If you’re going to be away from home for an extended period of time, you don’t want your envelopes and packages to accumulate in your mailbox exposed to would-be thieves. You’ll want the U.S. Postal Service to hold your mail.
The first thing to know about mail holds is that if you have a P.O. box, it isn’t necessary. That’s because mail can build up in your P.O. box for up to 30 days.
Going on vacation? Here’s how to set up a mail hold
In a mailbox, however, things are different.
Here are some quick things 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 must be made at least one business day in advance.
- A hold mail request must not exceed 30 days.
Another good thing to know is that once a hold mail request has been submitted, it applies to everyone at the mailbox address, regardless of name.
How to place a hold mail request over the phone
You can plave a hold mail request via phone by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777). Any request submitted via phone must be done one business day in advance.
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. Any request submitted in person must be done 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.
How to do a hold mail request online
You can do a hold mail request via online at HoldMail.USPS.com. As 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. The earliest you can request that your mail be held is 14 days in advance.
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. The service costs $13.95 a week and all mail is shipped Priority to your temporary address. There is a one-time enrollment fee of $15.