How to Hold Mail While On Vacation (USPS Delivery Options and Advice)

Every time I am about to take an extended trip, I stop to consider what to do about our mail while away from home. With email and paperless (electronic) billing so common, I certainly receive less snail mail of a critical basis than in years past. However with charity requests, catalogs, sale circulars, and other bulk (junk) mail received almost daily, my mailbox tended to fill up in a matter of days. So do I...

  1. Put the mail on hold at the US Post Office (local branch)
  2. Let it pile up in the (never quite large enough) mailbox
  3. Ask a family member or trusted neighbor to pick it up regularly​

Why I've Put My Mail on Vacation Hold

House Mailbox - Vacation Hold?

As someone who prefers not to inconvenience others, in the past I have usually put our mail on hold with the post office. It seemed like the most secure and convenient option and costs nothing. Unfortunately my success rate while living in at several addresses in Pennsylvania (house and townhouse) and California (apartment and condo) has been mixed. Therefore I have gone back and forth among these three options to ensure that our mail does not overflow the box. The last thing I want to return home from vacation to is missing or lost mail.

I take lots of vacations and for the majority of situations, holding my mail worked. Twice my mail was never held as requested, but somehow it all fit (was shoved) in our mailbox while on a 10-day trip. Once our accumulated mail was not delivered to our home as of the return date (the date I picked for the mail service to resume). Therefore I had to make a special trip to the post office during business hours which was not fun. 

3 Ways to Submit Hold Mail to USPS

So if you have decided to put your mail on hold for your next vacation, now comes the easy part. Do you want to go to the post office in person, use the website, or call them? Here is a summary of your three options. 

In Person

You can visit your local post office branch in person if you prefer the experience of filling out the paper form. My advice is to avoid the lunch hour unless you want to wait in a long line to hand the paper form to a postal employee. With this option you can have the satisfaction of making sure your hold mail form is completed without any mistakes. 

USPS Authorization to Hold Mail - For Example Purposes Only

Look up your local U.S. Post Office branch location, available services, and opening hours on the USPS website.


Putting your mail on vacation hold using the website is my favorite way. Since I develop websites I prefer the tech way of getting things done, so the online form is how I have put my own mail on hold. Website Hold Mail Menu

Keep reading to learn how to submit your mail hold request online since the process has a few gotchas. The complete online USPS mail hold how-to guide is below.

By Phone

Would you believe the U.S. Post Office has a toll-free 800 customer service number? They handle mail issues, questions, and requests nationwide and can put you in touch with you local branch carrier if necessary. You can give them a call to ask questions about putting your mail on hold while away and submit your hold mail request in just a few minutes. 

Ask USPS Contact Information

The phone number to call the U.S. Postal Service is 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777).

Telephone customer service hours are Monday - Friday from 8am until 8:30pm ET and Saturday from 8am until 6pm ET. Not bad hours!

Hold Mail Step by Step Guide

Since the online option is the fastest, most convenient, and perhaps most reliable way to put your mail on hold, I'll take you through the quick and easy steps.

Step 1 - Visit the Official U.S. Post Office Website

No you are not looking at the USPS website now, but thanks for visiting my VacationCounts blog and supporting my effort to help people take the best time off work and life. Here is the link to the USPS Hold Mail page which opens in a new browser window.  You'll be following the step-by-step instructions which I'll help you with, so keep both browser tabs open so you can refer back.

Step 2 - Name and Address Entry Check

You will need to accurately enter your home mailing address so the postal database can look you up and verify that it can put in a request to your local post office to hold your mail. Enter your name and official home address in the "What's your address" box. Your phone number and email address are also required fields and of course your zip code is critical.

Vacation Mail Hold Name Address Form

When your are done click the "Check Availability" button to submit the information to the server. If your address is correct the form will let you move onto the next step. Otherwise you'll be prompted to verify your entry is valid to fix any mistakes and try again.

