The short answer is no you cannot send a parcel to a PO box. As parcel companies are primarily used to track and confirm delivery of their assignments, as well as for guaranteed delivery at specific dates and times, sending a parcel to a post office box is impossible. With no one to sign and accept delivery of your parcel at the destination, parcels cannot complete their mandate and, as such, will not deliver to a PO box.
If the issue around using a full address for delivery is that the recipient won’t be home and would prefer to collect from the post office, then choose a parcel service that will redeliver to a local post office after one failed delivery attempt. Alternatively, the recipient can ask for the parcel to be redelivered to a work place or alternative address where someone can sign for delivery.
Deliver to an international PO box may be possible, but will depend on a number of factors including the parcel’s contents, destination, service chosen and, obviously, the parcel company you use. Double check with your parcel company of choice, or search for a parcel company that can provide the service you need and ask for more information.
Should you be wishing to deliver your parcel to a HM Forces PO box, however, there are some parcel companies who can accommodate you. In order to ship to a BFPO, the parcel company will need the BFPO number, name, rank, sub-unit and unit to ensure that your parcel is delivered correctly. When sending abroad, tracking is only available on your parcel up until the point of departure from the UK, no tracking information can be provided past UK borders for security reasons. Due to the transitory nature of enlisted personnel, should the service member be relocated after your parcel has been shipped, some parcel companies will redirect free of charge.
Whether it’s for business or personal use, USPS ® offers a range of PO Box ™ sizes to hold your mail and packages safely at a Post Office ™ facility near you. Many locations allow 24/7 PO Box access, and if a package is too large to fit in your box, we’ll hold it for you. Your location may also offer free Premium PO Box Services such as smartphone alerts to let you know when you have mail.
Reserve a New PO Box
Search for a new PO Box at any Post Office location. Reserve with your existing account or new USPS.com account.
The address or ZIP Code ™ you entered is invalid.
Be sure to enter a street, city, and state or a 5 digit US ZIP Code ™ .
Renew or Manage
Already have a PO Box? Save time and make an online payment for the PO Box you’re managing.
Link a PO Box
Once you reserve a PO Box at the Post Office, link it to your USPS.com account and easily manage it online.
Why to Get a PO Box
Know your deliveries are safe at the Post Office and not sitting on your doorstep unprotected.
Keep your home address private and important documents confidential for peace of mind.
Get mail at your convenience with 24/7 access in some locations and extended hours in others.
Apply for a PO Box
Step 1: Search for Post Office locations near you using the search bar under “Reserve a New PO Box.”
Step 2: Choose a Post Office location and make selections on your desired PO Box size and payment period.
Step 3: Enter your contact and billing information to reserve your PO Box.
Set Up Automated Payments
Step 1: Select “Manage Account” and sign in with your USPS.com credentials.
Step 2: Find your PO Box on the “Manage Your Account” page and select “Setup Auto-Renew.”
Step 3: Change your payment period if you wish, and enroll in Automatic Renewal.
Link an Existing PO Box
Step 1: Select “Link” above and sign in with your USPS.com credentials.
Step 2: Enter in your PO Box number, ZIP Code ™ , and last name or business name.
Step 3: Confirm your PO Box details and submit. You can now manage your PO Box online.
PO Boxes have been a go-to option for many businesses as well as individuals. The benefits PO boxes get with them are many and one can never ignore them. PO boxes are helpful to all the people who are travelling frequently, or have long working hours or maybe who just prefer to keep their privacy intact.
Having a registered postal office box enables one to get access to the right of receiving and sending mails from the postal office box address. Wherever you are in the world, your mails and parcels will get delivered to the post office in the shortest time possible.
Benefits of PO Boxes:
Postal office boxes top the demand charts nowadays for not just one of two but because of the several benefits, they offer. Let us have a look at the reasons to choose postal office boxes for communication purposes:
- No time delay – Receiving and sending mails to and from the postal office boxes, saves a lot of time. We all know that all the mails or parcels which get delivered at our doorstep, first reach the postal office box and then are sent out for home deliveries. By having the postal office box as the recipient address, one can save the time spent from the postal office box to home delivery.
