Mail in the 21st Century: How to Set Up a Virtual Mailing Address
We have snail mail and we have email but there’s a little known in-between that exists: virtual mail.
Virtual mailing addresses are perfect if you move or travel frequently, need a physical address for your small business, or are living abroad and still need a US-based address. Here’s how you can easily setup a virtual mailing address.
Why get a virtual mailing address?
Checking your physical mailbox isn’t always the most convenient, especially if you’re not in the near vicinity to do so. Instead of employing the help of your next door neighbor, roommate, or best friend to check your mail while you’re away, the next best thing is enlisting the help of a virtual mailing address.
There’s a lot of reasons why you might want to set up a virtual mailing address. Do you fall into any of these scenarios?
- You’re a small business owner that needs the look of a physical address.
- You’re living abroad for a period of time and still need a physical American mailing address.
- You’re a member of the military living abroad and want to forward your physical mail, as well as an easy way to check it.
- You’re a frequent traveler and need a quick way to check your physical mail when you’re not able to walk over to your mailbox in-person.
A virtual mailing address saves you from the headaches of physical mail and gives you freedom to check it, no matter where you’re located.
How does a virtual mailing address work?
A commercial mail receiving agency (CMRA) or third party virtual mail provider can do one of three things with your mail:
- Open your mail, scan it, and email it you
- Shred and get rid of your mail
- Forward your mail to a new address
Forwarding packages to your new virtual mailing address? Your virtual mail provider can sign for the package and securely hold it until you’re able to pick it up.
What will I need to set up my virtual mailing address?
Ready to get that virtual mailing address set up? You’ll need these two things:
- A notarized, PS1583, which is an Application for Delivery of Mail Through an Agent
- Two unexpired, forms of identification
Setting up a virtual mailing address makes it super easy to check your mail when you’re on the go. But the process of getting a virtual mailing address becomes inconvenient once you get to the step that involves notarizing your PS1583.
Getting the PS1583 notarized isn’t always the easiest, especially if you’re abroad and you’re not able to find a notary where you’re located. Luckily, you can get your PS1583 form notarized online, 24/7.
Why do I have to notarize the PS1583?
Opening up someone else’s mail is a federal offense. So in order to allow someone to open up your mail on your behalf, you’ll be required to get a notarized PS1583 form in order to move forward.
The PS1583 form, also known as an Application for Delivery of Mail Through an Agent authorizes a third party, such as a virtual mail company to open your mail.
I'm ready to set up my virtual mailing address: what's next?
You’ll first want to do some research on virtual mail providers. Pricing can vary between providers based upon how much mail you’ll want your virtual mail provider to scan and what you’d like them to do with it. For example, storing 100 gigs of scanned mail will run up a bigger bill than only scanning five gigs worth of scanned mail.
Once you’ve selected a provider and a plan that works for your budget, you’ll create an account. You'll then select an address to forward your mail to and that’s it! Once you start receiving mail via a virtual mailing address, you can easily manage check it remotely via app on any smartphone or tablet.
Have you setup a virtual mailing address?
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