USPS Change of Address – The Basics

USPS Change of AddressUSPS Change of Address Options

An USPS Change of Address (COA) request can be temporary or permanent. Both options can be requested and completed online or by filling out a PS Form 3575 acquired from your local Post Office™. The 3575 form can no longer be printed from your home computer.

What USPS Change of Address  costs

When the COA request is made online, there is a $1.00 identity validation fee. When you enter your credit card or debit card number and billing address, we can electronically verify your card’s information with the issuing bank. If you prefer not to use your credit card, you can fill out PS Form 3575 acquired from your local Post Office.

Warning: There are third party websites that will charge you fees of $40.00 or more to submit your Change of Address. The Postal Service is not affiliated with the businesses that own these sites and, unfortunately, will not be able to assist you, or offer any refunds for activity on ANY non-USPS site. If something goes wrong while filing a COA on a non-USPS site, you will need to contact that entity and/or your credit card company for resolution. To ensure the best service, always use for all change of address activities.

How to get started USPS Change of Address

  • First Things First…Two Weeks Before the Move/Address Change : 

    You can make the Change of Address process faster and easier by notifying everyone who sends you mail of your new address and the date of your move, two weeks before you move.  Most bills and statements have an area for making an address change notification.

  • Next: File the Change of Address Order

    Options for filing a Change of Address Requirements/Options How to File
    File Change of Address Online
    • $1.00 identity validation fee required
    • Eligible Credit/Debit Cards (no prepaid or gift cards):
      • MasterCard
      • Visa
      • Discover
      • American Express
    • Email address required
    • Military addresses are eligible
      • If you are moving from a military address, your email address must end in “.gov” or “.mil”.
    Fill out online form at:
    File Change of Address at the Post Office
    • No fee required
    • International addresses (moving TO an international address) are eligible by using the Mover’s Guide only; International COA cannot be completed online.
    • Pick up a Mover’s Guide at your local Post Office and follow all instructions.
  • Who can file ?

    • The person who submits this Change of Address (COA) form states that he or she is the person, executor, guardian, authorized officer, or agent of the person for whom mail would be forwarded under this order. Anyone submitting false or inaccurate information on this form is subject to punishment by fine or imprisonment or both under Sections 2, 1001, 1702 and 1708 of Title 18, United States Code.
  • Online Security

    • Security of a customer’s personal information is extremely important to the USPS. We use several techniques to minimize the chance that customer data will become known outside our system and to prevent fraudulent Change of Address (COA) requests.
    • Secure Server – Encryption Technology
    • Credit / Debit Card Address Verification
    • The online Change of Address application allows a customer to submit a change of address using a “third” address for validation. This option requires that the move effective date is at least 7 days in the future to allow the Move Validation Letter to reach the old address.
  • USPS Change of Address Confirmation

    • After scheduling a Change of Address (COA), USPS will promptly mail, to the address you are leaving, a Move Validation Letter (MVL) to validate the move.
    • Within 5 Postal business days before the COA start date, you will also receive a Customer Notification Letter (CNL) or a Welcome Kit in the mail at your new address.  The CNL and Welcome Kit contain your Confirmation Code. Hold on to the Code to easily make changes or cancel your COA order. Without the Code, you’ll have to visit a Post Office to change or cancel your COA order.
    • If you submitted your Change of Address (COA) online, you will receive the MVL and CNL mentioned above. Additionally, you will also receive a Change of Address Confirmation via email containing the Confirmation Code. Again, make sure to retain the Code for future changes/cancellations.

Due to privacy and security issues, USPS does not issue duplicate COA confirmation letters except for special or unusual circumstances. In those circumstances, a fee of $50.00 will be charged.

What happens next

On the designated Change of Address (COA) start date, USPS stops delivering mail to your previous address. As we redirect mail to your new address, you can expect it to start arriving within 7-10 Postal business days from the COA start date.

  • Temporary COA forwarding time limits: The minimum time period for temporary forwarding is 15 days. Temporary COAs, or seasonal forwarding, provide forwarding of mail to a temporary address for a maximum of 364 days, starting with the listed start date. Mail will stop being forwarded on the end date you listed on your COA request.
  • Permanent COA forwarding time limits: Mail sent to your old address will be forwarded to the new address for a certain amount of time, depending on the mail class (see chart below). Forwarding time limits for specific mail classes is as follows.
Mail Class Forwarded for…
First-Class Mail® / First-Class Package Service-Commercial™ / Priority Mail® service (bills, invoices, personal correspondence, reply mail) 12 months
Priority Mail Express® service (merchandise, printed material) 12 months
Periodicals (magazines, newsletters) 60 days
USPS Marketing Mail™ (formerly Standard Mail®) (advertisements, catalogs, retail offers) Only forwarded IF the mailer specifies forwarding instructions
USPS Retail Ground® 12 months (Forwarded only to domestic addresses)
Library Mail, Bound Printed Matter, and Media Mail® 12 months (Forwarded only to domestic addresses)

Remember: You can ensure a smooth, change of address transition if you do some legwork up front, and notify anyone who sends you mail of your new address and your move date.

If no USPS Change of Address is filed

If you move without filing a Change of Address (COA) request, your mail carrier will pick up the accumulated mail and leave a notice advising you that your mail is available for pickup at the local Post Office. Your local Post Office will automatically hold any accumulated mail for up to 10 calendar days. After that, most mail items are returned to sender(s); items that cannot be forwarded or returned back to the sender will be discarded.

Change of Address for multiple people in a household

  • If some members of your household with the same last name are moving with you, but others are staying, you need to fill out a separate Change of Address (COA) form for each person moving, using the “individual” option.
  • If members of your household with different last names are moving with you, but others are staying, you need to fill out a separate COA form for each person moving, using the “individual” option.
  • If your entire family is moving to the same address and each member has the same last name, you only need to fill out one COA form, using the “family” option.

Still not sure where your COA situation falls? Check out this chart.

Modifying or cancelling a USPS Change of Address request

To modify or cancel your Change of Address (COA) online, you must know your new ZIP Code and have the Confirmation Code you received when you placed the COA order.

  1. Go to
  2. In the corresponding fields, enter your new ZIP Code and the Confirmation Code.
  3. Click Submit.
  4. You can now edit various Change of Address fields according to your modification/cancelation needs.

If you lose your Confirmation Code, go visit a Post Office and talk to a Postal Clerk about any changes you want to make to your COA order.

Note: You will be able to make no more than 2 (two) changes in a single day*, one of which can be street address line related. After two changes, you will receive an error message that says: “You have exceeded the amount of changes that you can make within the same day.  Please try again in 48 hours.”

* You may still cancel your Change of Address (COA) order even if you have exceeded 2 allowable changes.

Need more information? Learn about COA and military mail forwarding, the difference between Premium Forwarding and COA, handling unique COA situations, and how “Hold Mail” affects your COA.

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