When you move, you change your address with dozens of companies. Nobody charges you a dime, until you make the official change with the United States Post Office (USPS).
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. However, you’ll pay a fee if you want the Post Office to forward all that unexpected mail.
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.