USPS Mail Forwarding Extension (How It Works + Other FAQs)

Packing boxes, hauling furniture, and loading the truck are just a few of the stressful parts of moving. Luckily, not everything about moving is tough.

For example, getting USPS to forward mail to your new place couldn’t be easier. All you need to do is fill out a Change of Address form, and USPS will forward your mail for up to a year. But what if you need longer than that? If you’d like to find out, keep reading!

What Is the USPS Mail Forwarding Extension In [currentyear]?

Standard USPS mail forwarding lasts between 2 weeks and 1 year, depending on the customer’s request. Extended Mail Forwarding is available for customers who have filed a permanent Change of Address request. Forwarding extensions are available in 6, 12, and 18-month increments, and may not exceed a total of 18 months of extended forwarding time as of [currentyear].

If you’d like to know more about how to extend your mail forwarding, and much it will cost, check out our article for more useful information!

How Long Does USPS Mail Forwarding Last?

USPS offers a couple of different options for mail forwarding.

One is temporary mail forwarding, which you can select if you’re going on an extended trip (2 weeks or more) and plan to return to your primary address in 6 months or less. 

When you select this option, USPS will forward your mail to a new address for up to 6 months.

Another service is a permanent change of address, which you’d choose if you didn’t plan to return to your old address.

USPS will forward your mail for up to 1 year when you select this option.

Keep in mind that mail forwarding (whether temporary or permanent) covers First-Class mail, Priority Mail, and Priority Mail Express for the amount of time selected. 

However, periodicals like magazines or newspapers will only be forwarded for 60 days

What Happens When USPS Mail Forwarding Expires?

When a temporary mail forward period ends, the mail will be sent to the original mailing address USPS has on file for you.

When permanent mail forwarding expires, any mail that’s sent to your old address will be returned to the sender.

If this happens, USPS will attach a sticker on the mailpiece, listing your new address (provided you’ve filed one) before returning it to the sender.

Mail that’s sent to your old address 18 months or more after the mail forwarding start date will be returned to the sender with the endorsement “Returned to Sender, Authorized Forwarding Time Expired.”

Can I Extend My USPS Forwarding?

Can I Extend My USPS Forwarding?

Temporary mail forwards can be extended and last up to 1 year total.

Permanent mail forwarding can also be extended through USPS’ Extended Mail Forwarding service.

You can extend your mail forwarding for 6, 12, or 18 months on top of the initial 12-month period offered with the standard mail forwarding service.

If you wish to extend your temporary mail forwarding service, you’ll need to fill out a new Change of Address form with USPS.

For the start date, fill in the first day your current mail forwarding ends. Your end date can be up to 1 year from the start date of your initial mail forwarding request.

Extending a permanent mail forwarding request is also possible, but there is a different procedure to follow. To do so, you’ll need to purchase Extended Mail Forwarding.

You can purchase this service online when submitting your initial Change of Address request.

If you already have an active permanent Change of Address on file, you can add Extended Mail Forwarding at your local post office or on the USPS website.

If you decide that you need Extended Mail Forwarding, it’s essential that you sign up before your original Change of Address expires.

Once it expires, you will no longer be able to add an extension.

How Much Does a USPS Mail Forwarding Extension Cost?

Extending temporary mail forwarding is free of charge. However, Pricing for USPS’ Extended Mail Forwarding service depends on the amount of time your mail will be forwarded.

Here are the current rates:

  • $19.95 for 6 months
  • $29.95 for 12 months
  • $39.95 for 18 months

Note that if you initially sign up for 6 or 12 months, you have the option to purchase additional extensions in 6-month increments for up to 18 months total.

Each of these 6-month periods is priced at $19.95.

Once you’ve purchased Extended Mail Forwarding, you cannot change or cancel your request. In addition, USPS does not offer refunds if you decide you no longer need it.

To find out more, you can also read our posts on how long does USPS forward mail, why is USPS mail forwarding not working, and if USPS updates tracking.


USPS’ mail forwarding service is very generous, offering you up to 1 year free of charge. In most cases, that’s more than enough time to change your address with service providers and loved ones.

Still, if you realize you need more time, USPS offers Extended Mail Forwarding for up to 18 additional months.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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