How Long Does Mail Forwarding Last (And Why)?

How Long Does Mail Forwarding Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 12 Months

Post offices offer a service known as mail forwarding to redirect mail that has been addressed to one person to another address given by the same person for a given period of time. Mail forwarding differs from private mail forwarding in a way that in private mail forwarding the mail scanning services, online mailbox, management, and various domestic and international delivery options that come under the government services are not available.

In the case of USPS, the forwarded mail can last up to 12 months. The British Royal Mail provides services that are available for up to two to three years. Customers use mail forwarding when they change home or want to redirect a mail to a different address. The mail forwarding by postal authorities provides a bunch of benefits that can be availed by people using it. Private mail forwarders can use Universal Postal Union for forwarding of mails.

How Long Does Mail Forwarding Last

How Long Does Mail Forwarding Last?

Type Of ServiceDuration
USPS12 Months
British Royal Mail2-3 Years
Periodicals60 Days

Mail forwarding can last according to the package taken. USPS mail services can take mail forwarding last up to 12 months. The British Royal Mail can last mail forwarding services for 2-3 years. To last the post office service for long, go to the USPS site and change your address online. There is a $1.10 charge to change the address. For changing the address temporarily, you can ask your postal officer to change the address and redirect it to the new address.

USPS gives you three forms of mail forwarding options: The temporary change of address gives an option to forward First Class Mail Services and Periodicals for a specified time. The Permanent change of address offers forwarding of First Class Mail for a period of 12 months and the periodicals for 60 days.

The third kind of mail forwarding, premium forwarding service residential services, sends mail on priority service with some particular fee. The services of PFS can be extended for a year too. This service also provides a free change of the permanent address. Customers can start PFS at a local post office by giving the fee. One can also fill the online application form for starting the services.

All the details regarding the change of address, cost, service packages, canceling the address, forwarding a mail, extended fail forwarding and other details can be found easily on the USPS portal.

Why Does Mail Forwarding Last This Long?

Mail Forwarding lasts up to 12 months according to the norms of USPS. This is because the mail forwarding cost only covers the following time period. This has been set by the US Government. However, the mail forwarding can change according to the pack and the fee that is given. Under the PFS, you can opt for a longer duration, but the cost for this is high.

When the COA request is made, others is a fee of $1.10 for the identity verification. By adding the bank account number, the details of the provided get verified automatically. One can also use the PS Form 3575, at the local post office for the services to complete. The online platform can take some fees by payment through credit/ debit card. For a change of a military address, add .gov or .mil at the end.

If you are willing to change the address by going to the post office, this can be done easily without any fee. The international addresses are eligible for the transfer using the Mover’s guide. One must keep in mind, that international COA cannot be completed online.


The USPS offers a variety of services and packages for mail forwarding. The most basic one can last up to 12 months. The PFS can help you get a forwarded mal for 2-3 years but the fees for this service are higher. You can also add military addresses to the COA. If the person wishes to COA of periodicals, it is only available for up to 60 days.

The post office offers online and offline services of mail forwarding. The mail forwarding services for international COA are only offline. The online services can take a fee but most of the offline services are free of cost.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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