Secure Your Mail At A Post Office
Keep your personal or small business mail safe with a Post Office Box , a locked mailbox within a Post Office facility. You can rent a PO Box in a few steps:
Learn more about PO Box sizes, payment options, and benefits, then apply easily online. Already have a PO Box?Manage Your PO Box
The Trouble With Traditional Po Box Addresses
Though there are a lot of benefits to moving forward with a traditional PO Box address, there are a couple of shortcomings as well.
For starters, if you move changing your address is notoriously difficult â and if you move on a regular basis having to update your mailing address all the time is a real pain in the neck.
Secondly, a traditional PO Box address at a post office in your local town or community isnât quite as private or as secure as you might have been led to believe it to be. A little bit of digging can connect the dots to find your physical address from a PO Box address, compromising your privacy and security along the way.
Lastly, with a traditional PO Box from the USPS you actually have to go down and pickup your mail on a routine basis.
The whole point of the PO Box is NOT to have regular daily delivery at your home, but instead to collect your mail a central location that you have to visit to get your mail yourself.
Usps Office Of Inspector General
The Postal Service offers no-fee post office 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. Retail personnel determine customer eligibility and enter data into the Web Box Activity Tracking System , a web-based application that allows retail personnel to manage PO box inventory.
As of March 1, 2018, the Postal Service had about 21.2 million PO boxes at 33,034 retail units. This included 1.3 million nofee PO boxes at 12,556 retail units. We estimated the total rental value of the no-fee PO boxes was about million annually.
We visited three retail units in the Western Area to obtain an understanding of the no-fee PO box process. We expanded our coverage by statistically selecting 205 retail units that offered no-fee PO boxes. Using highrisk analytics, such as multiple boxes assigned to one street address and unpaid fees for additional boxes, we visited an additional 12 retail units from the statistical sample of 205 retail units to validate the data. Finally, per managements request, we visited an additional two retail units.
In total, we visited 17 retail units and reviewed 1,731 no-fee PO boxes corresponding to those units from October 24, 2017, through January 19, 2018.
What the OIG Found
996 no-fee PO boxes at two retail units to customers with invalid street addresses
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Finalize Your Selection And Redirect Your Mail
Once youve picked your size and location, youll need to choose a lease term of six or twelve months and complete the , a simple one-page form to confirm your identity. You will need two forms of ID, one of which must be a photo ID. Once you get your PO box keys, you can start sharing your new address and redirecting your mail.
Overall, the process of getting a PO box is simple and has been in use for many decades.
But should you get a PO box at all these days?
Applying At The Post Office
As an alternative to the online PO box reservation, the USPS will allow you to complete a handwritten version of PS Form 1093. To save some time, you can print it from USPS.com instead of getting the form from a postal service employee and filling it out on site. This document will ask for the same contact information along with the requested box size, your ID numbers, list of PO box users and intended use.
The postal worker will take your payment, verify your documents to check your identity and set up auto-renewal for you depending on your chosen payment term. You can then get the key to your PO box and start using it for business purposes.
What Will I Need To Complete The Po Box Application
Reserving a PO box means you must bring the appropriate identification with you when applying in-person, or confirming your online reservation. There are two acceptable lists of identification you must present at least one form of ID from each list. The secondary form of ID must list your physical address.
Reserve A Po Box Online
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Post Office Box Sizes
There are five standard size options available. What size you choose depends on whether you intend to be accepting just mail or packages too, how often youll be checking the box, and whether youll be using it for all of your incoming mail or just some of it.
The five sizes available are:
Extra Small Can accommodate 10-15 letter-sized envelopes or up to 2 rolled magazines.
Small Can accommodate 10-15 letters or up to 5 rolled magazines.
Medium Wide enough that large envelopes and magazines can be stacked flat.
Large Can easily stack two shoeboxes and still have room for 10-15 letters.
Extra Large Big enough to accommodate Flat Rate Boxes and parcels.
Using Your Nyc Po Box
After you get your PO box in NYC, you may want to file a change of address on the USPS website or at an area post office. You should also notify business contacts who send you mail so they use the new address.
You’ll be able to go into your USPS account to manage the box and update any information needed. For example, you can request renewal when your term expires, update payment methods or make changes to your auto-renewal. If you didn’t apply online, you’ll first need to link the box to your USPS account.
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Other Frequently Asked Questions
Is a PO Box free?
They can be, but there are stipulations. Your residence must be in an area where there is no mail delivery to qualify for a free PO box.
How much is a PO Box per month?
PO Box prices vary by size, rental period, and the location of the post office. Some boxes are as low as $13 for an extra-small box or as high as $625 for an extra-large box.
Do you have to have a physical address to get a PO Box?
Yes, you must have a physical address to rent a PO Box because, on the list of acceptable secondary forms of ID, your physical address must be listed.
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. Save yourself a trip and go online first to check if the size of the PO Box you want is available.
- Get a PO Box rental form at the counter. Fill it out.
- Turn it in at the counter and get your keys to your PO Box.
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Length Of Rental Time
P.O. boxes are available in rental periods of six or 12 months. It is more expensive to constantly renew for shorter rental periods. If you think youll need the P.O. box for at least one year, its cheaper to apply for an annual rental from the start. Your rental can keep renewing if you opt to have the fees charged automatically to a credit card. Use a rewards credit card and collect points as you collect your mail.
Larger Packages For Po Boxes
If you get packages that don’t fit into your PO Box, you’ll either:
- Get a slip to pick them up from the counter during normal business hours
- Get your package from a secure parcel locker at your convenience
*Note: The depth of most PO Boxes is 14.75″. All sizes not available in all locations. Prices differ depending on your location.
