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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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Do You Need A PO Box in 2020? Here’s What The Data Says

We just entered a new decade, and many industries in the 21st century have seen great disruption while other sectors have been more stable and resistant to change. The USPS started off traditionally with a mailman who would carry mail by foot or on a horse. And although the means of mail transportation has changed over the years, paper mail still remains paper mail.

 

Even still, the idea of being able to drop a letter, parcel, or package into a PO Box somewhere – anywhere – and have it arrive at its ultimate destination (without spending a mountain of money on shipping) is something that we all have come to take a little bit for granted.

 

No, the USPS isn’t perfect. But it has been doing an amazing job ever since it was started generations ago – and is still a huge part of our day-to-day lives.

 

Yes, the volume of mail people exchange has dropped dramatically, but there are certain pieces of mail that cannot be delivered in any other way in this digitally centered day and age.

 

Which raises the question: Do you really need a P.O Box in 2020? Are there are any better alternatives available?

 

This is a question that you are really going to have to mull over, particularly if you are a business owner or entrepreneur these days. The odds are still pretty good that you are getting a decent amount of mail – and sending or receiving important business documents, packages, and parcels through the mail – which requires you to have some sort of mailbox solutions in place.

 

A physical mailbox stuffed with paper mail inside

 

Let’s start off with the first question on the importance of maintaining a P.O Box. To answer that, you need to consider first what is easily replaceable (and has been replaced) by e-mail, what could potentially be replaced using a Virtual Mailbox, and of course what still needs to come in the old fashioned way. 

 

It goes without saying that the majority of business correspondence is done now via e-mail. When you also consider social media giants like LinkedIn & Facebook, the amount of letters people need to actually mail out has been reduced significantly. And it doesn’t stop there, text messages, phone apps (think What’s App, Slack, Telegram) have kept the majority of written communication digitized.

 

Combine all of that with the ease in which we can create digital documents that all can be fired over the internet pretty quickly – reaching our recipient instantaneously – and it’s not hard to see why so many people are moving to a paperless world and embracing everything that digital communications have to offer.

 

If that covers  the lion share of mail, then what else are people using the Post Office for, other than packages & Pizza ads?

 

Magazines with promotional ads & junk mail

 

Think of all forms of ID and official documents; have you ever received those text alerts that you owe money to the IRS? That’s right…the IRS never sends notices via a text or a phone call. Rather it uses your good ol’ USPS. What about other important documents such as ID’s, Passports, Driver’s License, Social Security Cards etc? Yes, these also can only be delivered to you using the Postal Service. 

 

So there are definitely a couple areas where e-mail or What’s App may not come in handy. 

 

We all know that while the digital revolution is in full swing (and has changed most every aspect of our day-to-day lives) there are still a lot of things that have to go through the mail, still a lot of demand for physical documents, packages, and parcels to be delivered, and still a need for the services that help get our mail to us and to our intended recipients.

 

But does that really mean you still need a PO Box to receive those documents?

 

Well, that’s an entirely different conversation altogether.

 

See, when you maintain a PO Box, that means that you are sharing that with pretty much anyone else that needs to send mail your way. That includes utility companies, relatives etc. So with every single item you get, you are adding an extra reason to go to the Post Office, deal with traffic & grumpy employees. And most of the time, the mail you get is probably spam anyway. 

 

The truth of the matter is there are a whole host of nontraditional mailbox services and mail scanning options available today that never existed before.

 

Many of these services are designed to work in conjunction with our digital approach to communication, giving individuals and businesses an opportunity to get the best of all worlds – a legitimate physical mailing solution and digitized services – all under one roof.

 

The trick, of course, is finding the right service to move forward with so that you are leveraging the right platform for all of your communication needs. This can be a bit of a sticky situation to navigate, again in large part because there are so many different services out there promising the moon and the stars when it comes to results but not really ever able to live up to those expectations.

 

There’s A Better Way

 

What if those rare items that need to absolutely be sent via the USPS once every 5 years, are shipped to your address when they arrive?

 

In other words, what if you get the lion share of your mail (99%) virtually and only get official government documents (1%) delivered to you? 

 

Residential mailbox shooting snail mail out of a computer screen

 

Think of the time you would save annually, driving back and forth from the post office, think of the gas you would be saving, and think of the convenience of checking all incoming mail from the comfort of your own couch & phone. 

