When people move houses, sometimes they forget to update their address, and their mail is delivered to their old one.
If this happens, do not worry or do not panic. This is pretty common and can be easily fixed so you can get your mail delivered to your new address.
Here Is What To Do When Your Mail is Sent to an Old Address:
When you forgot to update your postal address upon moving and have not been receiving mail after moving, you should first contact the local post office. They will forward the mail to your new address, which can take several days. Then have your address changed through the USPS.
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How Do I Get My Mail From My Old Address?
Having your mail delivered to your old address can be such a hassle. It may cause you to miss out on important mail you were anticipating. You may not receive your bills on time.
When your mail has been delivered to your old address, you have to request mail forwarding so you can get your mail.
From the date the request has been made, it can take up to 10 to 12 business days for the US Postal Service to reroute the mail from your old address to your new one.
To avoid this, the USPS recommends that you file your change of address at least two weeks before moving. This is your mail will immediately start arriving after you move, and you will not have to go through the hassle of having your mail rerouted from your old address to your new one.
If it has already been 12 business days and you have not received your mail, then there could be an issue. The first thing you need to do is check your request’s status. Make sure you have your confirmation number when checking the status.
Check if all the details you have entered are correct. You may need to modify some information and take note of your confirmation number. You may need to contact your local post office if you are still not receiving your mail.
How Do I Update My Address With The USPS?
If you are relocating within the US, it is recommended by the US Postal Service that you file for change-of-address at least two weeks before your moving date. This is to ensure they will send all your mail to the new address once you move in.
There are two ways to update your address with the USPS: online at the USPS website and on-site at your local post office.
Here is how:
Online via USPS Website
- To change your address online, go to USPS.com/move. This is the fastest and most convenient way to change your address. You will immediately get a confirmation once your address has been updated.
- The USPS charges $1.10 for online change-of-address requests. You can pay for it using a credit or debit card, and you need to provide a valid email address for the confirmation.
- Once you have filled out the form online and paid the fee, you will get a confirmation immediately.
On-Site at the Local Post Office
Head to your local post office and ask for the Mover’s Guide packet.
The Mover’s Guide packet contains the Change of Address Order (PS Form 3575) with instructions on correctly filling out the form. It also contains coupons offering discounts for services that are related to moving.
Fill out the PS Form 3575. Once you complete it, you can give it to a post office staff at the counter or drop it into any of the letter mail slots inside the post office.
Wait for the confirmation letter of your address change. You should receive it within five business days.
Do I have To Pay To Update My Address?
Depending on how you file your request to update your address, there may or may not be a fee.
If you will request for change of address online, there is a fee of $1.10 that you have to pay either by credit card or debit card.
The $1.10 fee charged to your card is a way to verify your identity and prevent fraud. This is also to make sure that you are the one requesting the address change.
If you request a change of address at your local post office, there is no fee. You must fill out the form correctly, submit it, and wait for a confirmation letter within five business days.
You can only request for change of address through USPS. Be wary of third-party companies who offer to change your address, as these are scammers who normally charge $40 or more.
Remember that it only costs $1.10 to have your address updated online.
Are New Owners Required To Forward Mail?
If you just moved into a new place and the previous homeowners forgot to update their address, you may receive mail meant to be delivered to them.
As the new owner or resident of a house, you are not required to forward mail. However, you are required to return it to the post office.
You need to mark Return to Sender and write “Not at this Address” on the envelope. Then place it in your outgoing mail receptacle and raise the signal flag. On the next mail collection, the mail carrier will collect it and take care of it.
They will return it to the sender so the sender can keep in touch with the correct recipient.
In addition, you can place a note in your mailbox. Write “<Former Resident’s Name> does not live at this address” on the note, which will remind the mail carrier to check your incoming mail.
If they still carry some of the previous homeowner’s mail, he will remember not to place it inside your mailbox.
How Can I Check If Something Was Sent To My Old Address?
If you recently just moved to a new place and have not received any mail since moving, chances are your mail was sent to your old address.
You can track your mail through the USPS tracking service to check if something was sent to your old address.
If it shows that your mail has been delivered but has not gotten it, it means it was delivered to your old address. When this happens, you must fill out a USPS request form to have your mail rerouted and forwarded.
If your mail is missing, you must fill out a USPS Help Request form. This form will help you connect with your local post office so you can get some assistance in locating your missing USPS packages and mail.
If your local post office cannot locate your missing USPS packages or mail, you need to submit a “Missing Mail Search Request.” This will initiate a search within the USPS inventory of missing packages and mail.
To prevent this, you must ensure that you have properly requested a change of address through the USPS website or by visiting your local post office.
Filing your request to change your address is very important, and it is made easy and hassle-free by the USPS, so there should be no reason for you to neglect this step.
What Do I Do With The Previous Homeowners’ Mail At My New House?
If you are receiving mail meant for the previous homeowners of your new house, you can do a few things to prevent this. This will also help the previous homeowners get their mail.
For first-class mail, write “Not at this address” on the envelope and place the mail in the outgoing mail receptacle of your box. This will notify the post office and the sender of the mail that the recipient no longer lives at that address.
The original sender will update their records, and you will eventually stop receiving the previous homeowner’s mail.
This normally works only if the sender is an individual or a small company. However, large companies tend to rely on the national database for address changes, so it will be unlikely that they will update their records unless the previous homeowner files for a change of address.
So, in addition to having the mail returned to the sender, you can also place a note in your mailbox.
You can write either of the two:
- <Former Resident’s Name> does not live at this address anymore
- No Other Residents Besides <Your Name>
Having a note that precisely indicates any of the two above will serve as a reminder to the mail carrier so they can sift through incoming mail. If they see any mail addressed to the previous homeowner, they will remember not to place it in your mailbox.
Cross Out the Barcode
The US Postal Service normally prints a barcode on every mail meant for the address it is being sent to. This barcode is used to sort the mail and will still allow the mail to be delivered to your address.
Crossing out the barcode will cause the mail to be registered as “undeliverable” in the system. When receiving bundles of mail, check each one in case some of the previous homeowner’s mail is mixed in with yours.
It can be a hassle not to receive your mail or to have them missing, so whenever you move to a new location, do not forget to file for a change of address. This will save you from the inconvenience of not getting your mail and missing out on important letters or packages.