How to Request a Change of Address

One of the first things to do when you’re moving is to submit a change of address with the Post Office. The reasons why are obvious—even if you’ve already contacted every single person you’ve ever met and every company you’ve ever done business with to inform them of your new address, there still exists a small chance that somebody somewhere will not get the message.

Submit a Change of Address with the Post Office

There are some who detest the idea of setting foot inside the Post Office and go out of their way to avoid doing so. If this describes you, the Post Office has made things much simpler by allowing you to change your address online. You don’t even have to pick up a phone. And all it’ll cost you is $1.

How It Works

To change your address online, go to
First, read the privacy act statement and Privacy Policy, and acknowledge you’ve done so to continue. Indicate if the move you’re making is permanent or temporary. If you’re not sure what category your move falls into, the Post Office’s definition of “temporary” is less than 12 months. If you’ll be gone longer than 12 months indicate that your relocation is permanent.

Indicate if it’s just you moving or your entire household. The Post Office can sort your individual mail if you’re the only one leaving.

Set a specific date to start forwarding your mail and bear in mind the Post Office might take as many as 10 days to process your request.

Enter your current address and your future address.

Pay $1 with a valid credit card that’s tied to your current address. This fee is charged so the Post Office can verify your identity and ensure it’s really you who’s requesting to reroute your mail elsewhere. This is a security precaution that’s well worth the $1, but if you’d rather not pay you can always manually fill out a change of address form at your nearest Post Office branch.

Changing your address by phone also requires the $1 credit card verification. So if you’re looking for an absolutely free way of submitting a change of address, it’ll have to be done in person or by mail.

The Six-Month Limit

When you submit a change of address with the Post Office, as a part of the agreement, they’ll continue to forward your mail to your new address for a period of six months. If you’re still getting forwarded mail after this time, you can always request to have another six-month extension just to be absolutely sure that mail that was intended for you doesn’t inadvertently wind up in the wrong hands. As they say, better safe than sorry.