 

Not only that, but think of how much time you’re going to be able to save wondering if something has arrived at your mailbox, driving down only to find it empty, and then maybe skipping that errand for a couple of days in around – only to find out that your package or parcel has arrived and was waiting for you to pick up.

 

The traditional USPS mailing system is a little bit broken, little slow, and (honestly) a little outdated. There are a lot of huge advantages you can leverage when you move to a mailing service like US Global Mail, for example – and just one of them is having a much better and firmer understanding of everything that’s being delivered and when it has actually arrived.

 

It gets better when you consider that all mail items you receive are scanned externally so you can actually see who the sender is and whether it’s worth it to have it scanned or just shredded. Additionally, all incoming mail items will be added into your Virtual Mailbox and from there, can be organized & labeled, the same way you use Gmail. As an example; let’s say that you want to look at your Tax Records or IRS Notices from the 3rd quarter of 2019, you can just filter your inbox based by date and easily recover it. Virtual Mailboxes are terrific tools for documentation purposes and keeping track of all files. No more paper mess; not in this decade!

 

You’ll never again have to worry about piles and piles of physical documents accumulating, having to find a place to store everything, or scanning things manually so that you have digital records you can rely on later down the line.

 

Instead, mail scanning services work to handle all of that heavy lifting for you. They give you the digital documents save on any device you want (on multiple devices all at once), streamlining your mail reception assess and generally just making life a whole lot easier to navigate forward.

 

And what about mobility? If you need to spend some days (or months and years) out of the country or even out of State, having a virtual mailbox means you can always access your paper mail on demand. No need to wait until you’re back, nor rely on relatives & friends in picking it up for you. Many times, people who take a couple weeks to go vacation overseas, will leave all mailing concerns with their friends back home; but do you really trust your friends that much as to pick up your social security check, or go through your financial data? It’s definitely not the most reliable alternative and in some cases, not the safest either. 

 

Nobody wants to worry about whether or not their physical mail is going to become compromised in these situations. This is especially true if you are running a business and expect sensitive or confidential documents to be sent through the mail while you are away.

 

Having a service that can hold onto those packages and parcels for you rather than hoping one of your friends or family members can take care of that is a huge advantage and should give you a lot of peace of mind.

 

Person relaxing on a beach

 

Additional perks you would not get with a traditional PO Box, include the Check Deposit. Let’s say you get a check from the social security office – why would you want to drive to the post office, get the check, then head to the bank and deposit it if you could do all this with the click of a button? And speaking of easy to use apps and clicking on screens, any undesirable mail you can easily shred also from within the app.

 

This just isn’t the kind of service that you’re going to be get when you’re having all of your mail handled through the USPS. This kind of hybridization mail and banking (as well as scanning and shredding) all works to create a more streamlined approach to mail services, putting you in the driver seat and giving you a whole lot more control over the overall experience from start to finish.

 

Below is a full breakdown of all the benefits you get, when using a Virtual Mailbox.

 

Additional services offered with the signup of a mail forwarding plan

 

So circling back to our original question on the importance of maintaining a PO Box in 2020, we think there are more perks with using a Virtual Mailbox as opposed to a physical mailbox (or PO Box,) and it’s even half the price (because it’s all stored in the cloud.) A good portion of people’s banking needs is done using an app or even online banking. Most (if not all) bills are also paid online. Why not also use your phone to get your Snail Mail?

 

At the end of the day, a lot of people are moving away from a traditional PO Box and instead looking to leverage services like those provided by US Global Mail – and it isn’t hard to understand why.

 

People today want more control over their physical mail, want to take advantage of dependable and reliable scanning services, and are looking to find ways to move their physical mail to the digital route without having to sacrifice the ability to receive mail at the same time.

 

There are plenty of options out there willing to promise the moon and the stars when it comes to results, reliability, and overall service capabilities.

 

However, time and time again the folks at US Global Mail are recognized as the best in the business – a trusted service that you know is going to continue to innovate and pioneer new mail solutions that you’ll be able to take advantage of as a customer.

 

It’s a good idea to have a look at the services they offer currently to see if they are a fit for your needs. You’ll find that they offer services for more complete and comprehensive man what’s available from the USPS (as highlighted above) and that they have plans and packages available for every individual – and every business – regardless of budgetary constraints.

