How To Obtain A PO Box When You Move

Written By Thomas Curry | Updated: Oct 12, 2021

How To Obtain A PO Box When You Move

Have an upcoming move? It is essential to forward your mail. If you are moving to another city but are yet to locate your new home, you need to set up a new PO Box address before you move in order to ensure you receive all your vital mails.

This is your best chance at handling an often-overlooked part of your moving process and find out how you can set up a PO Box as people often forget to think about this when moving.

Want to know more? Below is a quick summary of how to set up a PO Box when moving.

What does a PO Box mean?

PO Boxes stands for Post Office boxes and are lockable boxes that contain addresses at a local post office. Generally, PO Boxes are for rental at the post office to individuals and businesses, whether for 3, 6, or 12-months terms.

If you can’t have your mail delivered to your address for some reason, then a PO Box can assist you in making sure you get all your mail safely and securely.

If you plan to keep your home or physical business address private, you can have all your mails directed to your PO Box and list it as your business or home address.

Why should you even consider getting a PO Box?

As briefly discussed above, there are many good reasons why you should get a PO Box set up when you move to another home. These include:

  1. The new home not available: If you plan to spend a lot of time out of your current home until you get a new house or apartment, or until you can move into your new home with your possessions, then you can only receive your mail through setting up of a PO Box at a local post office nearest to you.
  2. The new home is not accessible: If you find it hard for mail carriers to locate your new home due to its location, consider setting up a PO Box at the local post office nearest to your area.
  3. Frequent traveler: If you frequently travel, your best solution to make sure you don’t have an unnecessary pile-up of mail outside your residence is to rent a PO Box. Note that uncollected mails for days or weeks could attract robbers that you are not at home for a longer time.
  4. Home business: Home business owners should rent a Post Office Box alongside their mailbox outside their house or in their apartment building in order to separate business mail from personal mail.
  5. Better privacy: If you desire privacy or improved security, this can be achieved by renting P.O. Box to keep your home address anonymous and vital documents confidential. After answering why you need a Post Office Box, we have also discussed the benefits of obtaining a P.O. Box when you move.

Of course, renting a post office box has some downsides, which include a rental to be paid monthly or yearly, and you will not be able to access your mail until you go to the post office to collect it as there is no home delivery service.

Pros and Cons of having a Post Office Box

Pros

  • Delivery time doesn’t change
  • Permanent address
  • Professional address to receive your mail
  • Secure mail pick-up

Cons

  • Not enough space; box overflows if mail is not picked regularly.
  • You have to go and pick up your mail
  • You need a PO Box to have a professional address listing as a small home business owner
  • 24/7 lobby access not available in some locations

How to acquire a P.O. Box?

When you are relocating to another city, you will have a lot of important tasks on your moving list to tackle before the moving day. Fortunately, you can easily acquire a PO Box with simple steps as you can conclude the process online or in person at any USPS post office location nearest to you.

How to book a P.O. Box Online

Below are the steps to rent a P.O. Box online:

  • Locate an available PO Box in the new city or town you are moving to.
  • Choose the rental duration for your PO Box. As discussed above, you can rent for three, six, and twelve months.
  • Sign up a USPS account (if you are a new user) and start the application process.
  • Pay with a credit card.
  • Print out the completed application form and the receipt of your payment on your e-mail address. The information and application submitted will be verified by the post office within three days.
  • Go to the post office with the completed form, the payment receipt, and two means of identification to get the keys or the lock combination for your new Post Office Box.

How to acquire a Post Office Box in Person

Note that the process of booking a P.O. Box online is very easy and convenient; however, you will still visit the post office in person at the destination town or city to begin to use the Post Office Box. This also implies that your PO Box can be up for rental after you move. Here are the steps: 

  • Click here to print out the USPS Form 1093 and fill out by hand.
  • Submit the completed form to the exact post office location where you wish to get PO Box rental. Don’t forget to go with two means of identification and make payment.
  • A new Post Office Box address will be given to you immediately your address is verified and your payment is received by the USPS.

What are the different PO Box Sizes?

There are 5 various PO Box sizes up for rental, based on the quantity of mail you receive. For instance, if you are a business owner that receives lots of packages, the extra-large size might be your perfect option. However, if you are a homeowner that only receives mail once in a while, the extra-small size might just be perfect for you.

Here are the sizes:

Box Size Dimensions Suitable for
Extra-small 3″ by 5.5″ 10 to 15 letters or 2 rolled magazines
Small 5″ by 5.5″ 10 to 15 letters or 5 rolled magazines
Medium 5.5″ by 11″ Flatly stacked large envelopes and magazines
Large 11″ by 11″ About 2 shoeboxes plus extra room for 10 to 15 letters
Extra-large 12″ by 22.5″ Several parcels and flat-rate boxes

What is the cost of a PO Box?

Acquiring a PO Box for free is not really possible, so you must be ready for that additional expense. Three important factors will determine the cost of renting a P.O. Box:

  • Size: Check the Post Office Box sizes above. Normally, a bigger size attracts bigger rent.
  • Rental period: PO Box can be rent for 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months. Longer rental duration commends higher rental costs.
  • Location: PO Box rental costs can vary based on the town, city, or state where the post office is located. In some cases, prices may change for different post offices within the same town or city.

To obtain a rough estimate about the cost of a P.O. Box, below are some sample rental fees. Remember that these prices are only for reference purposes, and the exact cost to rent a PO Box in your new place will probably be different.

Size Rental period Approximate price
Extra-small 12 months $100
Small 12 months $150
Medium 12 months $250
Large 12 months $450
Extra-large 12 months $650 to $700

 

You can make an online payment for your PO Box booking using a credit card for more convenience.

Conclusion

To locate the perfect moving company to take care of your upcoming move, go through the wide network of reliable and reputable moving companies available on Moving Feedback. All the moving companies in our network are certainly insured and licensed, so you don’t have to worry about your belongings’ safety as we have good hands moving it for you.

Thomas Curry

Thomas has a degree in literature from Stanford University and a profession in Mass Communication. Thomas is a member of the Moving Feedback research team, an expert in writing educative articles to help readers make the right buying decisions. He is well versed in moving industry matters to give the best advice on moving needs.

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