Moving can be a stressful time. There are dozens of tasks to track and accomplish, and there never seems to be enough time to get it all done. In the midst of all this, you don’t want to neglect telling the right people about your new address and phone number. This article will describes the steps involved in filing a change of address with the U.S. Post Office, which types of change of address are available, and how to choose which type to file.
The actual filing of a change of address form with the post office is what many people think of when it comes to the topic of “change of address.” Filing that request accomplishes two main goals:
– It directs the U.S. Post Office to forward mail sent to you old address to your new address.
– It allows companies that subscribe to the National Change of Address Service (or NCOA) to be notified of your new address.
Change of Address Types: Permanent vs. Temporary
There are two types of address change you can file: a permanent change and a temporary one. Now, a good question might be, “Why would I file a temporary change instead of a permanent one? It comes down to controlling your privacy.Feel free to find more information at change address when moving.
The information in a permanent change is made available to all those companies who subscribe to the NCOA service while information filed through a temporary change usually isn’t. So, if you file a temporary change with the post office and notify each person or organization who sends you mail individually, you’re in charge of who knows that you’ve moved. It also means that it’s more difficult for “junk mailers” to find you.
Keep in mind that you face a trade-off. If you file the permanent one, you have a “safety net” in case you’ve forgotten anyone, but you risk the chance that more junk mail may find you. If you file the temporary change, you can potentially cut down on junk mail, but you could end up missing out on notifying everyone before the temporary change of address ends, and you will also miss the large number of coupons and discounts forwarded only to those who have filed a permanent change.
Change of Address Methods
The post office offers both a traditional, paper-based form (free) for address changes and an online filing option ($1 fee to discourage fraud). You’ll need to specify when your move is taking place, as well as whether the move is for just one person or the entire household.
It’s a good idea to file 4-6 weeks in advance, although many post offices can begin forwarding mail after just a few days. You’ll definitely want to have your mail taken care of so that none of it is arriving on Moving Day itself.
Important Note: A post office change of address Does Not take care of everything. There are a few notable shortcomings to the process:
– Limited mail types. The post office will be forwarding first class mail and most periodicals. It does not forward “standard mail” (formerly known as bulk permit mail or just “bulk mail.”)
– Limited time. Even a permanent filing only lasts for 6 months (although it can be renewed for another 6 months). Therefore, definitely register with the post office, but also use a secondary service and/ or notify important contacts individually.