Vacation Mail Hold - Address Verify Available

Don't worry if the address does not check the first time. Simple typos, versions, or abbreviations of your mailing address may not match up with the official record. As long as you have a post office in the United States of America that delivers your mail, your mail can be held for up to 30 days.   

Vacation Mail Hold Address Verification Failed

Check Your Postal Address Entry and Try Again if Failed to Find a Match

Step 3 - Hold Dates and Delivery Options

After you pass the address check, the fields in the "When will we hold your mail?" will become enabled. Here is where you will enter the start date and the end date for your when you'll be away from home. Remember that you can only hold mail for a minimum of 3 days to a maximum of 30 days.

Vacation Mail Hold Dates and Delivery

Next second part is to select an option from the delivery option drop down list. You can choose either "Carrier delivers accumulated mail" or "I will pick up accumulated mail." The first option is to have all your held mail be delivered to your home mailbox on the end date. The second option is to tell the post office that you'll come in person as of the end date to pick up the mail in person. Regardless of which option you choose, your normal mail delivery will result as of the end date. 

Step 4 - Submit Hold Mail Request - You're Done!

Before you click the "Submit" button double check to make sure your entries are correct. You wouldn't want your mail held for the wrong dates or enter the wrong apartment number by mistake for example. There is an "Additional ​Instructions" button if you have anything to add, but I honestly have no idea what this field is meant to handle. When you are ready and have read the important legal disclaimer at the bottom, click the submit button and await the success response.

After your mail hold request is processed electronically, you'll receive a confirmation email and also a letter in the mail detailing your hold request. I think the letter is meant as a security precaution in case someone else tries to put your mail on hold on purpose or by mistake. If you see any mistakes after the fact, you can either cancel a mail hold or use the phone or in-person options to talk to a real person who can make it right.  

Scott's Advice on Vacation Mail

Mail Hold Timing

Based on my own past experience I recommend that you put in a mail hold order at least 1 week in advance. You can schedule the service up to 30 days in advance according to the FAQ page when you enter the "hold mail" search term. This seems to allow enough time for the electronic request to be routed and handled manually by the hard-working people at your local branch.

If you forgot and have to submit this request at the last-minute, I suggest that instead you visit the post office in person. Preferably go to the physical branch that delivers mail to your home and not necessarily the one closest to work or co-located in a supermarket for example. That way you can complete and hand in the paper version (usually yellow or white in color) of this form and talk to someone to make sure it is processed in time for your travels.

Buy Travel Insurance

You don't need travel insurance for most road trips and weekend getaways. However for a vacation involving a flight or to a foreign country or expensive/luxury destination, travel insurance is worth buying. My advice is to shop around for the best price. Resist automatically buying trip protection from your travel agent or cruise booking agency as they have often have a profit motive when selling it. 

My research suggests that you it will be cheaper and you'll have greater coverage options if you buy travel cancellation, interruption, lost luggage, or medical evacuation coverage directly with a reputable insurance company. Personally I recommend purchasing an annual individual or family policy if you take several trips a year. That type of plan  will save you time and money while covering all your vacations.

Mail Hold Resume

Try to be at home on this date and not just coming home or heading back to work since the packet of held mail may not fit in your mailbox (the main point for putting it on hold in the first place). Based on whether you have a house or apartment and the general security in the area, you may decide it is smartest to always pick up the accumulated mail in person. That avoids the risk of having it left on your doorstep or overflowing from an unlocked mailbox on the curb. Also consider if it's possible that you'll return a day or two late from vacation due to unforeseen circumstances. 

Additional Tips and Advice

Stop Junk Mail Opt-Out icon

I also use the junk mail avoidance strategies listed further down in this article since I don't want to return from vacation to a ridiculous pile of credit card offers, catalogs, and offers for products I would NOT like to purchase. 

For trips that are 2 weeks or longer when I am holding mail, I still like to tell a neighbor to keep an eye on my mailbox. In case my mail is not hold, they can (hopefully) step in and bring my mail inside. I don't want my overflowing mail to get soaked when it is raining and I don't want to attract attention to the fact that me and my family are away. Besides mail, I have in the past asked a neighbor to check my porch or doorstep to make sure no packages, flyers, or other items get left. 

