USPS Cancel Mail Forwarding

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March 17, 2024

The United States Postal Service (USPS) regularly processes address changes as people travel across the country and move residences. In 2022, USPS handled around 33.2 million address changes.

One way for customers to continue receiving mail despite the address change is through mail forwarding. If you are one of these individuals, you may have used this service to redirect mail to your new address.

However, your move may be temporary, and you may need to return to your old address soon. In this case, you can consider canceling your mail forwarding service.

How do you cancel mail forwarding? How does mail forwarding work? Can you get a refund after canceling this service?

This article explains how you can cancel your mail forwarding service online and in person. This article also discusses how to view, extend, or cancel your change-of-address orders and what alternatives you can use besides USPS mail forwarding.

If you want to visit a postal facility to cancel your mail forwarding personally, use FindPostOffice.org’s search tool to locate a nearby post office.

Can Mail Forwarding Be Canceled?

Suppose you went out for a long trip and set up a USPS mail forwarding service to handle incoming mail. 

However, you encountered a situation when you should cancel the service for your mail to return to your original address. Could you cancel mail forwarding?

Fortunately, for cases such as the one given above, you can. You can use your original confirmation code and the ZIP code you used for mail forwarding. The following sections discuss how canceling your mail forwarding service works.

How to Cancel USPS Mail Forwarding

When filing your initial change-of-address order online with the U.S. Postal Service, follow these steps:

  • Visit the USPS website’s change-of-address cancellation page at ManageMyMove.USPS.com.
  • Input your confirmation code and the new ZIP code in the appropriately labeled boxes.
  • Check your email to see if you received a USPS confirmation code. If you file the order by mail, you should receive a printed letter with the code.
  • If you do not have a confirmation code, you must go to a post office.
  • After entering your confirmation and ZIP codes, you will get redirected to a page containing the mail forwarding cancellation form that lets you specify what changes to make.

“How Do I Cancel Mail Forwarding in Person?”

If you prefer not to cancel online, you can visit your local post office instead. Bring a valid photo identification (I.D.) form and proof of residence, like a bank statement or utility bill.

 Tell the postal worker you want to cancel your mail forwarding service. They will provide you with the appropriate paperwork to fill out. After completing this step, return the form to the worker, who will enter the information into the USPS system for processing.

Regular Forward Mail

Canceling a change-of-address request in person for regular forward mail is like filling out a form requesting a mailing address change. To do so, perform the following steps:

  • Visit your local post office.
  • Bring two forms of government-approved I.D.s.
    • The first form must be a government-issued photo I.D., such as a U.S. permanent resident card or state-issued driver’s license.
    • The second form must be a utility bill, bank statement, or any proof you live at the primary address.
  • The postal worker will assist you in making the necessary changes to your mail forwarding service.
  • Wait for some business days before the required changes can occur.

Premium Forwarding Service

Suppose you submitted PS Form 8176 (Premium Forwarding Service application form) at your local post office. You are eligible for a refund if you paid in advance but no longer wish to use this service.

To cancel this service, follow these steps:

  • Contact the post office to cancel the service.
  • Request a refund for the mail forwarding weeks you paid for upfront.
  • Fill out the appropriate forms in person, and you will immediately receive a refund or no-fee money order. However, this service’s enrollment fee is non-refundable.

“How Do I Cancel Mail Forwarding Online?”

If you prefer to cancel your mail forwarding service online, consider visiting the USPS website and making the changes there. 

The following sections guide you on canceling mail forwarding and making change-of-address orders online.

Regular Forward Mail

Suppose you want to make changes to your change-of-address request online. It takes a few business days before your mail stops arriving at its new forwarded mail address and re-arrive at your old address.

You can cancel your mail forwarding by doing the following steps:

  • Visit the USPS official website.
  • Make the necessary updates or stop mail forwarding online even if you submitted your mail forwarding request in person.
  • Enter the confirmation number and new ZIP code.
  • Make the required changes to your request, such as the start or end date. You may receive an error message if you change more than two fields in a day.
  • You can cancel a mail forwarding request even after making changes to two fields on the same day.

Premium Forwarding Service (PFS)

For the PFS-Residential service, USPS forwards mail weekly via Priority Mail. In this case, plan your changes before making modifications to this service.

