Whenever you go for the holidays, business trips, or anywhere else what you do with your mail and packages? Do you hold your mail before going for the vacations? If not, then start holding because it’s the easiest method to avoid mail loss.
Most of the time people face problems when they come back from the vacations. They find their mailboxes full of mail. Sometimes, the weather makes it more complicated. You find that the important mail is getting soaked because of rain and some are missing too. You may take some steps to avoid these issues. Some useful pieces of advice are given below:
- Place a large mailbox.
- Ask your trusted neighbor to pick up all the mail.
- Put all of your mail on hold using the USPS Hold Mail Service.
Pick any piece of advice and help yourself out of this problem. Most of the people consider the third advice because it’s easy to put mail and packages on hold. Placing a large mailbox is also a good idea and if you are asking your neighbor to pick up the mail then make sure he/she will do it on a regular basis.
Important Things to Figure out before Requesting Hold Mail:
If you want your mail and packages to be held by the United States Postal Service then you should keep in mind few things which are as follows:
1. Decide first that how long you want USPS to hold your mail:
- You have to decide first about the hold mail period because the postal service will only hold your mail for a minimum of 3 days to maximum 30 days for free.
- You have to give a starting and ending date to the postal service when you want USPS not to deliver your mail. It won’t deliver any mail and package to your address between the time frame you assigned.
2. Determine when to submit the request:
- If you request for hold mail over the phone or in person, then it will take one day to be processed, and if you request online before 2 a.m CST, then it may be processed the same day. So, now you can understand that time is also a factor while requesting for the hold mail.
3. Determine the method to submit the hold mail request:
- There are various methods or ways to submit this request. So you would have to go with one method to submit the request. If you know the methods, then it’s good and if you don’t then Don’t Worry! We’ll give you the complete details about each and every method/way for this. Let’s have a look:
How You Can Put Your Mail on Hold:
1. At Post Office:
Visit your local post office first. There, ask for the PS Form 8076. That’s the form through which you will inform the postal service about your vacation or business trip. Fill all the required details and information like your name, address, hold mail start & end date, etc. Fill the form and don’t forget to sign it. After filling it properly, hand over it to the clerk. You will also receive a confirmation number. Take that number and keep it safe because it could be helpful if you want to modify or edit the hold mail request. That’s all you have to do if you choose to visit the post office. Also, try to visit during business hours if you don’t want to waste your time. You should also avoid the lunch hour.
You can download the PS Form 8076 by Clicking HERE.
That’s how PS Form 8076 looks like:
2. Over the Phone:
The phone is the better option if any USPS customer doesn’t want to visit the local post office. It’s easy to request for the hold mail over a phone. The postal service has the toll-free 800 customer care number which deals with the requests, mailing issues, questions, etc. It’s a nationwide service. Call them and tell them all your information and hold mail details. They will give you the confirmation number, keep that safe for further use. It will help you to cut-off and extend the hold mail time. It’s a few minutes task. Also, tell them the method to collect the accumulated mail.
Call on: 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777)
Working Hours: Monday to Friday – 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., On Saturdays – 8 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (ET)
It’s the most used method by the USPS customers. If you want to save your time, then go for this method only. This method contains few steps but doesn’t worry we’ll guide you. Complete step-by-step details are given below. What you have to do is just follow the steps and you will successfully submit the U.S Mail Hold request. Let’s have a look at the steps for submitting the request online:
Step 1: Visit the Main Site of USPS:
You have to visit the main or we can say the official site of USPS first. CLICK HERE to visit the main USPS site. Now, the new window is opened. That is the official site of USPS. Don’t close this tab too because here, we are getting the important info on how to submit the request online. On that site (main site of USPS), click on the “Hold Mail” option under “Track & Manage” category. You may also click on the same option under “Quick Tools” category.
Click on the following button if you want to visit the Hold Mail page.
Step 2: Check if Hold Mail is available for your address:
Now, you have to check whether the hold mail service is available for your address on not. For this, you have to give some information like your first & last name, email ID, full address, etc. After filling all this information just click on the “Check Availability” option. The postal service will hold mail for the address rather than the individual. Also, note that an address can have only one hold mail service scheduled at a time.