Going On Vacation Checklist

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Holding Mail for More Than 30 Days?

I wish the post office would hold mail for more than 30 days, but clearly they don't want to take on the burden of safely storing your mail for free forever. That's where Premium Forwarding Service comes into the picture. Collected and held mail can be sent weekly to your temporary address, for a fee of course. Read the FAQ section of the USPS website or create or sign in to your account to find out more. It is a bit more complicated than mail hold as the options and costs will vary. 

Premium Mail Forwarding Service
Click to read more about Premium Forwarding Service, from the U.S. Post Office

Have you tried it out? I haven't so I would be very much interested in learning more. Add a comment below if you can tell VacationCounts readers about your experience with this long-term mail forwarding option. 

Alternatives to Vacation Mail Hold

Holding my mail is often a regular part of my vacation plans, but I've taken mail management one step further. I wish all mail was electronic so I've turned on paperless statements and e-billing for every account in my name. I can't get rid of all my paper mail, but there are ways to manage physical mail electronically.

Rent a Virtual (Online) PO Box
Earth Class Mail is one of a small number of businesses that will give you a private mailbox address in one of the 50 states and accept mail on your behalf. When a piece of mail arrives, they will scan the envelope and let you choose to forward it anywhere or have it opened and the contents scanned to be viewed online. It's all done securely and for me it has become the best way to manage my important mail when I am away from home, living abroad, or traveling the world. 

Earth Class Mail Emails Scanned Envelopes

Email Notification of a Letter Received (Envelope Scan)

Read my review of Earth Class Mail if you want to find out how it is the ultimate online postal mail scanning, forwarding, and handling solution.​ I have been a customer for both personal and business use for several years now and definitely recommend it.

Recommended Ways to Avoid Junk Mail

Stop Junk Mail - Overflowing Mailbox

Who doesn't hate junk mail. OK I admit I occasionally enjoy looking at Christmas shopping catalogs and offers for strange products only "seen on TV", but what a waste of time and paper. In the past I've gotten multiple catalogs from the same online shop and credit card offers for every day of the week. Not to mention the products that are definitely not for my demographic. Online shopping has everything you want in just a few clicks. I much rather spend my time planning a trip than opening, inspecting, and recycling my junk mail.

Luckily by spending a few hours dealing with this postal mess, you can get rid of most of the garbage entering your mailbox. I have written a detailed article on how to stop junk mail and credit offers. Not only will you have less junk mail to deal with when you return home from a relaxing vacation, you'll reduce the risk of fraud and identity theft.​

Ready to plan your next vacation? VacationCounts recommends Expedia. Search for travel and sign up for their rewards program to earn points toward VIP travel.

Secure Your Home Mailbox to Prevent Theft

Regardless of whether you travel often or not, we all want to avoid our mail getting stolen or tampered with when we are away from home. Replacing your entire mailbox with a secure one is a smart step to take. When I owned a house I was always a bit worried about my mail just sitting there or a package being left on my doorstep. Luckily today there are several mailboxes which you can install that have security in mind.

These are the top picks from Amazon for mailboxes that lock down mail and small packages. If you read the customer reviews you'll see that they are all highly rated, but none are perfect. A determined thief can probably break into one if they tried hard enough. Think of secure mailboxes as both a solid security measure for avoiding theft and also a visual deterrent like an alarm system sign on your lawn.

Recommended Secure Mailboxes on Amazon

Looking for more information about the U.S. Post Office. Here are a few more resources to help you get your questions answered and manage your mail when planning a trip, while on vacation, and after you return home. 

How to Contact the U.S. Post Office

Remember that you are learning about your options for holding mail on the website. This is NOT the official source of information and this information is provided without guarantee or warranty. I have to include a legal disclaimer so there is no confusion. When you need to deal with your U.S. mail, you have to contact the only government agency responsible - regardless of rain or sleet or snow... 😉 

Also be aware of when post offices are closed during federal holidays and other times. Here is the list of 2016 holidays when branches are closed

As a reminder, here is the link to the official site to hold your mail while traveling, away from home, or on vacation.  Click the button below to open in a new window and submit a new mail hold authorization, cancel an existing, or learn more.