- One stop shop – The postal office boxes not just provide the service of mail management but also provide services like notary service, passport service, shipping and packaging, etc. Getting all these services under one roof is altogether a different experience.
- Street address – PO box addresses earlier came without a street address. Absence of street address became a hurdle in the delivery process. The scenario has changed now and the post office provides each registered person with a PO box street address. With the availability of street addresses, each and every delivery became possible from all the delivery partners.
- Privacy – The biggest benefit that comes with a registered post office box is that of privacy. People tend not to share their residential address with a new individual everytime they want to get something delivered. With the existence of post office boxes, this concern for privacy has clearly vanished.
Now that we all know what an amazing service a postal office box is, it is important to know how the postal office box address can make a difference when written in an incorrect manner.
Postal offices provide people with a dedicated mailbox number. Along with the number, postal offices also provide the complete address of the place to their customers, so that there is clarity at the time of delivery.
Once the whole registration process is complete, each registered individual is handed over with the details of their mailbox. These details may then be entered each time a postal address is asked for.
While all this might sound great, it is important to write your postal address box in an accurate manner. Improper way of writing the address might lead to a delay in delivery or might even end up in non-delivery of mails and parcels.
How to write a PO Box online?
This is a crucial question. Only when one is aware of the way of writing an address can one be sure that the delivery would be quick and safe. Let’s see how your address looks without the postal office box:
345 Main Street
Anytown, USA 01011
Once you have a look at a PO Box address you will be able to identify the difference. It looks like:
Anytown, USA 01011
The difference lies in the street address. While writing the postal office box address all one has to do is replace the street address with the postal office box number and you are good to go.
Owning a valid PO box address will not only save your time but will also help you in keeping a track of things. You can focus on your professional commitments and you will get a message about the mails received at the postal office box. This latest text message service is a boon to those who are not frequent visitors to the postal office box and who only prefer to go at the time of pick up.
Are you well suited for the Postal office mailbox?
People are always in two minds when it comes to registering for a postal office box. Does the question remain whether this service suits them well or not? The answer is that anyone who receives mails and parcels frequently or who is occupied with their professional commitments should surely register for a postal office box. Apart from that, students or even people who love to travel the world should have a registered postal office box. Basically, this service is useful for each and every individual.
Owning a postal office box in today’s time is a must. It saves time and is cost-efficient. The only thing one should look after is the correct way of writing the PO Box address. If you are clear about that then you are all set to enjoy an amazing mail management service without fail.
The way you address an envelope to a post office (P.O.) box may seem insignificant, but in the business world, even the small details can make or break your professional persona. Also, how well you address your mail can affect how it’s handled and the speed at which it’s delivered, according to the United States Postal Service (USPS). The more accurate the address, the better. So, before you send the next small or large mail piece to a supplier, sub-contractor, potential backer, client or potential client, correctly add the P.O. box number and check a few other mailing details.
P.O. Box or Street Address
When you’re addressing an envelope to a client or associate, don’t include the P.O. box number and the street address. Use one or the other, not both. If you decide to use the street address and it includes a directional, such as SW for Southwest, do not leave it out. A street address can vary, depending on its directional location, whereas a post office box is a uniquely numbered locking compartment.
Periods and Abbreviations
What about the periods in the term P.O. box? And should you use its abbreviated form to address an envelope? The USPS prefers that you omit all periods (and commas), and use standard abbreviations in the address block, so simply write it as “PO BOX”, not “P.O. BOX.”
Positioning the P.O. Box Number in the Address Block
The address block consists of all the lines in an address. The order of each line is important for efficient handling. Begin a mailing address with the recipient’s name, roughly centered on the envelope. Below the name, include a business name, if applicable. Then, add the post office box number (or the street address). On the last line, include the city, state and ZIP code.