Holds 10-15 letters and 3 rolled magazines.
Size: 3″ X 5.5″
Holds 15+ letters, 5 rolled magazines, or 1 Small Priority Mail Flat Rate® Box.
Size: 5″ X 5.5″
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Addressing A Letter Or Package
Post Office Box Alternatives
Are there are any other options besides getting a P.O. box at the post office? Yes, there sure are other alternatives!
A few of the P.O. box alternatives also offer some superior advantages, including accepting packages of any size and from any carrier. Some of these companies also provide registered agent services. This service allows them to receive legal documents and other items that require a signature.
Here are some other methods you may want to consider:
Breakdown Of Po Box Sizes
One of the key determining factors to finding the right mailbox service we highlighted above had to do with thinking about the type of mail you expect to receive, as well as the frequency of mailings that you anticipate hitting your new PO Box. A lot of people jump into this process looking to sign up for the cheapest mailbox available, which inevitably means the smallest mailbox option out there â which may or may not be an ideal situation for the mail that you receive on a regular basis.
If you are looking to take advantage of the services for personal mail than a small mailbox can work perfectly well. You probably only get a handful of bills or letters on a weekly basis, and donât have to worry about overflowing the capacity of that mailbox on a regular basis. If, on the other hand, youâre looking to take advantage of mailbox services for business purposes the odds are good that your mailbox would become overwhelmed pretty quickly if it was quite small â especially if you are pretty active with your own mailings, conduct a lot of business through the mail, or expect and anticipate things being shipped to you on a regular basis, too.
The USPS PO Box services are designed so that you wonât ever have to worry about packages too large to fit in your box not finding their way to you. The local USPS office is going to a small key inside of your PO Box in those eventualities, allowing you access a larger private locker to get your packages from.
How Much Does A Post Office Box Cost
The average cost of a post office box is between $19 and $75 per rental period, according to Bankrate.
The price that youll pay for your rental depends on a few different factors. These include the location of the box . Location can make the difference of hundreds of dollars a year, so if youre quoted a high price at one post office location it may be worth looking at a few others that are still convenient for you before selecting where you want your box to be located.
Other major price factors to consider are the size of your box as well as the length of time that you will be renting it for. Post office boxes are generally rented out in three- and six-month periods, with longer rental periods averaging out to be more cost-effective than going in smaller increments.
The priciest post office boxesmeaning the largest boxes for the longest rental periods in the highest-priced areascan run up to $625 per pay period.
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How To Apply For A Po Box In Person:
- Step 1: Complete PS Form 1093. You can either print this form ahead of time or pick one up from the post office.
- Step 2: Pick your box size. On page one of the form, determine which box size is appropriate, and then select it on page three.
- Step 3: Drop off the form at the Post Office and set up a payment arrangement.
Safe & Secure Professional Mailboxes
Receiving important information in the mail can pose a security risk if you send the mail to your home or local business location. With the potential of important mail becoming lost or compromised, it makes sense to find the best virtual mailbox NYC service for your peace of mind. At Sage Workspace NYC, you can rent a mailbox NYC location that has a professional address and the ultimate in safety.
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How Does A Virtual Nyc Po Box Work
During the signup, select the New York location and your own private suite number. Then notify your senders of your new NYC address and suite number. Mail then gets delivered to your new NYC PO Box. When mail arrives, well send a notification to your preferred device. You can view, forward, store, and shred your mail all from your secured online New York PO Box. You can also schedule a local pickup if you live or are visiting locally.
Help and Support
Popular Alternatives To Po Boxes
Of all the different popular PO Box alternatives out there, none is more flexible, adaptable, or customizable as a virtual mailbox service .
Signing up for a virtual mailbox service is very similar to signing up for a PO Box service, with the main difference being that a lot of the facilitation receiving your mail is handled by private company that digitizes a lot of the process â really streamlining the way that you deal with your mail on a day-to-day basis.
After signing up for a virtual mailbox service youâre given a physical address to use, one that all of your mail will be forwarded through.
As pieces of mail arrive each document, letter, and package will be digitally scanned giving you an opportunity to view everything that hits your mailbox in real time.
You can then choose to have certain items opened and scanned to be sent to you digitally as well, but can also choose to have these pieces of mail or these packages forwarded to a physical mailing address that provides you with an extra layer of security and anonymity have been able to enjoy otherwise.
There is a lot of convenience, a lot of control, and a lot of extra security built into the virtual mailbox solutions provided by US Global Mail. Check out the options available today for more details.
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How To Request A Refund
If you want a refund for your fees, you can make the request either online or in person at the post office where your box is located. Both options are fairly straightforward.
To make your request online, simply log in to your USPS account and visit the Manage Your Account page. From there, you can close and request a refund.
When making your request in person, all you have to do is visit the post office containing your PO Box and request a refund at a service window. Remember to bring your key with you!
How to request a refund inactive PO boxes
Thankfully, getting a refund for a PO Box you didnt pick up the keys for is fairly simple. After 30 days of inactivity, you should see a full refund from the post office. If you cancel within 30 days, you still get a full refund but youll have to make your request first.
How to request a refund active PO boxes
Refunds for active PO boxes are slightly more complicated:
- 3-month rental: You arent eligible for a refund, but you can still close your PO Box online.
- 6-month rental: You can receive a 50% refund if you close your PO Box within the first three months. After the beginning of the fourth month, you wont be able to get a refund.
- 12-month rental: You get a 75% refund when you close your PO Box in the first three months, a 50% refund in the first six months, and a 25% refund in the first nine months after opening it. After the start of the tenth month, youll no longer be eligible for any refund.