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Does A Virtual Address Matter in 2020?

When everything turns digital, one thing seems to not turn digital at all: business addresses & residences. Or do they?

 

In this blog, we will be discussing the importance of using a virtual address for business or for personal use. There are certain pros & cons you need to be aware of and understanding what your options are along with associated costs, will be important in your consideration of acquiring a virtual address. 

 

Person checking snail mail on a tablet

 

What Is A Virtual Address

 

A virtual address is a physical address in a remote location, used as your own mailing address.

 

For example, let’s say you live in the suburbs of NYC but want to showcase your business being located downtown on Main Street. You would be selecting from a list of virtual business addresses located downtown NYC which could be used for your business registration, receiving & managing mail from your virtual mailbox that comes with it, and displaying that address on your business cards & website. 

 

Another example (in the case of residential virtual addresses,) would be that you are located in Cleveland, Ohio and are about to move overseas for an extended period of time. That means there will be no one back home to pick up your mail, and you would still need to access your mail some way while overseas. Using a virtual address physically located in your former home town, will allow you to access all needed documents & snail mail from your smartphone or desktop device, through your virtual mailbox. An easy way to think of it, is “snail mail that looks like e-mail.” 

 

All your documents will be scanned & uploaded into your virtual mailbox. From there you can decide to have the content of your envelope opened up & scanned, you can have it shredded (in the case of sensitive information such as bank statements or social security numbers,) and you can even have the real physical copy shipped to your location at up to 80% off of typical shipping rates.

 

Virtual mailbox on a mobile device

Is A Virtual Address Important In 2020?

 

As with anything in life; it depends. 

 

Here are some cases where using a virtual address will come in handy for you:

 

 

Virtual Address For Business

 

Sure, you can always use your home address as your business address, but there are a couple reasons you would want to avoid that. For starters, using your home address for business is probably not the most professional thing you can do. An easy Google search will be a quick way for people to tell that you are operating your business out of your home. And even though you may be able to do some from an operations perspective, it still looks a bit “cheap” and you won’t a good first impressions from potential customers.

Another more important reason for not using your home address as a business address however, is the fact that it’s in public display online. Whether on Google or online directories, everyone now (well or ill intentioned) knows precisely where it is you & your family live. So if you have  grumpy customer or someone that is straight out an ill intentioned person (or criminal,) you are exposing the rest of your family to the dangers of them walking up to your doorstep and harming you and loved ones.

Alongside this, you need to protect all the important documents your business will receive. You can’t do this with a home address. You need a virtual address for proper security. Otherwise your legal contracts, licenses, permits, correspondence with suppliers, vendor contacts, statements, payments, bills, invoices, and contact information could fall into the wrong hands. Remember, your 4-year-old tot counts as the wrong hands! You never know, you might come home to your taxes covered in purple crayon and apple juice. That wouldn’t look so good, would it?

 

Plus, you get immediate access to your mail with a virtual box. Regardless of the device you use — smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop, you name I — you can access your mail as soon as it comes in. It doesn’t matter where you are; you just need your login details and your received mail pops up. This can be fantastic if you’re awaiting that all-important order your business needs or you are currently talking to vendors about potential contracts. Things like that can’t wait for you to get back from your travels.

 

Finally, a digital mailbox presents a paperless, seamless document management solution. You can set up it to automatically perform functions that you would otherwise have to make time for — think getting rid of junk mail and shredding certain items. You will never fall short with record-keeping ever again. Imagine that!

 

Person standing in front of a business plan on a white board

 

Going abroad

 

One thing Americans are known for, is travel. Whether for leisure or professional reasons, there are millions of Americans that have moved overseas on a more permanent or temporary basis. They did not turn in their passports necessarily, but rather they have decided to be overseas for a little while. Certain US obligations still follow you however. The simplest thing that comes to mind, are IRS notices & US taxes. These will only come in via the mail. So being able to stay on top of these, will help you avoid fines & being able to pay your taxes or penalties in time. Additionally, other important documents or information will be sent to you; if you are retired, your social security check also comes through the mail. So getting it delivered to you, while overseas can be a very important reason to register a virtual address. Check out what a check deposit is and how it could be a great convenience in getting your bank checks deposited quickly. 

 

You want a virtual solution.

 

When you consider the amount of time we spend in our vehicles every day, it is staggering and adds up to months or years over a lifetime. Why drive to the Post Office, just to stay in line to open an empty mailbox or one stuffed with junk mail? Many people are turning to virtual solutions, considering the ease of accessing all mail from your phone. You simply log into your account the same you would with Gmail, and check all snail mail online. It’s as easy as that!

 

You are a frequent traveler

 

Many people need to move every quarter, either because their job requires that (i.e travelling nurse) or because someone has decided to become a full time RV’er. That means that every single quarter, you would need to complete a change of address with the USPS. Although I am sure some people have the time to do that, it’s probably easy to understand what a hassle that can be and how unreliable considering the flexibility required to align with your schedule.

 

Registering a virtual address, means that you get to have a permanent US address, that follows you wherever you go. Just pick a city, complete your change of address and 1583 form, and you’re good to go. No more hassles, and access all paper mail online!

 

For all you digital nomads out there, the benefits of a virtual mailbox solution don’t stop here.

 

With a virtual address, you are guaranteed the utmost security. The mail handlers who work at the facilities are incredibly well-trained and have nothing but the safety of your personal information and mail in mind. The data is encrypted and uploaded to your dashboard so nobody could even dream of hacking it. Plus, any packages you may receive while you are globetrotting are professionally handled and kept in secure, remote locations.

 

Additionally, depositing checks is now a breeze. Yep, regardless of what currency! When you get a paycheck, your virtual mailbox service will send you a notification. Then, you can use the app to deposit it to any bank in the United States of America. This way, the money will appear in your account as quickly as possible. You shouldn’t have to wait for your money when there are so many experiences to be had out there!

 

At an airport about to board a plane

You Are an Expat Looking for Seamless Solutions

 

While moving to another country is super exciting and you’ll be pouring your heart and soul into making a life for yourself there, you still have to manage your life back home. You will still need a permanent address in the United States of America. Why? To ensure you acquire all the necessary correspondences, receive packages, and shop securely — all without the risk of your mail getting lost.

 

A virtual mailbox allows you to relax with the knowledge that your parcels, packages, letters, and business documents will get to you in one piece. There are tons of advantages for you, an expat, and a digital address.

 

For starters, you will be able to stay connected. A virtual mailbox ensures you have a permanent address, regardless of how many times you move around. It is incredibly simple to forward packages to your current residence from here. Plus, you can still shop at all your favorite US stores without having to worry about whether or not they will actually reach you.

 

Additionally, you can deposit checks (in any currency) easily, without visiting a bank. All you need to do is go on the app, hit deposit and you are well on your way to seeing your cash.

 

Oh, and you will never miss important documents. Since you will get instant access on any device to the contents of your mailbox, you don’t need to worry that you will miss payments, tax returns, invoices, and more. You can even set up notifications that will let you know when there is mail you need to check out.

 

The Benefits of a Virtual Address

 

If any of the above apply to you, you’ll know a lot about the benefits of a virtual address already. However, if you still feel like you are in the dark, let us walk you through the benefits, step-by-step.

 

1. Permanent Street Address

 

A virtual address is mostly globally accepted as a permanent, American street address, unlike a PO box. This saves a bunch of time because you won’t have to make your way to your physical mailbox every day (or week).

Plus, it will allow you to receive parcels from pretty much all couriers. For this reason alone, it’s a win-win kind of deal.

 

2. Deposit Checks Quickly

No more having to visit the bank when checks come in the mail. With a virtual address, you just have to go on the app, ask to have it deposited into your bank, and it’s done! This way, you get your money within one working day, rather than waiting 3 to 4! Not to mention that you can be in any country while this is happening.

3. Flawless Record Keeping

At the moment, you probably have a huge binder full of all your important, previously mailed documents, right? Well you can kiss goodbye to that with a virtual address. It allows you to store files for as long as you need. Whether that’s 5 seconds, days, weeks, months, or years — it can handle it all. This will save you a lot of space in your home too, so you’ll have more room for storing things that bring you joy.

4. Auto Admin

 

When the mail comes in, you can decide whether you want each piece shredded, held, or shipped to your current location. Everything can be done from within the app and takes a matter of seconds!

But that’s not all.

Thanks to new technology, the app allows you to search through the uploaded PDF scans of your mail. Again, this will save you time as you won’t have to trawl through everything you’re mailed. Instead, you can focus on your business, your significant other, and your family — you know, all the truly important things in life.

 

Documents being sent to a computer

The Bottom Line

 

Virtual addresses are not for everyone. But they can come in handy for quite a large percentage of the population. Usually, a business mailing address will also be cheaper than a typical PO Box, considering that all that mail is stored in the cloud (instead of a real physical location) making it cheaper for the end user.

 

Whether you have decided that you are about to launch a new business, want more privacy and the convenience of accessing all your mail virtually without needing to drive weekly to the post office, or simply because you’re about to relocate – having a virtual address can come in handy.

 

Talk with our award winning customer support team today, and see if a virtual address is right for you.

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What Is A Permanent Address

The 21st century has been indeed one of rapid digital transformation. The amount of time people spend online, is getting greater & greater, while shifting from traditional areas of attention such as the TV, spending time with friends, socializing in the “real” world etc.

 

This has led to a whole line of new businesses, that just cater to people online, as well as existing industries that have been disrupted & moved their services & offerings online.

 

Additionally, entire corporations are now banking off of the fact that we spend so much time on a computer & or mobile phone screen. Companies like Amazon, Ebay & Google, will keep us busy shopping online, instead of offline.

 

There is an interesting trend, that was especially noticeable after the crash of 2008, of businesses going online for the purpose of slashing expenses; indeed maintaining an office or building, is a lot more expensive than working out of your own home.

 

So in today’s article, we will be covering the topic of permanent addresses, and how these can be used for the registration of your business, helping you avoid many of the unnecessary expenses businesses had 20 years ago.

 

A residence with the street number 237

 

What Is A Permanent Address?

 

A permanent address is a physical street address that is under your name. Examples of permanent addresses would be a home or office address.

 

Such addresses can be transferred over & changed by completing a Change of Address form with the USPS.

 

Permanent VS Physical Address: What’s the Difference?

 

As you have just discovered, a permanent address is the physical street address which is under your name. Again, this could be your home or your office. You can use it for both personal and business needs. However, there are two address standards in the United States of America: permanent and physical.

 

A physical address is a valid street address which you can use for business and personal. However, it isn’t necessarily where you live (or work). Sometimes, it is referred to as a mailing address.

 

Unlike a PO box, it won’t have any restrictions. You will be able to receive unrestricted mail from all carriers such as UPS, FedEx, DHL, and more.

 

Even though it is generally business owners who use physical (or mailing) addresses, they are quite popular among travelers, students, and people in the military.

 

Employee on a computer analyzing data

Is A Permanent Address Required for Business?

 

Depending on the filling of your business, you would need a permanent address or a registered agent address. Such examples are LLC’s and LLPs. Having said that, you may well need a business address for your small company too. It all depends on what services or products you offer.

 

So, What Is a Registered Agent?

 

A registered agent is a person, agency, or other business who you appoint to be your “mail receiver”. In short, it ensures you never miss an important document (taxes, summonses, and more) ever again.

 

Examples of a registered agent would be the address for a business partner or your very own home address. The alternative to using your home address (and having it being in public display with the State and online,) is getting a regular office address out of which your business operates.

 

Due to the fact that office space generally costs more though, and not all businesses require that the business owner (or employees) be physically located there, startups will use a home address as a cheaper alternative.

