How does the United States Post Office forward mail?

I recently moved and I am wondering how the USPS forward mails. I already ask them to forward all my mails from my old address to my new address but who actually pays attention to that. I would think it is a time consuming job.

72 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You fill out this form online:

    The system that forward your mail is known as PARS ..

    Postal automated redirection system.

    once the system is informed of your new address, any mail sent to you will be automatically forwarded by the system, anything that is illegible will take a bit longer, and will be forwarded by REC's..that is remote encoding centers.

    Hope that helps.

    Source(s): i am a postal employee
    • Gol4 years agoReport

      How interesting. Could you go into more details. I didn't know they scan every mail sent.

  • 1 decade ago

    When you fill out your change of address card, it goes to the CFS (Computer Forwarding System) of the Postal Service, broken up into zones.

    for Northern california, it is in Sacramento. The information is put into the system and the machinery (which is automated) is now on the alert.

    When you mail goes for processing through the MSC (Mail Sorting Center) for your diistrict, when the machine sees the old address, it kicks it out with all the other mail and places it in special trays to be sent to the CFS, where the yellow forwarding sticker is placed on it.

    Inserted back into the mail stream, the sticker 9with the forwarding address) is read by the machine and now sent to the new address.

    Now, the system is not perfect and things go wrong, which is why the mail carrier at your old address is given a label to put on forwarding cards, to remind them that Joe Smith at 123 Main Street has put in a forward.

    When they see this mail, they do a manual forward of it to CFS, so it can get into the system.

    General rules:

    First class mail is forwarded for a year.

    Second Class Mail (magazines and newspapers) is forwarded for 60 days, with it eventualluy going back to the mailer for them to correct the address.

    Third Class mail (the infamous junk mail) is killed at the office and discarded (Third Class is handled differently and may not actually mail in into the mailstream as first class does).

    Fourth class (book clubs, records clubs, parcels, media mail, etc) is forwarded for a year, but YOU have to pick up the postage as a remailing.

    Now, not ALL of you mail gets to you. Any letter bearing the remark ADDRESS CORRECTION REQUESTED is going to get the forwarding sticker placed onto it and get returned to the sender to correct the address from old to new. They pay for that service.

    it is always recommended to advised those critical mailings (like bills and tax refunds) of your new address so it can bypass the system completely.

    Also, if you do too many moves in a year, it can really mess up the system to the point where the system will not accept any new forwards

    Source(s): Postal Employee for 22 years
    • Bonne B4 years agoReport

      what if mail coming from overseas, enters the system with your old address and theracking says it is out for delivery at your old address, but while it was on its way to the states, I changed my address with usps, I didn't see any info about how the mail was being redirected en route, but Iam hopefu

  • 4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    How does the United States Post Office forward mail?

    I recently moved and I am wondering how the USPS forward mails. I already ask them to forward all my mails from my old address to my new address but who actually pays attention to that. I would think it is a time consuming job.

    Source(s): united states post office mail:
  • 3 years ago

    Forward Mail Usps

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    You have to get a address change from the post office it is free, but keep in mind they will only forward the mail for about a month, they will tell you to contact important businesses like the doctor, school, job (for your w-2) so they will have your new address. The post office doesn't do that for you. There will be a sticker on your mail that way you know that it has been forward from the old address. Also remember this: There is certain businesses and mail that can not be forward like your w-2. Hope this helped.

  • 3 years ago

    Usps Forward Mail

  • 5 years ago

    My forwarded mail is taking 4+ weeks to arrive at the forwarding address, and some mail is still going to the old address. It seems that items that are mailed locally don't go through the PARS system. I have confirmed that the I'm still within the 12 month window for forwarding.

  • 1 decade ago

    Forwards are good for 18 months. The first 12 months will forward to you. After the 12th month, the mail will be returned to the sender for the last 6 months. This does not apply to periodicals. Periodicals will only forward for 60 days (2 months) and afterwards will be returned to the publisher. While you're mail is being forwarded, YOU have to let everyone know your new address. USPS does not do that for you. Forwards takes effect anywhere from 7 to 10 days. As an additional note, you can also fill out a COA online, you will be charged $1 though. The newest cards now "automate" the process.

    Source(s): Current Letter Carrier
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    go inside the post office and ask for a forward on your mail or a change of address . they will have you fill something out with both your old mailing address and your new mailing address or the address to be FWDed to. once you fill that out , it is their job to look you up in a terminal and fill in the necessary info. then after it has been changed and when you recieve new mail, if you notice all your mail will have a yellow sticker on it with your new mailing address(or FWD) will be printed on over the old mailing address. the employees at the Post office dont stick this on your mail. the computer/machine does. so this cuts the time consuming part out.

  • fcas80
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    But interestingly, sometimes mail will get forwarded even when you don't request it.

    My mother passed away over 10 years ago. Even though I did not live with her at the time, I still get some of her mail at my address, and even when I have moved somehow the post office continues to forward her mail to my new address without my asking.

  • 1 decade ago

    If you fill out the change of address it is put into the postal services database, and they will automatically add a label to your envelope and forward it on to you new address. When this happens it will take a couple of extra days for you mail to be forwarded. But it works quite well.

    Oh but it only last for 6 months. you have to make sure you make all of your personal changes on your end.

    Here is where you can do it on-line

    But if you go to the post office in the town where you live, you can fill out a card and it will be done.

    Good Luck~!

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