 

There’s no better time than right now to take control over the traditional mailing process. Work with US Global Mail to change things up completely, digitizing everything that can be digitized, and streamlining and scheduling the rest to better suit your specific needs and your specific schedule.

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Expat Resources Compare Mail Forwarding Services

Expat Mail Forwarding (the why, how and what in 2020)

 
 
Moving abroad- whether for work, retirement or other reasons- can be equally exhilarating and nerve wrecking. There are mixed emotions of sadness at leaving behind family and friends and the thrill of starting a new adventure.
 

One question that expats often miss in the hustle bustle of moving, is what will happen to the paper mail that they get at home. Even if you have moved your banking online and get most bills via email, there are still many pieces of mail for example from the IRS, tax notices, new credit cards, renewed Drivers License, and other paperwork that comes only via mail.

 

USPS will forward mail internationally for a steep cost. You can enroll in the USPS forwarding service, which costs $21.10 retail or $19.35 if you enroll online. There’s an additional cost of $21.10 for each week of service. So about $84.40/month and Priority Mail items are are sent at an additional cost. Ouch!

 

US Airlines

 

Depending on what country you move to, getting mail can be difficult.  And keeping a US address even when you are overseas is important if you bank in the US or expect to deposit any checks in the US. Many companies, not to mention government services, require one, even if it is not your official residence.
Which begs the question:

 

How do I forward my mail to another address overseas?

 

You can do that via the USPS by getting a PO Box, and the USPS will forward your mail to your international destination. Other options include:


(1) Ask a family member or a reliable friend to pick up your mail daily

(2) Forward your mail to a family member’s or friend’s home address

(3) Use a professional mail forwarding service

 

Let’s start by looking at how you go about getting a PO Box, and then we will move on to the other options we just mentioned.

 

How to Get a PO Box with The United States Postal Service

 

To make this as easy as possible to understand, we are going to go through each step in detail, so you can decide whether this is the right option for you. Just make sure you don’t make any set-in-stone choices yet since we still have to tell you about the best way to go about your expat mail forwarding.

 

Step One: Choose a PO Box Size

 

The United States Postal Service offers 5 different PO box sizes. Namely extra small, small, medium, large, and extra large. Thankfully, they also tell you what each of these can hold! We will have a closer look at them now:

 

  • Extra small (3 inches x 5.5 inches) — this one can hold around 10 to 15 letters or 2 magazines (rolled up). The depth is around 14.75 inches which is a universal size throughout all PO boxes.
  • Small (5 inches x 5.5 inches) — this option can hold around 10 to 15 letters or 5 magazines (rolled up).
  • Medium (5.5 inches x 11 inches) — this one can hold large envelopes and magazines that are stacked flat.
  • Large (11 inches x 11 inches) — if you receive larger packages, you will want to go with this one. It can hold around 2 shoeboxes and 10 to 15 letters at the same time.
  • Extra large (12 inches x 22.5 inches) — this one can hold a number of flat rate boxes and parcels, along with letters too of course.

 

Step Two: Reserve Your PO Box

 

Once you know which size will suit you best, you need to search for the post office that is nearest to your home. Then, just click “reserve a new PO box”.

 

Step Three: Pick Your Payment Period

 

There are multiple payment periods that you can select. It is up to you and your financial needs as to which one will fit you best.

 

Step Four: Enter Your Contact and Billing Information

 

You will be asked to supply the obvious information like your first name, last name, address, card number, security code, expiry date, and a few other bits. After you have hit “submit”, you are able to move onto the final step.

 

Step Five: Validate Your ID and Pick Up Your PO Box Keys

 

By law, you have to validate your identity in person. So, you need to go down to your PO box location with two forms of government-approved ID. The primary form needs to be a federal, state, or tribal photo card. You can choose from the following:

 

  • State driver’s license
  • Non-driver’s ID card
  • US Armed Forces card
  • Uniformed Service ID card
  • US passport
  • US passport card
  • US university identification
  • Corporate identification
  • Any card issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services
  • US naturalization certificate
  • US citizenship certificate
  • Tribal identification card

 

The secondary form can be one of these:

 

  • Lease agreement
  • Deed of trust
  • Mortgage agreement
  • Voter registration card
  • Vehicle registration card
  • Home insurance policy
  • Form I-94
  • Vehicle insurance policy
  • Utility bill

 

After they have been approved by the person at the post office desk, your keys will be handed over to you. Then you can do a little celebration dance because the PO box is yours!

