. With over 40 years combined experience, if you’re thinking of selling or buying, we’d love to share our knowledge and expertise.
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