So, when you are ready to sign up for a mail forwarding service after you do all the diligence on rates, plans, shipping prices, trustworthiness etc, do you look for a service that lets you keep your address in the state you are moving out of?
Don’t. Your mail forwarding address should be state-agnostic. Really, its a virtual address, in the cloud. So the state does not matter. There are far more important criteria that you should be thinking of when choosing this important service.
Does the state of my address matter? Will I become a resident in the state in which I have my mail forwarding address?
Once you fill out a change of address form with the USPS, it will forward your mail to that address, irrespective of where in the US it is. And US laws don’t make you liable for taxes in any state without living there. Just having an address in the state does not mean you become a resident of that state.
Does USPS forward my mail for free?
You can simply forward your mail from your existing address to the address of the mail forwarding company, and no one will be wiser! That is no one will know what your new address is – they will keep sending you mail at the old address and USPS will redirect it to your new address. The redirect request with the USPS will work for 6 months at a time and will have to be renewed. This option is also great when you dont want to move your address permanently and expect to cancel the mail forwarding service at some time in the future.
Fancy/Premium addresses: Mail forwarding companies or commercial mail receiving agencies (CMRA’s) sometimes will offer a choice of several states and addresses to you. Your personal mailbox number could potentially be in New York, Florida, Texas, California, the possibilities are endless! However, these fancy or “premium” addresses can come at a steep price – often a discreet +$14.99 hidden somewhere! Watch out. And don’t pay for something you absolutely will get no additional value out of. Instead choose the service that works best for your needs, not for the address.
When is having an address in a particular state important?
If you have a business and you are based in Florida and you need to bill your customers, it makes total sense to have a billing address in the city or at least the state you operate from. From a customer standpoint, it looks less suspicious. They won’t have to question the authenticity of who they are sending their money to. Certain health care providers require you to reside in the state you are covered in to maintain your insurance rates. The rates for insurance coverage can vary state-to-state. If you like the plan you currently have, it would be very important to maintain an address in your current residency state. If you are trying to be discreet about moving or traveling abroad, then you do have the anonymity of maintaining your residency state address. Other than those few areas, it’s really not an issue to have an address in a different state, usually just a preference. Which if it is your preference, those options are certainly available to you!
Vanity Addresses: are they really worth it?
So, you’ve researched a few mail forwarding companies, one company offers a single real street address in Nevada. Another company offers 3 street addresses, one in Wisconsin, one in Texas, and one in New York. Let’s say the Wisconsin address is their standard address. The Texas and NY addresses are premium; premium meaning they cost more. Standard mailbox prices are usually “free”, or, included in the price of membership. The prices for a premium address can range anywhere from an extra $4.95 per month and all the way up to $12.95 per month. Now the real question is what is the value in these “premium” addresses? Is it just the address itself? The location? Convenience? Why would you want to pay extra for a mailing address?
You want a personal mailing address to give out to your friends and family and you want a separate address for your bills and taxes, all on the same account of course:
- Standard mailing address on an individual plan, $25/mo
- Premium mailing address on an individual plan $25 + $4.95/mo
- Separate 1583 forms for the addresses which need to be notarized
- One forwarding request (you can only have one open at a time via USPS), then reach out to everyone who needs your change of address
A lot of the premium address locations are UPS storefronts. Not a private office or warehouse that deals specifically with commercial mail and package forwarding, a UPS store. Which is why these addresses are not equipped to handle all incoming mail and packages. They literally are not built for it. On top of that, each location will handle mail differently, since the UPS stores are not owned or managed by the CMRA, the possibility of errors occurring increases dramatically.
Delayed access to mail
Another issue with using vanity addresses is that often times the mail from those addresses is sent to the company central warehouse for processing. This means a delay for 3-5 business days on your mail. Using the company central warehouse address gets you access to your mail much quicker.
For example, at US Global Mail, we enter all mail received within 12 – 24 hours in customer virtual mailboxes.
In a nutshell, if you absolutely cannot live without an address in a particular state, use the mail redirect option with the USPS and keep forwarding your mail. That lets you keep your address intact.
Otherwise, simply do a permanent change of address with the USPS and rest easy. You will get your mail via a Virtual Mailbox anyway!