Updated on July 4th, 2023

Easy Guide to Forward Mail with USPS?

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

Let’s dive right to mail forwarding options:


Maybe you ask yourself, How to forward mail to a new address? ” Okay, USPS mail forwarding allows you to send received mails “redirect mail” 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

How long does mail forwarding last?

Once you have learned How to Forward Mail to Someone, you might be wondering, “How long does mail forwarding last”. The duration of mail forwarding can vary depending on the specific service you are using. Let’s explore the two most common mail forwarding services, namely USPS mail forwarding and the innovative Post Scan Mail (PSM) mail forwarding service, to gain a better understanding.

How long does usps mail forwarding last?

We already know how to forward your USPS mail to a new address. When it comes to USPS mail forwarding, the duration of the service is not indefinite. There are specific time limits depending on the type of mail being forwarded. For most USPS services such as First-Class Mail, First-Class Package, Priority Mail Express, USPS Retail Ground, Library Mail, Media Mail, and Priority Mail, mail forwarding is available for a full calendar year. However, if you receive magazines or newspapers, the forwarding period is much shorter, lasting only 60 days. This means you have two months to update your magazine and periodical subscriptions with your new address if you wish to continue receiving them.

In the case of temporary relocations with an uncertain duration, USPS allows you to forward your mail for a period of 15 to 185 days. If you realize during this time that you will be staying at the temporary address for longer than six months, you can extend the mail forwarding period for up to 12 months by submitting a second change-of-address order. You also have the flexibility to choose the expiration date of the mail forwarding request, up to the 364th day.

For permanent moves, USPS offers a mail forwarding period of up to 12 months. It’s important to note that mail forwarding is intended to provide you with time to inform your family, friends, organizations, and companies about your new address. However, it does not automatically update your address witd update your address details to avoid any disruption in services such as banking, loyalty programs, event invitations, and more. the transition during address changes. It is crucial to take proactive steps to update your address with relevant organizations and businesses to ensure continued communication and seamless service provision.

Remember, USPS mail forwarding serves as a temporary solution to ease the transition during address changes. It is crucial to take proactive steps to update your address with relevant organizations and businesses to ensure continued communication and seamless service provision.

How long does mail forwarding from PSM last?

When considering mail forwarding services and before you think about US post office mail forwarding service it’s essential to explore the duration of mail forwarding from Post Scan Mail (PSM) and understand how it outperforms USPS mail forwarding. PSM offers a flexible and extended mail forwarding period, ensuring optimal convenience for individuals seeking a reliable and comprehensive solution for managing their postal communications.

Unlike USPS mail forwarding, which typically has time limits ranging from 15 days to one year depending on the circumstances, PSM’s mail forwarding service has no predetermined duration. With PSM, you have the freedom to forward your mail for as long as you need, making it an ideal choice for both short-term and long-term address changes.

PSM operates through a virtual mailbox system, allowing you to receive and store your mail securely. From this virtual mailbox, you have the flexibility to choose when and where your mail is forwarded. Whether you’re traveling, relocating temporarily, or maintaining a permanent address, PSM ensures that your mail is seamlessly redirected to your desired location, eliminating the constraints imposed by time limitations.

Furthermore, PSM goes beyond traditional mail forwarding services offered by USPS. In addition to forwarding your physical mail, PSM provides a range of complementary services such as mail scanning, mail shredding, and package forwarding. This comprehensive approach allows you to have complete control over your postal communications, making it easier to manage your mail regardless of your location.

In summary, mail forwarding from Post Scan Mail (PSM) offers distinct advantages over USPS mail forwarding. With PSM, there are no predetermined time limits, providing you with the flexibility to forward your mail for as long as necessary. The virtual mailbox system and additional services offered by PSM further enhance the convenience and efficiency of managing your postal communications. Whether you have short-term or long-term address changes, PSM ensures that your mail forwarding needs are met with superior flexibility and comprehensive solutions.

If you want more information you can read this guide Why Should You Use PostScan Mail Forwarding Service Instead of USPS Mail Forwarding?

This will help you to know all about PostScan Mail Forwarding service 

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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