Now that you have decided to move and you know that you have to file a change of address request so that you can receive your mails on new address. At this point you have two options, first option is that you can fill an online form within next 5 minutes and carry on with your packing with your packers and movers or you can go to your nearest post office and fill a physical form. This post will walk you through the process of filling a USPS change of address form online. We have tried to use as many detailed screenshots of the USPS form as we can, so that you can take full advantage of your limited time and if you go step by step as mentioned below, you will be done with it within next two-three minutes. All you need to do is do everything at once, and as you follow the process, if you make any typos, don’t feel tensed, you will get a chance to verify (and correct any mistake) each and every information, which you have provided on each step, at the end.
Steps to fill the form-
The online form is available on USPS official website (link at the bottom of this post). This form can be filled by anyone himself 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 updation of address is being carried out, these points are clearly stated on the official form as you can see in the image below-
When you click on the orange Continue button in orange, you are starting the official change of address process which consist of 5 steps as shown in the image below-
It shows that the whole process is divided into 5 steps namely-
- Move Information
- Name & Address
- Identity Verification
- Instant Saving
Filling the first step of the from-
Is this Move Temporary or Permanent-
You will find three questions on the first page of USPS mail forwarding form. The first point asks one of the most important questions whether this move is permanent or temporary. It’s a good idea to mark your move as permanent if you don’t have any plans of moving back to the same address within one year but if you want to move for a short period from two weeks to six months, you must choose temporary as your option in first point. Once your six month period of forwarding the address is over and you still need your mails forwarded to your new address you must fill the same form again.
Date of forwarding-
The second point asks about the date you want USPS to start forwarding your mails to your new address, by choosing the date you can tell USPS when to start forwarding your mails to your new address. You can choose any date of your choice according to your moving plans, but it should not be more than 30 days in the past form the current date. You can choose any date from next 3 months to get your mails forwarding started, that means you can file for changing of address online up to three months in advance from your moving date. There would be only one date option for Start forwarding on if you applied for a permanent address change but if you are applying for a temporary address change online then you will see another option for a date, it is used to indicate the End forwarding on date. It should not be more than 6 month from the date of start of forwarding.
If you don’t know the exact date of your return then you must put the best estimated date and if the End forwarding is ever changed, you must put this into the information of your local post office about the changed End forwarding date and your old address.
Type of move -
The next point asks about the type of move it is, here you need to make it clear whether it is an individual move, a family move or a business moving to new address. Above linked post discusses about it the type of move in detail.
A move is defined as an individual move if only one person is moving and rest of the family is staying at the old address, or if the whole family which has a same surname is moving but one person has a different surname, that person has to fill the form separately. So if you are just a single person, moving to a new address or if you have a different surname and your whole family is moving to a new address then you have to mark this as an option.
If the whole family is moving to the new address, you should mark it as a family move, in this case, all the people having same surname will get their mails forwarded to the new address.
Third option is for businesses, if a business is moving then this option is to be used.
Once you have filled all these options then you can click on the orange ‘Continue’ button, it will take you to the next page where you can fill name and address details.
Second step of form – Name and Details-
You must fill this part of the form very carefully, it basically has four blocks; the very first block is for your name, so if you are filing the form as an ‘Individual’ you should enter your first name, middle name and last name. But if you are filing it for the family, as selected in previous step, then in First name column you should enter the first name or initials of the head of the family or household. Another important point is that if you receive your mails by more than one name like with your maiden name or a nick name, you must file a separate form for each name or those mails will not be forwarded to the new address, you can read more about it here.
Similarly you should enter the middle or initials of the head of the family in Middle name box and same goes with the last name. If there is anyone in your family who has same last name but that person is moving to a different address than another application should be filed for him otherwise all his mails will also be forwarded to the address where whole family’s mails are being forwarded.
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.
The second block and third block is for your address, you should fill your old address, the place where you were living and receiving your mails, and in the third block you should fill your new address where you want your mails to be forwarded (for which you are filling this form). If the house you are moving to is built in last six months, then it may not be in USPS database, in that case you should tick the box at after zip code in new address block.
However, there are few types of address which you cannot use for these fields. For example, you cannot file for a USPSCOA 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 change your address online for International address or from a Military APO/FPO address, but you can file a change of address online to change your address ‘to’ a military address. You can also not use this online facility to change ‘Unique ZIP codes’ address.
The fourth block is for email address, this email address is used for sending you the confirmation of your updated address and important notifications related to mail forwarding.
Third Step of filling the form – Identity Verification-
This step is used for the verification of the applicant; it requires 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 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 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.
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.
This is the same information which you will see in next step of confirmation..
Last two steps of the process-
Last two steps of this process are some instant offers and a confirmation of all the information you have submitted in the whole process, you can verify all of the information and finalize the procedure. You should receive a confirmation email from USPS about this.Official USPS Change of address form – https://moversguide.usps.com/icoa/