Life brings changes, whether it’s a move, a long vacation, or a semester or stay abroad. One fundamental question inevitably arises: How does mail sent to my old address reach me? The solution is simple: a mail forwarding service or “Nachsendeauftrag” in German!
What exactly is a mail forwarding service or Nachsendeauftrag?
While the term is familiar to many, few have delved into what it actually means. Essentially, it’s a service that allows you to have your mail forwarded to a desired address. This service is offered by Deutsche Post and, since the end of the postal monopoly, by many other providers. These providers ensure that mail is reliably forwarded to the new address. However, due to the variety of providers, it’s challenging to cover all regional providers in one go. That’s why you can use this service to easily cover all important postal service providers in your region with one application.
Postal Service Providers in Germany
If you choose not to use our entry service, here is a list of all postal service providers that offer mail forwarding. You can register for a mail forwarding service with almost all providers via their website or in writing, usually for a fee. However, it’s easier to apply through our online application, where all relevant providers for you are filtered out and applied for in one go.
A & O Fischer Verwaltungs GmbH
AOV IT.Services GmbH
Ativa Business Service GmbH
AZD Alternative Zustelldienste GmbH
Bauer Vertriebs KG
BDP Briefdienst Pinneberg GmbH
BIT Lettershop GmbH
Brief und mehr GmbH
CEM Courier-, Express-, MailLogistics GmbH
DB Services GmbH
DE Post Service Dienst GmbH
Der Courier LOG GmbH
Deutsche Post AG
ECL euro.COURIER Logistics
Franz Kurier GmbH
GMN General Mail Net GmbH
GO! Express & Logistics Dresden GmbH
GO! Express & Logistics Rostock
InWiLog Post-Service OHG
iq letternet AG
KaRo Kurierdienst GmbH
KDOb Kurier-Dienst Oberhausen
KölnPost Logistik GmbH
KuP Kurier und Personaldienste
Kurierdienst Diekmann GmbH
Kurierdienst Transline GmbH
Kurierverlag Verwaltungs GmbH
Mittelhessen Mail Verwaltungs GmbH
MKT Multi Kurier Transport und Logistik GmbH
Nordbrief Rostock GmbH
ÖHMI Service GmbH
OPC Overnight Parcel Courier Münster GmbH
P1 Privat GmbH
Pacour Deutschland GmbH
PostCon Deutschland GmbH
printLog Logistik für Printmedien
PZS Presse-Zustellservice Detmold
Ricoh Deutschland GmbH
RPV Regionalpaket Schwerin
SAFE MAIL GmbH
schubkraft Limited Schwarze GmbH
SECURITAS GmbH document Solutions
Television Cottbus GmbH
TKD Logistik GmbH
TNT Post Regioservice GmbH
TNT Post Zustellservice GmbH
Who needs a mail forwarding order and when?
There are many reasons to have your mail forwarded, the most common being a move. A semester abroad, a world trip, or an extended vacation are also reasons to have your mail sent to you. In the event of a death, a mail forwarding service is essential as the deceased’s communication with authorities, offices, insurance companies, and banks does not automatically end upon death.
Once the service is set up, you can focus on your move. Knowing that your mail is being forwarded to your new address without delay can be very reassuring amid the stress of packing, finding new schools for your children, and other burdens. The service simply saves you additional stress.
How to set it up?
If you’re moving, for example, you can set up a mail forwarding service at any postal service branch or with various postal service providers. This can be done in person or conveniently from home via the Internet. The service is available for both domestic and international addresses. Some providers may only offer limited coverage.
The right timing
The sooner, the better. Once your moving date is set, you should promptly arrange for mail forwarding. Deutsche Post requires at least 5 working days to implement the service. It’s better to set it up two weeks before moving to ensure you receive your mail at the new address without delay. Especially for mail from lawyers, insurance companies, or banks, it’s often crucial to receive it on the delivery day to avoid missing deadlines.
Are all shipments forwarded?
Primarily, letters are forwarded. For an additional cost, packages can also be forwarded. Express shipments and press post such as newspapers and magazines are not forwarded. In the case of press post, you must contact the publisher or subscription service before moving to update your address. However, newspapers and magazines sent by the publisher as “Streifbandzeitung” are forwarded.
Personal benefits of a mail forwarding service?
Once set up, you can focus on your move or vacation, without worrying about whether your mail will reach you reliably. Your mail will be sent reliably to the specified address, regardless of where you are or what you’re doing.
