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Mail Forwarding FAQ

Updated: Jul 21, 2022

man answering mail forwarding FAQ

Mail forwarding services are important for people who are moving to a new area for business or just a change of scenery, and they want to keep receiving their mail from the same address they are currently using. Don't believe us? Read here for 13 benefits of mail forwarding.

However, since mail forwarding services do not last forever, you may have concerns about whether it is a good idea to have one or not. The article below will address frequently asked questions by people who want to opt in to this service to help you make an informed decision on whether to use this service or not.

Here is our list of FAQ

1. How do you forward mail?

-Regular mail forwarding

-Premium mail forwarding

2. How does the post office conduct mail forwarding?

- Address Management System (AMS) - Computerized Forwarding System (CFS)

3. How long does it take for the USPS to start forwarding mail?

4. How is the postal service aware of when you are moving?

5. Which USPS mail forwarding form do you need?




6. How long will you keep receiving mail from USPS?

7. How much should you pay for the mail forwarding service?

8. What are the consequences of not submitting a USPS mail forwarding request?

9. How to cancel USPS mail forwarding

-Step 1

-Step 2

-Step 3

Mail Forwarding services 221 Building

1. How do you forward mail?

To forward mail, you are required to first fill in a form either in person, by phone, or online. When you do this, you permit the mail forwarding service to deliver your mail to the new address. It may take a few weeks for the deliveries to start. There are two options that you can choose.

Regular Mail Forwarding

This service enables you to receive all your mail directly to the address to your new address through the mail forwarding service. For the online option, the USPS (US Postal Service) puts a hold of $1 on your credit card to verify your identification. You can use mail forwarding regardless of whether the move is permanent or temporary. If necessary, you can also request an extension.

Premium mail forwarding

If your business requires you occasionally to move around, or you just enjoy taking your RV for trips, you will be better served by the premium option. There is no cost for this service. However, you will receive your mail wherever you will be, after a week.

2. How does the post office conduct mail forwarding?

Since about 17% of US inhabitants move every year, the post office came up with two computer programs to keep up with the consistent changes. These programs are:

Address Management System (AMS)

With this program, all your mails have barcodes that show where they should be delivered. The post office has a file with these barcodes so that they ensure that the addresses are assigned to the match.

Computerized Forwarding System (CFS)

This is the program that is responsible for forwarding mail to your new location. It handles all corrected addresses in its database. Your mail will have a sticker attached to it, which is an indication that the post office has forwarded it.

USPS mail van

3. How long does it take for the USPS to start forwarding mail?

After you have submitted the form requesting a change of address, it will take between 7 to 10 business days for processing. So, you need to submit your form 7 to 10 business days earlier to receive your mail at the location where you have moved.

4. How is the postal service aware of when you are moving?

The form which you filled out from the post office has a section where you will input the date that you want to start receiving your mail through the new address. It may sometimes take a few more days to start receiving your mail. The reason is, that processing may take up to 10 business days. You should wait for about a week and then inform them of the delay.

5. Which USPS mail forwarding form do you need?

There are three primary forms that you can choose from to start forwarding your mail through the USPS:

official USPS change of address form for individual, family or business


This form only covers one person who is moving from his current location to a new place or multiple people who are moving but to different locations. So if you have a roommate, you should fill out separate forms.

However, if your roommate is your brother since you share the same last name, you should only fill out one form. If you and your brother are moving to different locations, then both of you must fill two different Individual Change of Address forms.


For a family sharing the same last name and moving to the same place, you should fill out one form of a Family Change of Address. This way, everyone will have an easy time receiving their mail through the post office.


Businesses also come with their change of mail address forms. If you are an employee of a certain company and you have the authority and permission to forward a company's mail, you can change the address for the whole organization by filling out a Business Change of Address form.

6. How long will you keep receiving mail from USPS?

Mail forwarding with USPS can only go on for a certain period. The post office has different limits for this service, which is dependent on the kind of mail they send. The postal service will forward most of your mail, in 12 months, including, priority mail, first-class mail, and first-class packaging services. This means that you should update your address within this period with your bank, family, friends, and other businesses.

If you have subscribed to a newspaper or magazine, mail forwarding will take just 60 days. After 60 days, your USPS mail forwarding expires. So, ensure that the companies from which you receive these newspapers and magazines are aware of the changes.

When you forward your packages and mail them to the post office, some of your personal information like your credit card, alumni associations, bank accounts, and airline loyalty programs are not updated. When you forward your mail, it only goes to the new address. Contact each business that you are associated with so that you keep up with your alumni events and bank statement.

7. How much should you pay for the mail forwarding service?

You are not charged anything when you go personally to the office to apply for a change of address. When you submit the form online, however, a charge of $1 will be credited to your debit or credit card, so to use it online, the USPS requires a valid email address together with your bank card. The $1 charge is for verifying your identification to prevent fraud and to ensure that it is indeed you who is applying for the change of address.

Warning: You do not have to pay another company to change your address. They may end up scamming you, and you end up paying $40 or more for this service when the postal service order does it for $1.

8. What are the consequences of not submitting a USPS mail forwarding request?

If you decide that you want to go all the way and completely change your address to a new one, the post office will withhold your mail for 10 days, after which the mail will either be forwarded or returned to whoever sent it in the first place. If the post office is unable to forward or return the mail, they will discard it.

9. How to cancel USPS mail forwarding

You may decide to withhold your stay in your current location, but you already applied to receive your mail through a new address. In such a case, you want to cancel the mail forwarding service. Here are the steps that you will have to follow to do this.

Step 1: Change of address form

Change of address form instructions USPS

  • Open USPS's official website

  • Choose "track and manage" from the menu

  • Pick on the "change of address" toggle, after which you will move to another page where you will have to fill out a form

  • Scroll down until you reach a page that asks you if you have already filled the changed your address

  • Then click on the "view or edit" toggle, and you will go to another page for the next step

Instructions on how to change your address USPS

Step 2: Confirmation Code

Here you will be required to enter both your zip code and confirmation code. When you apply for the change of address through the internet, there is usually a confirmation code sent to you immediately and a confirmation email sent to you later.

However, when you do this personally from the post office, you will get the confirmation in your new address.

If you lost your confirmation code you are having a hard time relocating it:

  • Go to the USPS offices for assistance. The offices in charge of mail forwarding will cancel your mail forwarding online.

  • You will then fill out a form and verify your identity

  • After putting in your zip code and the confirmation code, click on submit to go to the next page

Step 3: Choose an Option

On this page, there are several options that you can choose from:

  • There is an option to change the forwarding mail end dates and start dates

  • There is also an option for changing your email address as well as your phone number so that you receive notifications

  • You can change your moving status

  • There is even an option to cancel the mail forwarding or change your address order

  • In this section, you cannot edit elements like your name and address. If you need to make changes to them, you will have to apply for a new address after canceling the order to change your address.

Important to note: You will not be able to change or update your status more than two times a day. However, you can cancel at any time.

You require a confirmation code to cancel your mail forwarding service, without having this it will take a longer time to cancel this service. So, always keep the confirmation code safe.

If you do not want to apply for a mail forwarding service, you may opt for a virtual mailbox. With the Virtual mailbox, you can easily control and forward mail to any address at any time without worrying about a change of address or signing up for mail forwarding.

Mail Forwarding Services With 221 Building

221 Building offers a private mailbox rental with mail forwarding service as an alternative to USPS. You will have a real street address and not a P.O.Box number. They have offices located in Hallandale Florida where you can pick up your mail when you are ready. All packages are kept safe and confidential.

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