There’s Only One Safe Way to Change Your Address

Change of address

USPS wants customers to know they may be paying too much for change of address (COA) services at non-postal websites.

Some sites charge as much as $40 to register new addresses. Others charge nominal fees upfront before tacking on hefty charges later, according to recent news reports.

Consumers often find the sites while searching for change of address information online. Some sites falsely claim to be affiliated with the Postal Service.

USPS has no relationships with non-postal sites that offer change of address services. COA requests made at Post Offices are available at no cost. There’s a $1.05 identity verification fee to process COA requests submitted online.

Customers who used a non-postal site to submit a change of address request and would like a refund should request it from the business that operates the site.

Changing Addresses the Right Way

Changing addresses the right way

Most individuals who change addresses would like their mail to follow them to the new location. The Postal Service offers both low and no cost solutions for helping customers with new arrangements. While the best and most secured method of changing a mailing address is directly through the Postal Service, other businesses have tossed their hat into the ring and are attempting to profit from a customer’s move.

Service companies have cropped up that offer to assist individuals in changing their address online. For a fee, such as $29.95 per request in one example, the company will accept change information from the customer and transmit it to the Postal Service. While some of these businesses might provide the service they tout, the fees involved are considerably more expensive than if a customer chose to file the change directly with USPS. It’s also possible that the company, completely unaffiliated with USPS, may not offer a legitimate service at all, keeping a customer’s money without keeping their service commitment.

The safest and least costly way to submit a change of address is directly through the Postal Service.

Individuals looking to change their address can do so online at the official USPS website or over the phone at 1-800-ASK-USPS. A $1 fee for each request is required for identification purposes. Customers can also choose to print their request for free at or head to their local Post Office and request a Movers Guide, also for free.

Sticker Shock

Sticker Shock

Stickers are used for a variety of purposes. From decorating greeting cards to displaying the price on a box of cereal, stickers have been a popular way to bring smiles and information to people around the world.  When it comes to unaddressed mail, one particular Post Office has a sticky idea for its customers.

To expand customer choice in the mail they receive, Hongkong Post has allowed its customers to place a sticker on the upper right-hand corner of their mailboxes to decline the receipt of unaddressed mail.

A carrier that sees a sticker containing the instruction “No circular mail” on a customers mailbox will refrain from depositing unaddressed mail into it. All other addressed mail is delivered as normal.

Do you think a sticker similar to that offered by Hongkong Post should be made available in the United States?

Address Conversion Helps Emergency Responders

Address conversion helps emergency responders

One of the many benefits of a standard street address is receiving emergency help in the fastest amount of time possible. A location such as 1234 Main Street allows emergency responders to identify where a building is and helps them arrive more rapidly to render needed assistance. To aid in the quest for standardized addresses, one particular county in West Virginia is seeking to make all rural addresses within its borders easily identifiable.

Coming this spring, Pocahontas County will be issuing new addresses to rural homes in an effort to convert to a new 911 system. The change is designed to bring transparency and clarity to police, paramedics, and firefighters in the event of an emergency.

The new addresses will contain specific information that will act as a directional guide. An address such as 1234 Main St will be located 1.2 miles down Main Street on the right. This will not only take the guess work out of where a building is located, but will also allow it to be discoverable on GPS networks.

Do you think the delivery of mail to rural addresses will benefit from the new address system?

Sent It to 85026.9672.4598

Sent it to 85026

Addresses have developed dramatically over the many millennia of their existence. Since addresses such as “the cave to the left of the red mountain” eventually became 1234 Main St, Any State, US, 00001-0001, the sophistication level of delivery has risen to pinpoint accurate results. If one address upgrade scenario takes place, pinpoint accuracy could one day merge with abbreviated precision.

One potential scenario for streamlining addresses involves numerically digitizing the entire address. Rather than mailing something to a traditional address, an individual could end up writing to the string of numbers that resembles a ZIP+4+4. The modification has several potential benefits including enhanced security and faster, less costly processing.

Having an all-numeric address would make it difficult for criminals to target a house for burglary, identity theft, and other nefarious purposes. The anonymity of the sequence of numbers could provide added peace of mind and security when providing an address in online transactions. Automated equipment at the Postal Service would be able to read mail more accurately, reducing the chance of errors from poor penmanship.

Households might be unlikely to quickly embrace the all-numeric concept, but as more people shift to digital transactions in the future, such a change might not be far out of the realm of possibility.

Do you think switching to an all-numeric address is a move the public will likely embrace in the future?

  • Hello, I'm Benny the Blogger: I'm the world's most famous postal employee. My hobbies are snappy quotes, kite flying and publishing. I was born Jan. 17, 1706, but don't call me old.

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