 

Ask someone to pick up your mail daily

 

Works short-term. Long term though… not really. If your close friend or brother asks you to pick their mail for a week, that’s fine. You can help out! But picking up their mail daily for a month or a year sounds crazy. Plus, are you comfortable when your friend or sibling looks through your bank statements or W4 form?

 

person giving out mail

 

Forward your mail to a friend’s home

 

Are you comfortable with your friend or sibling looking at your tax documents or W4’s? Even if you can compromise your mail privacy and confidentiality, you still have the issue of getting it to yourself. Are they going to go to the Post office and mail your stuff every week?

 

Use a mail forwarding service

 

A mail forwarding company receives your mail, gives you near real time access to it so you can view it, read the contents and have it bundled and forwarded to your new home or office or any place in the world.

 

Can USPS forward mail internationally?

 

As we mentioned briefly earlier, you can ask the USPS to forward your mail overseas. But it is ridiculously expensive. It would almost be more worthwhile to fly back to pick up your packages, parcels, and letters up yourself!


The best way to get your mail securely, in near real time so you can act on it as soon as needed, is to use a professional mail forwarding company.

 

USPS mail

 

How do mail forwarding services work?

 

Mail forwarding services give you a US address which you use to redirect your mail to. You fill out a change of address form with the USPS and tell USPS to start sending your mail to the new address.  When your mail arrives at this address, the mail forwarding company will usually
 
 
– upload it to a Virtual mailbox, which you can access via a secure login
– you can see images of your envelopes and boxes along with other info like sender, weight, dimensions of boxes etc.
– you can take actions on your mail to have it opened and scanned to read contents
– you can store your mail for some time and then have it bundled and shipped together to your new home
 
At US Global Mail, we have helped over 80,000+ expats with our mail forwarding service.
 
 

Top Reasons Expats Need Mail Forwarding

 

Shop Any US Website. Whenever you are overseas, that can make getting items from your favorite US companies in the mail, a problem or a difficult attempt. Many companies do not ship overseas or if they do ship, then you can expect to pay some very high shipping fees. With a US address, you are able to receive all those items at your US location, and from there we can ship them to you at up to 80% off the typical cost you would.

 

Direct Access To Mail. When getting a virtual mailbox, you are able to stay on top of mail 24/7, with your own login credentials. It’s a bit similar to e-mail, only for mail & packages. Log into your account, request a mail scan or have some item shipped; all with the click of a button.

 

Cloud Storage. When you get mail, all items are scanned and uploaded into your virtual mailbox. You can receive an unlimited number of mail items to your address with unlimited storage. You can also store your items up until 180 days, free of charge. And eve if you do need to store items for a longer period of time, it only costs a few additional cents for your item. Saving files online, makes accessing files more reliable and a cheaper option for your mail.

 

Privacy. When you have mail clerks are the company you work at, handle your mail and ship to you, then you probably have a series of people that get to your mail before you do. With a virtual mailbox, you are the first one to access all important documents from your phone or computer, without a bunch of intermediaries. Communication with customer service can be done within the app as well; so any request you need, can be completed within just a few clicks.

 

It’s More Reliable. The alternative to having a professional company handling your mail, is having some relative or friend picking up mail on your behalf, heading over to the post office and shipping them out. As you can realize, over the course of several weeks and months, this can turn into a part time job for your friend. And even if you did have someone so committed to just deal with your mail, they probably would have to work it into their schedule to get it shipped to you in time (making up for several delays, or mistakes in forwarding on your items.) When you have a professional mail forwarding company handling this on your behalf (and especially a company like US Global Mail that has been around for 20+ years,) you are assured to get your mail on time.

 

How much does mail forwarding cost?

 

US Global Mail plans start from $10/month. You can view our plans and pick one that works best for you. USPS mail forwarding is $84.40/month. Here’s a comparison cost chart of some of the common services.

 

Is a Smart Mailbox Going to be Your New Best Friend?

 

The likely answer is, yes! Virtual mailboxes are a fantastic way to make sure all your important documents reach you, no matter where you are in the world (which expats benefit greatly from, of course). But to give you a better idea, let’s go through all the advantages you will gain by opening a smart mailbox.

