Virtual Mailbox
February 27, 2023

Ultimate Guide to USPS Mail Forwarding in Los Angeles: 3 Tools You Need

USPS Mail Forwarding Los Angeles Basics

If you are based in Los Angeles, or need to forward mail from LA to another location the USPS offers a bunch of service that can help you. Either online or at a local USPS location there are options to get mail forwarding done right. There are free basic services from the Postal Service for mail forwarding, and then higher end services for more flexibility, but these services can add up. We will go over all these options, and some that are non post office related that may be a better fit for your needs.

What is Mail Forwarding?

Mail forwarding is a service the post office provides to help people when they move locations. Its typically a temporary service, and you are expected to contact all of your mailing relationships like your bank, Franchise Tax Board, IRS, DMV, and everyone else within 12 months. You can extend your mail forwarding service with the united states postal service for up to 18 additional months.

Sign up for a Virtual Address for more convenience

If you live in Los Angeles, and need to mail services in the state of California and maintain your presence even if you are gone, setting up a virtual address will make your life much easier if you are constantly travelling or need to spend time away from Los Angeles for some time.

Thatch has a mail processing facility in Carson, in Los Angeles County that receives, scans, and processes your mail and delivers all your mail to your email box to make sure you are on top of any notices or communication. Get a Los Angeles Business Address that will look professional with free physical mail storage for 30 days that will act as your virtual business address. You can also use Thatch for a personal address to act as your new permanent mailing address to stop the change hassle forever.

Types of USPS Address Change Services

To setup forwarding through the USPS there are three types of mail forwarding services that you need to consider based on your needs:

Permanent Change of Address

This is the easiest type of service, and free. Basically if you are moving to a new house or apartment you can have mail delivered and forwarded to your new address at no charge. You will need to fill out the PS Form 3575 and note that you are doing a permanent change of address. This service is free at a local post office or a small fee of $1.10 for an online request here. The form looks like the one below:

Back of PS Form 3575
Back of PS Form 3575
Temporary Change of Address

A temporary address change can be changed anywhere from 15 days to 364 days. They also call this seasonal forwarding. You will need to list the dates that you want the service to start and end, and the post office will take it from there. You will need to wait 7-10 business days before this starts, so you will need to plan ahead.

International Address Change

These types of moves are annoying if you do not process this before your move because they need to be done in person, not online. If you forget to do this before your move, you will need to write an explanation letter to the local post office in the district of your old residence explaining the change and how / where you need to forward mail. This can be quite complicated, so if you have already moved and are unable to file that form, a virtual mailbox is the easiest solution so you can ensure you do not miss any mail.

How to File a Temporary or Permanent Address Change on the USPS website

Here is a step by step guide to filing your address change online. If you do your address change in person, there are 224 post office locations in Los Angeles County.

  • go to
  • select the type of people moving (you, your family, your business)
  • add your contact information (name, email, phone)
  • answer the question if it is temporary or permanent
  • add a start date
  • add your old mailing info
  • add your new mailing info
  • make a payment

Thats it! Just a one page form, its pretty simple overall to complete.

Where to find the closes post office in Los Angeles

You can use the PO locator on the usps website

Premium Forwarding Services by the Postal Service

This service offered by the USPS mail service allow you to get your mail bulk sent to your location. The post office collects your mail throughout the week, and then sends it to your new address via priority mail so that you can ensure that everything is collected and forwarded to you. The service is expensive but can be effective especially for a temporary move. Here are the fees:

  • Enrollment of $23.40 - $25.45 as of this writing. This is a one time fee to start service
  • Weekly Fee of $25.45, which comes out to $1323.40 for one year of forwarding

Three Tools to help manage your mail

You can avoid the hassle of stopping and starting service or having to move your mail to your new location with these three tools:

  • Thatch: Thatch offers a virtual mailbox service that collects and scans all of your mail for you. You can have any mail forwarded to anywhere you are in the world or just view it online just like email. If you move 10 times, you never have to change your address again!
  • Mint: Is a bill tracking service and subscription management service. You can always be sure you are on top of any outstanding bills, and easily cancel any bills that you dont want anymore.
  • USPS Informed Delivery: To make sure that there is absolutely nothing else you will miss, sign up for a free informed delivery account on the usps website. This will allow you to get a picture of most envelopes that are still sent to your home or business address.

Mail Forwarding FAQs

How does the USPS standard forwarding service work?

Most of your mail will be re-routed to your new location through the USPS. Different types of mail are forwarded at different rates, here are the type of mail below:

  • First class mail - free
  • Priority mail - free
  • Priority mail express - free
  • First class package - free
  • USPS retail ground - not free
  • Media mail - not free
  • Marketing mail - not forwarded (great way to stop unwanted mail and junk mail!)
How much does it cost for extended mail forwarding through the USPS?

Mail forwarding can be extended past the initial 12 months of free service for up to 18 additional months. The USPS offers the following extension options:

  • 6 Month Extension - $19.95
  • 12 Month Extension - $29.95
  • 18 Month Extension - $39.95

You can also extend in increments, so if you sign up for a 6 month extension, you can request an additional 6 months or 12 months thereafter

How Do I Extend Mail Forwarding Services?

You can either select the extension when you do your initial sign up, or you can go back to and edit your move to add the extension.

usps forwarding extension online

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