- JOE RECIPIENT
- RECIPIENT CONTRACTING
- PO BOX 123
- CHICAGO IL 60601
For all domestic or international mail, write addresses as legibly as possible. In accordance with USPS standards, align each line of the address block to the left and, preferably, write all words and abbreviations in capital letters. Again, no periods or commas. Write your return address in the same format as the address block. Position the return address in the top-left corner of the envelope.
Dealing with P.O. Box Designations
If you look up an address and notice that the P.O. box number appears along with a designation, such as CALLER, BIN or DRAWER, omit the designation on the envelope. For instance, instead of writing “BIN M,” write “PO BOX M” when addressing outgoing mail.
Improving Legibility and Efficiency
Businesses typically have a lot of incoming and outgoing mail, so writing addresses by hand seems impractical. Consider using a printer to make address labels, which improve address readability and workload efficiency. If you have a USPS account, you can use its Click-N-Ship feature to print labels for priority mail, buy stamps, set a preferred language for your international customers and more. Taking advantage of such tools not only helps polish your professional image but, more importantly, earns time for you to spend growing your venture.
To check it out, go to www.usps.com/poboxes and click on Go under “Locate a Post Office Box” on the right-hand side. When you enter a ZIP Code or address to locate an available P.O. Box, you receive a list of the closest Post Offices along with P.O. Box information for each office.
Does PO Box stand for post office box?
A post office box (commonly abbreviated as P.O. box, or also known as a postal box) is a uniquely addressable lockable box located on the premises of a post office station.
Will the government send mail to a PO box?
Only the United States Postal Service® is permitted to deliver mail to (place mail in) a PO Box. For mailing purposes, PO Boxes are considered a physical location.
What do I need to get a PO box in Colorado?
How To Get a PO Box In Person
- Bring two forms of ID with you.
- Go to the post office where you want your PO Box located.
- Get a PO Box rental form (essentially a variation of Form 1583) at the counter.
- Turn it in at the counter and get your keys to your PO Box.
How can I get a PO box address for free?
The Postal Service offers no-fee post office (PO) box service to customers who do not receive any form of carrier delivery. Customers apply for the no-fee PO box service by completing an application and providing identification to a Postal Service employee.
Why is my address not valid?
That address will be labeled as “invalid.” Some of the most common reasons that may happen, is due to a vacant address, or simply a new address or unregistered address and even one that is located in a postal area that is primarily serviced by PO Boxes.
What Cannot be sent to a PO box?
UPS Packages Anything sent via UPS cannot be delivered to a post office box. UPS requires a physical address.
What do I need to open a PO Box USPS?
To get a PO Box number and pick up your keys, you’ll need to show two valid IDs: one photo ID and non-photo ID. Your ID must be current, contain sufficient information to confirm that you are who you claim to be, and be traceable to you.
How can I get free PO Box?
How can I get free addresses?
To find mailing addresses for free, use the Whitepages website to search for a person’s name, then click on “View Full Profile” to find that person’s mailing address.
Why is USPS saying my address is invalid?
An “Invalid Address” warning indicates that the postal address entered was inconsistent with the United States Postal Service maintained addresses. The address you provided could not be verified with the United States Postal Service (USPS) database.
Why doesn’t USPS recognize my address?
Will Amazon ship to a PO box?
Amazon mostly uses UPS for Prime/FBA shipments. UPS (and Fedex too) will not ship to a PO Box. Only USPS can ship to a PO Box. Priority and Expedited are not available for post office box addresses.
What can a PO box not be used for?
PO Boxes do not provide a professional business image. A physical street address is required for your registered agent for an LLC or corporation and PO Boxes are not accepted. A PO Box can only receive mail delivered through USPS and not other carriers such as FedEx or UPS.
Who qualifies for a free post office box?
How can I find an address by name for free?
AnyWho provides a free online people search directory where you can find people by their name, address or you can do a reverse lookup by phone number. The AnyWho People Search is updated weekly with phone numbers of individuals from across the nation.
How do I register an address with USPS?
Complete PS Form 3575. Register your new address with the United States Postal Service (USPS) by filing the change of address form. You can register online or by telephone for a $1 fee, or register for free by completing a change of address form and delivering it to your local post office.
