Sometimes, the mail you’ve sent to someone gets delivered back to you due to changes in their address, but it doesn’t mean you can’t find out their new address. The United States Postal Service has endorsements you can add to your mail to indicate how you want it to be handled, including mailing to the recipient’s forwarding address.
This additional service can reveal their forwarding address. However, they must’ve completed a Change of Address (COA) request via the United States Postal Service (USPS) for this to work. If they haven’t, there won’t be a forwarding address to start in the first place. That’s where a post office forwarding address lookup tool may come in handy to discover their new address.
In this article, we’ll cover everything about finding and verifying forwarding addresses and utilizing USPS endorsements and lookup tools.
Table of Contents
How Does Mail Forwarding Work?
Mail forwarding is a simple process. The person or business submits a Change of Address (COA) request to the USPS. This notifies the USPS to forward any mail from their old address to the new one. Individuals and businesses can file this on a permanent or temporary basis.
This service is incredibly helpful to families and businesses to ensure any mail sent to their old mailing address arrives at the new address without taking any action.
When someone requests a change of address, the duration in which mail will be forwarded to the new mailing address varies. A typical mail forwarding lasts 12 months but can be extended for up to a total of 18 months. After this duration, mail sent to the old mailing address will be returned to the sender.
Find a Forwarding Address by Mail
You can learn the forwarding address of an individual or business by sending mail to the mailing address you have. Even an empty envelope would do the job. Simply write “Address Service Requested” in the upper left corner on the side of the envelope with the mailing address.
The USPS will then send a notice of the new address within a few business days. Keep in mind that there’s a small fee for this service – about one or two dollars.
This should be a straightforward process. However, as mentioned above, this method is only guaranteed if the person has filed a Change of Address with the United States Postal Service. If not, an address lookup tool will be your best option.
For Temporary COA
If the recipient has filed a temporary Change of Address, your course of action must be different. The USPS doesn’t provide the forwarding address to the sender for temporary address changes.
The only service the USPS has for temporary addresses is forwarding mail to them. But you can’t use the “Address Service Requested” endorsement on your mail. You must write down “Temp-Return Service Requested” on the mail for it to be delivered to the temporary address of the individual or the business.
Use a Post Office Forwarding Address Lookup Tool
To find and verify a forwarding address, you can use a post office forwarding address lookup tool. This will enable you to do a people search to discover all the addresses associated with that person. Even if the person has filed a temporary address change with the USPS, you can know their forwarding address using this search.
If you don’t know the person’s name in the case of a business, here’s how you can get the most out of this lookup tool to find a forwarding address.
- Enter the old address on Information.com.
- This will provide information on people with a history with the address.
- From there, go to People Search.
- Enter the person’s name to reveal their new address along with previous addresses for your own verification.
Note that a thorough search like this may take some time as the website needs to crawl countless public records and webpages to find the information you need. Nonetheless, you should get everything you’re looking for in about ten minutes.
Keep the Use of Lookup Tools Legal
While tools like this can be such lifesavers and enable you to get the information you need, they must be used within their legal limits. You’re not allowed to use any information found on these websites to send unwanted mail, harass, or stalk.
Make sure to check Information.com’s Do’s and Don’ts page to see their guidelines based on the Federal Credit and Reporting Act (FCRA).