Relocating to a new home or office can be an exhilarating journey. But with this exciting adventure comes a series of responsibilities, one of which includes updating your mailing address. Updating your mailing address with various organizations and, more importantly, the United States Postal Service (USPS) is crucial to ensure your mail and packages reach you at your new location without interruptions.


The Importance of Changing Your Mailing Address Correctly

Correctly changing your mailing address: USPS brings numerous benefits and guarantees a smooth mail delivery experience. Whether personal letters, bills, or important documents, updating your address ensures they reach you promptly.

Furthermore, by notifying USPS, you keep your contacts updated, so your friends, family, and business associates can reach you easily.

Correctly changing your mailing address with USPS brings numerous benefits and ensures a smooth mail delivery experience. Whether it’s personal letters, bills, or important documents, updating your address guarantees prompt delivery.

Additionally, by notifying USPS, you keep your contacts updated, allowing your friends, family, and business associates to reach you without any difficulty easily.


Common Mistakes to Avoid

When changing your mailing address, certain common errors could lead to missed deliveries, delays, or even misplaced mail.

Some of the mistakes one should avoid are:

  • Using the wrong paper type for your mail, as shiny-coated, patterned, or dark fibers, can impact the readability of the address block and barcode, which in turn could affect delivery.

  • Including text or graphics below the ZIP Code line. USPS automated mail processing machines read addresses from the bottom up, starting with the line containing the city, state, and ZIP Code. Hence, any extraneous information in this area can lead to confusion.

  • Using a script or narrow fonts or even italicized, condensed, or bold fonts can prove difficult for the USPS automated systems to read, potentially leading to delay or misdelivery.

Avoiding these common pitfalls can smooth the process of your mail redirection and see your post arrive at your new address on time. Could you tick off all the tasks on your moving checklist and pay special attention to changing your mailing address correctly? You don’t want essential mail or packages delivered to the wrong location!


Changing Your Mailing Address Correctly

Setting up a new mailing address may seem straightforward, but slight missteps can result in big delays.

Here are some tips to ensure accurate and timely delivery.


Verify Your New Address

Address Verification: Before printing those fancy new business cards or updating your bank contact details, validate your new address. This should be your first step in changing your mailing address.

Use a tool like the one available at SmartyStreets, to compare your address with the standardized addresses listed in the USPS address database. This database, available at, is well-maintained and updated regularly, providing the most accurate reference.


Double-Check the Accuracy of Your New Address

Accuracy: Verify that all address components are correctly formatted and spelled – from the street name to your city, state, and ZIP code.

Every detail must match the official USPS guidelines, including abbreviations. For example, “Street” should be abbreviated as “St.”


Obtain Your Zip + 4 Code for Faster and Accurate Delivery.

ZIP + 4 Code: Also known as a Plus Four Code or 9-Digit ZIP Code, a ZIP + 4 code is an extended version of the standard 5-digit ZIP code. This 4-digit extra code corresponds to a specific delivery route and can ensure even faster and more accurate mail delivery. You can use the USPS ZIP Code Lookup tool to find your ZIP + 4 code.

In a nutshell, changing your mailing address doesn’t have to be a daunting task. I want you to know that taking these precautions makes sure your mail reaches your new address quickly and without hassles.


Temporary or Permanent Change of Address (COA)

When changing your address, it is critical to be clear on whether you need a Change of Address (COA) that is either temporary or permanent.

Making the wrong choice can cause unnecessary stress, sometimes resulting in lost mail.


Understanding the Difference Between Temporary and Permanent COA

Temporary and Permanent COA: are two options available to people who need to change their mailing address. A temporary COA permits mail forwarding for a set period, typically up to 12 months, ideal for short-term leases or extended vacations.

Contrarily, the permanent COA is designed for those who are permanently moving to a new residence and need their mail redirected indefinitely.


Benefits and Limitations of Each Option

The benefits of a temporary COA: lie in its flexibility. Particularly useful for those who frequently travel or maintain multiple residences, this option ensures mail delivery is reliable, no matter where you are.