A street address is a standard format of contact information used on most mail pieces. Yet many organizations and individuals prefer mailing to a PO box. This may even be the only option they offer. Hence, anyone who regularly uses direct mail should know how PO boxes work and how mailing to a PO box differs from regular mailing.
In today’s article, we’re going to answer all the main questions about mailing to a PO box. Read our blog to find out:
- What is a PO box address?
- How to write a PO box address: format and guidelines
- How do PO boxes work, and what mail sizes are they suitable for?
- PO box business uses cases: When mailing to a PO box is better than using a street address?
What is a PO Box Address?
A PO box mailing address is the address of a numbered box in a post office where the letters of a specific person or organization are kept. It is usually a 2 to 5 digit number that represents the location of the postal box.
Businesses and individuals rent PO boxes to receive mail directly to the post office and store it there. This speeds up the delivery, makes mailing to a PO box more secure than regular mail, and enables the recipient to get an alternative mail address, which is an excellent option for someone who doesn’t want to get mail to their home or business address.
How to Write a PO Box Address: Format and Guidelines
Mailing to a PO box is easy once you learn where to fill out the address and what contact information to provide. So each time you are reaching out to people who rent a PO box, make sure to follow the next steps:
Step 1. How to Write a PO Box Address: Write the Recipient’s Address in the Middle
Start writing the delivery address in the center. Put the first and the last name of the recipient on the first address line. If you are addressing a company or organization, put its name right below the recipient’s name. Next, you need to indicate the PO box number by writing the “PO box” + 2-5 digit number. The USPS prefers senders to leave out all punctuation since this simplifies the filtering and scanning process. The last line must include the ZIP code, city, and state.
Step 2. How to Write a PO Box Address: Provide the Return Address
Leave the return address in the upper lefthand corner. The return address is necessary to instantly inform the recipient who is the sender and get back the mail piece if undelivered.
Step 3. How to Write a PO Box Address: Double-check the Address Information and Send the Mail
Carefully look through everything you’ve written on the envelope. Once you check the delivery and return addresses, you can take the mail to the post office and send it to one of the box locations.
Note. If you deal with large volumes of direct mail, consider partially or fully automating it. You will no longer have to write mailing addresses manually, bring mail to the United States Postal Service, and take care of delivery. Inkit’s mail automation services can render, print, deliver, and track tailored mailpieces for you.
How Do PO Boxes Work and What Mail Sizes Are They Suitable For?
Whether you are mailing to a PO box or want to arrange one for yourself, you need to know how PO boxes work. Even though there is nothing complicated in managing a PO box, some rules and limitations still apply. So let’s discuss the basics.
How Do PO Boxes Work?
A PO box is a storage place in the post office’s lobby area where the specific recipient’s incoming mail is stored. The owner can lock the box with a key or a combination lock and access the deliveries 24/7. Even though one can rent a PO box in any post office, in most cases, mail recipients opt for the closest locations.
Pay attention that post office boxes aren’t suitable for high volumes of mail and don’t support private shipping carriers, including UPS, FedEx, and Amazon.
Besides, when deciding whether to use a PO box, you should keep in mind the sizing of packages. If the mailpiece doesn’t fit into your box, you will need to collect it from a window clerk. Below are the main 5 PO box sizes to pick from:
- X-Small (3″ x 5 1/2″ x 14 3/4″). The PO box can accommodate up to 2 rolled magazines or 10-15 letter-sized envelopes
- Small (5″ x 5 1/2″ x 14 3/4″). The small box fits up to 5 rolled magazines or 10-15 letter-sized envelopes
- Medium (11″ x 5 1/2” x 14 3/4″). This PO box would be wide enough for large envelopes and magazines if they are stacked flat.
- Large (11″ x 11″ x 14 3/4″). You can put two shoeboxes here and 10-15 letters.
- X-Large (22 1/2″ x 12″ x 14 3/4″). The largest box is suitable for parcels and Flat Rate Boxes.
For more information on mailing size, read our complete guide on postcard dimensions to help you understand what mail sizes can satisfy your personal or business needs.
