Moving is always so stressful and expensive. Your to-do list never ends. Changing your address is one of those items on your list that takes organization and patience. Most companies make it easy to go online and make the switch. It’s free for every company, but the United States Post Office (USPS). They only charge a $1 to change your address, but why pay anything?
Post Office address change fee
There are some pieces of mail you expect on a regular basis like magazines and bills. You change your address with the individual companies for free.
Even if you think you forwarded your address with every company imaginable, some will slip through the cracks. That’s why you also need to forward your mail with the Post Office. Some movers get frustrated when they realize post office mail forwarding costs money, even if it’s a small fee.
The Post Office charges $1 to forward mail online. They say it’s to verify you are who you say you are, and prevent fraud. The agency matches your address with the one on file with your credit card.
If fraud is truly the concern at USPS, why didn’t the Post Office ask for identification when the paper form was still popular?
Why can’t the Post Office just put a $1 hold on your account to verify it’s legitimate? Hotels and gas stations do this to make sure you have enough money in your account. Maybe this wouldn’t make the banks too happy since there ultimately wouldn’t be a charge on your account, but there has to be a better way.
You have to pay this fee for every name variation. For example, if you have a business that gets mail at your home address you have to pay another $1 to forward the business mail. If you have a maiden name, pay another $1. You are allowed to pay just $1 to forward your family’s mail if you have the same name.
Avoid change of address fee
The only way to avoid the $1 fee is to mail in a form that you print off online. It’s called Form PS 3575. In this digital age, good luck finding it at your Post Office. You can still find the form online, but I’d ask at the Post Office before filling it out. You don’t want it getting lost in the mail.
Coupons for your $1 fee
There is a slight upside to the $1 fee. You get valuable coupons in the mail like 10% off Lowes. You can use that coupon at Home Depot. When you move, you’re always making trips to the home improvement store so 10% does add up.
When you’re moving, you realize how much junk mail you receive like credit card offers that you never open. While you don’t officially “forward” that junk, it still finds its way to your new home. So, moving is a great time to get rid of junk mail for good!
Want to save money moving? Learn how to move for cheap.