Does "Address Service Requested" really work?

8 Replies

Hey friends,

Has anyone every used the "ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED" feature with the Post Office to track down former tenants?

Does it really work? 

Do you really get a piece of paper returned to you with the recipient's forwarded address? 

If it works, it would be super helpful in finding tenants who have abandoned the lease. 

According to :

"Address Service Requested - In the first year after the recipient moves, the mail is forwarded. You’ll be given their new address and charged an address correction fee. In months 13-18, the mailpiece is returned to you with the recipient’s new address, at no charge. After 18 months, the mail is returned with the reason it couldn’t be delivered, for no charge."

I've spoken with the postal workers at two post offices, and neither knew what this service was - and both said "we don't do that". So confused...


I do a lot of post judgment collection work and in my experience the post office only has a forwarding address about 25% of the time.  It has been so ineffective that we typically order a Skip Trace as the same time.  The wait is longer and there is a cost associated with the service (if they find them), but it is typically more successful.

I don't know if it still works, but my dad was an investigator for the county, and he told me if you write "Do Not Forward" on the envelope, the post office will return it to you with the yellow sticker on it with the person's forwarding address.  We used this at a  law firm I was working at (as a legal secretary) and it worked for us.  This was many moons ago, so I don't know if it would still work.

It wouldn't hurt to try it.  But, as already stated, it will only work if they file a forwarding address with the PO.

Hmmm, I know that forwarding sure works. I completed the paperwork shortly after my move and I've been getting my mail.

I vote "Yes" it works.

@Matt Holmer

 Thanks for the tip on skip tracing.  Do you perform the investigation yourself or hire a skip tracer?

@Sue K.

 I hadn't thought of using "do not forward", in addition to "address service requested". I'll give that a try too - because I don't really need to send them a letter, I just need to figure out what their forwarding address is.  I don't care if they actually get it.


Originally posted by @Al Williamson :

Hmmm, I know that forwarding sure works. I completed the paperwork shortly after my move and I've been getting my mail.

I vote "Yes" it works.

The question was "does 'Address Service Requested' really work" - not does mail forwarding really work.

Address Service Requested works if the tenant notifies the U.S.P.S. of their forwarding address. If a tenant forwards to a P.O. Box, you may get a new mailing address for them and still be unable to find them for the purpose of serving legal documents. It could be that some local post offices are more efficient than others, so experiences may vary.

Anyone know how this typically takes to receive your mail back with the forwarding address on it?

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