 

A neighborhood with homes

 

Using A Home Address For Business

 

It is reasonable to want to preserve capital, at the launch of a business. For some people, it makes a lot of sense, using a home address in order to save on office expenses.

 

However, considering the affiliated risks that come with displaying publicly on the web, your family’s home as well as the solicitations you will get, you may want to re-think this.

 

Another reason you may want to avoid using a home address is due to the unprofessional look that it will give your business. Especially if you are just starting out and looking to make a good impression, showing people that you went the extra mile to setup your business properly and professionally, will pay off well in the future. Yes, it may cost you a bit more in the beginning, but it is definitely worth considering a registered agent as supposed to your house. After all, you wouldn’t want your kids getting hold of your taxes now, would you?

 

But there is a more practical reason why you should not use your home address, for business purposes. As you grow the business, you will notice that more pieces of mail will come through your mailbox and at some point, will create a chaotic paper mess for you and your family. Additionally, at some point you may decide to move to another residence. That can cause a serious disruption to the location your business is registered in, and potentially a lot of confusion for clients as well.

 

Black residential mailbox

Alternative Physical Address Ideas

 

So if getting office space is not in the books, and using your home address is not a safe or practical solution, what can you do to register a business? Keep in mind that a PO Box would not work as a physical address so you need some better alternatives than just that. Therefore, we’re going to discover how you can go about finding a business address that is not a PO box.

 

But since we are discussing permanent addresses (and not necessarily physical ones), here are 4 alternatives to a permanent address (which are definitely worth your money):

 

  1. PO Box Address: Using a PO Box will allow you to receive business mail as well as fulfill the address requirement for your business registration. Registering a business using a PO box is probably not the most professional way to go about it, but it is definitely a lot safer than using your home address.
  2. Pack and Ship mailbox: These are independent postal centers that will receive and process mail for you. Every neighborhood has them, and it’s a good way to register a new business. One potential hurdle could be that you are dependent tied down to lifetime of that business. So if for whatever reason the center goes out of business or relocates, you will be dealing with a change of address all over again.
  3. Virtual offices: We already discussed how your startup costs could go up with the lease of a real office space. However there is always the option of going virtual, and having a secretary answering your phone calls for you (and taking messages) as well as receiving your mail. Virtual offices are a cheaper alternative to a real office, but they’re still going to cost you a few hundred bucks per month.
  4. Virtual Mailbox: Think of this as “PO Box meets the Internet.” You get the perks of having an address that is distant from your home address, with the security you would expect from a postal service center, and rates that a Post Office store would give you. It is the ideal situation for any new business registration. There is an additional perk of viewing all mail online of course which should not be neglected. From the comfort of your own couch, using your phone you can access all snail mail online. From there, just click to scan, shred or mail forwarding an item.

 

How to Get Mail Without a Permanent Address

 

Of course, there is more to life than business needs. With that in mind, we need to talk about how to get personal mail with no permanent address.

 

Thankfully, it is possible. Whether you are a digital nomad, travelling for a living, or moving house without knowing where you’re actually going to end up, you can still receive letters, packages and parcels.

 

There are a few solutions that the United States Postal Service has devised that are fantastic options for you. Let’s get into the specifics.

 

Get a PO Box

 

Granted, this may not be that great for those that are travelling as you’d have to stay around the same area to access your mail. However, if you are planning to move to a location but don’t have an address yet, PO boxes are definitely the answer.

 

They tend to be located in the lobby of post offices so they are easy to access. In fact, some places offer extended opening hours for PO box owners (sometimes even around the clock access 7 days a week).

 

You won’t need to worry about security either as each box is locked by a code or key. Just bear in mind that there can be only one named key holder. So, you can’t have your partner’s name on the file too, unfortunately.

 

Snail mail entering a computer screen

General Delivery

 

If you are going to be staying in the same city for a decent length of time, or you know that you will be moving to that area shortly, you can use general delivery. Going with this option means your letters, parcels, and packages will be forwarded to one of the mail offices in the city.

 

Don’t stress, you won’t need to rush off there every time a piece of junk mail comes in. They will hold all your mail for 30 days. Bear in mind that you will need to pick it up in person and bring a valid, government accepted photo ID. This could be a driver’s license, student card, or military identification.

 

The great thing is that it doesn’t take long to set up when you need it. Although, if the city you’re in is quite big, the process will take longer. Why? Because you will need to call someone to figure out which post office to forward your items to.

 

Temporary Address Change

 

Of course, these options won’t suit everyone. So, you can simply ask a trusted friend or relative to collect your mail for you. Then, they can send it to your new address when you have figured everything out. Alternatively, you could save them a job and pick it up!

 

We mentioned earlier about the Change of Address forms. You will have to fill one of these out if you want to ensure your mail goes to your loved one. As we said, it’s easy to input all your information and submit it. Here’s how to do it:

 

  1. Go to the USPS website.
  2. Locate the Change of Address page.
  3. Click Temporary.
  4. Pay $1.05 so the online platform can verify your identity.
  5. Fill out all the information on the form.
  6. The United States Postal Service will send you a confirmation code. Make sure to keep this safe as you will need it if you want to cancel or adjust the information you provided.
  7. A welcome kit will turn up at your temporary address.
  8. All your mail will be sent here until you make a permanent change (or a different temporary one).

The Bottom Line

 

Using a permanent address does not necessarily mean that you need to put your home and family at risk. Distancing business from residence is good for so many reasons beyond security and privacy. Having control of business-related mail and keeping it separate from your individual mail will allow you to stay on top of things. It’s a pretty win-win situation, don’t you think?

 

There are several options available to you when it comes to using third party addresses to register a business. By far what we would highly recommend, is the consideration of the virtual mailbox, which gives you the advantage a PO box would give you, along with the convenience and ease that comes with a digital mailbox system.

 

Virtual mailboxes allow you to shred, scan, deposit, and ship your mail, all from within the app. Not to mention that our mail handlers are more than trained to give you a high-quality, secure experience. Trust us, it will feel like you’re living in the future!

 

US Global Mail is proud to be leading the way, in the virtual address world. With over 80,000 customers since 1999, our proven track record and success with handling your mail, has allowed us to continue with the same passion and dedication that we had 20 years ago. Just look at all the amazing customer feedback we have received over the years. We are proud to be backed by such brilliant people.

 

For any questions feel free to reach us here. We are always happy to relieve your concerns and queries you may have before you commit to our virtual mailbox.

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USPS Informed Delivery Review

Today we will be covering a USPS concept that is very well known and used by residents, and that has really transformed the way we manage mail in the 21st century.

 

Informed Delivery is being used by more & more households, and here at US Global Mail, we thought doing a thorough review of this USPS service, would be helpful.

 

So here we go…

 

Informed delivery app on a smartphone

 

What Is Informed Delivery?

 

USPS Informed Delivery is an online system that enables you to have early access to your incoming mail, enter any delivery details, track parcels and schedule re-delivery attempts. At present, businesses aren’t permitted to use the service; only residential addresses can benefit from it.

 

Before you get too excited, however, you will have to find out whether or not your zip code is eligible to use this feature. To do this, you’ll have to go to the United States Postal Service website and upload a proof of address, ID document (passport, driving license or government-issued ID card) and already possess a USPS account.

 

The main mission of this feature is to allow you to remotely preview your upcoming mail via a smartphone, tablet or computer before you physically receive it. Thus, you can quickly and easily keep on top of your mail and update delivery details if needed.

 

USPS delivery trucks

Does Informed Delivery Show All Mail?

 

Once your letter enters the USPS Mail and Distribution center, you will be sent an email notification with a black and white picture of the exterior. Typically, magazines, catalogs and packages won’t be scanned — only those that are the size of a normal letter will be processed through the Informed Delivery service.

 

Having said this, you will be sent information such as tracking numbers, delivery date and the sender of any packages that you receive. The only kicker is that there won’t be an image to go along with it.

 

Only the first ten letter pictures will be sent via email notifications. To find the rest, you will have to log in to the USPS app or online platform and take a look at your Informed Delivery dashboard.

 

All scanned images will be present on the aforementioned dashboard for a week. Any package updates will be shown for 15 days. After these periods, they will automatically be removed.

 

Don’t worry, no one is going to open your mail. You simply get early access to the exterior so you can stay up to date with any mail you are sent while you’re travelling.

 

Informed delivery on a website and smart phone device

How to Sign Up For USPS Informed Delivery

 

Signing up for the USPS Informed Delivery service can be relatively tricky (especially if you don’t already have a personal account with the United States Postal Service). Thankfully, this guide will walk you through everything step by step.

 

Step One

Navigate to the Informed Delivery website and click the “Sign Up for Free” button.

 

Red arrow pointing to the sign up button on usps.com

Step Two

 

Type in your address to see whether or not you live in an area that is supported by Informed Delivery. If your address is accepted, all you will have to do is read the terms and conditions, tick the box and click on “Continue”.

 

However, if it is not accepted, then you can quit your application and come back another time. Although, you can still create a USPS account from here if you would like to.

 

Bear in mind that, if you live in an apartment block, you will have to select your specific address from a drop-down menu.

 

 

Informed delivery sign up process

 

Step Three

 

Then, you will be taken to the account creation window. Here, you will have to enter a username, password, answers to security questions and your contact details.

 

After this, read the privacy statement and click on “Continue”.

 

Red arrow pointing to a continue button during the informed delivery sign up

Step Four

 

Now you will be required to verify your identity. You can do this through your smartphone or by mail.

 

USPS informed delivery sign up completion

Mobile Verification Method

 

This method is incredibly simple:

 

  1. Enter your mobile number.
  2. Receive a one-time code by text message.
  3. Enter this code into the space provided.

 

Mail Verification Method

 

If you choose this method, you will have to:

 

  1. Wait for your invitation to arrive at your address.
  2. Follow the instructions inside the letter.

 

Step Five

 

Once your identity has been verified, a confirmation page will come up. You can either click “Go to Dashboard” or wait to be automatically redirected.

 

Informed delivery sign up confirmation page

Step Six

 

Well done! You have made it through the application process and can now remotely preview your mail and manage parcels!

 

Everything You Can Do In The USPS Informed Delivery App and Online Dashboard

 

Set Up Email Notifications

 

When you are on the Informed Delivery dashboard, click on the “Settings” option.

 

Choose the email digest option so you don’t have to worry about missing a notification ever again. Plus, you can update your notifications for package deliveries and status notices too.

 

It might take a little while for the United States Postal Service to activate this feature on your account. Usually, you will be receiving them within three working days. Sometimes, it can take up to a week.

 

Informed delivery e-mail notification icon

Enrol For USPS Electronic Signature Online (eSOL)

 

From the settings section of your dashboard, you can apply for USPS Electronic Signature Online so you can digitally sign for incoming packages that meet one or more of the following requirements:

 

  • Insured for over $500
  • Requires Signature Confirmation
  • Shipped via Priority Mail Express

 

Writing signature online on a tablet

Add Delivery Instructions for a Package

 

To provide delivery instructions, navigate to the “Package” tab. Then, click on “Add USPS Delivery Instructions” and click on the right option from the drop-down menu. Of course, if the parcel fits in your mailbox, these special instructions will be overruled.

 

Bear in mind that you can’t add this for every mailpiece. You might not be able to add USPS Delivery Instructions if it’s:

 

  • insured for over $500
  • needs a signature
  • marked for “Collect on Delivery”
  • a Registered Mail item
  • being held for address requesting
  • been delivered or out for delivery
  • a “hold for pickup” action was placed
  • marked as intercepted
  • marked as non-deliverable

 

Mobile view of USPS informed delivery

 

Schedule Redeliveries

 

From the app or dashboard, you can schedule the time and date for the delivery man to redeliver your parcel. Sometimes, this option won’t be available but this depends on your package’s circumstances.