USPS Mail Hold Frequently Asked Questions

Questions always come up when it comes to the dos and don'ts of vacation mail hold. The comments box below are a testament to the issues that happen when holding your mail becomes more trouble then its worth. That's yet another reason why I have used the other strategies offered in this article such as asking a neighbor, installing a mailbox designed for secure storage, or renting a virtual PO Box.

I've tried my best to answer all your questions in this VacationCounts post and show you step-by-step how to put your mail on hold before your next trip. Luckily the FAQ section of the USPS website contains a lot of additional information. Use the search box on their site to find answers to the most common (and not-so-common) situations that come up regarding holding, canceling, and delivering your mail.

> Link to Mail Hold FAQ (Official)

* Disclaimer: This how-to guide was published by Meliovation LLC for who makes no warranty and assumes no legal liability in regards to the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the information or advice provided. This article is not sponsored by any government agency. You are advised to visit the official United States Postal Service website and to contact their agents for all mail holding inquiries. Select links in this article are to partners or affiliates which may result in a commission if you purchase a product or service. In no way does this affect the recommendations offered and it will not cost you anything to support VacationCounts.

Post Updated: August 2016

Leave a Comment:

Lester Ramos says December 14, 2017

I am in the proccess of moving out and i know there will mail, parcels, and packages that will be coming to this address, is there away to stop my mail foing to this address and maybe rerouting to my po box, let me remind you there are other parrties that recieves mail at the same address1

    Scott (VacationCounts) says December 15, 2017

    I think you are talking about something different than putting your mail “on hold” while away on vacation. If you are moving addresses then the post office allows you to submit a forwarding order, called a “Change of Address” order. Consult the official USPS site for details. The main page seems to be: where you can submit a temporary or permanent forwarding order for an Individual or Entire Family. The USPS Change of Address FAQ help page also answers many related questions. Good luck!

Lorraine Conway says November 30, 2017

At holiday time, many pkgs. start out from Fed-x or United Parcel and then are handed off to the USPS. If I have a temporary hold placed with thepist office, will they also hold the “handed-off” pkgs.?

    VacationCounts says December 1, 2017

    This is the first time I’ve heard about this issue. I honestly have no idea how the post office handles it. If you inquire and find out the answer, please post a comment so readers of VacationCounts know. Holding mail generates so many questions so thanks for posting and continuing the conversation.

Crystal L Patterson says October 13, 2017

Will the carrier leave a card in my box stating it is being held? I have trouble with someone looking in my box and I don’t want people know we are gone

    Scott (VacationCounts) says October 17, 2017

    Good question. I am also concerned about home security when away on vacation. I know when you set up a Mail Forwarding order (like a change of address when you move) a USPS Confirmation Letter is sent to both your old and new address. I have not heard about the carrier leaving a card in my own mailbox when simply putting it on (vacation mail) hold. Hopefully that isn’t the case. The mail hold confirmation will appear on screen when submitted via the Web to the USPS. If you find out more please post a comment to this vacation mail hold discussion thread since experiences may vary based on your local post office (zip code) and by state.

    Purchasing a lockable mailbox for your home is another way to prevent mail tampering in case a card is left or if your mail (or those pesky marketing leaflets, menus, and circulars) is delivered by mistake.

Thomas White says September 14, 2017

I like holding my mail on your website, but it will not allow me to enter the state. The state is a required field and will not let me continue until it is filled in.

    VacationCounts says September 15, 2017

    You are the second person to report a problem with the “State” field on the USPS website (disclosure: it’s not my website). I wonder if the official government site is not compatible with certain computers or web browsers. If someone mentions the type of computer or browser they are having trouble with in the comment field on my vacation blog, that will help future people prevent this from happening.

