How Long Does USPS Forward Mail to a New Address?

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I recently moved to a new address and wondered how long the United States Postal Service (USPS) would forward my mail to my new location. It’s essential to understand how mail forwarding works to ensure you don’t miss any important correspondence during the transition.

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How Long Does Usps Forward Mail To A New Address

In this article, we’ll dive into the ins and outs of USPS mail forwarding, including its duration, procedures, and tips to make the process seamless.

USPS Mail Forwarding Duration

Upon submitting a Change of Address (COA) form to USPS, your mail will be forwarded to your new address for a period of 12 months.

Note that this duration may vary if you have arranged for a longer forwarding period through a specific service, such as Premium Forwarding Service or Military and Diplomatic Mail Forwarding.

The Process of Mail Forwarding

To initiate mail forwarding, you can submit a COA form online, by phone, or in person at a local post office.

The USPS will then update their system to direct your mail to your new address. This process typically takes 2-3 business days to complete.

It’s worth mentioning that forwarding services do not apply to packages. If you have any packages expected at your old address, be sure to update the shipping information with the respective carriers.

Tips for Seamless Mail Forwarding

To ensure a smooth mail forwarding experience, consider the following tips:

  • Submit the COA form well in advance of your move (at least 2-3 weeks) to allow sufficient time for the USPS to process your request.
  • Provide a complete and accurate new address on the COA form.
  • Notify important senders, such as banks, credit card companies, and subscription services, about your change of address.
  • Consider using a Premium Forwarding Service for a longer forwarding period or additional features.

FAQs on Mail Forwarding

  1. Q: How long does it take for my mail to start being forwarded?

    A: It typically takes 2-3 business days after submitting the COA form.

  2. Q: Can I forward mail to a PO Box or international address?

    A: No, mail forwarding is only available to physical street addresses within the United States.

  3. Q: What happens if I move again within the 12-month forwarding period?

    A: You can submit a new COA form to update your forwarding address.

  4. Q: Are there any fees associated with mail forwarding?

    A: Standard mail forwarding is free for up to 12 months. Premium Forwarding Service, with extended forwarding periods and additional features, incurs a fee.


By understanding the duration, procedures, and tips for USPS mail forwarding, you can ensure that your mail reaches you seamlessly during the transition to your new address.

Remember, timely and accurate change of address information is crucial to prevent missing important correspondence. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the USPS guidelines and take the necessary steps to ensure a smooth mail forwarding experience.

Are you interested in learning more about mail forwarding and related services? Please share your questions or comments below, and we’ll be happy to assist you.

How Long Does Usps Forward Mail To A New Address

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