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How long does it take Post Office to forward mail?


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#1 Rich&Sylvia

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:44 PM

We're planning a trip to Arizona (from Washington State) and will have our mail forwarded to an address in Arizona.
The post office uses a "Change of Address" form and doesn't charge anything to my knowledge.
What kind of lag time can I expect added to delivery due to the change?
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#2 Paul Stough

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:48 PM

Depends where you are in Arizona, but I would expect to allow three days from your home address to your address in Arizona.

Paul
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#3 Dugggg

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 06:54 PM

I had to submit a USPS Change of Address order this past summer, and for 29 straight days, all of my mail completely disappeared. So be sure to file it a month in advance...
Fulltime boondocker for ten years, exploring AZ and NM with Bosco the cat

#4 richfaa

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 07:00 PM

3 to 4 days is average. Been using the USPS for teh last 4 years without a problem.However make one tiny mistake inthe paperwork and you may never see your mail again.
Helen and I are long timers ..08 F-350 Ford,LB,CC,6.4L,4X4, Dually,4:10 diff dragging around a 2013 Montana 3402 Big Sky
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#5 AFChap

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 08:31 PM

I believe it truly depends on the location doing the forwarding ...my experience this past December caused me to cancel the forward notice 10 days before we planned to leave the location it was being forwarded to.
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#6 Kirk

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 08:35 PM

I'd agree with the general 3-5 day range but you should allow at least a week and I have seen a few cases that go close to two weeks. Not really sure why it happens but it can. I had more trouble getting the forwarding order stopped than I did starting it. It took nearly two weeks after our return before our mail once more was delivered to our home box, even though I put in the form to rescind the forwarding on the morning after our return. It too two follow-up calls to finally work.

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#7 Paul Stough

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 08:36 PM

Mail does not usually get to the post office with the original address on it. When a forward is put in, as soon as a piece of mail with the original address attached to the forward address is recognized by the system, the mail piece is diverted to the new address. Anyhow, that is how it is supposed to work.

Paul

Edited by Paul Stough, 13 February 2012 - 08:41 PM.

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#8 nana25k

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 08:59 PM

You might be better off if someone can collect your mail and send it to you via a priority mail envelope. That way you don't have to deal with the post office.

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#9 PETE & PAT

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 09:12 PM

We have used forwarding thru the post office at 3 different addresses in 2 states since May and get all of our mail no problem. There was no big delay. 3-5 days is probably what we experienced.

Pat DeJong


#10 richfaa

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 09:18 PM

When we did the original temp address change we entered a start and stop date. No further action required. I do not know why but we have never had a problem with the USPS.
Helen and I are long timers ..08 F-350 Ford,LB,CC,6.4L,4X4, Dually,4:10 diff dragging around a 2013 Montana 3402 Big Sky
SKP 100137. North Ridgeville, Ohio in the summer, sort of and where ever it is warm in the winter.

#11 JimK

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 11:28 PM

From what I could tell mail forwarding seems to be a manual process. Maybe it works well in some areas, but not in my experience. I tried to arrange mail forwarding through the internet. That did not work. I then visited my post office and made a manual request. Mail kept going to the old address so after a few days I was back to the post office complaining. After that some of my mail was forwarded to the new address. After an additional complaint it seemed better but I left town after a couple of weeks and was never sure what percentage of my mail was forwarded. Maybe it is time to put the post office out of its (our) misery and privatize. I am also doing my best to go 100% electronic but that is another story.

#12 Earl

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 11:32 PM

Before full-timing we did temporary changes of address several times a year and never had a problem Always got everything within 3-5 days. There was usually a large travel time between when we wanted our temp mail stopped and when we would return home so we would just put a hold on our mail then pick it up at the local PO when we got home. Then have home delivery resumed. Worked flawlessly.

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#13 kb0zke

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 01:34 PM

This has been a recent "sore spot" for our family. Our daughter lives about 50 miles from us, and recently had major surgery. Prior to the surgery she was told that she would be in the hospital 5-7 days, and then recovering at our house for 5-6 weeks more. She put in a temporary change of address, and her mail started showing up at our house almost immediately. She must be a fast healer, because she was back in her own apartment in less than four weeks. However, it took more than three weeks to get her mail to show up at her apartment. Our local PO told her that she couldn't cancel the temporary change of address here, she had to do it where she lives. She did so, but nothing happened. She did it again a week later, and still nothing. A call to the post office's national consumer affairs office got the response that she should have made the change here at our PO!

JimK, I agree with you!
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#14 Paul Stough

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 01:41 PM

You should be able to fill out a change of address at any post office. The form is the same. Just fill it out properly, and send it to the correct post office. the only lag time should be the time it takes to get it from where you filled it out, to the post office you sent it too. I believe that for $1.00 you can file a change of address from any where on line.

Paul
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#15 Bruce T

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 09:23 PM

Caution! Make sure the post office knows that you are expecting mail. We have waited for 2 weeks for mail only to find out it had arrived and been sent back. Simply because we did notify them that we were in town and expecting mail. My understanding is that the PO can do this and it's on a office by office case.

#16 SWharton

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 03:20 AM

We have used forwarding for years with minor problems. Now that you can use the form online it is much easier and I feel more reliable. Our biggest problem is the substitute. Our regular carrier is fine, the sub is a dud of duds. I have complained about him at least 3 times. He keeps forwarding mail after we cancel the forwarding but then he doesn't handle the route well. At least once a month we get our neighbors mail. You know about robo-siging, we have robo delivery with him. He just takes the next group of mail and puts it inthe next mailbox, never looks at the address. I wish they would go to 5 day a week delivery just to get rid of subs..........

#17 Greg112

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 06:33 AM

I'll go with the 3-5 days. Keep in mind items indicating "do not forward" (credit cards, vehicle registration for us) you'll never see unless you make alternative arrangements. Also, if any prescriptions indicate "do not forward if damaged" and they get torn or something you won't see them. Otherwise a pretty high success rate. Not too many items inexplicably lost.

#18 JoeZ

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 07:26 AM

I'll go with the 3-5 days. Keep in mind items indicating "do not forward" (credit cards, vehicle registration for us) you'll never see unless you make alternative arrangements. Also, if any prescriptions indicate "do not forward if damaged" and they get torn or something you won't see them. Otherwise a pretty high success rate. Not too many items inexplicably lost.


We have used a USPS temporary forward every year for the last five to forward mail to a PMB (who then forwards to us as we travel). More often than not, the forwarding order gets messed up by the wonderful USPS and we have to make a second trip to the post office to get it corrected. For this reason we always start the forward a month or so before our trip starts. Once the forward is working however, we receive all first class mail, including replacement credit cards, vehicle renewal, prescriptions, and other mail. Our credit card, etc., mail is marked "forwarding service requested" and not "do not forward".

Reading the responses and from our own experience it seems like, if you are lucky enough to get a competent USPS person at your local branch the forward works well. Most of us get dum dums and have issues.
Joe and Bonnie
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#19 RayIN

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Posted 26 February 2012 - 03:57 PM

<br />Mail does not usually get to the post office with the original address on it.  When a forward is put in, as soon as a piece of mail with the original address attached to the forward address is recognized by the system, the mail piece is diverted to the new address.  Anyhow, that is how it is supposed to work.<br /><br />Paul<br />

<br /><br /><br />

Thanks for that information Paul. It may explain why our mail has been messed up ever since we arrived in Florida.

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