Forwarding mail means to resend received mail to a fresh address. There are many reasons people may choose to do this; they may have recently changed addresses and want mail shipped to their new home, or they want to send the package to someone new. In the case of electronic mail (or email), you can forward messages as a way to share them to other people who might be interested in their contents. How you’ll go about forwarding mail depends on the type of mail (physical or electronic) and whether it’s a one-time deal or you want to make the forwarding a regular thing for all subsequent mail that reaches a certain address.
1. Consider the ownership and responsibility of the package. In the majority of cases, forwarding a single piece of mail is a very simple procedure. Postal services are used to rerouting mail as a way to accommodate changes of address and other changes of location. If the package belongs to someone else, it is considered courteous to ship it along to the intended recipient. If the package is addressed to you and you still wish to forward it however, you may be required to pay for a new set of stamps before it’s valid for shipment.
You may change the address on the package if required, but it is illegal to change the name of the addressee. In most cases, forwarding is only encouraged by the postal service if it needs to happen to get the message to whom it was intended.
If you are trying to reroute mail from somewhere else to your now-current address, you’ll have to get in touch with someone that lives nearby to do the legwork for you.
2. Correct the address on the package. In a black marker, cross out the current address and write the new address directly below it. Make sure the address is correct, and write in block letters for clarity. Take care not to tamper with the package as much as possible, as the postal service may not handle it if they think it’s been misused.
Don’t suffice for anything less than a permanent marker. Anything lighter may be difficult for the mailman to read. Even worse, it increases the risk of potential tampering.
3. Remail the package. When you have the new address clearly written on the package, you’re ready to mail it off. Postal services are generally fixated on efficiency, so the process of dropping it off should be relatively quick. Take it to a post office or a mailbox and drop it in. Before doing so however, you should check to see if the stamps are still valid.
Payment options vary depending on which postal service you’re using. The USPS accommodates forwarding prices into their lump fee, so service users are technically paying for the chance of forwarding whether they use it or not. Canada Post on the other hand will charge a fee to anyone changing addresses to cover the costs of forwarding mail.
4. Verify the package has been received. If you are in contact with the recipient of the mail, it is good form to verify that the mail has been successfully received within two weeks of mailing it out. If it hasn’t been received within that time, it’s a good idea to contact the postal service regarding the mail’s status.
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