How to Forward Your Mail When You Move

Explore our simple how-to guide to ensure your mail changes address when you do. 

When you’re heading off in your U-Haul to a new home, it’s instinctual to double check your boxes and make sure you didn’t leave the cat in the garage. 

But did you remember to change your mailing address and forward your mail?

With the avalanche of documents and packages most of us receive weekly, it can be difficult to remember to notify every single person about a change of address. Sure, you’ve told your work. But what about that monthly dog toy subscription? What about birthday cards from Aunt Brenda?

Don’t leave mail languishing at your old address. Here’s our quick and simple how-to guide on how to forward your mail when you move. 

how to forward your mail while you move

Do I need to forward my mail when I move?

Legally, you do not need to forward your mail when you move. However, you absolutely should! If you don’t forward your mail, not only will you miss out on all of your letters, packages, and regular correspondence, but whoever moves into your old residence will have instant access to all sorts of personal and financial information—not a great situation.

Unless you’re changing your name and address in order to live a secret life, make sure your mail moves with you. Trust us, your bill collectors will find you eventually. No need to prolong the process.  

How do I forward my mail?

The most common way to forward your mail is through a simple USPS change of address form. However, that’s not the only solution available! Let’s break down a few ways you can make sure your mail gets an invite to the housewarming. 

Basic USPS mail forwarding and change of address

For the tried-and-true moving mail strategy, simply fill out the change of address form on the USPS website. Once you move, the USPS will flag all incoming mail to your old address and redirect it to your new abode. The service automatically lasts for 15 days, but you can always extend it up to 18 months if you need a bit more time. 

You can also specify whether you need a permanent or temporary change of address. If you’re traveling for six months, for example, you can redirect your mail to a different address for a set period before automatically returning to your old one. 

Does USPS mail forwarding cost anything? 

Yes, but not very much! USPS basic mail forwarding and address changing comes to a measly $1.10. Why bother charging such a small sum? Well, it’s actually for your safety. The USPS uses your debit or credit card to verify your identity on your address change. The $1.10 charge tests your card for authenticity so that no one redirects your mail without your permission—safety first!  

Premium USPS mail forwarding 

As with most things in life, if you have a few extra dollars, you can opt for premium service! While not an option for permanent residential moves, premium USPS service does offer speedy, efficient mail forwarding for temporary residential and business customers for up to one year. 

What makes it premium? Priority Mail® service. 

Premium forwarding delivers mail a week at a time via the priority mail timeline—as opposed to the piece-by-piece system used by basic forwarding. Businesses can change the frequency of their deliveries if they wish and also take advantage of Priority Mail Express®. 

What does USPS premium mail forwarding cost? 

USPS premium mail forwarding costs a one-time enrollment fee of $18.15 (online) or $20.15 (in person). After that, each week of mail costs $20.10 for Priority Mail® with an additional charge for Priority Mail Express® (based on postage class). 

These costs can certainly add up, but if you need your mail organized and delivered promptly, the USPS is a reliable option. 

USPS P.O. Box  

The third USPS option is a newly-registered P.O. Box. This option isn’t used as frequently, but if you’re moving somewhere out of the way or downsizing to an apartment with a smaller mailbox, P.O. Boxes can check all the right boxes. 

To register for a P.O. Box, mosey on over to the USPS website and check for available boxes in your area—your new area, that is. Just make sure you check a few months prior to your move. P.O. boxes are a hot commodity in some parts of the country and if one isn’t available, you’ll need to make other plans. 

What do USPS P.O. Boxes cost? 

The starting price for a P.O. Box is $4.33 per month for a 3” x 5.5” box. The highest price is $21.50 per month for a 12” x 22.5” box. If you need anything larger, you’ll need to look into a different service, like a virtual mailbox.

Other moving mail FAQ's.

Can I change my mailing address online? 

Yes! You can change your mailing address on the USPS website or in person at your local Post Office. 

What happens to my subscriptions when I move? 

If you subscribe to any magazines, offers, or special programs, contact them directly to change your address. USPS won’t forward your mail forever and change of address only applies to official mail. Always update the fun subscriptions manually to make sure you don’t miss a beat!

Do I need to do anything extra if I’m changing states? 

If you’re moving to another state, make sure to update your driver’s license! Not only will you need your new address, you might need to retake a driving test before heading out on the road. Always check your new state’s requirements! 

Do I need to change my voter registration? 

If you’re changing districts, cities, or states, you’ll need to update your voter registration at your local DMV. If you don’t, you’ll end up scrambling for an absentee ballot or worse—not be able to vote at all. 

Never worry about your mailing address again with a virtual mailbox.

You never need to worry about changing your address if your mailing address is virtual! With a virtual mailbox and mail forwarding service like Traveling Mailbox, your mail always moves with you—whether you relocate once a decade or five times a month. 

At Traveling Mailbox, we believe receiving mail should be a joy, not a stress! With our virtual mailbox services, you have a physical mailing address for all mail and packages, no matter where in the world your life takes you—no address changes needed. We also make junk mail a problem of the past. There’s no need to worry about advertisers finding you all over again when you can simply view your mail online and tell us to shred those annoying flyers. 

Try Traveling Mailbox today and let us simplify your move. We’ll keep your mail nice and snug while you make your new house a home.