PO Box Business Use Cases: Benefits of Mailing to a PO Box over Using a Street Address
If you are a startup and don’t want to share your home address, mailing to a PO box can help you look more professional. We’ve all heard about Apple, Amazon, Google, and other world-renowned companies that started in a garage. So in case you are a beginner without a business address, use box rental for official messages. You will be able to communicate with partners and potential customers through direct mail while maintaining your business reputation.
When banks, insurers, debt collectors, and other institutions need to send critical communications, they often opt for mailing to a PO box over regular street addresses. Since PO boxes are located in post offices, they are more secure than street mailboxes. Therefore, if you need to mail a confidential document or notice, always prefer mailing to a PO box.
Similarly to startups, e-commerce, and other digital enterprises don’t always have business addresses. Nevertheless, they still regularly receive print communications and need to share trustworthy contact details. That’s when mailing to a PO box can help. Apply for your personal box in the nearest post office to get well-protected storage for your business communications.
Business owners that frequently travel
Mailing to a PO box gives you the freedom to grab your mail and packages whenever you need it. If you want to protect your letters’ security and privacy while you’re far away, rent a PO box to store your mailings there.
Regardless of multiple mailing uses to a PO, the standard mailing process is still more common, especially once you upgrade it with direct mail automation software for highly-targeted and personalized mail.
Have any questions about automating different kinds of mailing? Let’s talk
Q. What is PO Boxes Online?
A. PO Boxes Online is a quick, easy, and convenient service that allows you to:
Q. When will PO Boxes Online be available?
A. With automatic payment, your semi-annual or annual PO Box fees are automatically paid using the credit card of your choice. It takes just a few minutes to set up and it saves time in the future! To set up automatic payment, you will need to use a card previously stored or add a new card.
2. Enter either a valid street address or a ZIP Code under “Search for a PO Box.”
3. Click Search and select a PO Box at a specific Post Office location.
1. Search for an available PO Box by entering an address or a ZIP Code in “Search for a PO Box.”
2. Choose an available PO Box size, indicating a 6- or 12-month payment preference and click Con tinue.
3. Complete the online PO Box application and add additional box users (who will receive mail in the box), if applicable. Business customers will need to add their title. If the information is correct and complete, read the Privacy Act Statement and click in the box located to the left of “I have read the Privacy Act Statement” and click Submit.
4. Select your payment method by entering your credit card information. If you want to save the card, click in the box to the left of “Save credit card to My Account.” You are allowed to save three credit cards to your account. Next, read the refund policy and if you accept the refund policy, click on the box to the left of “I accept the refund policy” and click Continue.
5. Review the Application and Payment Review page for accuracy. Click in the box to the left of “I hereby authorize the US Postal Service to charge the amount specified to the designated credit card” and click Continue.
A. PO Boxes Online accepts American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and VISA.
A. No, PO Boxes Online does not currently support use of credit cards with international billing addresses.
A. In order to pick up your PO Box keys (or combination number) and box number (reserved and paid for online), you must present two items of valid ID to the Post Office; one item must contain a photograph. Social Security cards, credit cards, and birth certifi cates are unacceptable as ID. The following are acceptable forms of identification:
driver’s license or state non-driver’s identification card. nized corporate identification card. certificate of naturalization . deed of trust . vehicle insurance policy.
Applicants must present identification that is current, contains sufficient information to confirm they are who they claim to be, and that is traceable to them.
A. If you wish to apply and pay for a PO Box online, an account with USPS.com ® is required. If you already have an existing account with Click-N-Ship ® or The Postal Store ® , the same username and password may be used for PO Boxes Online.
A. When opening a new PO Box online, you will pay the 6- or 12-month fee plus $2.00 for the key deposit. Two keys are provided with every new box. When renewing a PO Box, you will choose a 6- or 12-month payment period, and then you will pay the fees for that upcoming period.
A. Visit the “My Details and Options” page within PO Boxes Online and click View online payment history. From this page, you can see the past 3 years of online PO Box payment transactions.