    As it stands you’ll have to call or email to get technical support from them. Try visiting to see your options. Or try a different browser or computer and maybe that will do the trick. Good luck! -Scott

Fran says August 18, 2017

This was so easy and helpful, putting my mail on hold by making an online request! Thanks for posting the info!

Jan Johnson says December 23, 2016

I am going on vacation next week. My husband put in a paper form request to hold our mail but lost the yellow claim form. Hopefully it will turn up somewhere but if it doesn’t, what will we need to do to get our mail that is being held?

    Scott (VacationCounts) says December 26, 2016

    I’m not familiar with the claim form you describe, but my experience is that you need to show photo ID at the post office. When picking up your accumulated mail after it was held for vacation, valid ID is required (for good reason) before handing it over. It is your mail after all. You can also authorize someone else to pick up your mail but that is a different process. Hope you don’t run into any issues. Happy traveling…

Patricia Duffy says September 13, 2016

We are going out of town leaving from Virginia September 16 to Florida, but making 3 stops on the way, arriving in Florida on September 27 and returning November 1st. What is our best option for having our mail delivered to Florida? Can we do a temporary address change?

    Scott (VacationCounts) says September 14, 2016

    It sounds like you will be away for slightly more than 30 days which complicates a vacation mail hold which can only last for up to 30 days. You can consider the Premium Forwarding Service which I describe in the article. They’ll forward your mail for a fee on a weekly basis but it can be a bit costly since they use Priority Mail.

    As for other options, I suggest that you talk to your local post office. They’ll know the optimal way to hold, forward, or temporarily change your address since this is a slightly complex situation.

    Either way consider the risk that a few pieces of mail will end up being delivered to your vacation address after you’ve left to return home. That would be my worry unless there is someone at your vacation address that can forward any mail back just in case. Of course if you have a trusted friend or family member, you can ask them to pick up and forward only your important bills and letters since I imagine so much is junk mail.

F R Nelson says September 6, 2016

The day before I went on vacation last week, I filled a yellow hold-mail card at the post office. I entered a start date but no end date. I told the clerk I would be down the day after I got home to pick up our accumulated mail. Well, we went on vacation and returned home. I went to the post office to pick up my mail and another clerk waited on me. He said that I could not pick up my mail. I would have to fill out a form and the mailman for my neighborhood would get around to it in the next day or so. I told the clerk I really needed my mail now but he told me there was nothing he could do and I would have to wait on the neighbor mailman. It seemed I had no choice, so I left and now I’m waiting on the mailman to deliver my “held” mail– hoping he will deliver it tomorrow…
Just struck as odd that the clerk at the Post Office would not give me my “held” mail…
Any help understanding this situation would be greatly appreciated because as far back as can remember I have always been able to go to the post office and pick up my “held” mail upon my return from vacation.


    Scott (VacationCounts) says September 7, 2016

    Thank you for sharing your experience because so often a comment is posted that is new to me. I didn’t realize that you could leave the end date open, but it sounds like this was commonly acceptable, at least on the paper version of the form. With the online mail hold form at, the “End Date” field is required so there is no way to leave it blank. Since I don’t work for the post office I can only offer my opinion as a travel blogger.

    Did you check the box (Box B on Form 8076) that said you would pick up your accumulated mail in person? If so I can’t understand why your local post office wouldn’t release your mail, assuming that you had photo ID. Maybe by leaving the mail hold end date open it means you are supposed to fill out another form to cancel your mail hold. That is the only explanation that I can think of, but maybe you checked Box A by mistake which led to the confusion.

    Please do post a follow-up comment to tell us what happened in this situation. It will help others learn whether this was a misunderstanding or normal procedure and how to prevent it from happening again. Good luck!