However, one limitation is that a temporary COA can only forward mail for up to 12 months.

The benefits of a permanent COA: are best capitalized upon by those leaving a prior address permanently.

The advantage is the indefinite mail redirection, but a potential drawback is the administrative hassle if you return to your old address and require another COA.


Here is a comparison to help:

COA Type Benefits Limitations
Temporary Flexible; Ideal for short-term new address Can only forward mail up to 12 months
Permanent Indefinite mail redirection; Ideal for long-term new address Administrative hassle if returning to an old address


In conclusion, Whether to choose a temporary or permanent COA entirely depends on the circumstances of your move and your plans. Choose wisely to ensure your mail always reaches you, wherever you may be.


Avoiding Common Mistakes: Changing Your Mailing Address Correctly

When moving to a new location, ensuring all postal services transition seamlessly into your new address is critical. To help you avoid common mistakes when changing your mailing address, this article provides crucial steps that are often overlooked but extremely important.


Informing the Post Office

It’s essential to inform the United States Postal Service (USPS) about your change of address. Failing to do so might lead to delayed mail or even loss, leading to possible fines or charges.


Methods to Notify the USPS about Your Address Change

There are several methods to inform the USPS about your address change. You can do this online, through a phone call, or via a mail-in form.


Online Submission, Phone Call, or Mail-in Form

Online Submission: The simplest and quickest way to submit a change of address is through the USPS’s online Change of Address form. Once you submit it, you will receive an email confirmation.

Call: If you prefer to speak to a representative, you can report your new address over the call, if you like. The USPS customer service hotline is open Monday to Friday, with limited Saturday hours.

Mail-in Form: Alternatively, you can fill out an ‘Alien’s Change of Address Card’ and mail it to the address listed. Using black ink to fill out the form and sign it is crucial; otherwise, the form might be rejected.

It’s important to note that each method requires the current and new addresses.

Please make sure to update your address as soon as you can.


Updating Your Household Information

When moving to a new place, one of the most important, yet frequently overlooked, steps is changing your mailing address. While it might seem minor, amidst all the chaos of moving, ensuring that your mailing address is updated promptly and accurately is essential to maintaining a seamless transition from the old place to the new. If you miss this crucial step, you may face the consequences – from missing critical mail to falling victim to fraudulent activity.


Ensuring Everyone in Your Household is Covered

Please ensure everyone in your household is taken care of: One common mistake is assuming that changing your address with USPS automatically updates the address for all household members. This is not necessarily the case.

Each adult and individual in your household should notify the USPS separately of the move to ensure their mail is forwarded to the correct address.


Individual and Family Options for Address Change

Choosing between individual and family options: When completing the change of address form, you must decide whether to opt for an individual or family move.

An individual move means only your mail will be forwarded to the new address, while a family move means mail addressed to your last name will be sent to your new location. It’s vital to pick the right option to avoid mail mishaps.


To guide you through these options, here’s a comparison:

Change of Address Option Description
Individual Move Only your mail is forwarded to the new address.
Family Move I’ve forwarded mail to all family members with your last name.


In summary, avoid common mistakes by double-checking all the information you enter, ensuring everyone in your household has updated their address, and choosing the right option.


Addressing Different Types of Mail

It’s easy to make mistakes when addressing mail, and understanding the different requirements for various types of mail can help you avoid these issues. Some forms of mail, such as First-Class and Priority Mail, must have essential details like the complete address of the recipient, the sender’s return address, and appropriate postage.

The order or the addressing specifics may be less critical for other lower-priority or municipal mail types.

However, it should still possess key elements such as the receiver’s zip code and an identifiable name or designation at the delivery location.


Processing and Forwarding First-Class and Priority Mail

Regarding First-Class and Priority Mail, USPS offers a service that can save you from address-related headaches. If you still need to inform the sender about the address change or if the package is redirected to an incorrect location, USPS can forward your mail and packages to your new address.