 

Trustpilot reviews

 

1. Mail Security and Privacy

 

Identity and package theft is a growing concern throughout most countries these days (sadly). It just isn’t safe to have your parcels and letters left in a previous neighbors’ box or outside their door anymore, especially if you have moved overseas.

 

With a virtual mailbox, this won’t be a concern anymore.

 

You get access to your mail online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Not to mention that your delivery is guaranteed. There won’t be any missed or stolen packages anymore. You can cross that off your “things to stress about” list!

 

By now, you are probably wondering how all of that is possible. Don’t worry, we will tell you how it works.

 

Firstly, the apps use industry-leading security that will always work. Yep, we’re talking bank-grade encryption here — your mail security is not a joke to us! Any information that travels through our warehouses and servers is protected against hackers and thieves.

 

Secondly, all the staff members are aware of the privacy policies, compliances, and controls they must abide by in order to give you the best service imaginable. So, no matter where you are in the world, your US mail will be kept safe from your old neighbors, nosy family members, and the government. Basically, privacy is our middle name.

 

Thirdly, 2-step verification is enabled on all accounts to ensure it is really you trying to look at your incoming mail. It isn’t just your username and password you need, but also a secondary bit of information to ensure complete security, all the time.

 

Finally, you can always change how you handle your mail data. Whether you want to back it up, download it, or delete it entirely, it’s up to you.

 

2. Check Your Mail Any Time

 

Since you are an expat, you probably aren’t going to be in your old home country all that often, right? Not to worry, with a virtual mailbox you can access all your mail, no matter where you are in the world.

 

Missing important bills or documents is a thing of the past!

 

3. Never Have to Enlist People’s Help with Your Mail Again

 

Asking a previous neighbor or your old colleagues to take care of your mail until the next time you fly over to sort it can be incredibly stressful. You are likely to receive important documents such as tax notices, IRS letters, passport renewals, credit cards, insurance paperwork, bills, and checks that you won’t want people snooping through. Makes sense!

 

In this case, a smart mailbox is definitely the right way to go. You can have your super-important letters scanned immediately so you can sort them out on the day they’re delivered. And, you can make sure everything is bundled up and shipped to your new overseas address insanely quickly.

 

4. You Can Still Shop In the USA

 

Depending on where you live now, they might not support the importation of American goods. As an expat, you are bound to be fairly frustrated by this — hence another reason to set up a virtual mailbox. You can shop online in the United States of America, have it shipped to that address, and then tell the expert mail handlers that you want it sent to your current address. It’s as easy as a, b, c!

 

5. You Will Be Saving the Planet

 

You know as much as we do how annoying spam mail is — supermarket coupons, pizza deliveries, gym brochures — and you won’t even be in the US to be able to use them, so why bother getting them forwarded by the USPS?

 

With a smart mailbox, the professional handlers will discard anything that is clearly spam before they upload your mail every day. You won’t even have to see the annoying stuff. The best part is, these pizza deliveries advertisements won’t just be going to the landfill. Instead, they are recycled to ensure we do our bit to save the trees.

 

6. You Can Have the Same Mailing Address for the Rest of Your Life

 

Yup, you read that right; we thought we would leave the best till last!

 

We are going to assume that you’ve moved a lot in your life. Correct? We thought so. And with each move comes all the boring paperwork — including changing your address with the USPS, your driver’s license, passport, and everything else. It’s hard work.

 

But that all changes with a virtual mailbox. Regardless of where you move, your mailing address can stay the same. Perfect, isn’t it?

 

The Bottom Line

 

Here at US Global Mail, we have helped over 80,000 expats find freedom with their mail thanks to our awesome smart mailbox. We can’t help to start making your snail mail dreams come true! If you have any questions, don’t be afraid to get in touch. We are always happy to help.

Categories
Expat Resources

Mail Forwarding, You, and Security

Committing to work with a mail forwarding company can be a big risk to take. You are putting your trust into complete and total strangers, hoping your mail is safe and secure. Checks, IRS statements, family Christmas cards, Grandma’s birthday card with a crisp $20 bill, literally everything will now be going to the hands of someone else! That can be a bit daunting, to say the least. So exactly how secure is mail forwarding? Why do you have to provide so much information just to get your mail? How do you know that your mail is safe and only accessible by you? What measures does the mail forwarding team take to ensure the confidentiality of your personal mail?