 

Hand holding phone with access to informed delivery

 

View Package Details

 

From the dashboard, you can take a look at the details of all of your packages.

 

Navigate to the “Packages” tab and you will see a list of all of your incoming and delivered parcels. Tap on the blue arrow beside each entry to see the scan history, schedule redelivery option or leave delivery instructions.

 

Mobile view of informed delivery

See Previews of Letter-Sized Mail

 

Of course, the main thing is all the image previews of your letters! From here, you can keep on top of your deliveries to make sure you never miss an important notice ever again.

 

Pros of USPS Informed Delivery

 

Prompt Email Notifications

 

If you sign up for USPS Informed Delivery service, you will be doing it for a reason. Typically, you will need this feature if you go for extended periods without being able to immediately get to your mail. With this in mind, it is great that USPS send their daily email notifications no later than 7:45 in the morning. This gives you plenty of time to reply to any urgent incoming letters and packages.

 

USPS Informed delivery email notification

Clear and Legible Pictures

 

The pictures that the United States Postal Service send to you as part of this service are incredibly easy to read and show all the relevant recipient information. Of course, if you live on your own it won’t matter so much if you can’t spot the recipient’s details, but for those households with multiple members, this is fantastic.

 

Informed delivery desktop notification

Zoom In Function

 

Moreover, you can zoom in on these pictures so you can see everything in a crystal clear light. Alongside this, you can go onto the online platform and let USPS know if you didn’t receive a letter or package that you were sent a preview for.

 

Great for Direct Mail Marketers

 

Besides the benefits it brings to you as the receiver, it also gives direct mail marketers new hope. How? Well, since you are almost forced to pay more attention to what you receive in the mail, you have to check out the images of all direct marketing material. It has been proven that people who use this USPS feature are paying far more attention to mail they would have traditionally just thrown away.

 

Direct mail advertising

Businesses Can Make Use of Timelines

 

Plus, now businesses are tapping into timelines — i.e. when USPS send out their email notifications — and are utilizing that so their marketing letters and brochures show up at prime times.

 

Ridealong Campaign Implementation

 

The United States Postal Service has created a “ridealong campaign” service for businesses to utilize and make the most out of their direct mail material. Basically, USPS requires that any company’s Informed Delivery campaigns include a full-color, interactive banner that goes along with the scanned mail picture. The goal here is to enhance the call-to-action and promote the objective of the mail piece. However, this feature is so new that not many people have experienced it as of yet.

 

Hopes of Automatic Ridealong Campaign Feature

 

Finally, even though these aforementioned ridealong campaigns still need to be manually inputted by the company, Informed Delivery feature updates are going to implement an automatic service. Businesses will even be able to put together campaigns across multiple pieces.

 

Pros & cons of informed delivery

 

Cons of USPS Informed Delivery

Can’t Scan All Envelope Types

 

The first downfall of USPS Informed Delivery feature is that some envelope formats are impossible to read. What do we mean by this? Take companies who have dark colored envelopes along with dark colored foil stamping, for example. The scanners used are not powerful enough to pick up the foil stamping and make it legible. So, unless the company provides one of those ridealong campaigns, you won’t be able to make sense of the image.

 

Not Available For P.O. Boxes

 

Another negative aspect has to do with P.O. Boxes. At present, the service does not stretch to helping those who have P.O. Boxes. But, why would you need a P.O. Box? Well, if you travel a lot, it is a great place to forward all of your mail to while you’re away so it doesn’t get lost. Hopefully, they will work on this since physically going to check a P.O. Box can be a pain.

 

Red forbidden sign crossing over an image of PO boxes

Not Yet Conducive With Postcards

 

If you are someone who receives a lot of postcards, you may be pretty disappointed with the Informed Delivery feature. Although it does scan these types of letters, you can only see one side of them on the picture preview. The barcode side is the only part that will be seen on your online portal, unfortunately.

 

Receive Previews of Mail Meant for Previous House Owner

 

Lastly, for those who have just moved house, you might receive previews of mail that is for the previous owners and not you. This can get frustrating but it’s an inevitable evil. However, the USPS Informed Delivery feature should have a “this isn’t for me” option when this does occur. Maybe they could even link this with the change of address form people fill out when they move — who knows?

 

Virtual mailbox mobile & desktop view

An Even Better Alternative

 

While USPS Informed Delivery service works and is great for those who are just getting into the whole remote-tracking business, there is an easier way to take control of your mail.

 

By signing up with us at US Global Mail, you can create a virtual mailbox and truly feel like you’re living in the future!

 

Not only do you receive images of your letter-sized mail like with the USPS Informed Delivery feature, but you also get pictures of your parcels too. Plus, with our digital mailboxes, you can let us know whether you want us to shred, deposit or ship your letters and packages so you really do have complete control over everything.

 

Our experienced mail room staff are the best of the best so you can rest easy with the knowledge that all your letters are being well and truly taken care of.

 

Owning a virtual mailbox with US Global Mail is a completely worry-free way to manage your deliverables. It has never been easier to deal with your snail mail life than it is now!

 

For any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to us, or visit our help center.

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Unauthorized Change Of Address; What Can You Do?

As humans we may have been around for a while, but one thing that seems to have not ended, is fraud. There will always be people, with illicit motives trying to take advantage of a widow or other vulnerable members of society, given the opportunity.

 

Today we will be discussing address fraud; a growing plague that is the leading contributing factor responsible for mail theft.

 

Series of empty mailboxes

What Is Address Fraud?

 

It is the illegal and unauthorized request to change someone’s mailing address, without their consent.

 

The way this works is, individuals with bad intentions will complete a USPS change of address without the resident’s agreement. Going in person to a post office location is the easiest way for someone to follow through with this form of identity theft. They will simply fill out the 1583 form and have all mail redirected from your address to their address. That means that all credit card information, your social security number (etc.) are now at their hands to use as they wish.

 

What is troubling, is the ease with which someone can request a change of address without your knowledge. All they need essentially, is your name and street address; they’ll handle the rest…

 

The good news is, the only way for someone to complete a change of address successfully without you being notified of it, is offline. So there is no way that someone across the world can complete such a process off of their computer. That is due to the $1 verification charge that the USPS website will enable, to verify your information and bank account.

 

The statistics are troubling; over 700 changes of address completed every year are fraudulent. What is more troubling than that, is the fact that the number of address fraud complaints filled each year, is at a little over 17,000. So clearly the difficulty in tracking such activity is quite high.

 

Thief stealing a credit card

Why Would Someone Use Your Mailing Address?

 

At first glance, it may not seem like a big problem. Who uses snail mail in 2020 anyway…right?

 

Wrong!

 

All of your government paperwork (including IRS notices,) come through the mail. So, although you may be getting your bank statements online, most likely you are also getting some kind of bank information in the mail. Oftentimes, such information will include your social security number, passport information etc (to name a few.) Other information would include healthcare statements (including Medicare.)

 

Such information can be used for the purpose of changing your financial information, signing up for credit cards you did not want and charging you for services you did not use. Essentially, they get full control of your identity and can act in any way they like, under your name.

 

Red residential mailbox

How Do I Find Out If Someone Changed My Mailing Address?

 

Fraudulent change of address can be distressing. But it is somewhat hard to know if this has happened to you. So, let’s look at some of the ways you can find out if you have been a victim of change of address fraud.

 

Typically, the USPS will send out verification letters with the request of each address change, to confirm that a resident actually completed such a request. Such move validation notices can help prevent the approval of the address change, if this was not requested by you. In the event where you do get such a letter, make sure you reach out to your local post office branch to let them know!

 

Another good way to tell if your address has been changed, is if you stop receiving mail. Considering that a change of address has been completed, that means that you no longer get mail to your mailbox. If you start noticing that, then chances are someone completed a change of address on your behalf. Similar suspicious activity such as change of billing address for your current credit cards, or new account sign up notifications (credit cards, loyalty programs etc.) can be signals that you have been the victim of address fraud.

 

If no suspicious activity (as listed above) is taking place, then you can still check the postal records, and lookup the address under which you come up. If you need to reach their customer support phone number, you can call (800) ASK-USPS.

 

Is It Illegal for Someone to Use Your Mailing Address?

 

Technically, it isn’t explicitly illegal for someone to use your address. However, using a mail address without permission or using it as your own when it isn’t, could be deemed address fraud. In some states, it would result in jail time!

 

Having said this, they do have to cause damage.

 

What do we mean by this? Well, if someone is performing illegal mail forwarding with your address, it could be because they are trying to evade some taxes or want their children to get into a better public school. This is damage caused by mail forwarding scams. Sometimes, people will even use your address because they have to “prove” that they have a residence.

 

Hand holding a social security card & credit card

What To Do If Someone Is Using Your Home Address Fraudulently

 

Being a victim of address fraud, essentially means that you become a victim of mail theft, identity theft, and all sorts of financial crimes. Getting an issue like this taken care of, is not something to be handled lightly. 

 

Unfortunately, although the post office will be able to detect whether a change of address has been completed or not, they won’t be able to do much with identifying what address your mailing address has been changed to nor will they be able to do something about it. In order to handle this situation you will want to reach out to the Postal Inspection Service and they would be more suitable to deal with your situation. 

 

How Do I Stop Someone from Using My Address?

 

If you are constantly receiving letters, parcels and packages addressed to someone else or you are 100% certain someone is practising fraudulent mail forwarding with your address, there are things you can do. We are going to take a look at what options you have.

 

Ready? Let’s get into the specifics.

 

Firstly, you need to write “not at this address” or “return to sender” on all the letters and packages you falsely receive. Then, you should leave them in your mailbox so the mailman can collect them. Alternatively, you can hand them to the mailman if you manage to catch him or her the next day. When you do see the postman, state that the recipient of the mail doesn’t live at your home.

 

Secondly, do not open any renewal notices or other government notices that arrive at your home addressed to the man or woman using your address. Contact whoever it is that is sending the letters (the number or address will be on the back of the envelope usually) and state that the addressee does not live with you.

 

The next step, if you keep receiving unwanted mail is to visit your nearest United States Postal Service office to launch a complaint. They should be able to stop the parcels, packages, and letters from persisting.

 

Alternatively, if you believe that you are a victim of change of address scams, you should contact the United States Postal Inspect Service. The number is (877) 876-2455 or you can click here to fill out the report online. You will need to give the following information:

 

  • Company name (optional)
  • First name
  • Last name
  • Address including city, state, zip code and country
  • Cell phone (optional)
  • Work phone (optional)
  • Email address (optional)
  • Age range
  • Whether or not you’re a veteran
  • Information of the person or company you are filing against (if known)
  • The method of contact
  • When you were contacted
  • Whether you still have the envelope
  • How you responded
  • Whether you mailed the response to a different address
  • Whether or not you have a tracking number
  • What you received
  • Was any money involved
  • Was any money lost
  • What fraud scheme category it falls into (charity fraud, sweepstakes, harassment, educational fraud, employment fraud, false bill, etc.)
  • Scheme type (the options differ depending on what category you pick)
  • Any additional information

 

For many people, this has proved to be quite a lot when their minds are full of USPS false change of address scams and illegal activity. Therefore, the phone call optional might be a better one for you.

 

Finally, if you realize that someone is using your address for their proof of residence, insurance, or driver’s license, you need to contact the police. We strongly advise you to use a non-emergency number as technically this is not an emergency (even if it feels like it to you). They will be able to tell you the laws in your state and figure out whether someone is committing a crime or not.

 

How to Report Someone Fraudulently Using Your Address

 

Calling your local post office won’t do much to actually report the person or entity who is using your address illegally. For this, you will need to call the United States Postal Inspection Service. You can find the number in the previous section, as well as the information you will need to provide if you choose to fill out the online form instead.