A. Yes, you can have your PO Box at the Post Office that is most convenient to your home or business. Often, the Post Office geographically closest to you may not be in your ZIP Code.
Q. After I apply and pay for a PO Box Online what happens next? Do I need to take anything to the Post Office?
A. Once you have applied and paid for a PO Box online, print the completed application (PS Form 1093), and take the application along with two forms of ID to the Post Office where you have paid for the PO Box.
Note: You must visit the Post Office during business hours to provide your IDs and to receive your keys (or combination) and box number.
A. After you have provided your completed online PS Form 1093 and two valid forms of ID, and after the Post Office employee has verified the IDs, you will be provided with the keys or the combination number to your PO Box. Note: You must visit the Post Office during business hours to provide your ID and to re ceive your keys and box number.
A. Sign into your USPS.com account by entering your username and password below “Manage a PO Box.” Click Continue when you see, “Have a PO Box that you want to manage online?” Add the PO Box number and PO Box ZIP Code where you currently rent your PO Box. Enter your last name and/or business/organization name and click Continue. This directs you to the “My Details and Options” page and provides you with payment options for your existing PO Boxes.
A. Currently, you are limited to managing five PO Boxes per Post Office online. For additional boxes, or to upgrade to Caller Service, visit your local Post Office.
A. Not at this time. Payments for your caller/reserve service can continue to be mailed in or paid in person at the Post Office that provides the caller/reserve service.
A. Yes, once you have signed up to manage your PO Box Online, you will receive an e-mail reminder at the beginning of the month your payment is due.
A. You must be 18 years or older to apply for a PO Box online. Your ID will be verified at the Post Office. If you are under 18 years of age and want a PO Box, see the local Post Office for the guidelines.
When starting a business, you have a lot of decisions to make, from naming your company to hiring your first employee. Before that, you have to list an address on your business’s incorporation documents. States require a physical address when you register your business with the secretary of state in your state.
That may seem easy if you’re opening a brick and mortar storefront, but startups and remote businesses might have a tougher time deciding what address to use.
When registering a business, you’ll need to use a physical address and not a P.O. box. Whether you decide to establish your business as a sole proprietorship, a c-corporation, or an LLC, you'll need to decide what business address to use to register your business.
What address do you use when registering your business if you don’t have a physical office?
It may seem like the easiest solution to this is to use your home address or rent a USPS post office box for your registered agent address. However, using your residential address could pose many security problems (business addresses are public information!) and most states do not allow PO boxes as business addresses on legal paperwork.
What is a registered agent?
Small business owners who have an LLC, or limited liability company, will need to designate a registered agent for the business.
In many cases, the company’s owner or a person in senior leadership serves as the registered agent. All official notices, government correspondence, and compliance-related documents go to the registered agent.
Registered agents need to meet specific requirements. These vary by state, but sometimes require them to live in the state where your business operates and have a physical address to receive important documents. This means you can’t use a PO box.
What address should you use to register your business when you don’t want to use your home address and can’t use a PO box?
You can’t register your business with a PO box, but you can use a virtual address. You don’t want to go through the hassle of having your state reject the paperwork you file for your business.
When you use a virtual address for your business, you not only meet legal paperwork requirements, you keep your residential address private.
What is a virtual mailbox?
A virtual mailbox allows a provider to digitize your mail so you can access mail online from anywhere. Virtual addresses are real street addresses, but your company just does not occupy the address space.
A virtual address gives you an actual street address without spending money on office rent. It will also keep your home address private and your personal life separate. You also don’t risk missing important business mail if you move houses.
Can you use a virtual address for a registered agent?
Short answer: this depends on where you live. Each state creates its own rules about registered agents. In most states, you or another individual from your company can act as the registered agent as long as you live within the state. However, someone would need to be present at that address during working hours to sign for important documents, and the registered agent’s address is publicly available on the Secretary of State’s website.
Do all states require my business to have an in-state address?
States such as Alabama, California, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Oregon require your LLC business address to be located within their state’s borders. In these cases, you can use a virtual business address to register your business in those states without actually living there.