Categories
Compare Package Forwarding Services

5 Reasons Shopping US Stores is Trendy

Let’s say you are currently overseas for business or pleasure, and you are missing all of the goodies back home in the U.S. You’ve just got to have them, right? We don’t blame you, which is why we dug deep to find the five most common reasons people shop online from U.S stores!

 

These reasons may just surprise you, or even inspire you. Either way, happy shopping!

 

Categories
Expat Resources By Country Information

What Is A Mail Forwarding Service?

When you move from one home to another within or outside the US, you want to make sure you get your mail at your new address. Mail as in: tax notices from IRS, health care information from insurance companies, paper statements, bills, checks, federal notices, magazines, journals etc.
This happens via a mail forwarding request. Mail Forwarding is a service that allows you to get your mail from your old home at your new one. Increasingly that new home for your mail is now your device!

Physical mailbox in the cloud filled with paper mail

Will I get paper mail, in 2020?

 

Despite the technological advances in our lives, there are still a bunch of things that are only be delivered via paper mail. These include:

 

  • IRS notices – tax info, and bills
  • Social security – info, benefits and checks
  • INS notices – immigration notices
  • Credit and Debit cards
  • Passports
  • Drivers Licence
  • Jury duty notices
  • Hand written notes and cards

 

How does mail forwarding work?

 

When you move from one address to another, your mail needs to move too. You can either inform everyone who sends you physical mail- like your bank, the government, IRS, etc. of the new address, or you can simply forward your mail from your old address to the new one by filling out the change of address form with the USPS, when moving within the country.

 

Man & dog are running and a bird is carrying paper mail away with it

Moving within the US

 

So, how do you forward your mail to another address? You go online or to your local post office and fill the change of address form. 
 
There are 2 options when moving your address:

Permanent change of address: USPS will update your old address to your new one in their system. Any mail addressed to your old address will come to your new address.

This is a permanent change.

We recommended it when moving overseas or when you wish to keep one permanent address for life. And never have to deal with the hassle of changing your address again.

With this change, you should get a Virtual Mailbox so you can move as many homes or countries as you wish without ever changing your permanent address.

                                *  *  *

Temporary change of address: This method changes your address anywhere from 2 weeks to 6 months at a time.

After the duration of change of address expires, USPS will stop forwarding your mail from the old to the new address.

The mail will start going back to your old address, unless you renew the forwarding again. You can do this again for 6 more months.

USPS does not state what happens after 6 months, but you could keep doing it on and on forever, if you wish.

Be prepared for delayed mail in the change of address process, mostly due to ineffectiveness of the US postal system.

The upside is this is a free service provided by USPS.

 

Man waiting for the mail next to an empty mailbox

Moving outside the US

 

USPS will forward mail internationally, but for a steep cost.

 

You can enroll in the USPS overseas mail forwarding service, which costs $21.10 retail or $19.35 if you enroll online. There’s an extra cost of $21.10 for each week of service.

 

The service will cost you $84.40/month. You will also pay shipping for all Priority Mail items that USPS will ship immediately as they are received.

 

Not a cost effective way to forward your mail overseas.

 

How long does it take for mail to be forwarded to a new address?

 

If there’s one thing certain in life, other than taxes, that is the fact that people will keep moving in the near future. According to reports, about 35.5 Million Americans move each year from some place to another.

 

We have already discussed what mail forwarding is, and why it’s something you probably want to consider when moving. Time is money however, and depending on your move date, you may want to get ahead of time & start right away the mail forwarding process. 

 

After you have completed your online application with the USPS, it will take about 10 to 15 days for your mail to show up in your Virtual Mailbox

 

Keep in mind, you’ll also need to fill out a 1583 Form which grants us permission to process & handle mail for you.

 

Person being sleepy

 

Mail forwarding can be such a convenience when the time comes where you need to move. Think about it; it saves all the hassle of emailing or calling friends & relatives and ensuring they got the new address you will be moving to.

 

Once you have decide to do a change of address, your friends or family will still get to address the same location on the envelope, and then the USPS knows automatically (given that you’ve completed the mail forwarding process) what address to send it to. 

