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How to Forward Your Mail When Moving for a Job

Missing out on Bed Bath & Beyond coupons is one thing, but losing an important tax document or paperwork for your new job because you forgot to forward your mail is a whole other story. “I had a paycheck essentially lost in the mail because the forwarding kicked in after the checks started piling up at my old address,” says Arianne Nardo, who made the move to LA from Chicago. “Then my landlord lost them. It took almost a year to straighten it all out.”

Thankfully, forwarding your mail is simple.

How to forward your mail when moving

First and foremost, start with the post office. As soon as you know your new address, visit the USPS website and choose “Change My Address” from the Quick Tools menu at the top of the page. Keep in mind that USPS charges a $1.05 identity verification fee when you change your address online; however, if you have access to Updater, you can forward your mail for free. It takes USPS about 12 days to start forwarding mail so be sure to fill out the change of address form two weeks before your move.

If your move is imminent and you don’t yet have a permanent address, you can put a hold on your mail via the USPS website. The postal service can hold your mail for up to 30 days while you finalize your address at your new location. You can also do what Brent Lovett did when moving from Las Vegas to Reno. “I forwarded my mail to a P.O. box near my office until I was settled into my new place.” Brent also had a friend check the mailbox at his old place until the new renters moved. “Then they made friends with the new tenants so they knew where to drop off my mail if any more showed up.”

Inform others about your change of address

One thing to keep in mind is that mail forwarding is only temporary; therefore it’s critical that you update important accounts and contacts with your new address. Make a list so you don’t miss anyone important:

  • Your new employer, so you don’t miss anything in the lead-up to your start date.
  • Your bank, credit cards, and other financial institutions.
  • The IRS, especially if you’re expecting a tax refund, or if you’re currently in communication with the IRS about an ongoing tax issue.
  • Magazines and other regular publications you get through the mail.

Just remember to start forwarding your mail early enough that nothing falls through the cracks.

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