USPS Hold Mail


January 10, 2023

Are you planning to go on vacation? Do you need your parcels or packages to be tended to while you are gone? 

When you are on vacation, it can be hard to relax if you know you have mail piled up at your doorstep awaiting your return.

With the USPS Hold Mail service, you will not have to worry about stolen or damaged mail since your items are held at the local post office until your vacation ends.

This article will explain the USPS Hold Mail service. It also explores how much it costs to hold mail and the service’s process.

If you plan to be away on vacation, you can use USPS Hold Mail service to hold your mail until you return to pick them up.

All you have to do next is locate your local post office where you held your mail by visiting

This search tool lets you find a USPS post office by state, city, or ZIP code for your convenience.

What Can You Do With Your Mail While on Vacation?

To avoid the headache of dealing with porch pirates and filling up your mailbox, USPS offers various services to help you manage your mail while you are away.

Stop Mail Delivery Online

The USPS Hold Mail service can keep your mail safe at the post office for up to 30 days while you are away.

Request this service as early as the day after the scheduled date or up to 30 days in advance.

The Hold Mail service can begin any day of the week at 3 AM eastern time (2 AM CT OR 12 AM PT) except for Sundays.  

You can also register with a forwarding service to keep your mail and have it rerouted.

When and for How Long Can You Request a Mail Hold?

Hold Mail requests must be at least three days and a maximum of 30 days.

If you need your mail held for more than 30 days, contact your local post office by visiting and looking up their information.


The Hold Mail service is available at no cost. You can specify a Hold Mail request for 3 to 30 days. 

It is important to note that a PO box does not require a Hold Mail request, as mail delivered to these boxes will be allowed to collect for up to 30 days.

3 Ways to Set Up a Hold Mail Request From USPS

Hold Mail requests can be activated for up to 30 days.

USPS advises that customers submit Hold Mail requests at least one business day in advance.

It is important to know that if a Hold Mail request was submitted, it automatically applies to everyone residing at the mailing address.

Let us look at three ways to make a mail-hold request:

1. Place a Hold Mail Request by Phone

You can accomplish your Hold Mail request via telephone by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275 8777).

Your request should be submitted at least one business day before you want your mail held.

You can also save time by contacting the post office that handles your mail.

2. Request a Hold Mail Service at the Post Office

You can also place a mail hold at your local post office. But this request should be made at least one business day before the date you need your mail to be held.

You will be given PS Form 8076, which you will need to complete and return. Make sure you get a confirmation number once your request has been processed.

3. Submit a Hold Mail Request Online

To request a Hold Mail service, visit the Hold Mail page on Below are the steps:

  • Create a free account and verify your identity
  • Check if mail holding service is available in your area by putting your home address
  • Fill out the dates and submit your Hold Mail request

How to Temporarily Hold Mail With USPS

In the past, holding your mail only required you to give your address. 

In recent years, the United States Postal Service has imposed stricter rules to protect its customer’s identity.

The following steps will help you put a hold on all mail for the members of your household:

  1. Submit Your Request

You can easily request a Hold Mail service online, in person, or over the phone. If you choose to apply in person:

  • Locate your local post office by navigating to
  • Complete PS Form 8076 to authorize USPS to hold your mail
  • Keep the confirmation number for your form after you submit it

Once you have confirmed your registration, keep your confirmation number for future reference.

To make your request via telephone, you can contact 800-ASK-USPS (800-275-8777).

If you placed a request by phone or in person, please submit the form one business day before its effective date.

One of the quickest ways to make your Hold Mail request is online. You can cancel your request and create changes by logging into your USPS account.

  1. Create or Access Your Online Account

To submit a Hold Mail request, you must create a USPS account.

You also can print out shipping labels, ask the delivery company to pick up a package at your doorstep, or generate custom forms using your account.

To create an account for a family member, you need to know that person’s two security questions, email address, and phone number.

Once you have created or logged into your account, proceed to step three.

  1. Check Availability

Not all addresses can accept online Hold Mail requests, so you must use the online system to check if your address is eligible.

To access the Hold Mail service, log into the USPS website and select the Quick Tools tab. Then scroll down to find Hold Mail.

USPS will use the information you entered when setting up your account to fill those fields for your Hold Mail service request.

You can correct any of the data in your profile if any information is inaccurate.

Finally, click “Check Availability.” Move to the next step if the service is available. If not, submit your request via phone call or in person.

  1. Verify Identity

To submit a request online, you must verify your identity by entering the phone number associated with your account.

This step helps to ensure that your information is safe from identity theft.

  1. Choose Your Dates

Once you have made or accessed your account and verified your identity, it is time to choose the dates.

USPS can hold your mail for three to 30 days at the local postal location.

Next, you will need to set your start and end dates of service as well as how you will receive your mail on the last day.

  1. Decide How You Will Receive Your Mail Once Your Hold Mail Service Expires 

You can pick up your package at your local post office or request a mail carrier to deliver them. 

Not all of your mail can fit in the mailbox, so it is advisable to go to the post office and pick up larger packages yourself.

What if My Trip Takes Longer Than 30 Days?

If you cannot get the mail during a prolonged time or absence from home, there may be other choices than the post office holding mail for you. 

You can have your mail forwarded to a temporary change of address or a new address in two ways.

Receiving Your Mail at the End of a Mail Hold

When you set up a Hold Mail request, two options are available to determine what the USPS should do with your undelivered mail when the service expires.

You can request that USPS deliver all your mail at once or hold it for pick up at the local post office.

