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What Type of USPS Change of Address Form Should I Select?

We know that when it comes to selecting which type of Official USPS Change of Address Form you need to file with the United States Postal Service, things can be, well… tricky. That’s why we created this guide to help you easily choose the right form for you, and start forwarding your mail hassle-free.

USPS Change of Address Forms: What to Know

The first thing that you need to know about USPS change of address services is that you can select to file one of three different kinds of address forms — Individual, Family, or Business. Whether you’re forwarding your mail for the first time or the fiftieth, use this guide to know who should fill out which type of form.

Individual USPS Change of Address Form

Single individuals

Calling all singles! If you want to forward mail for yourself — and only yourself — an Individual USPS Change of Address Form is for you.


If you live in the same household with multiple people who have different last names (calling all roommates!) and you want their mail to be forwarded as well, you’ll need to file a separate form for each person. That’s right — one for yourself, and one for each of your roommates.

Family members on the move

Each person should fill out an Individual USPS Change of Address Form if you share the same last name but you’re moving to different places. Confused? Here’s an example:

You and your sister are moving out of your parents’ house and you’re off to Denver, but your sister is moving to Boston. The whole household shares the same last name, and while you are family, only two of you are moving and to different places. So, both you and your sister should fill out your own Individual form.

Family USPS Change of Address Form

If everyone in your household shares the same last name and is moving to the same place, you can simply file one family form. This notifies the USPS that you want mail forwarded for everyone in the household that shares the same last name.

Business USPS Change of Address Form

File a Business Change of Address Form if you’re authorized to forward mail on behalf of your business. This is true if the entire business is changing its address, even if different people receive mail for the company.

USPS Change of Address Confirmation

Once you’ve updated your new address, the postal service will send you a Move Validation Letter confirming that they received your Change of Address request. About five postal business days after your new address is due to kick in, USPS will also send a Customer Notification Letter and Welcome Kit, complete with a Confirmation Code to your new address.

If you changed your address online, you’ll receive these documents in the mail along with a USPS Change of Address Confirmation to the email address you provided. Be sure to save, flag, or star this email with your Confirmation Code in case you need to change something later.

USPS Change of Address Identity Verification

To move forward with your USPS Online Change of Address Request, the Postal Service has to validate your identity. To do this they request a $1 fee to be paid by credit or debit card. If any company requests that you pay more than $1 to change your address, do not give them your credit card information as it could be a scam.

USPS Temporary Move Change of Address

Traveling for business or visiting family for a month? Working remotely at your vacation home for a few weeks? The USPS can hold your mail at the post office for 3 to 30 days. Staying within the U.S. and need your mail forwarded for longer? Sign up for the USPS Premium Forwarding Service and receive your mail weekly at a temporary address for a maximum of one year.

USPS Change of Address Forms You Must Get in Person

While addresses for the most common moves can be changed online, there are some instances when you must complete your form in person at the post office. You may also be unable to forward your address at all. To avoid any last-minute surprises, check with your local post office if you fall under any of these categories:

  • Individual(s) or a family moving out of the country

  • Individual/family/business changing their address to a P.O. Box

  • The old or new address is a Commercial Mail Receiving Agency (CMRA)

  • Individual(s)/family moving from a business to a residence

  • Individual(s)/family moving from a residence to a business

  • Individual moving from/leaving a business

How to Cancel USPS Change of Address

You’ve changed your mailing address, are all ready to move, and something falls through. Don’t panic. You can easily change or cancel your request online. Simply enter your Confirmation Code and new zip code on the USPS website and you’ll be able to make up to two changes a day. Lose your Confirmation Code? Not to worry. Just head over to your local post office and a Postal Clerk will help you out.

USPS Change of Address Timeline

Once you’ve made your change of address request, you should expect to land in “mail forwarding bliss” within 10-12 days. Why? It can take the postal service up to 12 business days to process your Change of Address request, which means that the postal service will hold your mail until the start date that you select on your form.

Who knew there were so many options when requesting a USPS Change of Address? Well, now that you’re a pro you can update your info without missing a beat! It’s best to get everything in two weeks before your move, so visit the USPS website or your local post office in plenty of time.

Think you’ll need a refresher later? Download this checklist and keep all the key points you need in your pocket.

Downloadable USPS change of address checklist

As an added bonus, use this handy moving checklist to stay on track as you gear up for moving day. Changing your address is just one of many items on your to-do list, so bookmark it, print it out, and start simplifying your move!

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