Having the Post Office Temporarily Forward Your Mail

Apartment letterboxes
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If you're going out of town for a while, consider having your local post office forward your mail to your temporary address while you're gone. This may be the perfect option if you can't find a trustworthy neighbor to check your mail or if you believe you'll need the actual pieces of mail in hand to take appropriate action and having your post office hold your mail just wouldn't work.

The U.S. Postal Service offers two options for having your mail forwarded to a different address on a temporary basis.

Here's a summary of each service's features:

  1. Temporary Change of Address (COA).
    • Duration: Up to six months, with up to a six-month extension
    • How you can enroll: At your local post office or online.
    • Cost: Free
    • How it works: Each piece of mail gets forwarded separately (on a piece-by-piece basis)
  2. Premium Forwarding Service (PFS).
    • Duration: From two weeks to one year
    • How you can enroll: At your local post office only
    • Cost: $15 for enrollment, plus a weekly reshipment fee of $17
    • How it works: Most mail is forwarded together in one weekly shipment, sent via Priority Mail; exceptions (such as Registered Mail and Express Mail) get shipped separately from the post office