For an expat, having a commercial mail receiving agency (CMRA) when you move out of the country is kind of like the Robin to your Batman. They are perfect in every way, except there’s one little nagging issue. It is super easy, but not breezy to set up an account.
It would be way too simple to just sign up and boom! your mail will now be forwarded to your new home. But it isn’t. We don’t often think mail is as precious as it really is. In this day and age, it is kind of nice to have to jump through hoops just to verify you are who you say you are. Identity theft is on the rise and crooks are becoming more and more efficient. The easiest way to obtain someone’s identity is through their discarded mail. Your name and address are right there on the front, if opening the right piece of mail, your phone number, bank statements, credit card info, IRS info, etc. all in the hands of a true con artiste! That’s a very scary thought!
This is the exact reason why CMRA’s need more than one type of identification, as well as a signed and notarized form 1583 (which we found full instructions from US Global Mail, thank you guys!) that is required by USPS, just to be able to accept your mail.
First off, without the 1583, USPS will not even allow a CMRA to release the mail to you…USPS doesn’t know who you are and why you want to have John Doe’s mail sent to a hub and then forwarded to you? Which makes sense.
Secondly, they require one type of valid photo identification and another form of id, photo not necessary. Last but not least, a verified credit card is needed to finally complete account set up. This is strictly to deter identity thieves, it is easy to obtain one form of id for a person, two is a little trickier, and three is almost impossible.
Though tedious, the verification process of CMRA’s is definitely necessary. It helps to protect the customer as well as the liability of the company. If you’re moving across country, dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s is essential!
Choosing the Right Mail Forwarding Service
The most important thing you can do – aside from getting all of your documentation in order to verify your identity to take advantage of mail forwarding solutions and services – is to choose a service to move forward with that you know you can trust.
There are a lot of companies in this industry promising the moon and the stars when it comes to mail forwarding, mail scanning, and mail delivery results. Unfortunately, many of these companies just aren’t able to live up to the expectations that they create with this kind of marketing – and many of them fall well short of what you’d hope to get from these kinds of partners.
Thankfully though, it’s not all that difficult to find the right mail forwarding service for your needs as long as you are explicit in what you want to get out these solutions.
For starters, really get concrete about what you hope to take advantage of from a mail forwarding service.
Are you just looking for a temporary solution that can help you navigate an extended stay overseas or are you looking for a semipermanent or completely permanent mail forwarding solution that uses a stable US-based address for you to take advantage of while you find a place to settle down abroad?
Are you looking to just take advantage of mail forwarding solutions and need a service that has steady and reliable solutions or would you like to leverage mail scanning, digitization, and possibly even banking solutions through this same service as well?
These are critically important questions you have to ask yourself before you can feel comfortable choosing any of the mail forwarding and mail scanning services out there.
It’s also important that you get a handle on the kind of budget you are bringing to the table, any specific needs you can foresee that you’ll need this new company to be capable of handling, and you’ll also want to look into the kind of customer service and contact options available from the company that you are going to be working with.
Nobody wants to find out later down the line that their fees are going up, that the services they expected to take advantage of aren’t available, or that the customer service and contact solutions a company provides aren’t all that feasible when you are halfway around the world.
Security and Reputation are Everything
Of course, another big piece of the puzzle that you have to double verify before you sign up for any mail forwarding or mail scanning service is the reputation of the company that you are considering, particularly when it comes to the security and protection of your personal and private information.
Again, there are a lot of great companies out there that are fully committed to making sure that your personal and private information stays exactly that – personal and private – but there are also a couple of companies out there that are a little bit lax and even a little bit cavalier when it comes to this kind of sensitive data.
The one thing that we can say about the USPS is that it takes your mail VERY seriously. Someone even just accidentally opening up mail that isn’t addressed to them can be charged with a felony, and that’s the kind of protection that you want to be able to take advantage of when you’re moving forward with a third party mail forwarding or mail scanning service.
You want to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that all of your mail is going to be handled safely and that it is going to be stored securely if it isn’t forwarded over to you immediately.
You also want to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that any of your mail that does get digitized, scanned, and that digitally delivered to you is done so in a secure fashion, taking advantage of encryption technology that guarantees copies of that mail do not end up in the wrong hands.
The only way to know all of this for certain before you sign on the dotted line and agree to move forward with any mail forwarding service is to check out the reputation that specific companies have online.
A quick search is going to tell you everything you need to know about these kinds of businesses. You’ll notice that handful of companies stand head and shoulders above the rest of the pack – US Global Mail being one of the most trustworthy – and those are the kinds of companies that you want to sign up with.
Moving Forward with a Virtual Mail Service You Know You Can Trust
A quick call to customer service can shine a light on these important topics pretty quickly, giving you information you wouldn’t have had access to otherwise. You’ll find most companies (legitimate ones, anyway) more than willing to talk to you about these kinds of things, especially since they fully understand how important your privacy is.
The odds are pretty good that the services will also be able to furnish you with a list of real clients that you can call directly (or email) to ask them about their experience with the service they’ve taken advantage of.
You’ll be able to hear straight from the horse’s mouth, right from people in your same situation, about the mail forwarding service that you are thinking about leveraging yourself. They’ll be able to tell you what they like about the service, what they don’t love, and whether or not they are overall happy with the services that have been provided to them – more inside information that you wouldn’t have been able to uncover anywhere else.
When you get right down to it, though, nothing beats moving forward with industry leaders that are universally regarded as top-tier mail forwarding and mail scanning services.
Companies like US Global Mail have built their reputation on the back of the actual results they produce every single day of every single week of every single year that they have been in business.
There’s a reason why so many trust US Global Mail with all of their mail forwarding and mail scanning needs.
Not only is this service convenient and competitively priced, but it’s also effortless to take advantage of no matter where you might find yourself on the planet at anyone particular time – with a full range of comprehensive services to suit your needs right down to the ground.
On top of that the US Global Mail will walk you step-by-step through the mail forwarding and mail scanning process, helping you to get all of the proper documents in order ahead of time and also moving you through the sign up process as quickly and as painlessly as possible.
Just don’t be surprised if you find yourself writing your own glowingly positive of these US Global Mail services after a couple of weeks of trying them out personally!