November 7, 2022 Posted in How-to
Julie Grace

Originally from The Golden City, Julie has explored the ins and outs of moving and has written all the tips down.

How to Set up a PO Box When You Move Cross Country

Setting up a PO Box address before you actually move is an excellent strategy to make sure you don’t miss any vital mail if you’re relocating to a new city. In order to do that, you need to know how to set up a PO Box adequately and not waste any of your precious time.

PO boxes in the post office overlay
Setting up a post office box can be a breeze with the right information

Since you’re relocating, this could be the last thing on your mind. So, now is an excellent time to learn how to set up a PO Box and take care of a frequently neglected component of the entire relocation process. First, learn what a PO Box is, how it works and how much money you’ll have to spend on it. Then gather all the needed documents and decide whether online or in-person setting up the process suits you better. After all that, you can proceed with finding the best cross-country moving services and ensuring you’ll have efficient packing service as well.

First Things – What Is a PO Box?

Post Office Boxes, or PO Boxes, are locked containers with a physical address at a neighborhood post office. PO Boxes are often rented from the postal service for periods of three, six, or twelve months. If receiving mail directly at your house is difficult for you, a PO Box can ensure that everything is gathered and kept safe and secure. You can have all of your mail sent to the post office box and use that as the business address if you own a home business and wish to keep your home address a secret.

Finding out how to obtain a PO Box entails going to your neighborhood Post Office or renting it online, thinking about your mailbox requirements, and then choosing the appropriate size. This could sound like a lot of work, so ensure you avoid doing it while considering the last-minute move.

If you do everything in advance, you’ll have enough time for all the tasks on your to-do list, and one of the most important ones surely is hiring cross-country movers if you want to have a stress-free move.

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How Does It Work?

Now that you know a PO Box is a secure mailbox that is typically found in the lobby of a post office, you should consider it a fantastic choice if relocating to a location where you require more secure mailbox options to thwart theft or tampering. Also, it can be a great solution when relocating to a new city alone.

When it comes to relocating with a reliable cross-country moving company,  it provides you with an opportunity to get that mail even if you are in the middle of a challenging moving day preparation because you’ll have an access code or a key to collect it.

How Much Does Renting a PO Box Cost?

It’s simple to increase the dependability and security of your mail while also making it simpler to keep quality service if you move around a lot by renting a PO box. However, when hiring professional long-distance movers, you surely have to make a relocation budget, especially if you’re looking at how to save money to move and want to reduce some costs.

So, you should definitely put the expenses of renting a PO Box on your relocation budget list. Check in the table below the price of renting a P.O. box determined by dimensions and capacity:

Box type Capacity Dimensions
Extra large Flat-rate parcels and boxes 12″ x 22 1/2″ x 14 3/4″
Large Two shoe boxes stalked flat and 10-15 letters 11″ x 11″ x 14 3/4″
Medium Large envelopes stacked flat 5 1/2″ x 11″ x 14 3/4″
Small Five rolled magazines or 10-15 letters 5 1/2″ x 11″ x 14 3/4″
Extra small Two rolled magazines or 10-15 letters 5″ x 5 1/2″ x 14 3/4″

What Are Some Additional Fees You Have to Think About

For the first two keys, the USPS requests a $3 deposit, and each subsequent duplicate key costs $6. Additionally, the post office charges $20 for late payments and lock replacement. Keep in mind this information and be sure you’ll have the needed finances to cover all the costs. After all, nothing is free, for example, choosing and hiring the right long-distance moving company won’t be free, that’s for sure.

PO Boxes are accessible for rentals lasting six or twelve months. Constantly renewing for shorter rental terms is more expensive. It is less expensive to apply for a yearly rental right away if you anticipate using the PO box for at least a year. If you want to have the costs billed automatically to a credit card, your rental may keep renewing. Utilize a credit card with rewards and accrue points when you pick up your mail.

Also, prices for PO Boxes can vary yearly in areas where the postal service has sufficient market authority to establish them without opposition. Similar goods are offered by private-sector businesses in several marketplaces, which can help keep prices low.

Girl counting money after cross country moving to Texas overlay
Cont on paying the deposit when renting a PO Box

What Kind of Documents Do You Need to Prepare?