Sherry says August 2, 2016

I rent my place through a property management co. Never met the actual owner, but she gets mail here too still..mostly junk mail that she never picks up bc she lives elsewhere. Well, I was wondering why I had not received any mail for like 7 days. I filed a claim and found out that the owner placed a hold on her mail which of course held my mail. Now I cannot have my mail for 30 days! My beef is that it should not be legal to keep someones mail from them….The post office says I cannot have my mail, even though it is mine……I really feel this policy needs to be changed so that people can pick up their mail with an ID or something. It is absolutely ridiculous that I am not “allowed” to have my own mail. Absurd!!!! Rant over…..any advice?

    Scott (VacationCounts) says August 2, 2016

    That is the first time I’ve heard of a situation like you described Sherry. As we all know it is entirely possible and perfectly normal for multiple related or unrelated people to share the same mailing address. Unfortunately according to the mail hold instructions at, hold mail applies to an entire address and not to named individuals living there. I have never understood why they couldn’t find a way to hold mail for one person as well, especially since we can put in a mail forwarding request for one person or for the entire household. Why the discrepancy is beyond me, but improvement is surely needed since it’s critical for all of us to get our mail delivered on time.

    If it were me I would get in touch with the property management company to get in touch with the owner on your behalf right away. Hopefully it was a simple mistake and the mail hold can be cancelled promptly. Did you call the US post office customer service number or visit your local branch in person with ID and proof of your address? I would hope they would be smart enough to handle the situation and let you pick up the letters in your own name. You can’t possibly be the first person this has happened to so there must be a recommended solution. Good luck and try to reply here to tell us all what happens once you’ve figured it out. Thanks for contributing to the discussion.

ken heckert says August 1, 2016

The website is not currently accepting the state field and will not accept new request.

    Scott (VacationCounts) says August 2, 2016

    I wonder if the website was temporarily down for maintenance. Usually there would be a notice about scheduled downtime, but sometimes even the biggest websites have issues. As of right now the state dropdown list appears to be working on my home computer. If it still isn’t working for you, try to reboot your computer or try another web browser (Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, …). Hopefully can try again today or call up the U.S. post office customer support number on the phone at 800-ASK-USPS if your request is urgent. Good luck.

robert durham says July 20, 2016

I went to my postal service they will only hold mail for 30 days no wonder you people are so goofed up ,no help for customers ,i’am going out of the state for 60 days no one to pick up mail so no help from you people so all my ail will go to return to sender .

    Scott (VacationCounts) says July 21, 2016

    Yes Robert that is an excellent point about the U.S. Post Office not being to hold mail for more than 30 days. That’s why I mentioned it here. To be clear, your comment was posted here on my VacationCounts blog which is not affiliated with the USPS. I certainly don’t work for the post office so your frustration is pointed at them, not me 🙂 This website is my own advice only.

    There are other options if you are traveling and away from home for more than 30 days. Some people recommend getting a PO Box at the post office and others recommend putting in a Temporary Mail Forwarding order (Regular or Premium) so your mail can be redirected to a trusted family member or friend. I’ve also read (never tried it myself) that you can have an authorized person pick up your 30-days of mail and put in another request for it to be hold for 30 days longer.

    You should consider asking your local post office if any of these suggestions would work in your specific situation.

    Here is a helpful forum post on the Rick Steves’ forum about holding mail for a 2-months European trip.

    Good luck getting this sorted… -Scott, VacationCounts Publisher

Leonard A. & Teresa L. Brown 615-613-2091 says July 11, 2016

I filled out a form to have our mail held but did not go away. I need to have it delivered now instead of the 15th. How do i go about getting to resume without having to wait 4 days? Please let men know something ASAP Thank you

    Scott (VacationCounts) says July 12, 2016

    Excellent question. Vacation plans are prone to change so it helps to know that you can change a U.S. postal mail hold request when that happens.

    If you submitted the Hold Mail request online via then you can cancel it on the same screen (see the link in this post or search Google). You’ll need your Confirmation Number (check your email or printout) and exact street address to modify or cancel a hold request. Just follow their directions.

    However if you submitted a paper form that’s a different story. According to the USPS website FAQ, you can visit your local post office or call 1-800-ASK-USPS depending upon how to made the request. Make sure to bring photo ID if you go in person. Hope that helps!