If all your entries are correct, then it will show you the result and if there is an error in the information, then it will also show you that. If your address is eligible for the hold mail service, then it will show you “Available” like the image given below.
If the service isn’t available for the given address then it will show you the message – “Sorry, online hold mail requests aren’t available for this address, but you can still request one at your local Post Office. Or, try another address.” So, you can try another address by filling the information of another location or visit your local post office for further assistance. They will tell you what could be done.
Step 3: Choose the dates for your Hold Mail request:
When it shows you “Available” then the next part of the process will enable itself. In this part, you will have to choose the start and end date of your request. Pick a delivery option for all your held mail. There will be two options for this. You can pick up all the accumulated or held mail yourself, or your letter carrier will deliver them for you. Also, you can add some additional information. If you want to give them some advice or anything, then add that into that blank field, but 255 character is the limit.
Step 4: Submit the Request:
It is the final step. After filling up all the information just double check all the fields. It’s always better to make sure. Cross check all the details and after making sure click on the “Submit” button (or “Schedule Hold Mail”). After clicking that wait for the site to response as Successful.
You will receive a mail that will contain the information or the details about the hold mail request. A confirmation letter will also be sent to you by the postal service with the same info for the confirmation. Sometimes it happens that someone else makes the hold mail request for your address without letting you know. So, to confirm the same, USPS sends the confirmation letter to the given address. If you want to modify or cancel that request, then you may contact the local post office.
4. USPS Mobile App:
There is also a mobile app by the Postal Service named as “USPS Mobile.” The app is available on the App Store and the Play Store. This app will make the tasks easier for you. You can put your mail on hold on the go. The app is available for both iOS and Android users. Customers can do a lot more than just holding their mail as they can easily track packages, ship online, but stamps, find locations, change address, schedule pickup, and much more. Holding mail with this mobile app is as easy as doing online (at the official site).
To download this app click on the icon based on your Operating System (OS).
Want to Hold Mail for More than 30 Days?
Do you want to hold your mail for more than thirty days? If Yes! Then, United States Postal Service also gives you this option. This option is called Premium Forwarding Service. USPS doesn’t want to take on the burden by storing the customer’s mail for a long time for free. The customers who want to hold their mail and packages for more than 30 days to almost 1-year use this option. The U.S Postal Service will hold your mail, package it, and ship it to you each week via Priority Mail service if you use this service but it’s also a temporary service which can be used for a min. of 2 weeks up to a max. of 1 year. Premium Forwarding Service Residential Online option isn’t available for PO Box addresses now. If you use this service, then the Priority Mail Express items will not be held and will be rerouted directly to you immediately. So, use it if you need it.
Alternatives to Vacation Mail Hold:
Holding mail is a regular part for many of the USPS customers and if you are also a regular customer of USPS, then you should take one more step further. We all know that we cannot get rid of paper bills or mail, but we can choose which to receive. So for this, you can turn on paperless statements and e-billing for every account. You should rent an online virtual PO Box. That’s the easiest way to manage your all physical mail electronically.
There are numerous small businesses which give you the private mailbox address. These small businesses will accept your mail and packages on your behalf. Whenever any mail arrives, they will accept it on your behalf and scan the envelope and thus you can easily decide which mail to forward. They could also open the mail with your permission and scan the content so that you could read it online. It’s very secure and will help you while traveling. If you are not at home, then you don’t have to worry about the mail and packages.
Hold Mail FAQ:
USPS Customers can notify the postal service up to 30 days in advance or as early as the next scheduled delivery day. Request your start date by 3 AM ET (2 AM CT or 12 AM PT) on your requested day, Monday—Saturday. So, you have enough time to make the request. You should make the United States post office hold mail request one week before the trip.
Held Mail Resume:
After the end date of the hold mail request, your mail and package delivery will be resumed. Now, the postal service has your held mail and you will receive them according to the method you chose while making the request. If you selected “Carrier delivers accumulated mail,” then the letter carrier will deliver all the held or accumulated mail and if you selected “I will pick up accumulated mail” then you will have to collect all the held mail yourself from the post office. It’s better to select the “I will pick up accumulated mail” option while making the hold mail request because you could easily collect all held mail from the post office. It’s also beneficial if you arrive late by 2 to 3 days otherwise the letter carrier will leave all the held mail at your doorstep or in the mailbox. If all the mail doesn’t fit into the mailbox, then he/she will leave a letter containing the message of more mail held at the post office that couldn’t be delivered due to the overflowing mailbox.
