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How Long Does USPS Forward Mail? (2023 Updated)

How Long Does USPS Forward Mail

Have you changed your home address recently?

Moving home can be a stressful process, and there is a lot to do and think about. One of the things you need to remember to do is change your registered address with different companies. Contacting all your service providers can take quite a bit of time. The simplest solution is to arrange to have your mail forwarded until the process is complete.

If you want to know, ‘how long does USPS forward mail?’ then it’s time to find out…

About The Forwarding Service

About The Forwarding Service

This service allows you to get your post redirected to your new address after you move. Your forwarding order is entered onto the national address database. When someone sends a parcel or letter to your former address, the fact that you have moved will be detected. A barcode for your new address will be printed on your post, and it will be redirected.

This means that you will not lose post that is sent to your old address. While most types of post will be forwarded, marketing mail such as circulars and flyers are not redirected. Let’s take a closer look at the two main types of post-forwarding services the United States Postal Service offers. 

Regular Mail Forwarding

This is a standard service where your post is redirected to your new address piece by piece. It can include Periodicals, First Class Mail, and Priority Mail. Some other types can also be redirected upon request. 

Premium Forwarding Services

This service is perfect for people who need to get their post redirected for a short while. It comes with more flexibility to give you extra control over how and when you receive your post. You can also combine your personal and business post in a single location. 

The Service Duration

The regular service allows you to get your post redirected for twelve months. After this period, you will no longer receive your parcels and letters. However, magazines are usually only redirected for thirty days. It is possible to get your post redirected for longer by paying a small fee. 

Temporary Mail Forwarding

This service is ideal if you are only changing addresses for a short period. This could be because you are staying with a friend or family member for a few months to take care of them. When completing the Change of Address form, you will add an end date. This indicates when you want your post to stop being redirected. 

How Long Does USPS Forward Mail? – Arranging The Service 

How Long Does USPS Forward Mail? - Arranging The Service 

To get your post forwarded, you have to complete the proper paperwork. You need to submit a Change of Address form to get the process started. This form is also called a PS Form 3575 and is available on the USPS website and in post office branches.

You also need to choose from one of the three additional forms, depending on the circumstances. Let’s take a closer look so you can figure out which one you need. 

The Three Types Of Forms Available


You should use this form if you are the only member of your household who is moving to a new address. Roommates who are moving to separate locations will need to complete this form. College students can also use the form to have their post redirected to their dorm. 


This form will redirect post for all the members of a household. However, all the people who apply together need to share the same last name. 


Use this form if you are relocating your business. It covers the post of all the people who work for the company. 

The Fee For Mail Forwarding

Mail forwarding is a free service that is offered by the United States Postal Service. However, you need to go into a post office branch and fill out a Change of Address form. If you choose to complete the form online, you will be charged a $1.05 identity verification fee. The billing address of the credit or debit card you use to pay for the service must match your former address.  

Premium Forwarding Services

The USPS offers a few additional post-direction services for a small fee. PFS-Residential collects all the post addressed to the people in your household. This is then redirected to your new address in one convenient weekly shipment. The cost of setting up this service is $22.75 plus an additional $22.75 per week. 

Premium Forwarding Service Commercial

This service temporarily redirects post to a domestic business address. This post is sent using Priority Mail or Priority Mail Express. It costs $20.90 to set up this service, followed by additional shipment charges according to the frequency and postage class. 

How Long Forwarded Post Takes to Arrive

Redirected post has to be processed twice before it reaches you. Therefore, the delivery times are usually a little longer. Instead of the maximum of seven days for First Class mail, you may have to wait up to twelve days. 

In the first step, your post is routed to the address on the envelope or parcel. A new address label is attached to the post when it reaches the regional sorting facility. It is then resorted and sent to the new address you have registered. 

Reasons You Might Not Receive Your Forwarded Post

Moving house can be stressful, and worrying that your post may get lost can make it worse. If you haven’t received any post at your new address, there is a chance it may not be redirected. Here are some common reasons why this can happen. 

Internal errors 

Internal errors 

The United States Postal Service has an excellent reputation for attention to detail and reliability. However, no system is perfect, and mistakes can happen. It is a good idea to visit your local post office branch to try and resolve the issue. You can also contact the customer service team through the USPS website. 

Invalid mailing address

It is important to verify that your new address is correct before completing the Change of Address form. Even the slightest misspelling could mean that your post gets delayed or lost in the system. While this is a common issue, it is pretty easy to avoid if you’re careful. 

Not enough time has passed

Patience is a virtue, and you might simply need to wait a little longer. Don’t think about reaching out to the customer service team until two weeks have passed. You may find that your post pops through your letterbox the very next day. 

Other Companies To Notify When You Change Address

Completing a Change of Address form will not automatically update with various service providers. You need to reach out to different companies yourself and inform them. Here are some of the main organizations that you need to keep in the loop. 


You need to use Firm 8822 to register a change of address with the IRS. This will make sure you don’t miss out on a tax refund or other important information. 



Your driver’s license has to be updated with your new address after you move house. You can do this through the DMV website for your state. The steps you need to follow to update your driver’s license will be clearly outlined on the website. 

Social Security

The last thing you want is to miss out on any benefits you are entitled to when you move house. Losing your Medicaid services, social security retirement, or disability benefits would be a bummer. Make sure you change your address with the Social Security Administration. 

Banks and credit card companies

Even if you mainly use online banking, make sure you get your billing address changed. Some banks charge customers a fee for failing to respond to an official communication. It is usually fairly simple to do this online without having to visit your nearest branch. 

Your election office

You need to register your new address with your state election office after you move. You will then be assigned a new voting station for upcoming elections.

Shipping A Package With USPS?

We can help answer a few questions for you, such as Does USPS Print Labels, or perhaps, Can I Drop A Package In A USPS Mailbox, if you don’t have a post office near you, as well as what does Departed USPS Destination Facility Meaning, and What Does Delivered To An Agent Mean USPS?

Make sure your parcel arrives safely by checking out Can You Track A USPS Package Without A Tracking Number, along with Does USPS Have First Class Tracking, and Why Is USPS Tracking Not Updating if you’re having problems with the website?

Lastly, you might want to know Does USPS Deliver At Night, or if it’s the weekend, Does USPS Deliver On Sunday? Or, if you weren’t home for a delivery, take a look at How Long Does USPS Hold Packages, as well as what to do when USPS Says Delivered But No Package in 2023.

How Long Does USPS Forward Mail? – Final Thoughts

When you change address, it is best to let the United States Postal Service know as soon as possible. The USPS website offers useful information on the different ways and mail forwarding options that you can choose from.

Getting the United States Postal Service to forward your mail is the best way to make sure you receive it. All you need to do is fill out the Change of Address form and one additional form. You can use this service for up to twelve months if you are changing your address permanently.

Good luck moving, and enjoy your new home!

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