Military Members on the Move: Where and How to Officially Update Your Address

Posted by Lauren Schneider on Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019 at 9:17am.

Where Do Military Members Need to Update Their Addresses When They Move?Most members of the military are no strangers to the concept of moving, whether it be due to an assignment transfer, the end of a tour of duty or retirement finally rolls around. However, the processes of making an official change of address request will differ depending on the circumstances and logistics of the move. Here are the steps for changing a military address and ensuring mail is forwarded to a new Gleneagle residence or non-military location.

How to File a Change of Address for a Military Address

Individuals planning to transition from a military address that includes FPO, DPO or APO will have two options for changing their address: in person at a United States Postal Service location or at the USPS website online. Taking action in person only requires one to fill out a PS Form 3575 at the post office. Those attempting to change military addresses online must posses an email address that has an extension ending in either “.mil”, “.edu”, or “.gov” to make the adjustment. Those who do not will need to go to the USPS directly. Notifying the USPS is one of the most important steps to keeping the mail pipeline moving in the appropriate direction.

How to Ensure Military Mail is Forwarded to a New Address

Service members can be called to duty or find themselves headed back home at any time without much—or any—notice. This can be nerve wracking itself, and wondering whether mail will be properly forwarded to a new location can put one on edge. Fortunately, even those serving overseas will find the military and postal service have a solid plan to get mail and packages where they need to be. Of course, the military will be privy to your forthcoming destination, so dealing with the United States Postal Service is likely the best place to start with notifications.

Who is Responsible for Forwarding Mail for On-Duty Military Personnel?

Mail sent in bulk to military locations are the responsibility of the military to forward in accordance with post office regulations. In cases where the USPS has provided mail service to military receptacles, that entity maintains responsibility for mail forwarding situations. Just about any type of mail including parcels and letters are eligible for forwarding, including:

  • Priority mail
  • First-Class mail
  • First-Class Package Service-Commercial
  • USPS Retail Ground
  • Periodicals and Magazines

How Mail Forwarding for Military Members Works

Once the military and post office have received notification of the address change, a few things can happen in the course of ensuring mail gets to the right place. Packages addressed to civilians and persons working for the US Armed Forces in zones with US mail service will be forwarded free of charge if moves result from official orders.

Other household members affected by the official orders to move will also enjoy free forwarding under this clause. Should the order be deemed a permanent change of station overseas to a DPO, FPO or APO address, free forwarding will cease after 60 days. It's wise to investigate any potential mailing restrictions to the intended new station's locale, as rules and regulations for the USPS and overseas service change periodically.

Changing a Permanent Legal Residence: What to Do and Who to Inform

Active duty military members and those planning to retire soon will need to follow the protocol established by their branch concerning how to formally change their address permanently. In general, members should visit their base's legal or finance office to complete a DD Form 2058, which is an intended State of Legal Residence Certificate. Certain evidentiary documents may be requested by military official to confirm the new permanent address. In addition to the USPS, be sure to notify these other essential parties of an address change before any forwarding periods expire.

  • IRS and voter registration
  • Spouse's employer
  • Children's schools
  • Banks and credit card companies
  • Physicians and health providers for self & family
  • Life, car, home, and health insurance providers

Follow these key tips when making a move, and your military mail is sure to follow!

Lauren Schneider

Lauren Schneider, Real Estate Agent and Military Relocation Professional (MRP)

Lauren Schneider has lived in Colorado Springs for nearly 20 years and knows that the military is what keeps this town ticking, which is one of the reasons she's chosen to pursue her dream of helping military families with all of their homebuying needs. Learn more about Lauren or start your home search now

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