Updated on September 14th, 2022

Easy Guide to Forward Mail with USPS?

Have you been looking for an easy guide to forwarding a postal mail to someone? You’re at the right place! But before then, let’s look at the what “mail forward” means

Let’s dive right to mail forwarding options:


USPS mail forwarding allows you to send received mails to a new address. If you received a new mail and you want to send it to another address, that means you’ve forwarded the mail. 

Also, check here  All You Need To Know About A Forwarded Package.

Many individuals use this service when temporarily moving out of their residential address. However, other reasons will require forwarding mails to another person. Dive into this article to find why and how. 

Different Cases For Forwarding Mail:


  • You’ve recently moved out of your residence, and you want your mail to be forwarded to a new address – forwarding mail to yourself
  • A family member or friend moved out and asked you to help receive their mails – forward mails to someone
  • You’ve received a mail by mistake and don’t the recipient – mail received by mistake


The action you’re to take in each case is different, and if the mail isn’t forwarded correctly or handled carelessly, this can lead to unwanted results. 

Not forwarding mail to the correct address could cause inconvenience to the recipient; the mail might be lost, or if it’s forwarded to the wrong person, it can lead to identity theft. 

To avoid these, here’s how to safely forward mails to the right recipient:

1. Forwarding mail to yourself:  

In this case, you’ve received a mail at your old address and want to forward it to your new address. First, you’ll need to make a mail-forward request. This can be done online via the USPS website or by visiting the post office. 

If you apply for mail forwarding in the post office, you’ll have to take two forms of ID with you. You can either file for a temporary or permanent change of address. 

  • A temporary change of address allows you to change your mail address for a minimum of 15 days and a maximum of 1 year
  • A permanent change of address allows you to change your address forever. You can apply for this service online for as low as $1.

However, if you’ve already moved out without changing your address, you’ll continue receiving mail at your old address until you have someone help you forward it to your new address.

Check this article about  Mailbox theft and other signs why you should upgrade to a virtual mailbox

2. Forwarding mail to someone:

If a family member or a roommate moved out and you’re still receiving their mails, you’ve two options:

If you’re the person’s new address, you can use USPS reroute mail to forward their mails to their new address. 

  • First, you’ll have to cross out your address on the envelope using a black permanent marker, then write their new in block letters. Then write ‘move or forward‘ on the envelope and keep it back in your mailbox or carry it to the post office
  • Secondly, you can visit the post office and request a PS form 3575 to change the address of the person who moved out so you won’t have to receive their mails. However, please make sure the stamps are valid before mailing them out. If they’re not, consider buying new ones
  • Thirdly, you can contact the sender and inform them the person has moved out so they’ll stop sending their mails to you

After taking any of the above options, consider contacting the recipient to confirm if they’ve received their mail and urge them to apply for a change of address. 

However, if they’ve not received their mail after two weeks, you’ll have to contact USPS to know its status. 


3. Received mail by mistake:

If you receive mail directed to an unknown recipient, the sender has made a mistake while writing the address. As little as a change of one number can redirect a mail to another address, and if the mail is an important one, this can lead to big issues. 

When sending or receiving mails, you must be careful with your address and zip code.

If you’ve received a mail by mistake, quickly contact USPS so they’ll send someone from the post office to collect the mail. A better alternative is informing your mailman about the issue so that the mail will be carried to the Mail Recovery Center (MCR) of the post office until it’s claimed

For more information visit: USPS FAQ Page

What’s a Better Alternative for USPS mail forwarding service? 

But what if there’s a way that we can avoid all these inconveniences that comes with mail forwarding. Instead of going through the hassle of changing addresses paying for new stamps, and mailing them out to the new residence, why not get a virtual postal mailbox from PostScan mail.

A virtual mailbox is like a physical PO box but much better and more sophisticated. Here, check out the difference between a virtual mailbox and a physical PO box here.

With a virtual mailbox, you’ll be able to enjoy premium mail scanning and mail forwarding services. You’ll sign up with a real street address to receive all your mails and packages and forward mails to anyone, anywhere, at any time. 

This way, you’ll enjoy the versatility of receiving mails wherever you’re

How to get a Virtual Mailbox?

With PostScan Mail, you can sign up for a virtual mailbox and choose either a virtual street address or a PO box. 

As one of the best virtual mail service providers, we’ve over 20 locations nationwide.

All you’ve to do is log in to your account and control your mails from the comfort of your room without going to the post office. 

We also provide you with options to choose from; you can scan, forward, shred, recycle, or archive any of your mails. Once the mail request is sent in, it’ll be handled.

Even with our starter package that costs only $10, you’ll be able to forward mail anywhere without going to the post office or spending any money. 

In PostScan mail, we’ve provided you with the convenient mail forwarding service you’ve been looking for. So sign up and enjoy the fantastic features of a virtual mailbox.

Photo by Ethan Hoover on Unsplash

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Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the most commonly asked questions by consumers about How to Forward Postal Mail to Someone

You can forward mail to the previous owner by canceling your address written on the letter and writing  ‘move or forwarded,’ then placing it in your mailbox or taking it to the post office.

However, if you know the person’s address, you can visit the post office and fill out a PS form 3575 to get their mail forwarded.

You can quickly forward mails to your new address via a USPS forward mail request. This can either be done online or at the post office. Also, you can apply for a temporary or permanent change of address. 

USPS can start forwarding your mails three days after submitting your request. However, at times, it takes as many 2 weeks before USPS will reroute your mails. 

Setting up a forwarding address is very easy. By applying for a USPS forward mail request online or in the post office and submitting two forms of ID, you’ll be able to start receiving mail at your new address.

Yes, a temporary USPS mail forwarding service allows you to forward your mail to a new address for a minimum of 15 days and a maximum of 1 year.

Yes, USPS can reroute your mail outside of the United States. However, this service is costly. It costs $21.10 retail or $19.35 if you enroll online. Also, there is an additional $21.10 for every week’s service. 

USPS will start forwarding your mails as soon as you move to your new address. For this, you must apply for a change of address days before moving out of your old address. 

USPS forwards your first-class mails free of charge through a standard change of address form. Then, all you’ve to do is pay $1.05 as an identification fee. 

A temporary USPS mail forwarding will last 15 days and a maximum of 1 year. On the other hand, a permanent USPS mail forwarding will last forever. 

USPS will start forwarding your mails as soon as you move to your new address. For this, its recommended you apply for a change of address days before you move out of your old address

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