Sigrid Arnold says March 30, 2016

My mail has been held since the 4th of Mar. Supposed to be delivered on the 2nd of April. I came home early and would like my mail delivered but don’t know how to request it.

    Scott (VacationCounts) says April 11, 2016

    That’s an excellent question and something that is worth covering in this article as part of an update. I try to maximize my vacation days and have yet to come home early when my mail is being held, but I can see how it happens all the time. Of course you will want to receive your accumulated mail with minimal delay.

    Fortunately you can cancel a mail hold with the USPS via the same website listed above. Click the “Edit or cancel” link near the top. You’ll need your confirmation number and either the email address or phone number used in the initial request. They don’t make it clear how quickly a cancellation is processed and how quickly your mail will be delivered. I imagine it also depends on whether it is a weekday or weekend. Therefore if it is urgent I suggest that you instead or also try to visit your post office ask to pick up your mail in person. From my own experience it depends on how your local post office handles mail holds in your area. I must assume that it varies quite a bit state by state and zip code by zip code.

    Post a follow-up response if you can to tell readers whether you had success or ran into any issues that we should all be aware of. Thanks for asking and contributing to the mail hold discussion.

P. SCHMIED says March 24, 2016


After using this extremely useful service for more than 5 years, I found that out today, that my address no longer is eligible. I live in a metro suburb with a population over 100,000. My local PO is 1/2 mile away, the closest sectional sorting center, Palatine, one mile away.

The paper form can be downloaded, printed, filled out by hand, and supposedly either given to the mail carrier, or taken to the local PO, where you can stand in line to hand it to a clerk, should one deign to honor you with their presence.

I can only view this as an attempt at retribution by local postmasters unable or unwilling to use the electronic communication medium that is making them increasingly obsolete. Regardless, it’s counterproductive to the USPS. It costs more and loses customer good will.

    Scott (VacationCounts) says March 29, 2016

    Wow, that’s both surprising and highly disappointing. I had no idea that some (who knows how many is some) U.S. residential mailing addresses did not offer online mail hold requests. I can’t think of any reason why, but I do see the “Check Availability” button on the official hold mail website. I’ll have to update this post to warn readers that even today not everyone in the USA can put their mail on hold without visiting the local post office in person.

    Here is a screenshot of the button so anyone can check their address for availability.
    USPS Hold Mail Check Availability Button

    Thanks for letting us all know about this head-shaking limitation. Hopefully this button will go away in the near future. Yet another reason to rent a private mailbox and turn on the paperless option for anything important.

John Wong says January 2, 2016

It is a waste of time to expect anything productive from the post office. We have placed mail on hold several times as well as completed address forwarding when we have moved and neither have worked. My suggestion is to eliminate as much mail as possible and have any confidential mail sent via e-mail only. Hopefully we can put the post office out of business, but they rely on marketing mails to support them and could care less about non-business customers.

Tab says May 7, 2015

Well I have put a hold on our mail several times. There is always mail in our mail box and mail at the post office that I usually pick up when we get home. I have emailed the hold request and I have also filled out the yellow card. Either way I have done it it always fails, we still get mail delivered. Its employees not doing their job correctly.

    Scott (VacationCounts) says May 8, 2015

    It must be frustrating to not have your mail hold request honored, especially if you are away from home do not want your mail sitting in the box unattended. I’ve had the same situation happen years ago a couple of times when I lived in Pennsylvania and was most annoyed when I returned from a vacation. Fortunately I don’t think any mail was lost or damaged, but my mailbox was incredibly full of letters – mostly junk of course.

    Since mail hold requests are handled by your local post office, the best advice I can offer is to talk to your local Postmaster or Station Manager (the person who is in charge of your post office) and politely explain the situation. Hopefully they can figure out what went wrong in processing your request so it doesn’t happen again.

    The other option is to contact the U.S. Post Office main customer service number to see how they can help. You can call their 800 phone number which is 1-800-ASK-USPS or use their contact us page to send a message. – Contact Us

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