How to Set Up a PO Box When You Move

Moving is a task that comes with a lot of stress. There are plenty of things you must take care of when you move, and forwarding your mail is one of the most important ones. However, forwarding your mail can be hard if you do not know your new residential address. In that case, setting up a PO Box would be your best alternative.

But you may not find it easy to set up a PO Box. You can think PO Boxes are not as common as a regular mailbox. However, many people use a PO Box to avoid having their mail pile up while they cannot tend to it. And mail piling up, or even getting lost, can easily happen during your move. Therefore, setting up a PO Box, at least temporarily, can be a smart move to take care of your correspondence and dedicate more time to your move. Learn everything you need to know to set up a PO Box to receive your mail.

PO Box Basics and Costs

In short, a post office box is a personal mailing box that is inside a post office. This box is a safe and secure way that ensures that no one tampers with your mail. For your convenience, many post offices are open 24-hours so you can easily access your mail when you need to.

To rent a PO Box, you must cover a fee that depends on the size of the box. The time that you need the box for will also affect its price, as well as the location of the post office where you rent it. You can find the fee to cover the rent of a personal mailing box online or ask about the specific fees at your local postal office.

Generally, an extra small PO Box for a year can cost around $108.  A small box for a year would cost you $150 while a medium box costs approximately $250 per year. Bigger PO Boxes cost more than $450 for 12 months and may end up costing around $700. Furthermore, you can pay reservation and renewal fees online using a debit or credit card.

PO Box Sizes

Now that you are familiar with what a PO Box is and its different pricing range, you need to understand how big each one is. You should determine which size is right for you by considering how much correspondence you usually get and how often you will be checking your mail. If you are expecting bigger packages in the mail, you may also consider getting a bigger PO Box. The sizes for personal office boxes are:

  • Extra small: can hold up to 10 letter envelopes.
  • Small: up to 15 letter envelopes or five rolled magazines.
  • Medium: a medium box allows for bigger envelopes and magazines to be stored flat.
  • Large: two shoe box-sized packages and 15 letter envelopes
  • Extra Large: can hold multiple flat rate boxes and parcels.

Is a PO Box right for you?

There are several advantages to renting a PO Box, even if after you move. In fact, a lot of people prefer having a PO Box over their regular house mailbox for many reasons. For instance, personal office boxes are very useful for people that live in areas hard to reach by regular mail delivery staff.

These boxes are also useful if you are a frequent traveler and are not in town often to check your mail. PO Boxes grant their owners privacy and security, and those are the two top priorities that the post office gives correspondence. Moreover, you will keep your personal address private and your documents confidential. The Post Office will also separate your home business mail and personal mail.

On the other hand, there are also some negative characteristics that PO Boxes have. First, you have to drive somewhere else any time you go to check for your mail instead of having it right in front of your door. Moreover, you may not be able to pick your mail at any time unless the location you pick offers 24-hour service. And you can see, renting a PO box is also costly, especially if you need a big box to fit all of your correspondence. You should consider these factors and decide if a PO Box is right for what you need.

Required Documents to Rent a PO Box

The USPS requires that you have at least one proof of identification and a non-photo ID when you arrive at the postal office. The credentials that you use as identification must be current and sufficient to prove your identity. These documents must also be traceable to you, so make sure that you have sufficient documentation before heading to the postal office.

You can use documents such as your driver’s license or state ID card. A military or student ID is also acceptable documents you can use. As for non-photo identifications, you can present legal documents such as vehicle registration, lease or a house mortgage. The post office will not accept documents like your Social Security or credit cards.

How to Reserve a PO Box

If you are moving and decide that a PO Box is right for you, you can quickly set on up. You can apply online or in person at the Post Office. Keep in mind that you will need the documents listed above for either of these methods.

How to Apply in Person

To apply in person, you must print and complete form USPS form 1093. Once you fill out the form, you must take to a post office that is convenient for you. Keep in mind your new location when you choose the post office you want your PO Box to be. Then, the Post Office must verify your credentials and process your payment. Once they complete this part, you will receive your PO Box service to use.

How to Apply Online

To apply online, you must sign up and find a PO Box near your new location. Then, you will be able to see the box sizes available to rent. Choose the box size and the amount of time you will need it for. Available times typically are for three, six or 12 months. After you complete your application, you can bring the printed form, along with a payment receipt and your forms of ID to the post office you chose.