A mail forwarding service is not unlimited in duration. Therefore, when placing an order, ensure that your absence or move does not exceed the contract duration of the service.
You must register your new address with your city or municipality, regardless of a mail forwarding service. This service does not replace official registration. Once the service expires, if you haven’t registered, your mail will automatically be sent to the last officially known address!
Important senders should also be personally informed of your new address!
Please pay close attention!
Certain important postal deliveries are not forwarded by default, regardless of whether you have an otherwise functioning mail forwarding service. Letters sent with a sender’s pre-arrangement are not forwarded.
These are often very important letters. Banks, insurance companies, tax offices, and other public institutions mark their mailings with a pre-arrangement.
You can identify these letters by notations such as “Do not forward,” “Return with new address,” or similar remarks.
With the note, “Return with new address upon moving,” the mail is sent back to the sender. This requires you to have placed a mail forwarding order due to moving.
If you, as the recipient, have consented to the sharing of your new address, it will be noted on the letter. Please note: it’s enough not to object to the sharing of your new address!
If the letter is marked “Do not forward,” it’s simply returned to the sender and not forwarded.
Don’t forget to personally inform all senders of important mail about your new address. This avoids missing deadlines or appointments due to mail not being forwarded.
Inform your friends, acquaintances, bank, utility providers, employer, authorities, or telephone provider personally.
Whether you’ve found a new, affordable apartment, built or bought a house, or decided to move in together as a couple, it’s advisable to set up a mail forwarding service at your postal branch or service provider at least 14 days before moving. This ensures that your mail is forwarded to your new address from the start.
Note: each person moving from a different address must set up a separate mail forwarding service!
The service is initially set up for 6 months and can be extended by another 6 months if needed. This extension must be done shortly before the first forwarding period expires.
Study Abroad or Temporary Work Contract Abroad
If you’ve got a job or study place abroad, it’s still important to stay informed of postal matters at home. In this case, set up a mail forwarding service. The procedure is similar to a domestic move. Here, you need to specify “temporary absence” as the reason for forwarding.
Apart from the start date of your absence, the end date of the service is also required.
Thus, your mail will automatically be sent back to your home address after the service expires.
If you’re temporarily absent, e.g., for work or vacation, you can have your mail stored by Deutsche Post for one day to three months. This is done simply and transparently at the parcel center. There, your mail is safely stored on site after placing the storage order and delivered to you collectively at a agreed time after your absence. This way, you won’t miss any important letters!
For a smooth process, it’s best to set up the storage order 2-3 weeks before your absence begins.
Please note that the following products are excluded from storage: packages, parcels, DHL INFOPOST, blind shipments heavy and express shipments, and letter shipments with additional services such as cash on delivery and registered mail (except “Einschreiben Einwurf”), service of process, and PostIdent.
E-POSTSCAN Scanning Service
Since 2015, Deutsche Post has offered a scanning service for your mail. This service does NOT replace your regular mail forwarding service but can significantly facilitate receiving letters. After ordering the scan service, your mail is no longer delivered daily but is opened and scanned directly at the mail center. If the document is scannable, it’s sent to you electronically, and you can read it anytime, anywhere with a browser, tablet, or smartphone. The original mail is delivered to you weekly (or monthly) in a package at a desired date, e.g., every Thursday.
Unfortunately, in our test, the scan service was not 100% reliable. We hope that Deutsche Post will improve this significantly. A problem is also that important documents sometimes arrive a week or even a month later. In the meantime, you only have the digitized document, and non-scannable documents are only received when the originals are delivered. Keep in mind that this does not replace forwarding, and you should definitely set up a mail forwarding service in addition to the scan service.
Checklist for Your Mail Forwarding Service:
- For moving, staying abroad, absence, death, care case
- Duration of a mail forwarding service: between 6 to a maximum of 12 months
- Cost of a mail forwarding service: Chargeable for both private individuals and companies or businesses, depending on the provider
- Forwarded domestically: Letters, telegrams, postcards, Infopost, Streifbandzeitungen. Packages and parcels for a fee!
- Not forwarded domestically: Express shipments, daily newspapers, press post, magazines
- Forwarded abroad: Letters, telegrams, postcards, Streifbandzeitungen
- Not forwarded abroad: Express shipments, packages, parcels, Infopost, daily newspapers, magazines, and letters with additional services.
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