Only a few states allow you to use a PO Box as your business address. New York and Montana are two states that allow the use of PO Boxes on these forms.
Using a virtual address when your business has physical office space
If your business has an office or location, you may want to use that as the mailing address on your paperwork. However, a virtual address could still benefit you by digitizing your mail, outsourcing your mailroom, and automatically depositing checks. Plus, if you ever move your office, you will need to refile your registered agent address with your secretary of state.
Ready to learn more about how a virtual mailbox and address can help your business? Learn more.
In the civil process service world, few jobs are more challenging than those without a physical address. And while cases in which you are given a post office box may offer slightly more information, there is a chance that they could be just as challenging as those cases without addresses.
Unless service is being mailed using the USPS and certified mail, you will need to do some work to determine the physical address of the individual you need to serve. In an effort to take some of the mystery out of these serves, we’re outlining some tips for how to tackle locating and serving the individual and make these types of serves not as challenging as they appear.
(Don’t) Serve the PO Box
If only it were that easy… Although service can sometimes be effectuated using certified mail, if personal service is required, you cannot serve a Post Office box. In those cases, you would have to serve the individual named on the summons. Furthermore, you cannot serve post office workers. Not only will employees at the post office not be able to accept service for an individual holding a box at the post office, they will likely refuse. If for some reason they were to accept service, it could be deemed unacceptable, and the service could be thrown out in court. You will need to locate the physical address in order to complete or attempt personal service, or you will have to serve the individual on the street.
Locate the Physical Address
When you’ve been given a PO Box, the order of business to tackle is to identify the physical address. Having this information will obviously put you in a better position to effectuate service. Luckily, there is a fairly easy way to obtain it given that you have all necessary information.
While not something that the general public can easily access, obtaining the physical address of a PO Box is a little easier for process servers. You can easily request the PO Box owner’s verified address, but it must be done in writing using the correct form. The form is available online on the USPS website. According to the USPS website, “Agencies must use the Address Information Request Format – Government Agencies in accordance with regulations at 39 CFR 265.6(d)(5)(i) & 265.6(d)(7) when requesting address verification. If the request lacks any of the required information or a proper signature, the custodian must return the request to the agency specifying the deficiency in the space marked “other”.” There is also another “boxholder request” form, which is available on the United States Post Office website.
Keep in mind that completing that form does not guarantee that you will be given the box holder’s information, and if you incorrectly fill out the form, the post office is not required to complete your request.
No Address? No Problem with Skip Tracing
In the event that you are unable to obtain the box holder’s physical address, or if the address you are given turns out to be a dead-end lead, you can utilize skip tracing services. While some civil process service companies offer skip tracing services to their clients, some companies exclusively specialize in this service, which taps into a number of resources in order to locate the current address of an individual.
Depending on the company or what resources you have available, you may be able to access vehicle registration and/or utility records. And regardless of whether you use a professional skip tracer, don’t forget about various public records accessible to anyone, such as the county assessor’s office and other public records!
STOP! Hold That Service
In the event that you cannot locate the physical address of the individual to be served, keep in mind that you cannot drop or post service inside a United States Post Office. If you choose to wait for an individual to pick up his or her mail, you would need to attempt service on the actual individual.
Do You Accept The Challenge?
Although civil process service can have its challenges, there is certainly nothing stopping a civil process server from rising to the occasion and completing the service. Many process servers choose to require that their clients find the address of the party to be served, whereas some offer that as a value-added service. Depending on the volume of work you do, your time, and ability, choosing to handle service without having a physical address is entirely up to you and your business — just be upfront about it with your clients to maintain a positive business relationship.
Does your firm accept jobs in which the client only has a PO Box? If so, how do you handle it and did we miss anything that should be included?
For many reasons, traditional mailboxes aren’t right for everyone. Fortunately, many alternatives could fit your lifestyle or your business’ needs. One of the most common alternatives to a regular mailbox is a Post Office Box (PO Box).
