Did you know that every year, one in seven people in the U.S. changes their address? This, of course, creates a huge challenge for the Postal Service, which strives to preserve a list for existing addresses of high quality.
Change of address requests may be submitted in person by using a hardcopy form (PS 3575) or online using the Internet at local post offices. You can even make them over the mobile. By far, using the hardcopy type is still the most common way to change one’s official address, but those contemplating a move must carefully consider their choices.
While the change-of-address system of the Postal Service generally works well, our audit found that changes are required in the storage, approval, and confirmation of hard copy requests. While employees of the Postal Service must deny and return orders without a signature, changes in address orders are slipped through in some cases without a proper signature. We also saw signature discrepancies and times when the documents were signed and initialed by Postal Service staff rather than clients.
Is there a better way forward? We think there is. Our audit also looked at the request structures for the Internet and telephone change. We find that not only are these online alternatives much more convenient for the user, and they are also much more effective in ensuring that only approved and validated requests for change of address are handled.
Online requests can be quickly and efficiently checked against the accounts of consumers electronically. It results in a safer environment, which is critical because mail forwarded to another location based on illegal change-of-address requests is a major contributor to identity theft— the fastest-growing crime in America.
You should be mindful that the Postal Service has systems in place to protect customers from unauthorized changes of address. If you have requested a change of address, a Transfer Validation Letter will be followed up by the Postal Service. A letter will be sent to your current address and will inform you that your mail has been sent to a new address. If you have not asked to change your email, you must immediately contact the local Post Office as there may be a potentially fraudulent situation.
We noted in our audit that these letters were usually sent in a timely manner by the Postal Service. The Postal Service has recently taken measures to improve further the timeliness of these letters ensuring that they are processed within 3 to 10 days.
How To Confirm A Change In Mailing Address
Every year, the U.S. Postal Service receives approximately 40 million applications for change of address. An essential step in protecting yourself against identity theft is to verify your change of mailing address with the Postal Service. It has developed effective ways to confirm a request for change of address, and if you know what to expect, the process is relatively straightforward.
Visit the U.s. Website of Postal Service or fill in the form of an online change of address. You will be asked to enter your new and current email addresses.
When prompted to do so, enter your credit card information. Changing your mailing address is free; however, a small credit card fee (usually about $1) is used by the Postal Service to confirm your request for a change of address. If your credit card billing address does not match the current mailing address you register on the website, your application for change of address will not be accepted.
Look for an address confirmation letter from the Postal Service that will be sent to you within two to three days of your application. The letter will inform you that on your behalf, a request for a change of address has been processed. Carefully read the letter to make sure your new address is entered correctly. You won’t have to do anything with the document if the information is accurate.
How To Check To See If Your Mail Is Forwarded With USPS
- Start an Internet browser and go to the official username change site of the U.S. Postal Service, located here. Remember that if the address is changed to a P.O. Box, you must rent a box before the COA process starts.
- Click at the bottom of the page on the button View change, or cancel a Change of Address request”.
- Enter on the screen your confirmation number and current zip code. This confirmation number was included in your confirmation email if you filed your COA electronically. When you sent a paper COA, it contained your verification number in the letter that the USPS sent to your old address to validate your request. After entering your information, click “submit.”
- Check your mail forwarding status and make any changes that may be needed. Cancel the original COA and file a new one if you are unable to make the required changes. In normal circumstances, mail sent will start arriving in a couple of days.