 

The more information you can give them, the better they can track down the culprit. Also, we suggest that you have any information about credit card or sensitive data breaches relating to this incident to hand as well.

 

Residential mailbox in a neighborhood

How To Avoid Address Fraud

 

There are a few ways to avoid becoming a victim of address fraud. While you might be able to come up with better ways but we’ve found that our tips have worked a crazy amount. Are you curious? We bet you are! Don’t fret, we are going to divulge all our secrets now.

 

To start with, you need to be extremely careful about who you share your information with. While you can’t cut out the fact that some people will know where you live, you should implement the following steps to hide it as best you can.

  1. Don’t share your home address anywhere By now, every internet user knows that whatever you put out there, millions of people can search for, find, and see. You may think the information is somewhat protected but, in all reality, it isn’t.
  2. Share your address with close friends and family only.
  3. Use a temporary email address. Sometimes, companies ask you to input your email address for registrations or purchases. This can easily link back to your home address. To combat this, you can go to sites like mailinator.com to acquire a disposable email which will help protect your identity.
  4. Last but by far the best option is to get a virtual mailbox! We’re going to chat about that now — trust us, it’s a biggie.

 

The Best Solution

 

The only way to ensure that you avoid being the victim of address fraud with 100% certainty, is that you do not receive any mail at all; something that is impossible.

 

Or is it…?

 

More and more people have been switching to Virtual Mailbox solutions. Whether due to security concerns, convenience, or the fact that a virtual mailbox generally costs ½ what it costs to maintain a physical mailbox, the digital mailbox revolution is well under way.

 

The way virtual mailboxes work is that all mail you receive are forwarded to a secure warehouse processing facility. From there, it is scanned and uploaded into a Gmail – like inbox. You can label all your documents and access on demand 24/7. Additional features usually include mail shredding (for documents with sensitive information), check deposits and shipping. Due to the volume of mail that virtual mailbox companies process, they can usually offer up to 80% off retail shipping rates.

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Can A Non-Citizen Open a Bank Account in The US?

It seems so simple: move to the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, start a business, and open a US bank account.

 

Except, as it turns out, it’s not so simple at all. Despite the ease with which American citizens can open multiple accounts, foreigners have a different experience. What takes a minute for Americans can take weeks—even months, or years—and still never come to fruition. So we are asking the question:

 

Can a non-citizen open a bank account in the U.S.?

 

The short answer is “yes”. But it is difficult—and getting more difficult as time goes on.

 

Bank Of America tower

Why is it so hard?

 

Opening a US bank account offers security and helps individuals build a stronger credit score. Similarly, having a bank account allows us to conduct business, get paid, and pay others. Unfortunately, restrictive algorithms mean we are unable to enjoy a seamless account setup on U.S. soil.

 

Firstly, foreigners, non-residents, expats and travelers can absolutely open a bank account in the U.S.—it’s just really complicated. Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, traditional lending institutions can contract with non-resident persons. Banks—which operate as independent businesses or part of a corporate chain—are entitled to make their own decision on these matters. Since many banks believe that offering bank accounts to foreigners is a high-risk practice, they either don’t offer the service, or avoid it wherever possible.

 

Secondly, after 9/11 changed the international landscape forever, the Patriot Act set strict rules for foreigners opening bank accounts, or entering into financial transactions in the U.S. The regulations were set up to help stamp out money laundering, tax evasion, and the funding of terrorism. One of these regulations is the verification of our identity. Because many countries don’t offer our high level of ID verification, these countries are deemed unsafe.

 

Finally, U.S. laws require that all account holders have a U.S. postal address, or an ITIN number.

 

With so much going on, it’s no wonder opening a bank account in the U.S. is almost impossible.

 

So who needs a U.S. bank account, anyway?

 

For starters, anybody who operates a business in the United States of America. Small to medium-sized businesses are already thriving, but may struggle to expand if they have to rely on international transfers.

 

Any individual who offers a product or service—whether as a freelancer or as a larger corporation—can appeal more to a U.S. audience by using local payment methods, supported by ACH transfers.

 

International students are another part of the core demographic of people needing to have a U.S. bank account. To streamline tasks like family travel, homework, and socializing with friends, a locally based bank account can work wonders. Frequent visitors to the United States, tourists, and those on short-term work visas can all benefit from an American bank account.

 

Finally, online shoppers can benefit in a big way. Many online stores will only accept U.S. banking options. To avoid extra fees and breakdowns in the way currency is exchanged, a U.S. bank account could be the pivot-point in your online shopping experience.

 

Best US Banks for Non-Residents

 

Before we move onto taking a look at how to actually open a bank account in the United States of America as a non-resident, let’s dive into the best bank in USA for foreigners. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

 

Wells Fargo

 

You can usually rely on big, branded banks to give you an account as a non-citizen or resident. However, not all employees are aware that they can offer you one.

 

Many people who have contacted Wells Fargo and spoken to a customer service representative who has said “no sorry, we don’t offer accounts to non-residents. But this isn’t true. It shouldn’t put you off, the person you spoke to could have been new, not fully clued up on their bank’s policies, or just having a bad day. All you need to do is try again.

 

Of course, you could always have a crack at it online. This will potentially be a lot quicker than trudging through countless call center operators.

 

Chase

 

Chase is another large bank in the United States of America. They offer a multitude of account options for non-residents. Thus, we couldn’t resist listing them as a great provider of US bank account for foreigners.

 

Bank of America

 

We have heard of people having a fair amount of problems with the Bank of America. However, in our knowledge that tends to be down to the employees certain people dealt with.

 

Since the bank is so big, they see somewhat little risk in offering an American bank account for foreigners.

 

TD Bank

 

TD Bank seems to be the easiest, simplest option as a non-resident or citizen.

 

All you need to supply is a passport and a mailing address within the US. Yes, that means you will need to have somewhere you can receive mail in America. Whether that be a friend, family member, or a third-party agency you employ as a registered agent for yourself, it doesn’t matter. But you do need one.

 

HSBC

 

Since HSBC is an international bank, regardless of where you are, you will be able to open an account. They have an entire page on their website dedicated to supporting you through the process of opening an overseas account. Here, they go over why you should choose them, setting up your account before you travel, and what documents you’ll need.

 

To help you out, we will give you an idea on the documents they suggest so you don’t have to flit back and forth between Google tabs:

 

  • Identification (this could be a driver’s license, military card, student card, and more)
  • Proof of address (whether you’re in the USA or not, they still want to know where you reside)
  • Income proof (pay slips or invoices)
  • Potentially other documents too (this depends on local law and regulation changes)

 

Do You Need a Social Security Number to Open a Bank Account?

 

To tell you the truth, it all depends on what bank you choose to go with. For some, you will definitely need a social security number but for others, you won’t. With that being said, it’s nicer to have the documents and not need them, rather than need them and not have them.

 

However, as long as you prove who you are, you should not need a social security number to open a bank account as a non-resident.

 

Cartoon figure carrying a bank of money to the bank

How Top Open A Bank Account In USA

 

There are several effective methods when it comes to opening a U.S. bank account. Each method has its benefits and drawbacks, which we’ll explore here.

 

1. Open US bank account online

 

This is by far the least efficient solution, as it involves a long processing time and doesn’t necessarily translate to success. If you don’t have sufficient ID, for example, your online application is likely to be declined.

 

Although each bank has its own set of qualifying conditions, one common factor to all is that you have an ITIN. The Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, in conjunction with other photo ID, will increase your chances of successfully opening a US bank account online.

 

Person checking logging into his online bank account

2. Go to an international bank.

 

International banks—like HSBC and Barclays—have branches both in the U.S. and around the world.

 

Not in the States yet? Head to your local branch and submit an application to open a new account. By verifying your identification and data in your home country, you may smooth the path to creating a US bank account later.

 

Executives often use this method to open accounts in the United States prior to travelling there. It tends to be a successful option, although many believe visiting a U.S. bank in person is the best way to achieve our goal.

 

Building of an international bank

3. Travel to the US

 

The third—and most common—option for opening a US bank account is actually being there. It is easier than most methods, and virtually guaranteed to be approved at this stage. Certain banks can push through this application quickly, and painlessly, especially those like Wells Fargo and Citibank, who have a robust foreign policy.

 

American airlines plane flying into Washington

What are the requirements to open a US bank account? 

 

Security measures across the United States are stringent. Some banks, no matter how progressive they seem, may even require a full background check in order to approve your account application.

 

You’ll need to come prepared, with:

 

  • Two forms of photo ID. Your passport & driver’s licence should be effective.
  • Immigration documents. These are used to establish the length of time you are likely to remain in the United States.
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN). This number is assigned to each foreign business by the IRS.
  • An initial deposit amount: A minimum deposit is required across most banks. The deposit amount might be $10, or it could reach as high as $100.
  • A U.S. postal address. Not having a permanent address in the United States is likely to be your biggest problem. Banks insist—and rightly so—on you providing proof of residency and identity, in order to offer a stable guest environment.

 

How Can a Foreign Company Open a US Bank Account?

It isn’t very easy to open a US bank account as a foreign company. Sorry, but we needed to get started right away with the truth blow — we don’t want you to be disappointed by the time you realize it isn’t just going to fall into your lap.

 

Yep, and it’s time consuming too. Hopefully, your business is big enough to have a financial team to sort all this out. Otherwise, you might be spending less time working on expanding your business, and more on opening an overseas bank account.

 

With all that in mind, let us just assure you that it is possible. And we’re going to show you how!

 

The most important thing you need to know is that your business needs to be registered in America. The USA’s banking laws are extremely strict so, even once you have registered in a state, you will have to go and prove who you are in person. Again, this is time consuming. Not to mention that it costs a fair amount of money (depending on where you are in the world).

 

Additionally, when you open an American bank account, you are signing up to be part of the United State’s tax system. You will have to deal with all of these fees and consequences as a result. This means that your company will have to file US tax returns every year to ensure you comply with their standards.

 

Why Would You Want a US Bank Account as a Foreign Company?

 

Usually, you will want your business to have a US bank account because it makes working with American clients a lot easier. This way, you won’t have to put up with currency exchange rates — and neither will your customers!

 

Before you get too ahead of yourself, however, you must realize the implications of this account. When you eventually exchange your US dollars into your local currency, you will pay an exchange fee which may or may not set you back a few hundred coins. And, as we mentioned earlier, the tax consequences you will face if you don’t submit American tax returns properly.

 

Bank teller helping bank employee

The Bottom Line

 

The laws that govern bank accounts for foreigners are federal, although they are applied locally. Be sure to check the various document requirements and processes, and try to stay patient as you work to secure your US bank account. After all, no one said opening a US bank account for non-residents was easy, did they?

 

But don’t worry, we promise that we can help you in some way, shape, or form!

 

While we can’t offer a solution to every piece of the bank account puzzle, we can help you secure a virtual street address. You’ll gain a street address and virtual mailbox immediately, and any mail will be sorted to a secure mail facility where highly-trained handlers will scan and upload each of your letters onto your dashboard.

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How To Stop Mail For Vacation

So you have had a busy last quarter and are ready to go off the grid for a while to some exotic vacation place…great! Maybe the Maldives, or the Seychelles, or perhaps the Bahamas? Or are you more of a jungle holiday goer? Or a year-long volunteer kind of affair? Wherever you go, you’re going to have loads of fun. But it isn’t quite that simple, is it? There is still that one question playing on your mind.

 

What happens with your USPS mail while you are away?

 

Well, we have good news for you because in this blog we will be showing you how to complete a mail hold with the post office.

 

Make some notes, read carefully and, at the end of the day, have a wonderful vacation!