PO Boxes are quite popular because they help address some of the limitations of a physical mailbox, like security and privacy. In this post, we’ll explain how PO Boxes work, why people decide to rent them, and shed some light on how to get a PO Box without a physical address.
What is a PO Box?
USPS PO Boxes are lockboxes housed at local post offices. PO Boxes are probably the most common alternative to traditional mailboxes, and individuals or businesses can use them. PO Boxes typically come in a range of sizes and are available at post offices. Access to PO Boxes in some post office locations is available 24/7 for convenience.
Why do people sign up for PO Boxes?
PO Boxes are generally considered to be a more secure option than traditional mailboxes. A common reason people sign up for mailboxes is to maintain their privacy because PO Boxes are tied to mailing addresses, as opposed to physical or residential addresses. PO Boxes offer people a way to receive postal mail without having to tell senders where they live. Additionally, unlike most mailboxes, PO Boxes are locked or require a code to access. This adds another layer of security than most mailboxes.
People sign up for PO Boxes because they may not regularly have access to their physical mailbox. For example, people who travel for work or for extended periods of time are not necessarily able to keep up with their physical mailbox without the help of a friend or neighbor. This can pose other security risks, of course.
The Limitations of a PO Box
While a PO Box certainly has many benefits, there are some things you’ll want to consider before renting one. Most notably, if you are a frequent traveler or lead a nomadic life, keep in mind that you will still not be able to keep a close eye on what you receive.
Of course, you can pair a personal PO Box with Informed Delivery and stay abreast of what you receive. Informed Delivery is a free service offered by the USPS that sends users pictures of the outside of incoming postal mail pieces. Informed Delivery keeps you posted about what pieces of postal mail you’re receiving. However, even if you know you are receiving something important or time-sensitive, you won’t be able to see your postal mail contents with Informed Delivery, much less act on it.
If you frequently receive packages, a PO Box address is probably not the best option for you. Major carriers like UPS and FedEx will not deliver packages to PO Boxes provided by USPS. Even if senders are not using these carriers, you may still run into issues because of the PO Box size. In that case, the post office will typically hold onto the package for you at the desk, but this can still be a nuisance if you plan to regularly receive packages.
How to get a PO Box Without a Street Address?
One of the biggest limitations of a USPS PO Box is that you must provide a permanent, physical address to be eligible for one. This poses an issue for nomadic people who don’t maintain a traditional, permanent residence.
Do you need a street address for a PO Box?
That being said, there are still options. If you don’t mind not being able to open or act on your postal mail remotely, you can research private PO Box services offered by companies instead of the USPS. Depending on your service provider, you may not need to have a permanent address to sign up. Of course, you’ll also want to look into any restrictions about packages for your service provider.
PO Box Alternatives
However, there is one alternative to a traditional PO Box that doesn’t have the same restrictions and gives you more power to act on your postal mail. A virtual mailbox or virtual PO Box, like the ones we offer at Earth Class Mail, offer you much of the same security that a PO Box does. With a virtual mailbox, you will receive a virtual address. This address is a real, physical address offered by the service provider and is not tied to where you live or work.
Earth Class Mail accepts postal mail on behalf of its customers, scans the content, and uploads copies as PDFs available within their account, just like email. Earth Class Mail does not have carrier restrictions for packages, and we can receive and forward packages or physical copies of your postal mail as needed. A virtual mailbox or PO Box will give you all the security benefits of a traditional PO Box while also offering added capabilities and convenience.
Is a PO Box right for me?
PO Boxes are a very common alternative to traditional mailboxes and for good reason. They offer enhanced security for your postal mail and depending on your location and needs, can be very convenient in terms of proximity.
Overall, a traditional PO Box can certainly help address any security concerns you have about your current mailbox. However, they are not the best choice for everyone. If you plan to receive packages frequently or don’t want to wait until you are able to visit your mailbox to act on your postal mail, you definitely should know how to get a PO Box and you should consider a virtual mailbox provider like Earth Class Mail.
A virtual mailbox will offer the same security benefits as a PO Box, but without some of the limitations. Sign up today.