This does not permanently alter your mailing address but provides a temporary solution to ensure you receive your mail promptly. To take advantage of this service, you must submit a change of address request. Mail forwarding typically starts within three days of the request submission, but it’s best to allow up to a week for the process to take effect.


Dealing with Non-Forwardable Mail and Endorsements

However, some mail forms cannot be forwarded, such as Standard Mail. In these cases, the mail will be disposed of if it cannot be delivered.

To handle situations like this, it’s critical to quickly communicate your new address to all senders and consider using services like premium mail forwarding or endorsed mail services where specific instructions are provided to the carrier about the mail’s handling if it needs to be delivered.

Remember, cautiously and correctly changing your mailing address can reduce the probability of your mail ending up in the wrong hands or being disposed of unnecessarily.


Address Change Timeline

When moving to a new home, updating your mailing address correctly is crucial to recover your important mail. Understanding the timeline involved in a change of address is essential to prevent common mistakes.

Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Notify the post office: Inform the local post office about your upcoming move and new address. You can do this by visiting the post office or submitting a change of address request online. Please do this at least two weeks before your actual moving date to allow enough time for the change to take effect.
  2. Update important accounts: Notify your bank, credit card companies, insurance providers, and other important institutions about your address change. This can be done by logging into your online accounts or contacting customer service. Please update your address at least a week in advance to ensure all your important mail reaches the right place.
  3. Update your subscriptions: If you have regular subscriptions to magazines, newspapers, or any other services, please don’t hesitate to let them know about your new address. Some subscriptions may require a longer notice period, so check with each service provider for their specific requirements.
  4. Could you let friends and family know: Let your close friends, family members, and important contacts know about your new address. This will ensure they can update their records and send correspondence or gifts to the correct location.
  5. Update your driver’s license and vehicle registration: If you’re moving to a different state or country, you must update your driver’s and vehicle registration. Please check the requirements of your new location and make the necessary updates within the specified time frame. Please remember being proactive and updating your address on time will help reduce the chances of important mail getting lost during your move.


Understanding the Duration of Mail Forwarding

The Postal Service offers mail forwarding for up to one year. All mail to your old address will be forwarded to your new residence for 12 months. Notably, this applies to First-Class Mail and similar services, but periodicals like newspapers and magazines are only forwarded for up to 60 days.

When you are moving temporarily, the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) can initially forward mail for a minimum of 15 days to six months. If you stay at the new address longer, you can extend the forwarding period to 12 months.


What Happens After 12 Months and Beyond

After the one-year mark, the USPS can forward your mail for an additional year, but special circumstances are required. To qualify, you must show that not extending the forwarding will cause financial hardship and that you are making a reasonable effort to notify your contacts of the new address.

On the other hand, if you have yet to notify the USPS of your address change, accumulated mail may be returned to senders or discarded after ten days. So, updating your address with USPS as soon as possible when you move is a good idea.


Updating Other Organizations and Agencies

Informing other entities about your address change is crucial to make sure you can transition smoothly to your new location. Forgetting to update important organizations and agencies can lead to missed bills, potential fraud, and other inconveniences.

Here are some tips on correctly updating your mailing address with utility companies, banks, and government agencies.


Importance of Informing Other Entities about Your New Address

When changing your address, you must notify utility companies, banks, and government agencies to avoid service disruptions and prevent unauthorized access to sensitive information.

Here are some reasons why updating your mailing address is crucial:

  • Utility Companies: By notifying utility companies such as electricity, water, and internet providers, you ensure that your services are transferred seamlessly to your new address. It’s essential to update your address for billing purposes and to avoid being charged for services at your old residence.

  • Banks: Keeping your financial institutions updated with your new address is essential for several reasons. Firstly, it ensures that your bank statements, credit card bills, and other financial documents are delivered to the correct address, minimizing identity theft risk. Also, updating your address with banks and investment brokerages is necessary to maintain accurate financial records and ensure a streamlined communication channel.