 

Mailbox is overflowed with mail

How To Hold Your Mail in 3 Simple Steps:

 

    1. Head over to the Postal Service website and click on “Hold Mail” under “Track & Manage”
    2. Enter your mailing address
    3. Confirm whether “hold mail” is available for your location

     

    See, the good news is, the USPS has predicted that you won’t be at home 24/7 all days of the year. And even though you can get a pretty nice and large mailbox these days, the capacity is not exactly unlimited. There is nothing that screams more “I am away” than an overflowed mailbox. That in return will set you up for some unexpected visitors that are curious why you haven’t picked up your mail in such a long time.

     

    Once you have completed all necessary steps on the Postal Service website and receive confirmation of the eligibility of your location, you will want to enter the travel dates and select from one of two options:

     

    • Get mail delivered when you return home
    • Pick it up at the Post Office

     

    After that step is completed, you will receive a confirmation number that will be e-mailed to you within a few seconds. You will be given the option to edit your travel information and delivery options as well. That is where that confirmation number comes in handy.

 

Post office clerk handling mail from customer

In Person USPS Hold Request

 

If you are more traditional and find that completing a mail hold online is too complicated, don’t sweat it; there is an option of completing a hold request in person or over the phone.

 

To complete a hold request in person, you will want to visit your local post office branch and complete a 8076 form that will Authorize the Postal Service to hold your mail. That form will ask you similar information that the online form would ask (e.g address, calendar days you will be away, and an option to get mail delivered once you are back home, or an option to pick it up from the branch location).

 

Business person looking at this watch

USPS Hold Request by Phone

 

If you did not already know, the United States Postal Service has a toll-free customer service number. Along with ringing them for problems, queries, and requests, you can also start your hold mail delivery option from here too.

 

All you have to do is call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) and you will be connected with their customer service team. Do bear in mind that their opening hours are 8 in the morning to half 8 at night during the working week, and Saturday from 8 am until 6 in the evening. To be honest, we think this is amazing.

How Long Does It Take?

 

This is an excellent question, and depending on how far ahead you thought of this, the answer could delight you!

 

Once you have confirmed eligibility and are able to complete a hold mail request for your location, the post office can start the hold process within a day. Having said that, we would recommend all “to- be” travelers to complete a mail hold order at least 7 days prior to the day you leave. If you do happen to remember it last minute, then we would recommend you visit in person the local post office branch that is responsible for mail delivery to your address. This will ensure that you fill out the paper form properly and there are no mistakes that could delay your mail hold.

 

The inside of a post office building

How Long Will The Post Office Hold Mail?

 

The Post Office will hold your mail for up to 30 days. It is important to keep in mind that hold mail is not done for an infinite number of days, and if you exceed the 30 day period, they will forward your mail to a temporary address you listed when completing the form.

 

Depending on where you will be travelling to and how long you plan on being there, you can always select the option of receiving your mail at your new location. Of course there will be an additional fee associated with that, but it may be a good alternative if you need access to that mail urgently.

 

Virtual mailbox on a desktop & smart phone device

Stopping Mail Delivery: When Does It Resume?

 

You will be given the resume date (30 days from stopping your mail) when you apply for the US mail stop service so we can’t really give you a set in stone date or anything here. However, we do have some tips that will help you avoid any upsets on the day your post will continue.

 

The main thing is to be at home on this date. Don’t be at work or just arriving back after the holiday of a lifetime. Why? In all honesty, it is simply courteous to the mailman since your packet is probably far too large to fit inside your mailbox.

 

Depending on the area you live (be it an apartment block or the like) you would probably rather pick your held mail up in person. Well, we would suggest you do that anyway. This ensures you get your hands on all of it before someone else does.

 

If you do decide to pick it up yourself, make sure to bring a government approved identification document. You can take your driver’s license, non-driver’s ID card, federal or state-recognized tribal card, citizenship or naturalization certificate, armed forces card, uniformed services ID card, or permanent resident card.

 

What If You Want Your Mail Vacation Hold for More Than 30 Days?

 

Annoyingly, the post office will not hold your mail for more than 30 days. We understand this though as it would be quite challenging (not to mention a huge burden). But you do have an option here.

 

Instead of requesting the stop mail services, you can opt into the premium forwarding feature. With this, you get your mail sent to your temporary address every week. Of course, it comes with a price. Plus, it is more complicated than simply asking to cancel mail delivery but we will walk you through everything you need to know right now.

 

So, How Does It Work? And What Does It Actually Cost?

 

Step One: You need to make a United States Postal Service account. If you were thinking of using the hold US mail delivery service then you probably already have one of these.

 

Step Two: Enroll in the premium forwarding service using the USPS website. The form is easy and quick to fill out.

 

Step Three: If you are enrolling online like we are here, you will pay a fee of $17.10. However, the retail price is $18.65.

 

Step Four: You will pay $18.65 every week then to receive your mail.

 

Although that is the bare bones of it the service, there are some more details you need to know. Take a look below:

 

  • Your mail is packed up each Wednesday. You should receive your package within one to three business days thanks to the priority mail shipping you acquire as part of this service. However, it does depend on the distance.
  • Any priority mail express items will be automatically rerouted to your temporary address.
  • Priority mail items are either sent straight to you or are included in your weekly packet. It depends on which option will arrive sooner.
  • Any first class mail letters, packages, or parcels that don’t fit inside your packet each work will be sent separately. Thankfully, they don’t charge you any extra for this!

 

As you can tell, it is pretty useful if you are willing to pay the initial (and then recurring) fee.

 

How to Stop Mail: A Summary

 

Since we have been chatting now for quite a while, let us summarize everything we have discussed so it’s as easy as possible for you to put your mail delivery on hold.

 

In Person

 

  1. Go to your local post office branch.
  2. Ask for the form that will suspend mail delivery.
  3. Fill it in correctly. You can always ask if you need help or you’re unsure of what to write.
  4. Hand it into the employee behind the desk.
  5. Et voila! You’re all done and dusted.

 

Online

 

  1. Visit the United States Postal Service’s website (make sure it is the official one).
  2. Click “hold mail”.
  3. Fill in the form.
  4. And away you go!

 

By Phone

 

  1. Ring 1-800-ASK-USPS.
  2. Say that you need to file a request to “stop my mail”.
  3. And you are done!

 

And there you have it! You no longer have to scream “how do I stop my mail” into your mirror every morning before your vacation starts! Perfect.

 

Or is it? When you really think about it, there seem to be a lot of problems with this whole holding mail thing, doesn’t there? In fact, people have publicly announced their troubles with this surface. We’ve heard of everything going wrong including mailmen still delivering mail every day when the request was put in. This just isn’t on. Especially if you are on holiday for more than a long weekend!

 

So, is there another solution? Yup! Check it out.

A Better Alternative: The Virtual Mailbox

 

Time constraints and geographic limitations are not avoided when you complete a hold mail request with the USPS. Sometimes, you may find yourself needing to extend your overseas visit, or happen to travel to a place that is too far to consider direct mail forwarding from the US. In other cases, you may need access to important documents, while you are away.

 

The use of a Virtual Mailbox can come in handy in cases like this. You get to view all of your snail mail online, and even select from within your account one of the following options:

 

 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch! We are always happy to resolve any concerns, queries or requests.

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How to Find a Lost USPS Package or Mail

Finding out that your mail or package is missing can be pretty soul-destroying. Regardless of whether you’re the sender or the recipient, you’ll have wasted both your precious time and, occasionally, money. No one wants that.

 

Since USPS deals with a huge amount of mail and packages every day, it goes without saying that a letter or two will get lost. However, if you are waiting for (or have sent) an urgent or expensive piece of mail, you will feel the effects of this.

 

So, what can you do if you are without your USPS mail or package? Don’t fret too much, we are here to give you a step-by-step guide on how to attempt to retrieve your lost mail.

 

Although, please bear in mind that the USPS cannot guarantee that you will actually receive your items in the end. Trust us, we know how saddening and anger-inducing this is.

 

Cartoon saying that 14.4 Million letters are lost in the mail every year

 

Why Would Your Mail Get Lost in The First Place?

 

Honestly, there are so many reasons as to why your letter or package would deviate from its rightful path. It could be due to bad weather damage (blurring the address or name) or the label or stamp detaching itself. Usually, it’s simply because the address is incorrect.

 

Even if it isn’t drastically wrong, it could cause the fault. Maybe you inputted an incorrect digit in the zip code or misspelled the street name — whatever it is, this is likely the reason.

 

Having said that, sometimes it’s because you have moved house and forgotten to complete the USPS Change of Address form. This means your mail will have been delivered to your old address.

 

Make sure you write out the address neatly using a permanent marker so you stand the best chance of protecting your mail from adverse weather conditions.

 

Who Do I Call If My Mail Is Not Being Delivered?

 

At some point in your life, you will probably experience times where your mail is not getting delivered. Needless to say, this can be incredibly frustrating. Trust us, we get it! Thankfully, there is a number you can call, just make sure you have given it some time first.

 

What do we mean by “some time”, we hear you ask? Well, let us extrapolate.

 

The United States Postal Service asks that you wait at least two days of not receiving mail before contacting them. Alternatively, if your household isn’t receiving mail regularly for more than two weeks, you should get in touch.

 

For those who like to speak to customer service representatives on the phone, you will need to call the following toll-free number 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777). But this isn’t everybody’s preferred choice, so we’ll go over the other options too.

 

In Person

 

Even though life is all digital nowadays, it can actually be quite nice to sort things out the old-fashioned way sometimes — face-to-face.

 

All you have to do is find your nearest post office branch, look up their opening hours, and walk on in. Everyone there will be happy to help you with all your “USPS package never arrived” problems.

 

Email

 

And finally, you can use good old email. It is quick and effective for all you busy entrepreneurs out there.

 

So, how does it work? Take a look.

 

Firstly, just click here to find the “Email Us” page. Then, enter your tracking number (if you have one) or select the problem you are having from the following:

 

  • Where is my package? — If this thought keeps you up at night, “my package was not delivered USPS. Where is it?”, then you need to click this one.
  • Where is my mail? — This is the one for you if you’re having problems with consistently receiving zero
  • com — Only click here if you’re having technical problems with their website.
  • Postal facility — Whether you have queries about the signs, access, look, cleanliness, or opening hours of USPS post offices, this is the one you need to hit.
  • Personnel — If an employee made you cry, tell them. If they made your day, tell them. If they were super-professional, tell them. That’s what this button is for.
  • Business — For all you businessmen and women out there, USPS has got you covered.

 

After that, all that’s left is to type up your message and hit submit! You should hear back from them in a few working days. Try to be patient!

 

Package Says Delivered but Not Here USPS

 

Unfortunately, you may have been notified that something was delivered but when you go to get it, you quickly realize that your USPS package was not received. Yup, annoying, right? Don’t freak out just yet though, make sure you have looked everywhere. Sometimes, your carrier will put it in a more secluded, secure location. Take a look in all of the following places:

 

  • Mailbox
  • Porch
  • Garage
  • Any place safe from adverse weather conditions
  • Exterior doors
  • Ask other household members

 

If you still can’t find it, you might be a rare case. What’s this? Well, it’s when the order status says “delivered” but it actually takes another 24 hours to arrive in your mailbox. We know, pretty weird. Although, don’t wait around longer than a day! Send a service request by email to your post office branch so they can follow up on your delivery and get back to you.

 

Can’t Track My Package USPS. Why?

 

To tell you the truth, this is probably the most annoying part of a lost pac

kage because you just don’t know whether it is actually lost or not!

 

But there are a few reasons why you can’t track your package with USPS. Have a quick gander below to learn more:

 

  • The post office didn’t scan your parcel
  • The scanners didn’t download the information
  • The label was damaged
  • The Package hasn’t yet been received by the post office

 

Can USPS Find a Lost Package?

