How long does mail forwarding last for a USPS Change of Address?

Submitting a usps address change request will set up automatic mail forwarding from your old address to your new address so you will continue to receive any mail sent to an old address. This service can last anywhere from a couple of days to two and a half years, depending on the mail forwarding option you choose and whether or not you choose to extend your USPS mail forwarding service.

In this article, we answer the following questions and more:

what is usps change of address? what are the different types of mail forwarding options? How long does mail forwarding take? can you extend mail forwarding? what are other alternatives to usps mail forwarding?

what is the usps change of address?

usps address change is a request you can submit when you or your business has changed addresses. this coa request will set up automatic mail forwarding so that mail can be redirected to your new address if it is sent to your old address. this is a useful service to use if you receive paper bills, notices, packages, etc. from senders who may not be aware of your new address. some senders (i.e. banks, irs, state departments, etc.) may also have a period of delay in updating your address.

More information on how mail forwarding works and how to set up mail forwarding can be found here.

what are the different types of mail forwarding options? ‍

When you submit a change of address request (also known as a COA request or US Post Office Mail Forwarding Request), there are four different mail forwarding options you can select:

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usps temporary change of address:

A temporary change of address order will provide “piece-by-piece” forwarding for all first-class mail and periodicals (magazines, newspapers, etc.) that you receive. This temporary change of address is set for a specific period of time that you can choose, making it a common option for people who may be traveling for an extended period of time or temporarily living in a new location.

Note: USPS Marketing Mail or Parcel Services Mail will generally not be forwarded using this option.

usps permanent change of address:

Like a temporary coa, a permanent change of address order will provide “piece-by-piece” forwarding of all first-class mail and periodicals (magazines, newspapers, etc.) you receive. The difference between a permanent COA and a temporary COA is that a permanent change of address order will inform USPS that your registered mailing address must be changed entirely.

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Because of this, first class mail will be automatically forwarded for 12 months and serials will be forwarded for 60 days. During this time period, you must change your address with all services and providers you or your business work with, as the USPS will assume your information has been updated within this time.

This permanent change of address service is the obvious choice for anyone who has permanently changed their residential address or any business that has permanently changed their business address.

Note: USPS Marketing Mail or Parcel Services Mail will generally not be forwarded using this option. instead, your new address may be provided to commercial mailers if they request it through a mailer endorsement on a mail piece.

usps premium residential forwarding service (pfs-residential):

Setting up a residential premium forwarding service will provide one-time weekly shipments of all mail you receive to one address via “piece-by-piece” forwarding. This mail will be sent to your specified address via priority mail, and unlike a permanent coa and a temporary coa, this premium forwarding service has a fee (learn more here).

This pfs-residential service is a great option for those who want to ensure they receive their important mail in a timely manner.

usps commercial premium forwarding service (pfs-commercial):

Similar to a residential pfs, setting up a business premium forwarding service will provide grouped forwarding of all mail you receive at a previous business address on a “piece-by-piece” basis. This mailing will be sent to your new business address via Priority Mail or Express Express Mail, and unlike PFS-Residential, PFS-Commercial’s delivery frequency can be customized for weekly or monthly shipments. the premium forwarding service for business use usually has higher rates as well (learn more here).

This service is great for any business that has changed its business address and doesn’t want to lose any important business documents or notifications.

you can find more information on how to send a usps mail forwarding service here.

how long does usps forward mail?

The duration of your mail forwarding depends on whether you have submitted a temporary address change, a permanent address change, or a residential premium forwarding service or a business premium forwarding service.

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How long does a temporary change of address last?

mail forwarding for a temporary change of address can take between 15 days and 6 months. however, since you can choose when the forwarding service will start and end, mail forwarding for a temporary change of address will last until the specified end date.

We recommend that you refer to your change of address confirmation email or customer notification letter (cnl) if you are unsure what this date may be.

how long does a permanent change of address take?

mail forwarding for a permanent change of address will last for 12 months (however, please note: serials will only be forwarded for 60 days).

This means that the expiration date of your permanent address change request will be 12 months from the start date you specified. We recommend that you check your change of address confirmation email or your customer notification letter (cnl) if you are unsure what this date may be.

how long does a residential premium forwarding service last?

mail forwarding for a residential pfs can last from a minimum of 2 weeks up to 12 months.

Because you can choose when this forwarding service will begin and end, USPS will send a single weekly reshipment for your mail until the due date submitted. We recommend looking at your pfs-residential online account if you are unsure what this date might be, as the pfs-residential mail forwarding end date can be managed online.

how long does a premium forwarding service for commercials last?

mail forwarding for a pfs salesperson can last for a minimum of 2 weeks and can be renewed to suit your company’s needs.

Because you can choose when this forwarding service will begin and end, USPS will send periodic reshipments for your mail until your service order is held. We recommend that you check your pfs-commercial online account if you are unsure what this date may be, as your pfs-commercial mail forwarding service can be managed online.

can you extend mail forwarding?

mail forwarding can be extended in some scenarios.

one nice thing about setting up a us post office mail forwarding service. uu. is that they will usually notify you when your mail forwarding is about to expire by sending a physical postcard to your forwarding mailing address (or your new address). This postcard will also let you know if you have the option to extend, and while these extensions usually come with a fee, they can be a helpful service if you know your address hasn’t been updated across the board yet.

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usps extended mail forwarding information:

if you requested a temporary coa, you will not be able to extend the change of address mail forwarding period. instead, you can submit another temporary coa request or a permanent coa request if you want your mail forwarding time increased.

if you requested a permanent coa, usps will allow you to request an extension for a fee. this fee depends on how long you want your mail forwarding to extend. The rates in force as of January 2022 are as follows:

  • Additional 6 months are $19.95
  • Additional 12 months are $29.95
  • Additional 18 months are $39.95

Note: If you only sign up for 6 or 12 add-ons, you’ll be able to purchase another six-month increment at $19.95 each. may not exceed an extension of 18 months in total. ‍

You can find more information about pricing, how to extend mail forwarding or even how to cancel mail forwarding here.

what are other alternatives to usps mail forwarding?

usps temporary mail forwarding is a great service if you know your mail is being sent to an old address; however, it is important to note that this mail forwarding service is temporary even if you submit a “permanent” change of address request. If you want to take the stress out of changing mailing addresses and want to make sure you have a mail forwarding service no matter where you move, we recommend looking into a virtual address and mailbox service.

At stable, we provide virtual addresses and permanent mailboxes so you never have to worry about mail or changing addresses again. We’ll digitize all the mail you receive here and you can scan, forward, shred (and even deposit checks!) from anywhere in the world. ‍

start stable here if you want a virtual business address + mailbox in less than 3 minutes.

disclaimer: stable is not a legal or accounting firm, therefore we cannot provide legal or tax advice. You should consult legal and tax professionals for advice on meeting ongoing obligations that apply to you and your company.

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