Edit, Modify, or Cancel the Request:
In any case, you want to edit, modify, or cancel the hold mail request then you can do so with the help of the confirmation number. You will need the confirmation number in all the methods, in person, at the post office, or online. It happens when most of the customers who had made the hold mail request want to edit or modify the request. Customers can cancel the request if the trip has been canceled, modify the start or end date, or the method to receive the accumulated mail. If you are the one who wants to modify the request in person or over the phone then you will need the confirmation number as said before and if you are doing this online (at the USPS main site) then you will need to look up the existing hold mail request first with the confirmation number and Email or Phone number.
If any customer doesn’t have the confirmation number, then he/she has to visit the nearest post office. The post office staff will tell him/her what could happen without the confirmation number.
Call on 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) if you want to modify over the phone. The hours of operation are as follows:
- Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
- Saturday: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET
- Sundays: Closed
- Holidays: Closed
Technical Assistance for Online Hold Mail Request:
Submitting hold mail request online is very easy though but still, if you face any problem then you can take the help of USPS customer service. Customers can get the technical assistance through following two ways:
- Email: Email USPS if you are having a problem. The email address is email@example.com. Don’t forget to add your name, contact number, and address.
- Call: Call USPS customer service on 1-800-344-7779. Customer service representatives are available there for you seven days a week between 7:00 a.m. ET to 11:00 p.m. ET.
Authorize Third Party to Pick up Held Mail:
If you are busy or unable to collect the held mail from the post office, then you can authorize someone or a third party to pick up all the accumulated mail. But for this, you need to provide written permission to the post office. The authorization person will have to show the photo ID at the post office and if he/she doesn’t present the valid photo ID, then the authority won’t let that person collect the held mail.
You may write the authorization directly on the delivery notice (on the back side of PS Form 3849) or a plain paper. If writing on a plain paper then only say that “a name” has the permission to pick up mail for “your name” and then sign the paper.
Who Can Submit the Request?:
Who can submit the request? It’s one of the good questions asked by so many USPS customers. So the answer is anyone living at that address and the authorized agent can submit the request. Yes, the authorized agent can also submit the request on your behalf. All the family members living at the same address have the authority to submit the request.
Whom To Contact if the Hold Mail didn’t Start/Stop as you Requested?
Sometimes the customers face problems regarding their request. Many of the customers complained that they requested the United States Postal Service to hold their mail, but the postal service didn’t hold the mail and delivered it to their address in their absence. So, if it also happened to you that your request didn’t start or stop as you requested then you can contact USPS through the following number:
Hours of Operation are:
Monday to Friday: – 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. EST
Saturday: – 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST
Sundays and Holidays: – Closed
Also, note that the automated information is available 24×7.
How Change of Address affects Hold Mail:
Changing the address and holding the mail, these two different things affects each other. When someone changes its address, then he/she requests USPS to change his/her address in the database and forward all the mail and packages to the new address. If you are requesting for these two different things then you have to keep in mind few more things which are as follows:
Hold Mail with the Active Change of Address (COA):
- If the holding request is for new/current address: Submit the hold request normally.
- If the holding request is for the old/previous address and you are currently living at that old address: In this case, the customer has to cancel the mail forwarding order before submitting the holding request.
- If the holding request is for the old/previous address and you don’t live/reside there: In this case, you may NOT submit the holding request.
Hold Mail with the COA submitted later:
- The Change of Address order overrides the Hold Mail request if a customer submits the request for the hold mail and then submit the COA. All the held mail at the post office will be forwarded to the new address.
How long does USPS Hold Undelivered Mail:
If the letter carrier arrives to deliver your accumulated mail or regular mail and he finds that there is no one in the house to receive that mail then he has two choices, the first that he may come again on the next day to deliver the same mail and the second that he may leave PS Form 3849 (Delivery Notice) at the door. It depends on the letter carrier. If he knows that there is someone to receive the mail, then he will try to deliver it on the next day and won’t leave the Delivery Notice and if he knows that there is no one to receive it, then he will leave the notice on the first delivery attempt.