When people have to deal with important documentation, especially when they want to move efficiently, the whole process can become a bit overwhelming. No one said relocating will be easy, so it’s better to get to work as soon as you decide where you’ll live. Gather everything you need for renting an apartment and include important papers for applying for a PO Box.

When applying in person or confirming your online reservation, you must bring the proper identification with you because you are reserving a PO box. You must show at least one piece of identification from each of the two categories, which are valid forms of identification. The secondary form of identification must include your home address. This being said, here’s a list of basic types of legal picture identification to prepare:

  • Corporate ID,
  • Passport,
  • S. Government ID,
  • S. University ID
  • NEXUS (Canada),
  • Matricula Consular (Mexico).

Additional IDs that are acceptable:

  • Mortgage, deed of trust, or ease,
  • Utility bill,
  • Form I-94
  • Home insurance policy,
  • Voter or vehicle registration card.

Start in time getting some of these documents and don’t give anything to chance.

How to Set up a PO Box Online?

Since dealing with all long-distance moving services and checking all relocation hacks that will make moving easier, it’s only understandable to ask yourself how to make an online PO Box booking. Surely, you don’t want to waste more time than needed waiting in an endless line at the post office. So, check all the steps you should take for effortless application:

  • Step 1 – Visit the USPS site to look for a nearby PO Box that is open. To find a PO Box in your neighborhood, enter your zip code and click “Find & Reserve a PO Box.”
  • Step 2 – Decide which post office is most accessible. Choose a PO Box size, the rental term (three, six, or 12 months), and your preferred payment option after deciding on a location.
  • Step 3 – To complete your PO Box reservation, enter your contact and billing information.
  • Step 4 – Print the confirmation of your reservation. Your online rental and payment information are included in that confirmation. Take the printed confirmation and two forms of identification to your local post office within 30 days of making your box reservation in order to pick up your keys.

This step-by-step guide is all you need when applying online. Just follow it, and you’ll have a PO Box in no time.

Happy girl working on a laptop. overlay
Set up a PO Box from the comfort of your home in just four steps

How to Set up a Post Office Box in Person

As a moving day approaches, you realize the entire move is organized and all tasks are done, so why not set up a PO Box in person? After all, with the much-needed help from efficient cross-country moving companies, you’ll be left with plenty of free time. So, here’s what you should do once you arrive at your post office:

  • Fill in the PS Form 1093. This form is available for printing beforehand or picking up at the post office.
  • Choose your box size in step two. Select the right box size on page three after deciding on it on page one of the form.
  • Deliver the form to the post office and arrange for payment.

The process is pretty simple and straightforward, so don’t worry, you’ll be lost in endless documents and paperwork.

What Are Some Advantages of Using a PO Box?

The necessity for a PO box could arise for a variety of reasons, just like the reasons for the move do too. It will provide you with a constant address if you move homes, or it might be a technique to boost your privacy. If you run a home-based business, you might be able to keep your mail better organized. Whatever your motivation, there are a few things you should be aware of before signing up for a P.O. Box.

Here are some other advantages you should consider:

  • Security – A combination code or a key is required to open the box, which is within the post office. Additionally, a P.O. box hides your true address, preserving your privacy.
  • Fast delivery – You frequently receive your mail more quickly since the boxes are physically at the post office.
  • Permanence – A P.O. box is an excellent way to make sure you’ll continue to get your mail if you move around a lot or travel a lot. The fact that there is no possibility of your mail accidentally traveling to a former address also lowers the chance of identity theft.
  • Accessibility – You may have 24-hour access to your mailbox at some post offices. If it’s in the lobby of the post office, they might let you in whenever you need it. Before making the commitment to have your box there, find out what amenities your preferred site has to offer.

So, while you’re considering all the benefits of the move, take into account the advantages of having a PO Box, as well. You might be surprised how little you actually know about it.

United States Postal Service sign on a wall overlay
Check all the advantages PO Box can offer you

Have All of Your Mail Organized With PO Box

It’s easy to take charge of how and when you get mail by using a PO Box. If you have a home company that gets mail that you wish to keep distinct from personal mail or if you want to maintain your address confidential, it can be especially helpful. So, have everything prepared for the cross-country moving service and experience the best relocation experience ever.


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