How to Stop Delivery of Mail Permanently

by Amy Rath; Updated September 26, 2017

There can be any number of reasons why you need to stop mail delivery for yourself or someone else, including a death in the family, relocating without a forwarding address, a permanent full-name change, an incarceration or other legal situation. Permanently stopping mail delivery can be a quick and simple process if you are willing to follow a few basic steps and take the time to stop at your local post office.

Stop mail delivery

Step 1

To stop the mail permanently, fill out a "Hold Mail" form at the post office, or download it from the USPS website. Leave the "Date to Resume Delivery" field blank and indicate under the "Message to Carrier" section that mail should be permanently stopped. To stop mail for an individual and have it forwarded to someone else, fill out a "Forward Mail" form. Include the new address as well as the name of the new individual who should receive the mail.

Step 2

File the form with the post office. Be sure to talk with the post master to let him or her know the reason you are requesting mail to be stopped permanently—a death in the family or relocating with no forwarding address.

Step 3

Contact all primary mail senders, such as banks, credit cards, newspaper and magazines. Let them know the reason mail should be ceased or forwarded. Provide the forwarding address if applicable.

Step 4

If possible, follow up with the post office for approximately six months to a year after requesting mail delivery to cease or forwarded to ensure nothing important has slipped through the cracks.


  • Typically, the United States Postal Service does not permit mail delivery to stop permanently. Ideally, they prefer mail to be forwarded to another address or person. Therefore, while they do offer the option to complete this process online, it is best to go to your local post office and speak with someone directly to ensure mail delivery is stopped.

About the Author

A lifelong resident of Wisconsin, Amy Rath has been a professional writer since 2007. She served as a reporter for "Community Shoppers" and as a freelance reporter for the "Sun Prairie Star." Rath holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

Photo Credits

  • cassetta postale retrò image by Ramino from