Warm sandy beaches. A tropical beverage in hand. Not a care in the world – until you realize your mail is piling up in the box and will soon be at capacity.
The best way to avoid a mid-vacation mini-panic attack is to initiate a USPS mail vacation hold on anything coming your way while you’re out of town. But, what is a USPS mail vacation hold? I’ve looked into it, so here are all the answers you need!
What Is USPS Mail Vacation Hold In 2023?
A USPS mail vacation hold notifies your delivering Post Office not to bring mail to your mailbox but to hold it on the premises instead for you to come to pick it up as of 2023. As part of the USPS Hold Mail Service, you can initiate such a hold any time you will be out of town.
I bet you’re wondering how you can request a vacation mail hold, how much it costs, even where you should go to pick up your mail once you’re home. I’ve got you covered, so keep reading!
How Do You Request A Vacation Hold At USPS?
There are several ways to request a vacation hold on your mail from the Postal Service, but perhaps the easiest for most people is to do so online.
To request a mail hold online, you will need a USPS.com account. Fortunately, it’s quick and free to sign up.
As a bonus, you can sign up for Informed Delivery while you’re at it so you can see what mail you’d be receiving while you’re out of town.
Once you are logged in to your USPS account, navigate “Quick Tools” in the menu bar at the top.
If you hover the mouse over it, a drop-down menu will appear. Then, “Hold Mail” should be in the second row of items (with a handprint inside a stop sign).
Next, click on that, and it will take you to the “Request Hold Mail Service” page. However, keep in mind that you’ll have to check the availability of your address.
If your address is eligible (most residential addresses will be), you must also verify your identity. If you have already signed up for Informed Delivery, the site will skip you through that step.
If not, you’ll have to answer some questions to prove you are who you say you are.
Then, you choose the dates for your Hold Mail request (minimum of three days and a max of 30).
Additionally, you can schedule up to three months in advance or as soon as the next delivery date. In fact, if you place the hold before 3 a.m. EST, it will take effect that day.
After you have chosen your dates, you can then select how you would like to receive your held mail.
When it comes to receiving mail, you have two options. First, the carrier can bring all of it for the next designated delivery day after the hold is over.
Or, you can go and retrieve it at the Post Office.
If you opt to retrieve it, the site warns you that you have ten days to come and get it, or everything will be returned to sender.
Finally, you can add any additional comments or instructions for your Post Office before clicking Schedule Hold Mail.
At this point, you will receive an auto-generated email (sent to the email you used to sign up for the USPS.com account) with a confirmation number.
When you receive the email, make sure you save that email!
Not only does it contain the confirmation number, which you would need to make any changes to your hold, but it also has a link that will take you right to the page to make changes.
If you decide to go the less digital route, you can visit your delivering Post Office and request a Mail Hold in person. Or, you can call your Post Office, as well.
How Much Does A USPS Mail Vacation Hold Cost?
A USPS mail vacation hold is a free service for anyone who has a USPS.com account.
In fact, unlike ordering free shipping materials, which requires you to go through checkout, Hold Mail avoids checkouts entirely.
Can You Cancel Or Change A USPS Mail Vacation Hold?
Yes, it’s possible to cancel or change your USPS mail vacation hold, provided you kept your confirmation email with the confirmation number.
If you have the email on hand, making those changes is easy-peasy, as the link to do so is included in the email.
If you don’t have the email, but you saved the confirmation number, you can call the USPS Customer Care Center to make any changes.
Also, you can make changes by visiting your delivering Post Office, as long as you have the confirmation number and your photo ID.
How Long Is A USPS Mail Vacation Hold Good For?
You can set your USPS mail vacation hold for anywhere from three days minimum to 30 days maximum.
If you’re going to be out of town for longer than 30 days, you will have to initiate a Mail Forwarding request instead.
Where Do You Retrieve USPS Vacation Hold Mail?
If you’ve opted to retrieve your held mail yourself (versus the mail carrier bringing it the day after your hold ends), you can do so at your delivering Post Office.
Just make sure to bring your photo ID with you, as well as the confirmation email, so they can verify that the correct person is doing pick-up.
Also, you can authorize someone else to pick up your held mail. However, you’ll have to write a permission slip including the following information:
- Full name of the person picking up your mail
- Your full name
- Your signature
On top of that, make sure the person picking up your mail brings a photo ID.
The Postal Service makes leaving for vacation a little less stressful with its Hold Mail service, which is free and customizable to your needs.
Also, you can request a mail hold in-person, over the phone, or online.