Note: Additional attempts are made only at the personal requests of the customers.
USPS holds undelivered mail for 15 days. If you don’t visit the post office to collect your mail/package within 15 days, then your mail will be returned to its sender and if there isn’t any information about the sender on the envelope or package, then it will be sent to the lost mail department.
What are the Restrictions for Hold Mail?
- Anyone can only submit the request up to 30 days in advance.
- USPS will only hold your mail for a minimum duration of 3 days.
- The maximum duration of the request if 30 days.
- If any customer wants to hold their mail for more than 30 days, then contact the local post office.
- The postal service will hold the undelivered mail for fifteen days and then it will return all the undelivered mail back to its sender.
- After the 15 days of holding the undelivered mail if any mail is received then it will be treated as undelivered and will be returned to sender.
- If you want to edit or modify the request and you don’t have the confirmation number then you will have to visit the local post office and still if you are unable to visit the post office then you will need to call your local post office.
- The authorized third party for picking up the held mail has to show the photo ID at the post office.
- Only the person living at the address and the authorized agent can request for the mail hold.
- If you pick up the held mail earlier than the original Hold Mail end date, then the “HOLD” will be canceled automatically and the delivery will resume on the next Postal Business Day.
Holding mail is essential when there isn’t anyone for picking them up. Many of the customers don’t put their mail on hold using this free service. Instead, they ask their neighbors to pick the mail up during their absence. It’s not a good idea at all. You should not trust on others when it’s about the critically important mail. If they forget to pick up the mail, it may get soaked in the rain. So, you should use this free service (for a limited period) if you are going out of the house for some days. After all, this service is for the sake of the postal customers. There are many ways through which you could easily put all your mail on hold but still choose the best way that you find easy and comfortable. If you have any agent that will receive or collect the held mail on your behalf, then hand him/her over a permission letter and ask him/her to take a photo identity card to the post office because it’s important. The postal staff may ask for the verification of the agent’s identity.
These were the best possible ways to hold any mail. All the methods or ways are easy. You don’t need to put much effort in any of the methods. If you choose the online method, then you will have to visit the official site of the United States Postal Service. There is the online hold mail form. Through that form, you will inform the postal service about the request. USPS will also verify if the service is available for your address or not and for this, it will ask you some information. After that, it will give you the result whether your address is eligible for the request or not and if service is available for the address then you could easily submit the request online. If you choose to visit the post office, then you may ask any question in your mind regarding the request. There, at the post office, the postal staff will give you the answer. Also, if you don’t know what to fill then still you may ask the staff. After filling the form, you will receive a confirmation number. That confirmation number is crucial for you. If you ever want to make any change or cancel the request, then this confirmation number will help you in that.
If any customer chooses to submit the request over the phone, then it will take only a few minutes to do so. The customer representatives are available to help you. As mentioned above, there is also a toll-free number of USPS which handles the requests, complaints, and technical issues. Tell them all your requirements and some useful information and they will submit the request for you. It’s so easy to do so. And if you choose the Mobile App method it’s also very great because with the USPS Mobile anyone could do numerous tasks on the go. There are other services too which USPS customers use like track package, change of address, online shipping, but stamps, etc. These are few services, but you can do a lot more with the USPS Mobile app.
Final Words: There is everything you need to know about the U.S Postal Service Hold Mail service. All the methods for submitting the request are available here and it’s up to you which method you choose to submit your request. Almost all firstly asked questions (FAQ) are available in this article. If you are facing any problem, then read the article carefully and you will definitely solve out your problem. If you want to ask or suggest anything, then you may leave a comment below.
If you placed an order using any USPS service and waiting for the delivery or need to find out the latest update of the mail or package, then you should read our article on USPS Tracking. All the information on tracking is available in that article. You can also track your package and mail using the tracking number and if you are moving to a new address, then you should read the article on USPS Change of Address. You will find out what you have to do while changing the address. The postal service will forward all your mail to the new address and for this, you will need to inform them using a form. For more info, read the complete article.
*If you have any Question or Suggestion, then feel free to leave a comment below*