Once you are ready to modify or cancel PFS, do the following steps:

  • Visit the USPS website and sign in to your account.
  • Go to your account profile and click “Activity History.”
  • Go to your PFS order and click the calendar icon to edit the start or end date.
  • Click “Update Order” to apply changes. You can also go to your PFS order and click “Cancel Order.”
  • A pop-up window will appear for verification purposes. Click “Yes” to confirm. Afterward, you will receive a confirmation email.

When to Change Your Change-of-Address Order

When making changes to your order, be mindful of the following procedure, or USPS will charge your debit or credit card:

  • To cancel your change-of-address order or modify the start date, apply changes no later than midnight, Central standard time (CST) before the start date.
  • When canceling your PFS-Residential order, do so by Monday, 11:59 PM CST, before the shipment date on Wednesday.

“How Long Will a Mail Forwarding Service Run if I Don’t Cancel It?”

The longest you can use the USPS mail forwarding service is one year, depending on how you initially set up the forwarding request.

If you specify effective dates, the service should end on the date you initially requested for the service to stop. If you do not enter any dates, mail forwarding should run for a year before stopping.

What Is USPS Mail Forwarding?

Whether you need to make a permanent or temporary change of address, the USPS mail forwarding service is one excellent solution that can help handle your mail.

This service lets you submit a mail forwarding request online or in person and conveniently add a forwarding address. However, submitting this request will only forward your mail to a different address and not update personal or state records.

Getting Started

You must plan before starting the mail forwarding process. While this service may begin within three business days of submitting your request, consider preparing two weeks ahead. Once the service begins, mail will be forwarded piece by piece to your new address.

The following sections further discuss the mail forwarding service features.

What Mail Is Forwarded?

The mail forwarding service lets you forward parcels sent through any of the following services:

ServiceMail forwarding feature
USPS First-Class Mail and periodicals, such as magazines and newslettersForwarded for free
USPS Priority Mail Express, Ground Advantage, and Priority Mail itemsForwarded for free
Media MailForwarded for the cost of shipping from the post office to your temporary address

How to Change Your Address Online

Follow the steps below to change your address on the USPS website:

  • Visit the USPS website’s change-of-address page.
  • Choose between “Individual,” “Family,” or “Business” move, and complete the form.
  • Verify your identity by opting in online and receiving a verification code on your mobile phone. You can also go to a post office and bring an acceptable photo I.D. to complete the identity verification process.
  • Pay the identity verification fee. As of October 2023, this fee is $1.10.
  • Use the confirmation code emailed by USPS to modify or cancel your request.
  • Receive a welcome kit containing coupons from USPS partners at your new address.
  • Use this new address to reroute your mail piece by piece.

How to Change Your Address at the Post Office

If you prefer to visit the post office to change your address, follow these steps:

  • Visit your local post office and bring an acceptable photo I.D.
  • Ask for a free Mover’s Guide packet.
  • Fill out P.S. Form 3575 (Mail Forwarding Change-of-Address form) inside the packet. Give the completed form to the retail associate, who will use your I.D. to verify your identity and process your request.

Extended Mail Forwarding

Standard mail forwarding typically lasts 12 months. However, you can extend your mail forwarding period for 6, 12, or 18 more months for a fee.

You can purchase Extended Mail Forwarding upon submitting a change-of-address request or editing your request later. USPS will email you a reminder when you have one month left in your mail forwarding subscription.

How to View, Edit, Extend, or Cancel a USPS Change-of-Address Order

If you need to modify your change-of-address order, USPS provides a brief guide to make and specify such changes. 

In some cases, you may need to dispute these modifications. The following sections discuss these steps.

Step 1: Making the Change

As mentioned earlier, you can start the change-of-address process by visiting ManageMyMove.USPS.com on your web browser and entering your confirmation and new ZIP codes.

Your USPS confirmation code should be in your email. If you file your change-of-address order by mail, that code should be on the printed letter.

Step 2: Specifying the Change

After entering your confirmation and ZIP code, the USPS website will redirect you to a page where you can specify the necessary changes. This page has the mail forwarding cancellation form that lets you modify your change-of-address order.

If you return to your original address and want USPS to stop the mail forwarding, you can ask to cancel your change-of-address service. Alternatively, you can extend your change-of-address order for up to one year.

Step 3: Disputing a Change

Suppose you receive a change-of-address order notification from USPS despite not moving and not requesting such an order. In this case, you can file a dispute with USPS.

