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You’ve booked accommodation, packed your bags, bought plane tickets, and are ready for your vacation. But how about your mail? Going on vacation doesn’t mean your mail will stop coming. But do you really want to arrive home from vacation only to find your mailbox stuffed with envelopes? Your option is to use the USPS Mail Hold Service to hold your mail until you return. There are three ways you can request USPS to hold your mail. They are as discussed below.


You can submit your request in person. That means going to your local post office. You can check find post office to locate the nearest office from your home. Once you get there, an attendant will give you a form to fill out. The form is to authorize the USPS to hold the mail.

Over the Phone

Another alternative is calling USPS and requesting a mail hold. The attendant will walk you through the process. This is an easy step, as you can do it from the comfort of your home. The attendant will just need your ID to confirm your identity.

Do It Online

The other way is to request this service online. If you don’t have a USPS account, you can create one and submit your hold mail request. An online account has many advantages, such as requesting a package pickup and printing shipping labels. This is the best way to submit your request because you can even do it past business hours. Even if you submit the request at 1 am, it can be processed on the same day.

It’s not advisable to do this last minute. Online submissions for a hold are not available for all addresses. And if your address isn’t eligible, you may have to visit the post office in person to complete the form. You’ll also need to confirm your identity online. If you can’t do that, you will have to wait about 3 to 5 business days for the USPS to mail you an identity verification code.

What Information Is Required?

When requesting this service, some of the information you’ll need to submit includes the following:

  • Your address, email address, and phone number
  • A valid ID
  • The hold period (start and end date)
  • Whether you’ll be picking up your mail at the end of the hold or have it delivered to your home

Ensure you have your confirmation number. During the hold period, if you need to make changes, you’ll need it. Without it, you can’t change, cancel or edit your hold mail request.

Here’s What You Need to Know About the USPS Mail Hold Service

As explained, this is a service that lets the post office hold your mail for a while. The minimum and maximum days the USPS can hold the mail are three days and 30 days, respectively. When you request a hold mail service, it applies to everyone registered under your address. That means even if the mail is for a relative, but it’s usually sent to your address, it will also be held.

You’re allowed to make the request as far back as 30 days before the USPS can start holding your mail. The service starts on the date you select. The postal service operates from Monday to Saturday, with the exception of holidays. You need to know this information when setting up this service. Other important information you should know includes:

  • This is a free service
  • You can’t make more than one hold mail request at the same time. One request for one address at a time.
  • If you want your hold mail request to go into effect the next day, complete your request before the business day ends.

What Happens When the Hold Is Over?

Once the hold is over and you’re back from your vacation, you can collect your mail at the post office or have it sent to your home. From then on, your mail will continue to be delivered to your home as usual. Also, once your hold is over, you have ten days to collect your mail. If you fail to do that, it will be sent back to the senders. Show up with your identification to pick up the mail. The USPS is particular about the type of identification you need. Also, if you want USPS to hold your mail for more than 30 days, you need to sign up for the mail forwarding service. You can sign up for a temporary change of address and receive your mail.

When planning a vacation, don’t forget to take care of the mail situation. Create an account with USPS and request the hold mail service. The process is simple and takes a short time.