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How to forward someone else's mail

Updated March 23, 2017

When you move into a new home, you may receive mail for a previous resident. Often people leave behind their new address; you can, however, forward any mail to them that may make their way to the old address. When you forward mail, it does not cost you extra postage, but you must write the new address on the envelope. Keep in mind if you are moving, you should always change your address at the post office; the post office then will forward your mail automatically. You can even sign up for a forwarding service if you are travelling for an extended period of time. For example if you full time RV, you can send your mail to the camp you are staying at.

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  1. Cross out the original address on the envelope with a dark pen or marker.

  2. Write "Forward To:" next to the blacked-out address.

  3. Write the new address beside the original and place in a mailbox.

  4. Visit your local post office and request the Premium Forwarding Service, if it turns out you want to forward your mail to yourself at a different address.

  5. Fill out the form that requires your current address and the address you wish to send your mail to.

  6. Pay the fee (this will vary based on the degree of service you choose or how long you need to use the service). Your mail will then be forwarded to this address as requested until a specified date.

  7. Tip

    If you do not know what address to forward the mail to, write "return to sender" on the envelope. This will send the mail, free of charge, to the original sender.

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About the Author

Sara Hickman owns a preschool science-based entertainment business in the Greater Cincinnati area. She has a bachelor's degree in communication and psychology from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point.

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