If you’re going to be away from home for a while, you don’t want your envelopes and packages to accumulate in your mailbox. To prevent that, you’ll want to do what’s called a hold mail request.
What a hold mail request does is ask the U.S. Postal Service to hold your mail for an extended period of time— and it’s FREE.
Going on Vacation? Here’s How to Set Up a Mail Hold
In this article, I’m going to show you how to set up a USPS hold mail request over the phone, in person and online.
The first thing to know about mail holds is that if you have a PO Box, you could choose to have your packages delivered there instead of your home mailbox.
Mail delivered to your PO Box is allowed to accumulate for up to 30 days. In a mailbox, however, things are different.
Here are some quick facts to know about submitting a hold mail request when it comes to timeliness:
- A hold mail request must be for a minimum of three days
- A hold mail request generally must be made at least one business day in advance
- A hold mail request must not exceed 30 days
Another important thing to know is that once a hold mail request has been submitted, it applies to everyone at the mailbox address, regardless of name.
Now, let’s go over three easy ways to do a mail hold request:
1. How to Place a Hold Mail Request Over the Phone
You can place a hold mail request via phone by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777). As mentioned, any request submitted via phone must be done at least one business day in advance.
2. How to Do a Hold Mail Request at the Post Office
If you’re able to go inside your local post office, you can submit a mail hold request there as well. Again, it must be done at least one business day in advance.
When you fill out the form, make sure you get a confirmation number to verify that your request has been accepted.
3. How to Do a Hold Mail Request Online
You can do a hold mail request online at HoldMail.USPS.com. Here are three steps to look out for when you fill out the form:
- It will verify if a hold mail request is available in your area
- Once that is confirmed, you can fill in the dates and submit to start your mail hold.
- Any request placed to hold your mail before 2 a.m. CT can begin on the same postal business day Monday through Saturday.
No matter how you choose to submit your hold mail request, make sure that the days you’ll be away are firm. Also, the earliest you can request your mail to be held is 14 days in advance.
Premium Forwarding: An Alternative to Holding Your Mail
If you really can’t go without your mail while you’re away from home, the postal service also offers Premium Forwarding. Here are some things to know about the service related to price:
- There’s a one-time enrollment fee of $21.10 ($19.35 if you enroll online)
- After that, the service costs per $21.10 a week
With Premium Forwarding, all of your mail is packaged each Wednesday and shipped Priority to your temporary address. You’ll be notified via email about each shipment.
Speaking of your mailbox, Clark.com wants you to have as much control as possible over what comes to your home. If you’re inundated with flyers and scam offers, here are four easy ways to stop junk mail.