Home / Categories / Moving Tips / Getting a Post Office Box in Another City

Getting a Post Office Box in Another City

September 2nd, 2016 - 1:48 PM

How do I get a PO Box when I’m moving?

It’s actually a pretty easy process to get a post office box in another city. If you need to open a PO Box before you move, you can start online or in person.

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

How to get a post office box

How to reserve a PO Box

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

  • Pick a location.  Search USPS post office locations online and decide which location you would like to reserve your mailbox at in your new city. Most people choose a PO Box location closest to their home or work, but choose the one that is best for you.
  • Choose a mailbox size. Think about what kind of mail you regularly receive. If it’s mainly bills and letters, you could go with a smaller box, but if you receive a lot of big packages, you may consider the largest size. Also, consider how often you’ll pick up your mail and how much mail you typically get per week. Remember to account for magazines and catalog subscriptions, too (if your mailbox regularly overflows, you might be asked to move to a larger box). There are five post office box sizes to choose from. All boxes are 14.75” deep and rates vary by location and box size.
    • Size 1 (extra small): 3” x 5.5”
    • Size 2 (small) : 5” x 5.5”
    • Size 3 (medium): 5.5” x 11”
    • Size 4 (large): 11” x 11”
    • Size 5 (extra-large): 12” x 22.5”
  • Determine how long to rent the PO Box. The minimum rental period is 3 months and begins at the time you reserve your PO Box. You can choose from 3, 6 or 12 month rentals.

How to apply for a post office box 

  • 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.
  • Get a printable copy of Form 1093 to download and print or complete the application online when you reserve your box. If you want to apply for a post office box online, you’ll have to create a free USPS.com account.

What types of identification are accepted?

Two acceptable forms of ID are required in order to get a PO Box. One form of ID must contain a recent photograph. Your ID must be current, contain sufficient information to confirm that you are who you say you are, display 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: (these won't be accepted)

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

How to get a PO Box in a new city

  1. Apply for a PO Box online or go to the Post Office location where you currently live with Form 1093 filled out and two acceptable forms of ID.
  2. 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.
  3. Once you have your new PO Box number, you can forward your mail from your current address to the PO Box in your new city. Keep in mind that it takes 7-10 days to start receiving mail at your PO Box once you submit your change of address (COA) form. 
  4. After you move, complete the verification process to get your PO Box keys and access your mail. To do this:
    • Go to the location where you reserved a mailbox and bring 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 the receipt that was emailed to you.
    • You’ll receive your keys after you pay and your application has been verified.

And that's how you get a PO Box before you move to a different city! Please note, over the years, we’ve heard from customers who have encountered difficulty in getting a PO Box when moving. Refer to the information on the Postal Service website and call their hotline at 800-275-8777 with any issues.


To recap, you can get a PO Box in a new city with these easy steps:


How to Get a PO Box in a New City infographic

Resources related to getting a PO Box

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