 

But then that raises the question: Does forwarded mail take longer to arrive?

 

There is a lot of buzz online and horror stories on forwarded mail taking weeks for it to arrive to your new address. It is true that sometimes there are factors that can contribute to a piece of mail that is being forwarded to a new address, to be delayed. 

 

The short answer is no; forwarded mail does not take longer to arrive. 

 

USPS package distribution warehouse

 

Understanding how mail forwarding works, may be a good way to understand why your new address would not delay the delivery of your mail. 

 

When someone decides to send you some piece of mail, it is initially sent to a USPS station responsible with sorting out incoming mail. If you have completed the mail forwarding process with them, then by default they will know to change (re-address) the package that is intended to be sent to you. What that practically means, is that this re-address of your package, is a bit more instant than you’d imagine. 

 

Should I choose temporary or permanent mail forwarding to forward my mail?

 

The answer depends on your move:

 

  • Or moving cities within the US?
  • Or moving homes within the same city?
  • Are you moving to a permanent or a temporary home?

 

The best solution is to get a permanent address for life so you never have to change it again, no matter how many times you move.
Kind of like your cell phone number – you don’t change that anymore when we move, why keep changing your permanent address?

 

If moving overseas, you will need to keep a US address for many reasons. A permanent change of address makes sense in this case.

 

If moving within the US or within a city, it depends on your preference whether you wish to get mail at home, a PO Box or  a Virtual Mailbox. If former, do a change of address with USPS as mentioned above.

 

If you do not wish to give out your home address because you want it to stay private, or you get business mail or you get mail at different homes, you can have all that mail consolidated and be available via a Virtual Mailbox.

 

User interface of the virtual mailbox on a computer & smart phone

 

A mail forwarding service like US Global Mail will help you get your mail via a Virtual Mailbox, no matter where you move. You can see, read and take action on your mail online, which makes life so much easier and mail handling so easy.

 

How To Forward Mail

 

Step by step of how it works: You sign up with a mail forwarding company and get a US address. This address is your anchor while you move around the globe. Your mail forwarding sign up will also come with a Virtual Online Mailbox. The process is simple:

 

  1. You get a local US address (make sure it is a street address, not a PO box). The State your address is in or place does not matter as long as it in the US.
  2. You fill a change of address form at post office fill online informing USPS that you have a new address where you mail should be delivered.
  3. Your mail and items start arriving at the mail forwarding company. The mail forwarding company then uploads the items to your online virtual mailbox.
  4. You  see those items online and decide what you want to do with them. Depending on the features offered by the mail forwarding provider, you can get mail opened and scanned or shipped, get items packed together and shipped, discard any junk mail etc.

 

What to look for in a mail forwarding service?

 

Unlocking the mystery of mail forwarding services: here are 10 things you should look for in a mail forwarding service.

 

Child at the "love locks" tourist attraction in Paris

 

There are many, many companies out there that offer mail forwarding services. Before we tell you about all our research, here is a word of caution: never sign up for one from Craigslist or such services. These might be scammers trying to get your mail!

 

What to look for when signing up with a mail forwarding company?

 

Of course, we think we are the best but you should look around and choose one that will work best for you. We want you to choose us only if we are a good fit for you. When shopping around, look for:

 

  1. Reputation: how long has the company been around, BBB rating, reviews, how secure is your mail with them
  2. Prices: how upfront and clear is their pricing, how competitive are their shipping rates.
  3. Plans: do they offer comprehensive plans for your/your family?
  4. Shipping Rates: This is a biggie! And can add up your costs significantly. Check if the service charges “retail” shipping rates meaning they don’t give you any discount on shipping and keep the discounts they get from shippers like UPS, FedEX, DHL etc for themselves?
    Or do they offer  you discounted shipping rates so you can ship for a lot less when you need to ship your mail or other items to yourself.
  5. Customer service: do they have a way for you to talk to them, do they have live phone and chat support, or is it a bot and what is the email response time? When you need a shipment to sent out asap or when you need a mail piece scanned within the hour, this matters a lot.
    At US Global Mail, we ship all requests received by 1pm the same day. And our email response times are usually less than 4 hours.

 

We did a comparison of the more popular mail forwarding companies to see how they stack up against each other. You can see the info pasted below and a larger chart here.

Mail forwarding price comparison chart