 

Honestly, this is a very blurry topic. In a nutshell, yes and no. Unfortunately, your current USPS package not found issue will remain the same. The good news, however, is that this rarely happens.

 

The best way for us to explain our “yes and no” answer is to tell you about how their missing mail search works. Are you ready? Let us get started.

 

After they have received your missing mail claim, their expert team begins looking for your package, parcel, or letter at the Mail Recovery Center. Regardless of the state you live in, all the post office’s lost packages go to this facility in Atlanta, Georgia. Generally, every letter with a “return to sender” notice or an incorrect address ends up chilling here.

 

The United States Postal Service holds mail at this Center based on its value and its selected delivery service. So, if it is a standard item and you send your USPS lost claim in too late, it may well have already been shredded. Don’t stress, if it is worth less than $25, it will be destroyed without opening. On the other hand, insured packages and express mail are held here for around 6 months (sometimes longer depending on the situation).

 

Once the holding period ends, any packages that are valuable will be put up for auction. This should be motivation enough to get your claim in as quickly as possible.

 

What Happens If USPS Loses Your Package?

 

If your USPS item is not delivered, you should be able to get a refund if the mail handlers can’t seem to find it. However, it isn’t easy to claim for this really. Why? Their rules on what happens here are pretty foggy shall we say.

 

Having said this, you will definitely be refunded by the United States Postal Service if you bought insurance in the first place. To tell you the truth, you should always purchase insurance if you’re posting valuable items.

So, now we know why your package or letter is lost, let’s focus on how to amend the problem.

 

Someone writing the address on an envelope

How to Find a Lost USPS Package or Mail

 

Okay, we know this is what you have been waiting for. We won’t waste any more time withholding the answer to your burning question, “what to do if mail is lost?”.

 

The First Step: Check the Status of Your Mail

 

Should your mail come with a tracking option, search online for USPS Tracking and have a look at the current status of your letter or package. If you do not have a tracking number (or can’t find it) ask the mail sender (only if you are the recipient, of course).

 

For orders made online, you will typically receive tracking numbers. So, use this if you are not so patiently waiting for your package. Even if you have purchased an item that is delivered through another carrier like UPS, you can still track it with them through their app or online service.

 

Occasionally, you will get lucky and find out that your items are stuck somewhere in the dispatch process and so is not lost.

 

Lost usps mail

The Second Step: Chat With Your Neighbors

 

If your status said “delivered” or “received” but you’re yet to see it, the parcel or letter could be with a neighbor. This is especially likely if you live in a block of flats and the driver got a bit confused so ask around before you panic too much! You could even ask your mailman before doing anything else — in fact, we suggest that you do to cut out the middle man.

 

Ensure you thoroughly check your mailbox for any “sorry we missed you” notices from your mailman. Then, you will have answered your lost mail worries.

 

Unfortunately, the delivered status could be there due to mail theft. If you believe this has occurred, call your local Post Office and the Police to report it as soon as possible.

 

Missing usps package

The Third Step: Gather Your Mail Information

 

Once you have decided that your letter or parcel is actually missing, gather as much information as you can before getting in touch with the USPS.

 

They will ask you everything about your mail, so you need to be clued up. Check the:

 

  • Contents value
  • Sender’s address
  • Recipient’s address
  • Right address was used
  • Receipt
  • Package/letter details (brand, pictures, size, contents, etc.)

 

Lady calling the USPS customer service number

The Fourth Step: Place a Mail Search Request

 

You have a couple of choices here: either walk into your nearest Post Office or fill out the request online by going to the USPS Missing Mail Search. If you have been waiting for more than a week, we recommend you hop to it and get this done!

 

As soon as they acknowledge your search request, they will send you an email and begin looking for your mail.

 

They’ll start by looking at the Mail Recovery Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Essentially, this is a huge lost and found spot. Should your letter or parcel be fitted with a “return to sender” notice or “incorrect address” sticker, they’ll turn up here. Although, a lot of letters are shredded if they’re worth less than $25 and remain unclaimed.

 

Submitting a mail search request with USPS

Are You After an Easier Alternative?

 

So, you don’t lose any letters or parcels again, sign up for a digital mailbox. It’s so convenient, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!

 

How does it work we hear you ask? Well, your mail is sent to a physical mail facility (no, not a PO box) where experienced individuals will scan and process everything. This is then uploaded to your virtual mailbox where you can oversee all your mail being handled.

 

You can use your phone to sign in to view your mailbox. From here, you can decide where you want the mail operators to forward, archive, shred or open and scan your packages and letters. You are in complete control. Not to mention that no matter how many times you move, you can forward all your mail yourself. You never have to worry about stuck or lost parcels ever again.

 

US Global Mail offers this for people all over the world. Don’t hesitate to join them — they’re all living stress-free lives thanks to us. Why are you still here? Get going!

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How to Stop USPS Mail Forwarding

As you probably know, the USPS (United States Postal Service) mail forwarding service is there to forward post from one address to another one.

 

It’s useful for those who are moving house and will, therefore, need their mail delivered to their new address. Some people even use it if they go on holiday (maybe that once in a lifetime kind of trip) and want to redirect their mail for a short time!

 

The service costs just $1 (for verification purposes only), whether you need it temporarily or require a permanent USPS change of address. All you have to do is complete the Official USPS Change of Address Online and you’re good to go.

 

Alternatively, if you fancy popping down to your nearest post office, you can fill it out there. Let’s have a brief gander at how this is done, shall we?

 

Once you arrive at your local post office, you should ask for a Mover’s Guide packet. Inside this, you will notice there is a form called the PS Form 3575. All you need to do is fill this out and hand it to the person behind the desk. If you need help, they are more than happy to give you a hand!

 

Oh, and make sure to bring two government-approved identification documents with you as well. You can find the specifics in the “How to Cancel Mail Forwarding” section later on.

 

After that, it’s just a matter of time. Within 5 working days, you should receive a confirmation letter at your new address. How cool is that?

 

Having said all of this, the online method is a lot quicker!

 

Online, you will be asked to enter your old address, new address, start and end (if applicable) date for mail forwarding, personal information, moving type and various other bits and pieces. Don’t stress, it is all very simple, easy to follow, and it’s likely you will already know the answers off the top of your head.

 

After you have submitted the Official USPS Change of Address Form, check your emails. You should find a message waiting for you which contains your confirmation code. This is vitally important! Why? Because you will need this to cancel, edit and even just view your USPS change of address status. Keeping it safe allows you to change your phone number, email address, mail forwarding date, notification preferences and your moving status.

 

Don’t forget to check that your mailing list is up to date after you have done this. Make sure to let your banks, credit card companies, friends, family, any subscriptions (magazines, boxes, food services) and business partners (only if you have moved offices) know that you have changed your address. This will ensure you get your mail delivered to you and not sent back to the post office — which is a lengthy process otherwise.

 

Right, we know that you want to get onto how to stop USPS mail forwarding. But please bear with us for a few moments because changing your address in the first place might not be that simple. In fact, there is more than one type of change of address form (which we haven’t talked about yet). Therefore, we don’t want to move on without telling you this. So, without any more chit-chat, let’s get on with it.

 

What USPS Mail Forwarding Form Do I Need in The First Place?

 

There are three main types to choose from. Namely, business, individual, and family. There are plenty of online sites that highlight all the differences between them. However, since you may not have come here for only this, we will make sure to keep it brief.

 

The individual form is used when it is just you moving or there are numerous people who are moving to different places (like when college roommates disperse and do their own thing). Even if you live with your siblings and you all have the same last name, if you aren’t going to be living together anymore, you need to fill out the individual form type.

 

The family form is used when everyone in the same house has the same last name and each person are going to be living at the same new address. It is super easy and saves a bunch of time.

 

Yep, you guessed it. Businesses must use the business change of address form. This can only be done by someone who has the authority to forward mail for your company (if it’s your enterprise, you can do it, of course). Using this service, it is extremely simple to ensure all of your parcels, packages, and letters are sent to your new address in a timely manner.

 

You should note here though that it can take anywhere between 7 and 10 working days for the United States Postal Service to process your request. So, you need to ensure you complete the relevant form in good time if you want your mail to start arriving at your new place on move-in day.

 

How Long Does It Last? Two Seconds? Eternity?

 

Your mail forwarding request won’t last forever. To be honest, a lot of people don’t know this so if it was obvious to you, it isn’t to many mail receivers out there.

 

Clearly, you can stop mail forwarding whenever you like (hence why we have written this article in the first place). But if you just leave it alone, your mail forwarding will expire after 12 months. By then, you should have updated your USPS account with your new permanent address anyway.

 

Bear in mind that any subscriptions you have will only be forwarded for 60 days (approximately 2 months). To make sure they end up in your hands after this period, change your address directly with the company before the expiry date.

 

Moreover, sending a mail forwarding request with USPS is fantastic but this doesn’t actually correlate with any alumni associations, credit cards, airline loyalty schemes, or bank accounts that you may have. For this, you must update your address separately with each organization.

 

Okay, moving on. We have gone over the whole USPS mail forwarding change of address form and other related bits and pieces, but what happens if you don’t need the service any more or you are no longer going on that trip of a lifetime? Don’t worry, you can cancel USPS mail forwarding whenever you need to.

 

Here’s how to stop mail forwarding with the United States Postal Service.

 

Couple packing boxes and ready to move

How to Cancel USPS Mail Forwarding

 

Before we get onto the online method (which, yes, is incredibly quick), let’s look at how to stop mail forwarding in person.

 

To begin with, you need to walk into the post office (we know, shocker, right?). Then, it is almost the same as going in to change your mailing address — incredibly straightforward. Plus, if you get stuck, someone is around to help you (unlike with the online option). But, you will need to take two forms of government-approved identification with you, so jot that down on a post-it note before you head off!

 

So, what classes as government-approved ID, we hear you ask? Well, we are about to shed some light on that potentially confusing matter.

 

Your first form of identification needs to display a picture of you. This can be any of the following:

 

 

Your second one must verify the address that you have given to the United States Postal Service. You can bring any of the following documents:

 

 

Anyway, without further ado, the part you have all been waiting for!

 

USPS mail forwarding cancellation form

The First Step: Change of Address Form

 

The first thing you need to do is go to the USPS official website.

 

Once it has loaded, take a look at the top menu and hover over “Track & Manage”.

 

From here, select the option called “Change of Address”. At this point, the website will take you to the change of address form.

 

Now, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page. You will see a line that says “Have you already changed your address? View or Edit”. Clicking on this will take you to a different page.

 

Then comes step two!

 

Woman accessing the USPS website from her computer

The Second Step: Confirmation

 

Here, you will have to type in your new zip code and the confirmation code. You should have been given one of these in the email sent after you initially applied for the online change of address.

 

Alternatively, it would have arrived in the mail at your specified new address. This will only happen if you applied for the change of address at your local post office.

 

Once you have entered your new zip code and confirmation code, just hit the submit button.

 

For those of you who have misplaced your confirmation number or lost it among numerous piles of paperwork, there is something you can do to rectify it.

 

You will have to make a trip to the US post office to tell them you aren’t able to process the cancellation online. They will ask you to confirm your identity (for security purposes, of course). Then, you will fill in a form. Don’t worry, the process isn’t any harder than doing it online! Just takes a bit more time.

 

Cross-street sign with the words "option" written on them

The Third Step: Choose an Option

 

At this stage, you will be given a few options to choose from. These include links to:

 

  • change the mail forwarding start and end date
  • change your email address or phone number
  • toggle between moving or not moving
  • cancel your mail forwarding completely

 

Bear in mind that your name and address can’t be amended from this page. So, if these do need to be changed, you will have to cancel your change of address order and start again.

 

Remember that only two amendments can be made a day so don’t waste them! On the other hand, cancellations are available at any time (thankfully) so you are in luck.

