Benefits of Having a PO Box and How to Apply for One

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Applying for a PO Box

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There are many benefits to getting a post office box. In addition to being a safe and private way of collecting your mail at your own convenience, PO boxes generally receive mail faster than your own home mailbox.

PO boxes can also be a valuable tool when you move. For instance, if you are not sure of the exact day that you will be moving into your new home, you can have your mail sent to a PO box in the meantime. This way, it will be safe at the post office rather than piling up in the mailbox at your empty home. Even if you already have a PO box for business or other reasons, you may still need to know how to get a new one when you relocate.

How to apply

If you decide to get a PO box, the first step is to fill out an application. You can either pick up an application card at any post office or fill out an online application.

When filling it out, you will have to provide your name, current address, telephone number, and the names of any other people who will receive mail at the box and/or be authorized to open it.

If you fill the application out online, you will first be prompted to search for a post office in your area. After entering your address, you will be presented with a list of nearby post offices. The list will also display the different sizes of PO boxes available at each one.

There are five different boxes, ranging in size from 3” x 5.5” up to 22.5” x 12”. Not all post offices have each size, and, even if they do, they might already be occupied. Additionally, prices for the same-sized box can differ greatly between the post offices of neighboring towns. While you might not mind paying more for a box that is closer to your home, you may be able to get a better deal if you travel a little further to get your mail.

TIP: When considering which post office to use, check the hours that the PO box will be available to you. Some, but not all, post offices have a 24-hour lobby.

As you can see, there are many things to consider when choosing a PO box. Just make sure you find a box and a post office that best match your needs, location, and price range. Pay when you bring the application into your chosen post office. When you bring in your application, you will also need to provide two forms of identification. Once the paperwork is completed, you will be given the key or combination to your new PO box.

Other considerations

After you obtain your PO box, there are several things to keep in mind regarding its usage and post office policies. Though you will be given 20 days notice before a fee is due, if you do not pay for your box on time, the post office will have to suspend service. If no payment is made after an additional 10 days, your box service will be suspended and any accumulated mail will be considered undeliverable.

Also, if the amount of mail you regularly receive is too much for the size of your box, the post office may require that you upgrade to a larger size or get another box. You should also know that you will have to pay a small deposit of $2 to receive keys to your box. When you decide to end your service and return the keys, you will get this deposit back.

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on August 27, 2009 - Moving Expert
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