How To File Change of Address With USPS

January 25, 2010

in Knowledge Base, The Post Office

Once you sign up for a mailbox with us, you may begin forwarding your mail to your new Virtual Post Mailbox. You will need to file a Change of Address form with USPS and update your mailing address information with those that send you mail. This quick guide will help you transition your mail over to us smoothly and easily without losing any mail.

Filing a USPS Change of Address Form

A Change of Address (COA) request is a request to have USPS forward your mail to a new destination address. This can either be temporary or permanent. There are 3 ways to submit a request:

  • Online – Fastest way to file. Requires a $1 verification charge to your credit card. See USPS Internet Change of Address FAQ for more information.
  • Telephone – Request your change over the phone. Call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777). Requires a $1 verification charge to your credit card. See USPS Telephone Change of Address FAQ for more information.
  • In Person – File the request in person at your local Post Office. This is free. PS Form 3575 is available at the Post Office. You can also print out the Internet Change of Address form you filled out online and take it to the Post Office.

All 3 methods require you to verify that you’re the one who is authorized to make a change of address request.

IMPORTANT: Forwarding Residential Mail to Your Virtual Post Mailbox

Due to an USPS limitation, you cannot file a Change of Address online to forward residential mail to our commercial mailing address. You must file your request in person at the local Post Office.

Update: One helpful user has told us that it is possible to file the Change of Address online by going through the credit card verification. You can give this a try and if it doesn’t work, go ahead and head over to the Post Office.

Moving out of the country?

Make sure to file your Change of Address request with USPS before you leave. Otherwise, you may end up having to update your mailing address with senders before moving. You need to do this either way, but at least you have more time if you do file your request with USPS.

Updating Mailing Address For Your Mail

Not Sure Which Address You’ve Updated?

You may miss updating mailing address for some mail. Don’t worry. If you filed an address change, you can see which mail was forwarded by USPS. You can then update your mailing address with the sender without skipping a beat.

Once you have your new mailbox with us, you can immediately notify people and update your mailing address with those who sends you mail. This may include:

  • Telephone, gas, electricity, and other utility companies
  • Tax entities, business-related government correspondences
  • Banks, credit cards
  • Magazines, catalogs, mail offerings
  • Subscriptions for professional organizations, clubs, school alumni newsletters

Only forward mail you wish to receive using your Virtual Post Mailbox. If you are moving within the US, you can continue to receive mail you want to deliver directly to you. These may include magazines or NetFlix DVDs.

Change of Address Confirmation

Once you’ve submitted your mailing address change, USPS will mail you up to 3 forms of confirmation:

  1. A Change of Address Validation Letter will be sent to your old address if you still reside there prior to your move. If you have already moved, then this letter is not sent.
  2. A Permanent Change of Address Confirmation Letter will be sent to your new address. You will see this mail inside your online postal mailbox.
  3. A welcome kit will be sent to your new address containing offers and coupons related to your new address.

When you receive your confirmation letter inside your Virtual Post Mailbox, you will know that USPS has processed your request and your mail will start getting forwarded.

Fast Facts

How long will USPS forward my mail?

USPS will forward your mail for up to 12 months for First Class Mail, Express Mail, and Packages. Periodicals and Magazines will be forwarded for up to 60 days.

How long before mail is forwarded to my new address?

After USPS processes your change of address request, mail may take 7-10 business days before arriving at your new address. So it might take about 2 weeks before you see your mail online.

Changing address for multiple people in your household

You need to fill out a separate Change of Address request for every recipient’s mail you forward. Yes, it’s tedious, but USPS will only forward mail that matches the recipient that appears on the request form.

It is possible to complete only one Change of Address for the entire household. This way is ideal if your entire family is moving or if you’re looking to move everyone’s mail to your new mailbox.

Changing your business address

You need to file a separate form for your business if you want to forward your business mail to the new address.

More Information

Read the comprehensive FAQ from USPS if you have more questions.

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{ 6 comments }

michael l williams June 29, 2010 at 10:09 am

if someone would explain to me why it will take 7-10 days to recieve mail to my new address , it might make the process easier to understand.

Vincent July 27, 2010 at 5:55 pm

When you file an address change with USPS, the information may take some time for the information to be updated throughout the system. Mail then needs to be caught and redirected to the new address. So for example, when you file your Change of Address, mail may already be in the system and on its way to your current address. USPS then catches the mail possibly at your local post office and then re-forwarded to your new address. First Class Mail usually takes about 2-5 days to travel one way, so in this case, your initial mail now takes 7-10 days to travel two ways in the system.

Once the address change is updated in the system, mail normally gets caught right at the beginning and then redirected to the new address. This is much faster as mail no longer needs to stay in the postal delivery system that long.

Robert Hiller March 13, 2011 at 6:33 pm

If I have mail forwarded to Virtual Post Mail from a residence (via a USPS Change of Address), can I later on file a new USPS Change of Address for that residence to redirect to my new residential address?

The wording on the USPS Form 1583 seems to forbid a Change of Address from a forwarder to a new residence, but is seems unclear if a second CoA for the orginal residence is allowed.

Vincent July 12, 2011 at 5:59 pm

USPS does not allow you to submit a Change of Address request from your VPM mailbox address to another address. Any such requests will get rejected by the post office after review.

Even though this may be the case, you can still manually update your mailing address with those who send you mail. USPS Mail Forwarding is really more of a convenience to make your relocation process easier. Without it, you just have to work a little harder to update the mailing addresses.

Daniel May 2, 2012 at 5:08 am

What happens after one year of forwarding mail to the new address? Does the mail get shipped to the old address? Is it possible to resume mail to the old address?

Vincent August 13, 2012 at 2:45 pm

After one year of forwarding, the post office will stop forwarding your mail. If you did not update your mailing address with the mail senders, those mail will then be sent to your original mailing address that is on file with the mailers.

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