Have Your Post Office Hold Your Mail When You're Away

You Can Set Up This Free Service in Person or Online

Postman with pile of letters standing outside house
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Did you know that you can have your local post office hold your mail if you need to go away? Whether a business trip, family vacation, or even an emergency requires you to leave town, you can make sure your mail stays secure and that you won't be greeted with an overflowing mailbox upon your return.

If you know in advance that you'll be away from your apartment for a while, you can drop by your local post office to set up the mail hold or set it up online.

The U.S. Postal Service offers this mail hold service for a period of three to 30 days, and you have the option of picking up the accumulated mail or having the post office deliver it when service resumes.

Setting up a mail hold through the Internet means you can avoid waiting on line or even leaving your apartment. It's also a useful option if you have to leave your apartment and go out of town suddenly, such as if a close relative or friend becomes ill. Visit the Postal Service's Hold Mail page. Choose the dates to start holding your mail and resume mail delivery, then follow the remaining instructions to complete your request. (You can log on later to change the resume delivery date, if your plans change.)

The Postal Service's Hold Mail service is free, and there's no limit on the number of times you can use it each year. If you're expecting something important while you're away and need to check whether it arrived, having the post office hold your mail is probably not the best option for you.

Instead, consider having your local post office temporarily forward your mail or asking a neighbor to collect your mail until you return.