 

Paper mail exiting from a computer screen

The Bottom Line

 

As you have most likely gathered by now, your confirmation code is pretty crucial when trying to stop your USPS mail forwarding service. Losing it just elongates the process so just keep it safe and you will have stopped the forwarding service in no time.

 

Do You Want An Easier Alternative?

 

For a more effective way to control your mail (instead of activating and cancelling every time you move somewhere new or decide to take a vacation around the world), you should apply for a virtual mailbox service.

 

This will allow you to forward mail anywhere, whenever you feel like it. All your mail sits in a digital app for your convenience. No matter where you are in the world, you have full control of it.

 

Basically, a street address with an actual mailbox is assigned to your online account. As new mail filters in, it is scanned and immediately uploaded to your corresponding online box. It does not get any easier than this. You are even notified when new items are put into your virtual mailbox — all you need is your secure login details to access it.

 

The coolest feature is the images of your envelopes and packages displayed in the app! You just let us know which to open and scan and which to combine and ship. Alternatively, you request that the experienced mail handlers shred your mail so your identity (along with your bank accounts) are kept safe and secure. But, it’s all up to you. Essentially, your wish is their command.

 

You will never have to fret about filling out a change of address form or activating mail forwarding ever again. What a stress-free, no-headache life you’ll be leading!

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How Can I Forward Postal Mail To Someone

Here at US Global Mail, it is our intention to make sure we address every single question you may have, when it comes to mail forwarding and mail scanning. As part of that effort, today we will be discussing a very common question you have been asking us surrounding how to forward mail to another address.

 

In order to do this however, you will need to realize the different reasons you would want to forward a letter to someone (or yourself). But before we get into all of that, let’s take a look at the problems that can arise if you do not forward postal mail to the correct person (whether that be you or someone else.)

 

You Might Pay Their Bills Late

 

A survey was conducted a few years ago on 2,000 homeowners relating to the problems they had when they forgot to change their mailing address. While this was performed in the United Kingdom, it is clear that these issues related to the United States of America as well.

 

It was unfortunate really just how many of these people were late paying their bills because they forgot to fill out a change of address form. We don’t need to tell you how disastrous the consequences of this could be. Yup, it’s not fun.

 

You Might Become a Victim of Identity Theft

 

To be completely honest with you, this one pretty much ties in with our mailbox burglary point below. However, it can be so damaging that we felt we should give identify theft its own section.

 

Typically, if someone is stealing your mail to take your identity, they are going to be smart about it. They might grab a piece here and there over a long period of time until they have all the information they require. Having said this, some might take letters from loads of different people throughout a couple of weeks after carefully planning a zip code-wide scheme. It really does depend.

 

The main question remains though; why do people steal identities? Truthfully, it all boils down to one thing: money. Thieves believe that identity theft is a pretty risk-free way of getting their hands on some cash quickly. Of course, swiping your mail isn’t necessarily the only way they can take your information. Generally, they tend to be charming, sweet, and friendly — this is a ruse to let your guard down. But just remember that they may not be innately evil people. We’re not trying to say that they are. However, it is very likely that their actions will cause you (and even your family) some serious problems.

 

Mailbox that has been broken into

You Might Become a Victim of Mailbox Burglary (This Could Be Worse Than You Think)

 

Mailbox burglary is a real and devastating act to be a victim of (even though it may not seem like it at the moment). However, when you dig down to the bare bones of the documents and packages that people have sent via mail, the effects of someone stealing them can be awful.

 

So, what might they take from your previous mailbox if you forget to complete the United States Postal Service’s change of address form? Let’s have a gander at some of the articles that we know have been swiped from people:

 

  • Birthday presents sent from family members who live overseas
  • Tax returns
  • Legal business documentation
  • Cheques
  • Pay slips
  • Invoices (for services like building work, renovations, and more)
  • Cash (yes, it isn’t wise to send paper money in the post but some people still do)
  • Family member’s ashes (this is quite a morbid one but it has happened in the past)
  • New phones, tablets, and computers
  • Utility bills (causing you to pay your bills incredibly late)
  • Items you’ve purchased online
  • Mortgage agreements
  • Rental agreements
  • Contracts (whether related to your business or your home)
  • And so much more.

 

See? It can be truly heartbreaking and soul-crushing because it isn’t just you these people are destroying; it’s those you might owe money too as well.

 

Thankfully though, there are some steps you can take to eliminate this horrible worldwide mail burglary issue. Before we get onto the brass tacks of this article, we want to divulge these secrets. Ready? Excellent.

 

If you know that you haven’t changed your address yet, you must do it right now. All you have to do is go to the USPS website, enter your information, and away you go! Alternatively, you can head into your local post office and ask for a Mover’s Guide Pack. Inside this, you will find a PS Form 3575 which you need to fill out and hand it to the worker behind the counter or put it in the mail slot inside the office.

 

However, there may be a reason why you can’t change it right now, so, what can you do? We are about to tell you!

 

  1. Make sure you ask a trusted person near your previous location to pick up any mail that might be there. This will stop unwanted personnel from getting their mucky paws all over your precious documents.
  2. Put people off sending you cash so no one can steal it before you receive the envelope.
  3. If you can, try to visit your previous place as soon as the mail has been delivered.

 

Okay, now that we are certain you know how to prevent these issues, we will crack on with why you’re all here — to find out why you may need to forward postal mail, and how to do it.

 

Bundle of paper mail

Wrong Destination

 

It is no secret to anyone that when it comes to forwarding mail, the USPS occasionally drops the ball. After all, who could blame them? There are over 150 million addresses in the US that receive mail, and at some point, there has to be some kind of mis-delivery. It is statistically impossible for the contrary to happen.

 

Although it’s a large market, the USPS has indeed been seeing a decline in the quality of the service. There are several reasons as to why that is happening including federal employee shortages, zip code politics, and more.

 

The bottom line is, however, at some point, we all get “Mr. Baker’s” mail or our mail is sent accidentally to “Mr. Baker.”

 

Which raises the question; what can you do?

 

Most likely, there will be some issue in the address of that envelope. It is so easy to misplace a zip code digit or address the wrong state. For example, there is the city of Columbia in South Carolina, and the city of Columbia in Maryland. If there is some kind of a mistake at the mail processing center that the USPS has, it could easily be sent north or south.

 

The best option available in such cases, is speaking with a USPS representative. Call your local Post Office and follow their instructions on how to handle this. The most likely scenario will be that they hold that mail until it is claimed by the person it was intended to be sent to. Such unclaimed mail can be found in the USPS Mail Recovery centers.

 

Question mark above an individual

Change Forwarding Address

 

People move in life, and probably you have moved at some point if your life too. But not only does your physical address need to change in that process, but also your mailing address.

 

Unless you fill out a change of address form and submit it to the USPS, you will still get mail to your old location. The good news is, a change of address is the least bureaucratic process the federal government has in place.

 

Below we will be explaining how to forward snail mail.

 

Some important things to know are that you can have a temporary change of address (15 days to 1 year) and a permanent change of address. You will also want to make sure that you complete this process directly with the USPS, instead of using third party services. Doing a change of address will only cost you $1 for verification purposes, while completing an address change with a third-party service would cost you anywhere from $50 -$100 (and they would be submitting the information on your behalf).

 

To have the USPS forward mail to a new address, make sure to complete the change of address online or offline by visiting your local branch. Regardless of which option you choose, you will need 2 forms of ID with you. Of course, these need to be accepted by your state and the American government. One should be a photo ID and it’s necessary that the other one shows your new address. For example, you could bring in your driver’s license and a utility bill, or your military identification card and your rental or mortgage agreement. There are lots of options.

 

Father moving his family house

Roommate/Family Moves Out

 

When a family member or roommate decides to move out, it is very possible that you will continue to receive their mail either on an ordinary basis or more rarely. If the former keeps happening, most likely they never completed or did not fully complete the USPS change of address process.

 

The good news is, you can have them do so, or if it’s a really close family member, you can do this for them.

 

If it is something a bit rarer, then it is possible that the USPS goofed. Again, they handle over 150 million addresses, and it is reasonable to expect that, at some point, they would miss a few pieces here and there.

 

To forward a letter sent to the wrong address, simply cross out the address on the envelope and rewrite the new address in black letters. Then simply place it into the mailbox and your mail carrier will take it from there.

 

Another option would be for you to reach out to the sender and notify them that your friend or family member has recently moved. You can write up a letter and send it to their address, or even call them and coordinate it with your former roommate.

 

Roommate changing address

What You Can Do To Forward Postal Mail To The Right Recipient

 

Sometimes, when you get mail that belongs to someone else, it can just be a matter of a wrong zip code in the nearby area or even another home within your neighborhood. Depending on how far that individual is, you may want to consider actually dropping the envelope at their home. This will help you explain to them any regular mail you are getting from them, and any potential change of address that was not completed from them that they need to handle. If you would rather simply drop the envelope in their mailbox, that is an option as well. It is perfectly legal to open someone’s mailbox, just as long as it is not a locked mailbox.

 

When you get someone’s mail, many times it will be quite a few zip codes off; a wrong digit can set you hundreds of miles away. And to be honest, most of the wrong mail you get, will belong to another location very far from where you are. Whatever you do, do not throw away the envelope. Instead, just write a note (e.g. wrong address) and place it in your mailbox or the outgoing box. When the mailman comes in the next day, they will be able to take it and get it delivered to the right side of town.

 

Something to keep in mind when writing out the note is that you shouldn’t write it directly on the envelope and deface someone else’s mail. If you do so, you may ruin the recipient’s mail. The best option to adding a note, is to add it on the envelope with a paper clip.

 

Desktop and mobile view of a virtual mailbox

 

A Virtual Mailbox Alternative

 

You must be wondering; is there a better way?

 

And actually, there is! Plus, it is far simpler than you might be imagining right now.

 

For some reason, our phones have gone wireless, our cars no longer drive with a stick (in fact, some even park themselves!), we are able to shop online instead of relying on offline commerce and we trust our financial information on a banking app.

 

Yet we still keep receiving mail the old-fashioned way. Admittedly, e-mail was not capable of replacing paper mail entirely. But there is no real need for getting any piece of mail in your physical mailbox anymore, especially considering that 95% of it is junk mail anyway.

 

In the past 10 years, more and more people are switching to a virtual mailbox alternative. The convenience of accessing your mail from the comfort of your home, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with a click of a button, seems very appealing. Although, we should mention that you don’t need to actually be at home to access your letters — you can be sitting on a beach in the Seychelles and still look at what’s coming in!

 

Additionally, mail forwarding can be reliably handled, because it is all accessed online. So, whether your roommate moves, or you need to move, nobody would need to follow through with the bureaucratic change of address procedures.

 

Getting all your mail online is also an excellent way to prevent mail theft which is raising plague in this country and the leading cause for identify theft. All mail is encrypted, making online cloud storage (via the secure AWS cloud) the safest alternative to vulnerable residential mailboxes.

 

So, what are you waiting for? Sign up today and find freedom with online mailboxes.

 

Oh, we forgot something! The best part is that virtual mailboxes are half the price of a physical mailbox.

 

For any questions, you can contact us here. We are always happy to help you out with your concerns and queries so we can find the best service that suits you!

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How To Change Your Mailing Address With The USPS

Having to go through the headache and hassle of changing your mailing address with the USPS every time you move your home or your business isn’t something anyone looks forward to, but it is critically important if you’re going to continue to receive your mail and your packages.

 

The USPS has certainly streamlined and simplified the process quite a bit over the last few decades, though it is important to understand that you’ll end up paying a dollar each time you have a change of address – especially if you use the online tools provided to help you go through the process without visiting a physical postal office.

