If you are not comfortable with sharing your home address, a PO box might be the solution for you. You can get the mail sent to a private box in your city post office for a monthly payment. The security and anonymity that a P. O.box provides might be exactly what you need.
Note: this applies to the United States
Method 1 of 4: Request a PO Box
Step 1. Fill out the applications
You can do this online at usps.com or print a form and take it to the post office. Before you begin, consider the following questions::
- Where do you want your PO box to be located? Are there two branches near your home? Would you prefer one more than the other? Or is there only one post office where you can rent a PO box?
- Do you have any preferences regarding size? Post office mailboxes come in five sizes. The smallest is 3 inches (7.6 cm) by 5.5 inches (14.0 cm) and the largest is 22.5 inches (57.2 cm) by 12 inches (30.5 cm). Monthly payments are based on the size of the mailbox, so you should try to get a small one, according to your needs.
- Write down who is authorized to receive correspondence at your PO box. You will be able to make a list of names on the application.
Step 2. Prepare two forms of identification
Whether you request the section online or in person, you will need to present two forms of identification. This is what you need:
- Photo identification. For the first identification document you can use your driver's license, state identification card, passport, foreign national identification card or any other photo identification issued by the government, the armed forces, an educational institution or an identification card issued by a company.
- Identification without photo. Your second identification document must be linked, in some way, to your address. Acceptable documents include: current mortgage or lease, voter registration or auto registration document, or auto or home insurance policy.
- Keep in mind that your birth certificate, your Social Security card, and your credit cards are "not" valid forms of identification.
Step 3. Make advance payments
You can reserve the section for 3, 6 or 12 months.
Note that mailbox rental rates vary by location. Not all branches charge the same price
Method 2 of 4: Prepare
Step 1. Collect the keys from your mailbox
You should receive two keys for each mailbox. Keep in mind that you must pay a guarantee deposit for each key, which will be refunded when you return them and cancel your PO box.
Some mailboxes can be opened with access codes, much like those used in public school lockers. Write down your combination, keep it in a safe place or memorize it
Step 2. Pick up your mail in a timely manner
Because your mailbox has limited space, accumulation is a potential problem. If the backlog of mail gets out of hand, the Postal Service may suspend the mailbox rental.
- If you are going out of town or cannot pick up mail for a considerable period of time, make the necessary arrangements with the head of the post office. If you do it in advance, you will not have any problem.
- Make sure that the size of your PO box is appropriate for the volume of your correspondence. If you think you will receive large packages or a large volume of mail, consider renting a larger mailbox.
Method 3 of 4: Keep Your P. O. Box
Step 1. Update your information in a timely manner
If the information you provided on the mailbox rental form is out of date (for example, if you've moved), be sure to update it as soon as possible. You can do it online or you can visit your city's post office.
Step 2. Find out how refunds work
In some cases, you can get a refund for your PO box if you decide you no longer want to rent it. This is the general list:
- 3 month rental:
- 6 month rental:
Within the first 3 months: half of the amount paid
- After 3 months: no refund
- 12 month rental:
- Within the first 3 months: three quarters of the amount paid
- Within the first 6 months: half of the amount paid
- Within the first 9 months: a quarter of the amount paid
- After 9 months: No refund
Method 4 of 4: Rent a Post Office Box in the UK
Step 1. Consider renting a PO Box with Royal Mail
If you are over 16 years old and have a permanent address in the UK, you can request a variety of PO Boxes from Royal Mail.
- Keep in mind that you must have a permanent address. If your address is "in charge of (a / c)" someone else, you cannot request a PO box.
- Keep in mind that you cannot choose which post office you would like to use. The one that distributes your mail is usually where you are allowed to have a PO box.
Step 2. Choose what type of mailbox you want
The Royal Mail company offers three options:
- Pick up mail at PO Box: This is a traditional PO Box. You have to go to the post office and pick up the mail in person.
- Home delivery of correspondence from the post office box: Items addressed to your post office box will be delivered to your home or business.
- P. O. Box with correspondence transfer directed to a usual address: This service places all correspondence sent to your name in your mailbox, where you will pick it up in person.
Step 3. Choose a rental duration
Royal Mail PO Boxes can be rented for 6 or 12 months. Payment must be made in advance.
Step 4. Download an application from the web and fill it out
See the references section for the link to the application. Your request must include:
- Domicile certificate. You can send one of the following documents to certify your address. The document you include must be original and no older than three months:
- Bank statement or a real estate loan company (no older than three months)
- Telephone receipt (landline only)
- Utility bill (gas, electricity or water no more than three months old)
- Tax return
- Royal Mail account number of an existing service
- Payment of your postal box. You can make the payment through direct debit or a money order.
Step 5. Send your request by mail and wait for the answer
Your mailbox will be ready in two weeks or less. Royal Mail will notify you when your address has been verified and your mailbox is ready. Send your request to:
PO Box Application Team
PO Box 740
- If this mailbox is for a certain type of correspondence only, be sure to let them know that the mailbox is "not" a change of address.
- Your correspondence is private. Protect the key! If you lose it, you will have to pay a penalty.
- If the mailbox you are renting is located in an area where you do not live, the process may take a couple of days to verify your details.
- If you are no longer renting your mailbox from a private company, you cannot request a standard address change from the United States Postal Service. You must notify senders of your new address. If the mailbox is at the post office, you can request a standard change of address to send your correspondence there.
- If you plan to move very often, find a place with quick access to the highway.