Imagine spending weeks planning your dream vacation, and suddenly a stupid thought crosses your mind: “what about the mails that you were going to receive this weekend?”
This leaves people puzzled thinking about whether they should inform the neighbors, wait for 1-2 days more, or leave it to god’s faith.
Do you know the real irony behind this issue?
Decision aside, mostly this thought strikes you when your bags are packed, the car is loaded and waiting, and you are already 5 minutes late for your flight.
This is full of stress and pressure plus, nowadays you can’t trust anybody!
Robbers and identity thieves in 2022 keep a special eye on regularly stacking up mailboxes. They’re the second most interested people to get their hands on the package.
Now, what if we tell you we got the ultimate solution for an individual as well as for businesses. Interested?
Keep reading, solution aside, you’ll learn something new that may solve your loved one’s issue, and make you a hero for them.
What Exactly Is USPS Hold Mail?
Even the name of this service is shouting what it does, USPS “hold mail service” basically holds’ and stores the mail that is sent to you for a limited amount of time quickly and easily.
By this, you can hold all mails or selected deliveries related to the account(s) until you arrange a mail collector on your behalf.
How It Is Secure, And How It Works?
Take it as USPS postal service becoming the middle man between you and your package via a “hold mail service request”.
Whenever you reach home (within 30 days max), you’ll find all your mail safely at your local post office until you return and get it by yourself. Clearly, they’re taking the full responsibility!
Another biggest edge of being a USPS customer is that it’s completely FREE of charge. Isn’t it convenient?
But you’ve to give a heads up to USPS for mail hold, recommended is you can schedule up to 30 days in advance before 2 AM (CST) – if you’re lucky it may be processed the same day.
Everything is automatic, If you pick up mails being held at the local post office, regular mail delivery will continue the next business day.
And if you return home earlier than expected, the “Hold” on future mails is automatically canceled and delivery will resume on the next Business Day.
This isn’t just limited to your parcels only. You can also choose to have your letter carrier deliver your held mail too.
Also, keep in mind, that each address can have 1 hold mail scheduled at once. A request is not necessary for a PO Box as mail will be allowed to gather for up to 30 days.
And yes, to prevent an unauthorized person from requesting a mail hold, USPS requires customer verification through their “Informed delivery program”.
That’s what we’re going to cover next… But before that, there are some limitations too.
USPS Hold Mail Service Limitations
- You’ve to decide to hold the mail period precisely because the postal service can hold your mail for a minimum of 3 days to a maximum of a month for free.
- If you know your expected arrival date, you should be specific about starting and ending date to the postal hold mail service because USPS won’t deliver your mail under any circumstances.
- If you request to hold mail over the phone or in person, then it will take one whole day to be managed, and if you request online before 2 AM CST, it can be done on the same day.
3 Ways To Apply For Mail Hold via USPS?
At Post Office (recommended for old people, takes 1 day)
This is the best for any elderly. It is hassle free and just requires a 3 steps procedure instead of going on the internet and searching for a specific webpage.
- Visit your local post office, and ask for the PS Form 8076.
- Fill in all the required information (name, start and end date)
- Double check the information and must sign the forum.
And please, do this between business days and avoid lunchtime to make this process a little faster.
Here’s a pro tip…
You will also receive a confirmation number. Keep it safe, because it would help you if you want to modify or edit the hold mail request.
Over The Phone (recommended for lazy people, takes 1 day)
Thanks to USPS, if you’re elderly or just lazy lads who don’t want to visit the local post office, they also provide support over the phone.
But it has some limitations. This service is only available during working hours: Monday to Friday – 8 AM. to 8:30 PM, On Saturdays – 8 A.M to 6:00 P.M (ET)
You’ve to call on: 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777), this number is a toll-free nationwide customer care number specialized for requests, mailing issues, and questions services.
Again, like at the post office method, you’ll get a confirmation number, and keep it safe for further use. It will help you to disable or extend the hold mail time range.
Online (Fastest, and most recommended)
Mostly, this method is preferred but sometimes you face issues. We’ll cover that later but USPS customers widely go for this.
But if you haven’t already created an account, your request could take up to one extra week to do it online, so plan ahead of everything accordingly.
If you submit your request before 2 AM (CST), your chances of getting it accepted on the same day are higher, and your extra one day would be saved.
So, this method further has 2 ways:
- By Mobile App
- By website
Mobile App: it’s a little more convenient; App is called “USPS Mobile.” Yes, this is available on both App Store and the Play Store.
If you haven’t installed it already, we recommended it because not only you can hold mail but you can also easily track packages, change addresses, schedule pickup, and much more.
Just locate the option, and again fill out the information and you’re good to go.
- Visit this USPS page.
- Login via your username and password.
- By the “Check Availability” option, see whether hold mail is eligible for your address
- Fill in the required information & submit
Don’t worry, if you face an issue on step 3 like “Sorry, online hold mail requests aren’t available for this address”, then you’ve to visit your local post office to request. Or, you can try another address.
How Long Can We Request A Mail Hold?
Under the free tier, you get 30 days max but if you want to go beyond, there is a paid option called “premium forwarding service”.
Technically, it is not a hold service, you receive it on your vocations so call it whatever you like…
By this, instead of storing your packages and burdening themselves, USPS forwards them to your desired address each week.
Initially, you get 185 days of free service but after this, you’ve to pay. By this method, your hold mail capacity is extended to almost 365 days!
Keep in mind, that the forwarding service option isn’t available for PO Box addresses.
USPS Mail Hold Vs USPS Informed Delivery
This is a very commonly asked question over the internet. When to use what? Because both USPS mail hold and USPS informed delivery are quite the same but not alike.
To put it simply, for everyday use or short trips, Informed Delivery is recommended because it also provides a daily email with scans.
But if you’re on longer trips, consider filling out a mail hold request forum. This works only if you’re going away for 30 days maximum.
But if you’re away for like 3-4 months, consider utilizing a forwarding service to temporary change of address request (COA) to receive your mails wherever you are.
The USPS postal service offers a variety of tools that travelers use to manage their mail while moving around. We also have a USPS tracking tool.
In this article, we discussed, Informed delivery, mail hold, and even mail forwarding. Now, it’s up to you to choose according to your situation.
Mostly, the Informed delivery method is best for short trips, for longer trips like 15 days, mail hold is best, and if you’re a hippie who’s wandering around for 3-4 months, you better go with mail forwarding.
And keep in mind, if you didn’t receive your mails even after your hold mail period expires, you would be left with 10 days only after that it will be marked “return to sender.”
Hopefully, this article has educated you about some of the mail delaying methods and how this work under the hood.