To file a dispute, you must have received a key printed on the front of the USPS change-of-address validation letter.

Once you have this letter, do the following:

  • Go to the USPS website’s disputes page.
  • Enter the ZIP code written on the validation letter.
  • Click on “Get started.”

“How Soon Will Mail Go Back to My Primary Address?”

After canceling your forwarding request, mail should start going to your primary address immediately. Unfortunately, this scenario does not always happen, and you may have to wait 7 to 10 business days before the cancel forwarding request gets processed.

“What if I Don’t Have a Confirmation Code?”

If you lost your change-of-address confirmation code, you must go to your local post office, where the postal staff will find another way to confirm your identity and prove your cancel forwarding request is valid.

How the staff performs this task can vary based on circumstances, but you must at least provide proof of identity, such as a valid photo I.D.

“Can I Get a Refund?”

If you cancel your mail forwarding service early, you may qualify for a refund for any paid but unused weeks. Suppose you paid for a four-week service but only used two weeks. You may get a refund for the last two unused weeks.

If you used two and a half weeks instead, you will likely get refunded for the final week only.

Furthermore, when requesting a refund, you must do so in person at a post office. You cannot make this request online.

“What if I Cancel My Trip?”

Suppose you booked a trip and set up mail forwarding, only for your trip to not push through. You should immediately cancel the service using the steps mentioned in this article to keep your mail from getting redirected.

Note that your forwarding request will often take up to 72 hours to show up on the USPS system. Until it shows up, you won’t be able to cancel it.

“How Long Should I Forward Mail After Moving House?”

When you move house, knowing how long to keep your mail forwarding service running can vary depending on how many contacts need to get your new address.

Once your contacts start updating their address list, give enough time for everyone to finish doing so. For example, you can keep your mail forwarding service running for a couple more months to help ensure any contact you missed gets noticed.

“Where Do I Go if I Want an Update Regarding My Request to Cancel or Change My Address?”

When you need an update regarding your request to cancel or change your address, visit your local post office in person or check the USPS website’s change-of-address page at ManageMyMove.USPS.com.

Alternative for USPS Mail Forwarding (Virtual Mailbox Service)

Suppose you find that the USPS mail forwarding service is not the right solution for you. Consider other excellent options for your mail forwarding or address change needs. One such option is the virtual mailbox service, discussed in the following sections.

What Is a Virtual Mailbox Service?

A virtual mailbox is an online mail management tool for postal mail. This mailbox lets you view your mail through an online account or request service providers to forward essential mail items to your current address.

How It Works

After selecting a virtual mailing service provider, you must sign PS Form 1583 (Postal Consent form), authorizing the provider to handle your mail.

Upon receiving your mail pieces or packages, the provider will scan them so you can view them online. The provider can also store your mail and forward items you receive to a specific address.

Virtual Mailbox Features

Virtual mailboxes come with several features and services that let you do the following:

  • Manage your mail online, including mail forwarding and scanning.
  • Scan your mail items in color.
  • Recycle and shred junk mail items.
  • Acquire unlimited cloud storage.
  • Obtain a distinguished address anywhere worldwide, such as a street address in Canada, the United Kingdom, U.S., or Europe.
  • Have multiple recipient names for one business address.
  • Pay using a check deposit.

Who Needs a Virtual Mailbox?

You can consider getting a virtual mailbox if you belong to any of these groups:

  • Regular travelers who want to travel without worrying about mail
  • Business owners who need prestigious or unique street addresses
  • People who prefer a clutter-free office or house
  • Individuals who wish to keep their real addresses private

FAQs

  1. When should I update my address?

You can change your address with USPS two weeks before moving. This period should provide enough time for you to receive the USPS validation letter and confirm your change of address.

  1. How do I correct my change of address?

You can modify your change-of-address order by updating the information in person at your local post office or on the USPS website.

  1. How much does it cost to change my address?

As of October 2023, the cost to verify your identity for changing your address is $1.10. This fee serves to validate your identity and safeguard you from potential fraud.

  1. Does changing my address with USPS update that information everywhere else?

Your change-of-address order updates only your mailing address with the post office. In other words, you must inform other entities like government agencies and private companies about your address change.

References

  1. SIZE AND SCOPE
    https://facts.usps.com/size-and-scope/
  2. Standard Forward Mail & Change of Address
    https://www.usps.com/manage/forward.htm