Retirement Planning, Elder Law, and Senior Finance

2/8/2024 | By Donna LeValley

Part of protecting yourself against identity theft is protecting your mail. The U.S. Postal Service has enhanced security protocols surrounding its change of address service by implementing additional identity verification methods. This will help to combat fraud.

The USPS made these enhancements to address global identity theft concerns and to further protect customers’ information. The change of address service can be completed online at, or by visiting your local Post Office.

The Postal Service takes the issue of identity theft very seriously because it’s happening to them too. The Postal Service is seeing a surge in mail thefts and letter carrier robberies. From March 2020 to February 2021, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service received nearly 300,000 mail theft complaints; that’s more than a 160% increase compared to the same period a year prior.

The basics of filing a change of address form with the USPS haven’t changed, but the USPS has added an extra step to verify your identity. How you verify your identity will depend on how you filed your address change. And your change of address is only activated after your ID has been verified.

Man looking at mail confused wishing he knew how to combat fraud and identity theft.

If you are unable to verify your identity online or in person, you will be unable to activate a USPS change of address. If this is the case, the USPS suggests you directly notify your various creditors and organizations of the address change. You don’t want to leave behind any sensitive or critical identifying information.

Online filers will incur a $1.10 charge and will need a valid mobile phone number. If you go in person to change your address, you will need a valid photo ID, and it’s recommended that you bring a second form of identification that includes your old or new address.

If your online identity verification succeeds, the USPS will email you a confirmation code. Keep this code and be careful not to lose it. You can use this code if you need to modify or cancel your request.

If your online identity verification was not successful, you will need to complete a change of address in person at a post office. You will receive an email with instructions and a barcode to verify your identity in person at a post office.

When requesting a change of address at a post office, remember to bring two forms of ID. You’ll need to present one of the following photo identifications that is current and unexpired: driver’s license or non-driver’s license identification card, U.S. passport or a Uniformed Services Identification Card.

If you use a passport or Uniformed Services Identification Card, you’ll need to present a second form of ID that includes your name and an address. Secondary forms of ID include a lease, mortgage or deed of trust, voter or vehicle registration, or a home or vehicle insurance policy.

Donna LeValley is personal finance writer at For more on this and similar money topics, visit

©2024 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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Donna LeValley