This post will be going through the process of filling the USPS change of address form at the official USPS website. There are many other companies and organizations providing the service, where they file the change of address on your behalf. They usually charge a premium for that which is way higher than what USPS charge. The charges for filing United States Postal Service change of address from at USPS official site is $1.05, which is justified by the security attached the address changing process. While other service providers charge anywhere from $15 to $40.
Most of the service providers do make the changes for you but there are some complaints where the person was charged but the address was not changed. You need to be very careful about using such service. They usually never inform post office about your move.
Once you have decided that you need to apply for a change of address, you have two options in hand; you can either walk to your nearest post office and fill a form there about your new address or you can fill the same form online, avoiding some common mistakes, in five minutes using the laptop on which you are reading this post.
Step by step process of filling the post office change of address is discussed in detail below. You can read it once and then start to fill the form or you can also do both the things simultaneously in different tabs.
Step by Step Process to file change of address at USPS –
You should start the process of changing your address by going to the online form available at the official website of USPS, you can find the link also at the bottom of this post. When you go to the USPS’s change of address form you will see a welcome page.
You need to click the orange Continue button to go to the next page.
On the next page, it gives you some tips and information on charges. There is a clearly mentioned charge of $1.05 to be charged from your credit card or debit card. This helps USPS to verify that the person filing the request is real.
This form can be filled personally by anyone who wants to update his/her address in post office or he or she should be the executor, guardian, authorized officer of the person whose USPS address change is being done or an agent of the person for whom the update of address is being carried out. This is clearly stated on the official UMove (This page www.usps.com/umove has been removed by USPS some time back, but the official link mentioned at the end of this post is still good) page, you need to acknowledge that statement before you start the actual change of address process.
As soon as you click the ‘continue’ button, you will start the actual official change of address process which consist of five steps as you can see in the image below-
The whole process is divided into five steps-
- Move Info
- Name & Address
- Identity Check
- Instant Saving
- Confirm Order
The first step ‘Move Info’ is divided into three important questions.
The most important question is the status of move, weather it is temporary or permanent. If you are planning to move back to the same address within a year then temporary should be marked, even if you are sure about the first six months and your next six months plan in dependent on something else, you should file a temporary change request and then after six months, you should again file the same request.
Date of forwarding-
Date of forwarding implies to the date from which you want your mails to be delivered to the new address, you can fill the form after or before moving so you have to tell USPS the date when you want the mail forwarding to start. For example you can file the request within thirty (30) days of moving or if you want to fill the change of address form well in advance than you can do it that upto three months before the date of forwarding.
If you apply for a permanent address change than you will see only one date option, ‘Start Forwarding’ date, but if you are applying for a temporary change of address then you will see a second date option as ‘End Forwarding’ which will tell USPS to stop your mail forwarding to new address and resume its going to the old address.
The ‘End Forwarding’ date should not be more than six months away from the Start Forwarding date. As it was mentioned earlier, you can apply for temporary change of address for six months and extend it for another six months.
In case you don’t know the exact End Forwarding date then it is good to input the best estimated date, and if this date is ever changed , you must inform your local post office about the new/changed End Forwarding date.
Another important point to remember is that if you receive your mails by more than one name e.g. your middle name or nick name then a separate postal service change of address form should be filed for that name as well.
The Type of Move-
The next point asks about the type of move it is. You should clearly mention whether it is an individual move, a family move or a business moving to a new address.
Here is an explanation of three different types of moves. Individual move is defined as move when a single person from a family is moving and the rest of the family is going to stay at the same old address.
If one person in a family has a different surname then the family has to file for a change of address as a family and the person who has a different surname has to file separate change of address for as an individual. You can mark it as a family move if the whole family which has same surname is moving to a new address, in that case all the people having same surname will get their mails forwarded to the new address by filing just one form.
Third option is for the businesses moving to a new address. It is not possible to divert few mails to a different address; all the mails should be delivered to the same business address, either new or old.
Once you have filled all three options, you can now click on the orange ‘Continue’ button to provide your name and address details.
Name and Address –
This part of the form should be filled very carefully. In the four blocks on this page, the first block is for your name. If the form is being filled for an individual, your first name, middle name and last name should be entered. In case the form is being filled for whole family, first name should
contain the First Name or initials of the Head of the family. Another important point to remember is that if you receive your mails by more than one name e.g. your middle name or nick name then a separate postal service change of address form should be filed for that name as well. Same goes with the last name and surname.
Another important point, if a person who has the same surname is moving to a different address, then a separate form should be filled for that person otherwise mails of that person will also be forwarded to the address where whole family’s mails are being forwarded.
Please remember, you can’t file for a change of address from a non USPS PO box, but if you have a USPS PO box, you should put that in the street field.
The second block has the space for you to provide your old address information (not your previous address, this is the address where you are already receiving your mails) you need to be careful in filling this as any mistakes will complicate the process of changing the address with USPS.
The third block is where you will put your new address or the address where you want your mails to be forwarded. If you are moving to a newly built house that was built in last six months, then it may not be in USPS database, in that case you must tick the box below the ZIP code.
There are few type of address which you cannot use for these fields like you cannot file for a US Postal Service change of address from a non USPS PO box but if you have a USPS PO box you should put it in the street field.
Similarly you cannot file Similarly you cannot file United States Postal Service Change of address online for international address or from a Military APO/FPO address, but you can file an online change of address to change your address ‘to’ a military address.
Online address changing facility can also not be used to change ’Unique ZIP Codes’ address. Unique ZIP codes are used for specific universities, governmental agencies, buildings or business that gets a very high volume of mails. Such offices are assigned a Unique ZIP code to funnel the mails easily.
Once you are done with the contact information, press the orange “Continue” button to the next step of “Identity Check” and confirm your identity.
In the Fourth block you need to provide your contact information including your email address, confirmation of email address, home phone and Mobile phone. This information is used to send the information of the transaction and confirmation of the change of address and mail forwarding.
Identity Check –
Third Step of filling the form is Identity Verification, this step helps USPS verify the applicant. It require you to verify yourself using a valid Debit or Credit card, this card should be in the name of person filing the request and it should have the same billing address as either your old or new house.
USPS charges a $1.05 fee to verify the ownership of the card. This helps in preventing fraudulent address changing requests and also saves you from your friend’s playing prank on you.
When you fill this page, it will show you both of your address (New where you are moving and old from where you are moving) to select for billing address; you can select the right address on your card. If your card is billed on any other address (a third address) then there is an option for entering a different billing address of your credit card or debit card.
If you mark the third option of “Enter a Different Address” a new address field appears where you can enter your billing address. In case you are making the payment on behalf of someone else, there is an option to mark “I’M HELPING SOMEONE ELSE”.
If you mark that field, you will have to provide your details like Name, Phone Number and Email address. Once you are done with that, you can click on the Continue button to move to the next step. If you feel like you have not provided the card information, please don’t afraid as USPS will ask that information in the next step.
On the next page you will be asked to enter your card information, once you do that, your United States Postal Service change of address process will be done.
While you are filling the form, you will see a vertical orange box on the right hand side of each page, this box shows all the information you have filled during the whole process and if you want to make any corrections or changes, you will find an edit button in front of each field, at any stage, you can click on edit button and it will take you to the respective page to make the edits.
Please note, the address you see in the box is standardized by USPS database the moment you enter it, so if you see any difference in the format of address you filled and the address you see, it may be due to the database address, and you can leave it like that.
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Once you have checked and verified the details, you can be sure that your change of address is applied and it will start forwarding your mails to your new forwarding address within fourteen days.
Official USPS Change of address form – https://moversguide.usps.com/icoa/