  • Government Agencies: Government agencies, such as the United States Postal Service (USPS), Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and voter registration offices, need to be informed about your change of address. Updating your address with USPS prevents important letters from getting lost or misdelivered.
    Also, please let the DMV ensure that your driver’s license, ID card, vehicle registration, and vehicle title accurately reflect your new address. Informing the IRS and your state about your change of address is very important for receiving any tax-related documents and no delays in communication.


Lastly, updating your address with voter registration offices ensures you receive important voting materials.


Tips for Updating Utility Companies, Banks, and Government Agencies

To ensure that you update your address correctly with utility companies, banks, and government agencies,

follow these tips:

  • Could you make a list: Create a comprehensive list of all the organizations and agencies you need to notify about your change of address. This list should include utility companies, banks, insurance providers, credit card companies, financial advisors, tax advisors, the USPS, DMV, IRS, and voter registration offices.

  • Utilize online resources: Many organizations provide online portals or forms for address updates. Take advantage of these resources to update your address conveniently and quickly.

  • Be proactive: It’s best to update your address before your move or as soon as possible after you’ve settled into your new residence. This ensures you get all important correspondence and experience service interruptions.

  • Keep records: Maintain copies or records of all the address change confirmations you receive. This will serve as proof if any issues arise in the future.

Remember, each organization or agency may have specific requirements or processes for updating your address, so it’s essential to familiarize yourself with their procedures. By informing utility companies, banks, and government agencies about your new address, you can avoid common mistakes and ensure a smooth transition to your new home.


Step-by-Step Guide: How to Change Your Mailing Address with PostScan Mail

If you plan to change your mailing address, temporarily or permanently, PostScan Mail provides a convenient and efficient way to handle your mail.


Here’s a step-by-step guide on changing your mailing address with PostScan Mail:

Step 1: Sign Up for PostScan Mail.
If you haven’t already, sign up for a PostScan Mail account on their website. This will give you access to a virtual mailbox to manage and view your mail online.


Step 2: Fill out the Change of Address Form.
Once your PostScan Mail account is set up, log in and navigate to the settings section. Look for the “Change of Address” option and click on it. This will take you to the Change of Address form.


Step 3: Provide Your Information.
In the Change of Address form, you’ll be prompted to enter your details, including your old and new addresses. Could you double-check the accuracy of the information you provide?


Step 4: Specify Your Forwarding Date.
Could you choose the date you want your mail to forward to your new address? I think setting the forwarding date a few days before you move is recommended to ensure a smooth transition.


Step 5: Pay the Verification Fee
To proceed with the change of address request, you must pay a $1.10 verification fee. This fee helps prevent fraud and ensures that you are the one requesting the change of address. Could you provide your credit or debit card information to complete the payment?


Step 6: Receive Confirmation
After successfully submitting your change of address request, you will receive an email from PostScan Mail confirming the change. This email will have a confirmation code, so please keep it handy for future reference.


Step 7: Enjoy Mail Forwarding.
Once your change of address request is processed, PostScan Mail will forward your mail to your new address. So that you know, you will receive your mail within 7 to 10 days from the specified forwarding date.


Additional Information:

  • The duration of mail forwarding with PostScan Mail depends on the type of change of address you choose. A temporary change of address can last up to 6 months, while a permanent change lasts for a year.

  • Please keep your confirmation code safe, as it will be required for any further changes or updates to your mailing address.

  • If you ever need to revert to your original mailing address, you can contact the USPS and cancel or change your mail forwarding order.

Changing your mailing address with PostScan Mail is a simple and convenient process that allows you to stay updated on your mail even when you’re on the move.
This step-by-step guide allows you to navigate the process and ensure a smooth transition easily.



This guide helps you understand how to change your mailing address correctly. By avoiding common mistakes, you can ensure that your mail and packages are forwarded to your new address smoothly.

Feel free to contact me with any other questions or need more help. Stay organized and never miss an important mail with PostScan Mail.


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