 

Below we break down all the steps you’ll need to take when changing your mailing address through the USPS, but we also provide you with a fantastic alternative that guarantees you never have to change your address more than once going forward!

 

Let’s dive right in.

 

USPS truck delivering mail

 

When Do I Need to Change My Address?

 

You have to go through a change of address process with the USPS anytime you are going to be moving from one location to another, regardless of whether or not you’re moving across the street or across the country.

 

This is true whether you are an individual moving apartments, a family moving into a new home, or a business moving into a new location.

 

Not only are you going to have to provide information about the move that you are making (including your new address) but you’re also going to have to provide a specific date that you want to start receiving mail at your new address, too.

 

As a general rule it’s a good idea to try and get your address changed with the USPS at least two weeks before you expect to get mail at your new location. It’ll take anywhere between seven and 10 days (in general) for your change to be implemented through the post office, so two weeks gives you a bit of a buffer to guarantee that everything’s ready to go.

 

USPS privacy act statement during change of address

 

What About Temporary Changes?

 

If you aren’t going to be moving on a permanent basis (heading back to school, going on a business trip, or taking a vacation, for example) you can ask the USPS to put a hold on your mail rather than change your address completely.

 

The beautiful thing about this is that you can implement a hold instantly, without a lot of lead time necessary to get the process rolling. Holds can be implemented for as little as 15 days or as long as six months (with some having an opportunity to extend their hold up to one year) and the post office will hold onto your mail for the entirety of that duration.

 

The trouble with temporary holds, however, is that the post office is going to literally hold onto your mail rather than forward it to a new location for you. This is especially challenging for those that are going to be away from their home or business or an extended or indeterminate amount of time but still need access to their mail all the same.

 

A post office building with the american flag

How Do I File A Change of Address with the USPS

 

The easiest way to file a change of address with the USPS is to jump online. You will get an e-mail update once the change has been made.

 

All you have to do here is:

 

  • Go to the official USPS website
  • Click on the “Track and Manage” button near the top of the screen
  • Then go through the Change of Address on-screen prompts. All the information you need to provide will be requested. You will be asked to pay $1.05 in order to change your address online. This charge is not a billing fee, but rather just a verification charge to ensure that identity and credit card theft are avoided.
  • Of course, you could also visit your local post office and request the PS Form 3575from your local postal master. You’ll have to present a valid photo identification (like your drivers license) to move through this process though you will be able to get it done 100% free of charge if you go in this direction.

 

Keep in mind that you do not need to pay a third party company, in order to complete your change of address. If you search online in order to complete the change of address, you will see several advertisements of companies that try and help you get that step completed. You can avoid them, and work directly with the USPS itself. These third party companies will submit the exact same information you would be required to send to the USPS. So why pay the extra fee?

 

So, now that you know how to change permanent address, shall we move on? We think so.

 

The easiest way to file a change of address with the USPS is to jump online. You will get an e-mail update once the change has been made.

 

All you have to do here is:

 

  • Go to the official USPS website
  • Click on the “Track and Manage” button near the top of the screen
  • Then go through the Change of Address on-screen prompts. All the information you need to provide will be requested. You will be asked to pay $1.05 in order to change your address online. This charge is not a billing fee, but rather just a verification charge to ensure that identity and credit card theft are avoided.
  • Of course, you could also visit your local post office and request the PS Form 3575 from your local postal master. You’ll have to present a valid photo identification (like your drivers license) to move through this process though you will be able to get it done 100% free of charge if you go in this direction.

 

Keep in mind that you do not need to pay a third party company, in order to complete your change of address. If you search online in order to complete the change of address, you will see several advertisements of companies that try and help you get that step completed. You can avoid them, and work directly with the USPS itself. These third party companies will submit the exact same information you would be required to send to the USPS. So why pay the extra fee?

 

So, now that you know how to change permanent address, shall we move on? We think so.

 

Stack of mail on a desk

What Do I Need for Change of Address?

 

If you are looking to change your address online (and ideally you should be, it is a lot quicker), then you need to visit the “move” section of the USPS website.

 

You will only need to fill out a form here, so to be honest, when you update your mailing address in this way, you don’t really need anything. Although, you should know the following information:

 

  • Whether you are an individual, family, or a business
  • First name
  • Middle name
  • Last name
  • Suffix
  • Email address (so the United States Postal Service can send you a confirmation email when your switch mailing address request goes through)
  • Phone number
  • Phone type (you get to choose from the following options: mobile and home)
  • The type of move (pick from change permanent address and temporary move)
  • When you want this to take effect
  • Your old address (including zip code, city, state, street, and number)
  • Your new address (again, you will need to know your zip code, city, state, street, and number)
  • Payment information (including the name on your bank card, the card’s number, security code, and the bank’s name)

 

Yes, you will need to supply your payment information. Why? Well, as you may remember, we talked about exactly how to change your address for mail earlier. During these steps, we said that you will have to pay a minor fee to do it (we know, unfortunately, this service is not free!).

 

Anyway, it doesn’t matter if you can’t remember that, as we’re going to discuss the cost of changing your address now! Ready? Excellent, let’s get to the details.

 

How Much Does It Cost to Change Address?

 

As we briefly mentioned, when you change your home address online with the United States Postal Service, there will be a small $1.05 charge. Don’t worry, you are not paying for irrelevant, unnecessary processing fees. Instead, you are paying a verification fee. What does this mean? Well, it ensures that you aren’t participating in fraudulent activity. Plus, it proves that you are the one changing your address when you move (or going elsewhere for a while), not someone else.

 

Before we carry on, there is another thing we need to tell you about. Yes, it is to do with money.

 

We have seen a few people get super frazzled when they are trying to figure out what to do when changing their address. And this is when scam companies try to get involved to “help”. Let us just tell you that these guys are not helping you. Instead, you will be splashing the cash (generally around 4 times more than doing it yourself) for a third-party to do a pretty simple process for you. Do not be fooled!

 

What Is the Mover’s Guide Online?

 

While you can just crack on and fill in the change of address form on the United States Postal Service website, you can also download the Mover’s Guide too. Basically, it is a PS Form 3575 (a change of address request form, in other words), a step-by-step guide on how to complete the form, and coupons that give discounts on items that will make moving and settling in a breeze. Oh, and you can have them texted to you so you will be able to use them right away.

Keep Your Confirmation Code!

 

Regardless of the approach you take to change your address you want to make sure that you keep the confirmation code you’ve been provided from the USPS close at hand.

 

This is going to help you confirm the changes are actually active but it also gives you an opportunity to change any of the critical details regarding your address change as necessary, too. Without this code everything becomes a lot harder.

 

If you need to change or cancel your request for the change of address, you will need that confirmation number. That number can be found on the letter or e-mail you received when you made the initial request. To view, update or cancel your request, click here. 

 

Yellow sticky note saying "we're moving"

Other Government Agencies That Can Change Your Address

 

The USPS is a government agency, in perfect communication and cooperation with other agencies of the government. If you want to complete your change of address, there are a series of other agencies you can work through in order to complete that change.

IRS: If you will be expecting a tax refund, contact the IRS for your change of address. If you write the new address in the appropriate boxes in your tax return, you will be able to change the address.

 

Social Security Administration. Complete your change of address online, using your social security account. This applies if you get social security retirement, survivors or disability benefits. If you are enrolled in Medicare, you can also use your social security account to change your address. If you do not receive social security benefits or Medicare or if you would rather speak to someone on the phone, you can contact them here. 

 

Department of Veteran’s Affairs. If you are a veteran who receives benefits or you want to keep your records up to date, you can contact the VA here.

 

US Citizenship and Immigration Services. If you are not a US citizen who is required to change their address, contact USCIS within 10 days of your move.

 

State Motor Vehicle Agencies. Contact your local state DMV agency in order to change your address on the driver’s license or motor vehicle registration.

 

State Election Offices. If you need to change your address on the voter registration record, you may need to contact your state election office.

Mail being forwarded

Forward or Hold Your Mail

 

If you will be out of town for a short period of time or are heading out of town, you can request the USPS forwards mail to your new address or simply hold it at your local post office for a limited time.

 

Forward your mail. In order to get started with this, you will be required to fill out an official change of address form. That will cover the question of the type of move you require (at which point you can express interest in having them forward your mail)

 

Hold your mail. If you plan on being away for three to thirty days, the USPS can hold your mail at your local post office. Usually you can request this up to 30 days in advance, or as late as the day before you want the hold to start.

 

You can start by signing into your USPS account. Not all addresses are eligible for “hold mail” so you can easily check that out online. Keep in mind that the USPS has added an extra one time security measure for online hold mail requests. You will need to verify your identity online through a mobile phone password or request an identity verification that can be completed online. If for whatever reason, you are not able to complete the verification online, you can still get that done at your local post office.

 

So, After All That, What’s the Best Way to Change Your Address?

 

Okay, we have talked about so much today that it might be hard for you to keep up. We get it. By now, you are definitely wanting to know how to change your postal address the best way. Our opinion is probably very obvious, considering we have been going on about it for so long. The best way, by far, is to do it online. Why? We will tell you:

 

  • It is incredibly
  • You can do it from the comfort of your own home (and who doesn’t want that?).
  • The form is intuitively laid out and easy to follow.
  • All the questions are simple and are understandable.
  • Your data is kept super safe and secure.
  • You won’t have to take 2 forms of government approved identification to the post office with you. For some of you, that could save a lot of time since you won’t have to dig around for a driver’s license and a utility bill, or a federal or state-recognized tribal ID card and a mortgage agreement.
  • It is a great way for busy professionals to whizz their change of address request in without having to leave the office
  • It allows frequent travelers to change their address on the fly

 

Cool, But Is My Information Actually Safe and Secure?

 

The United States Postal Service has always held everyone’s data in the highest regard — as it should be, right? In fact, they use multiple methods to prevent customer data from being leaked or becoming available to the outside world. Plus, their technologies help them protect you guys against fraudulent change of address requests too.

 

Let us take a deep dive into the methods they use:

  • Encryption tech that ensures their server is unbelievably secure
  • Credit or debit card address verification
  • You can use a third address for validation when you send in your online change of address request. You need to make sure that your new address isn’t required until at least a week afterward to ensure your validation letter can reach your previous address in time.

 

What’s Next?

 

After changing your address with the United States Postal Service comes the annoying step of having to change and update your mailing address with pretty much anyone and everyone you receive mail from.

 

This means contacting banks and credit unions, credit card companies, your friends, family members, and coworkers, governmental bodies and organizations, anyone you purchase magazines from, any website that you order products from, etc. – a list that can get really long, really fast.

 

Computer sending mail virtually to several contacts

Okay, What Happens If You Forget?

 

We don’t want to scare you, of course, but forgetting to change your mailing address can cause multiple problems. This can include everything from full identity theft thanks to the wrong people getting their hands on your important documents to you not paying your bills (which would lead to an insane amount of late charges).

 

There Has To Be An Easier Way, Right?

 

If you get dizzy just thinking about all the headache and hassle that updating everyone with your new address is (especially if you have to change your address on a semi regular basis) the odds are good you look for an easier way to simplify things as much as possible.

 

That’s where we here at US Global Mail come into play!

 

Helping more than 80,000 people with virtual mailbox solutions, it’s been our great pleasure to provide top to bottom private mail services to individuals that just aren’t interested in changing their mailing address every single time they make a change in their lives.

 

Providing customers with a physical street address and a virtual mailbox in a secure mail facility, there are a whole host of benefits that US Global Mail clients take advantage of when using our services, too.

 

Virtual mailbox displayed on a computer & smart phone screen

Almost instant notification (with digital photo verification) of all mail pieces and packages as they come in, check cashing, mail forwarding, and a whole host of other services the USPS cannot provide are included with every level of membership.

 

For more details contact us at US Global Mail or visit our website today!