How to Use USPS Hold Mail While You're on Vacation

Advertiser Disclosure

usps hold mail

How to Use USPS Hold Mail While You’re on Vacation

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. For more information check out our Advertising Disclosure.

If you're heading out of town and don't want to deal with your home mailbox stuffed full, there's a solution. It's called USPS Hold Mail.

The United States Postal Service will hold all your mail for up to 30 days, and it's absolutely free. It's a critical part of any checklist before international – or even domestic – travel. 

But after introducing some new identity verification procedures earlier this month, things have changed with the mail holding service. Still, it's an easy and free way to make sure your mail is safe and sound when you're on the road.


How the USPS Hold Mail Service Works

First things first, some ground rules. USPS Hold Mail requests can be done 30 days in advance, or as soon as just the next day. It works for up to 30 days.

Thrifty Tip: Leaving town for more than a month? Set up mail forwarding to a friend or family member, which starts at just $1.05.

To initiate a mail hold, you'll need to set up an account with USPS, if you don't have one already. This is the first step in the postal service's new identity verification process. So while it's possible to start a mail hold just a day in advance, this new process means you might want to plan farther in advance.


How to Hold Your Mail

Head to USPS's registration page to get signed up. Once you're signed up, head for “Track and Manage” on the main USPS menu and select “Hold Mail” under the dropdown.


usps hold mail


After signing back in, it's time to verify your identity. With any luck, you'll be able to quickly do so online by entering your phone number and getting a text message from USPS with a code. Enter your code and you should be on your way.


usps hold mail


If you're not eligible to verify your identity online, don't worry – there are still options. The Postal Service could mail you a verification code to wrap up the process. Otherwise, just head to your local post office and fill out the Authorization to Hold Mail form.

Thrifty Tip: If your phone number does not work to verify online, try the phone number of a different household member.

Once you're validated, you’re set you select your desired hold dates! USPS makes this simple with pop up calendars as you choose your hold dates. Just as before, you can choose between having your carrier deliver the accumulated mail or pick up your mail yourself.


usps hold mail


Finally, USPS will ask you to sign up for Informed Delivery – a way to get a digital preview of all your incoming mail with the ability to track packages at any time. It’s free and a great way to see what you're missing while you're gone.


Screen Shot 2019 10 15 at 6.15.51 PM


Bottom Line 

While there are some new quirks to starting a mail hold with USPS, it's still easy – and, best of all, it's free. Stop letting your mail pile up while you're gone!


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

0 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.