Going to the post office during business hours may be inconvenient for some people, so they opt to deliver their mail simultaneously.

Remember that your mail carrier will only deliver the mail if there is enough room in your mailbox. So, if you expect more mail, pick it up at your local post office. 

If you cannot get your mail, it can be forwarded in two ways:

  1. Regular Forward Mail

Regular mail forwarding is one of the cheapest and most common ways for forwarding mailpieces.

There is a minimal charge of $1.05 to verify identity, but you can forward your mail from 15 days up to one year by using this service.

Go to to forward your mail and locate the “Change My Address” icon under “Quick Tools.”

You can extend the forwarding for another six months, so it is a good idea to create your USPS account first.

Doing this step will help you track your request or make changes to your information.

It is important to know that this service forwards your mail piece by piece instead of all at once. Therefore, important information may arrive late, or you will not receive any mail.

If you or your family often receive important documents, you can consider the second option.

  1. Premium Forwarding Service Residential

You can receive your mail in bulk weekly for $21.10 a week (and a small enrollment fee).

The postal service will package and ship all your mail to your chosen location. Remember that junk mail, like credit card offers and catalogs, is also forwarded.

You can use this service for two weeks or up to one year. It is a great way to get your confidential and essential mail quickly and easily.

How to Permanently Suspend Delivery With USPS

If you are cleaning out your home after the death of a loved one, make sure that their mail is not overlooked.

Here are some steps to manage or stop mail addressed to your deceased loved one.

  • The Data and Marketing Association (DMA) established a registry of deceased individuals.

This association ensures that your deceased family member will stop receiving mail within three months at no charge.

  • You can also request that your local post office stop mail delivery.

You should bring documents that prove you are the executor of your family member’s estate and a death certificate.

  • You can also have mail forwarded to another address by following the steps above.

It is impossible to suspend letters addressed to someone still alive, although this may be solved with a loophole.

If your old mailbox is overflowing with mail, the post office will keep your mail for 30 days.

If the volume of mail you receive increases, the carrier may submit an unknown address change form. Once complete, the carrier will return your mail to its original sender.

What Else Should I Know Regarding Hold Mail?

  • Plan ahead of time. Hold Mail Service can be requested within 30 days from your initial hold date or the day before your next scheduled delivery.
  • When the Hold Mail option ends, you may be bombarded with mail. Deliverable mail applies only to mailpieces that your mailbox can hold.

You may need to go to the post office if you have a large package or hold too much mail in your mailbox.

  • Keep an alternative plan for deliveries if the USPS is unavailable. Make sure a friend or neighbor checks the door for you if you receive packages from non-USPS carriers.

Contact your mail courier to see if they have any options for holding or redelivering shipments.

Do Not Forget to Hold or Forward Mail

In the days before your vacation or during times of stress at home, you might need to consider getting your mail. You can hold, redirect or stop mail in under 15 minutes by going to

USPS Hold Mail Customer Verification

Here is some information about customer verification with the USPS Hold Mail service:

Improved Online Security

USPS has made several changes to the online USPS Hold Mail requests to provide you with greater security.

To take advantage of these improvements, you must create a account and verify your identity before submitting an online request for Hold Mail service.

Identity Verification Through Informed Delivery

If you are eligible, you can sign up for Informed Delivery by creating or signing in to your account.

During enrollment, you can verify your identity in one easy step.

If you have signed up for Informed Delivery and completed the verification process, you do not need to complete it again.

Once you enroll in Informed Delivery, you can start a request to hold your mail, check deliveries, and see previews of incoming items.

Informed Delivery by USPS

The U.S. Postal Service’s Informed Delivery is a free service that lets you see what mail will be delivered to your mailbox before it arrives.

Anyone with a residential mailbox can register for this service and receive daily email scans of the mail delivered on their route.

This service is convenient when you are at home, but it can also be useful while traveling.

You can track a single piece of mail using Informed Delivery. The service will alert you when that item has been delivered.

USPS will show you which packages will arrive that day and what will come in the next few days.

In addition to the daily emails, you can log in to your Informed Delivery dashboard and get more information about deliveries.

You can also report scanned pieces of mail that have been lost or stolen.

Limitations of USPS Informed Delivery

USPS Informed Delivery is convenient overall but it may also have some drawbacks.

The U.S. Postal Service only scans letter-sized mailpieces because those can be processed through the company’s automated equipment.

When multiple mail pieces are pulled into the scanner simultaneously, it can be difficult to see some of them.

You should also know that the USPS only scans outside a mail piece letter.

However, there have been cases in which the scans were so powerful that they revealed what was inside the letter.

How to Enroll in USPS Informed Delivery

Begin by signing up for USPS Informed Delivery in just three steps.

  • Verify your current address
  • If you do not already have a USPS account, you need to create one
  • Confirm your identity and ensure that only you can see your mail


  1. How long will USPS keep my mail before returning it to the sender?

The length of time the post office keeps different types of mail varies. If you placed a hold, your mail would be held for ten days after your return home.

  1. How do you cancel a mail hold?

You can stop your Hold Mail request by logging into your USPS account and canceling the service.

You can also cancel in person by visiting your local post office or calling customer service at 800-275-8777. 

  1. Where do you pick up the mail that is being held?

You can receive your mail by picking it up at the post office.

  1. Who can pick up your mail?

You or an authorized representative can pick up your mail.

If you are picking up mail for another person, you must provide written and signed permission and acceptable identification.

  1. Can you edit a USPS mail hold after you have ordered one?

Yes, editing your USPS mail request online is the quickest way to make changes.