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Getting a Post Office Box in Another City

April 10th, 2015 - 7:48 AM

Can I get a PO Box in a different city?

Yes, you can! Getting a post office box in another city is a very easy process. If you need to open a PO Box before you move to your new city, follow these four simple steps:

Note: You must be 18 years of age or older to apply for a PO Box.

How to get a post office box in a new city
How do you get a PO box in a new city?

Step 1 – Reserve your PO Box

You can reserve your PO Box online on the USPS.com website or in person at your current local post office. Here’s how you reserve your PO Box:

  • Decide which USPS post office location you would like to reserve your mailbox at in your new city. Click here to search USPS post office locations. Most people like their PO Box location to be near their home or work.
  • Once you know the location you prefer your mailbox to be at, decide which size mailbox you need. Ask yourself what size mail you think you will be regularly receiving? If it’s just for bills and letters, you could go with a smaller box. If it’s big packages, consider the largest size. The sizes you can choose from are:
    • Size 1 (extra small): 3” x 5.5”
    • Size 2 (small) : 5” x 5.5”
    • Size 3 (medium): 11” x 5.5”
    • Size 4 (large): 11” x 11”
    • Size 5 (extra-large): 22.5” x 12”
  • You should base the size decision on how often you’ll pick up your mail, how much mail you typically get per week, and the size of the mail you typically get. Remember to account for magazines and newspaper subscriptions, too. If your mailbox starts to overflow, you might be asked to move to a larger box. This can be a big hassle, so it’s best to have more room than not enough. It's a good idea to reserve your PO Box online so you can know immediately if the size you want is available.
  • Lastly, you’ll need to figure out how long you want to rent the PO Box. You can choose between 3, 6, and 12 months. The minimum rental period is 3 months and begins at the time you reserve your PO Box.

Step 2 – Complete an Application

  • The USPS Form 1093 (Application for Post Office Box) must be filled out completely in order to rent a PO Box. Basically, it’s a rental agreement for the mailbox.
  • You can get a printable copy of the Form 1093 here or complete the application online when you reserve your PO Box.

Step 3 – Gather Proper Identification

  • You must have two acceptable forms of ID with you in order to get a PO Box. One form of ID must contain a photograph.
  • Your ID must be current, contain sufficient information to confirm that you are who you say you are, contain your current address, and be traceable to you.

Acceptable Photo IDs:

  • Valid Driver’s License or state non-driver’s identification card
  • Armed forces, government, university, or recognized corporate identification card
  • Passport, alien registration card, or certificate of naturalization

Acceptable Non-Photo IDs:

  • Current lease, mortgage, or deed of trust
  • Voter or vehicle registration card
  • Home or vehicle insurance policy

Non-Acceptable IDs:

  • Social Security Card
  • Credit or Debit Cards
  • Birth Certificates

Step 4 – Obtaining your PO Box in your new city

  • Go to the Post Office location where you currently live with your Form 1093 filled out and your two acceptable forms of ID.
  • The Postal Service™ will verify your information within three days. You will be called by a post office employee letting you know that your information has been verified and that you may continue the application process. They will give you your PO Box number at this time.
  • Once you have your new PO Box number, you can forward you mail from  your current address to the PO Box in your new city.
  • To forward your mail from your current address to your PO Box in your new city, fill out a Change of Address (COA) form online (for $1) or at your local post office (for free).
  • Keep in mind that it takes 7-10 days to start receiving mail at your PO Box once you submit your COA. So, it's recommended that you submit your COA form 7-10 days before your move.
  • Once your COA is submitted and processed, your mail will begin forwarding to your PO Box in your new city.
  • After you move to your new city, you will need to complete the verification process in order to get your PO Box keys and access your mail. To complete the verification process and obtain your PO Box, do the following:
    • Go to the location in which your reserved mailbox is at and bring the Form 1093, two forms of current identification, and your payment (if you did not already pay when you reserved your mailbox). If you paid for your mailbox when you reserved online, you will need to bring a copy of your receipt that was emailed to you as well.
    • You will receive your keys after you pay and it is confirmed with the post office in your new city that your application has been verified.

And that's how you get a PO Box before you move to a different city!

If you’re wondering, “Can I get a PO Box before I move?”, the answer is yes. If you have more quesitons about getting a post office box in another city, call the USPS at 800-275-8777.  

Related Resources to Getting a PO Box

Moving with No Forwarding Address: What do I do?
How to Complete a Postal Change of Address
How to Change Your Address When Moving
Who Needs Your Address?