How to obtain a forwarding address? Have laws changed? (USA)

I am wanting to contact someone who has moved. I am trying to organize a reunion and I was ‘this close’ to getting the last two people, only to find out they moved within the past few months.

I have obtained forwarding addresses before by sending $1 to the Postmaster’s attention (at the office servicing the last known address), and referencing the Freedom of Information Act; the Postmaster would then send me a letter with the new info.

I did this for various people, but that was 10 years ago at our previous reunion time! Someone told me this wouldn’t work anymore, because the Privacy Act overrides the Freedom of Information Act.

Can anyone shed any light on this?

As far as I know, the Post Office forwards stuff for 12 months after you move if you give them an address. So why don’t you just send them something to the address you have? (This is what happened with me, my forwarding ran out at the end of this last January.)

According to this… … the Post Office will no longer give out an individual’s forwarding address, but it does not give a reason.

However, this blog post… … suggests an alternative method of obtaining a forwarding address, but notes that it usually doesn’t work.

I’m not posting the actual text here because I don’t know if it’s legal. I have no reason to believe it isn’t, but who knows.

Finally, according to the USPS:

So yeah, Privacy Act is why they won’t give you forwarding info anymore. That said, the Privacy Act was in effect ten years ago, too, so that doesn’t make sense.

Suggestion: try the voter registration rolls for your state. They’re public record.

If the Post Office has a forwarding address, they will automatically forward 1st class mail for one year. All you have to do is mail your letter to the old address.

Yep. The whole point of giving your new address to the post office is so they can forward your mail for a year. That’s the only reason they’d have it, anyway, so there’s no need to get it from them.