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PO box cost can vary depending on many different factors. But figuring the PO box cost for your PO box can be easy as long as you know what to look for. Today, we’ll answer that and so much more regarding PO boxes.
There is a lot to learn about the PO box cost. From how much you’ll pay per month to how big the box will be. Not to mention how to go about reserving a PO box to begin with and who will have access to it.
What Is A PO Box?
A PO box is a post office box that is reserved just for you or your family. Each PO box has a number and a designated key with the same number. You can go and check your PO box for mail almost any time.
Some offices even allow you 24/7 access to your PO box, giving you the same access as you’d have if you had your mail sent to a physical address. So having one can be extremely useful in almost any situation.
How Do I Get A Post Office Box?
There are two ways to get a PO Box. The original way is to simply walk into the post office and ask if there are any openings. Most of the time, there are. Then, you simply pay for access and your key and you have a P.O. box.
The second way wasn’t very common until the pandemic hit. But now you can go online to the USPS site and reserve a PO box near you. This is the easiest way. Then you can take your receipt in and receive your key.
How Much Does A PO Box Cost?
There are many different types of boxes that you can get from the post office. The USPS has four primary boxes and they each have different fees and different sizes. This is an example of the average in the United States.
- Extra-Small Box – 3×5.5 – an extra small PO box costs $30 to $35 depending on location. This is for a three-month subscription. You can usually get six-month and one-year subscriptions as well for slightly less per month.
- Small Box – 5×5.5 – a small box will cost around $50 for three months. This again can vary greatly, but this is definitely an accurate estimate of what you’ll pay for three months with a small box.
- Medium Box – 5.5×11 – a medium box is made for larger envelopes and magazines. It will cost somewhere between $75 and $85 for three months. Again, getting a year’s subscription is a good way to save.
- Large Box – 11×11 – a large box is the largest you’ll get at most locations. It should cost over $100 but not a lot more for three months. Extra-large boxes are available but only at select locations.
How Can I Pay For The PO Box Cost?
While some locations only accept cash, there are many locations that let you pay online with a credit or debit card. The easiest way is to go online and monitor your payments, even set up automatic renewal.
This way, you never have to worry about your PO box not being able to be accessed. You will simply just set the method and keep the card updated. This is recommended if you ever have important mail.
Can I Get A Post Office Box Refund?
In many cases, you can get a PO box refund. You can either apply for a refund online or go in person and ask to fill out a refund request. But why would you want to get a PO box refund in the first place?
Well, if you stop using the box before your three-month subscription begins or turns over, there’s a good chance that you will want to cancel it. If you are late on canceling, you can request a refund at any time.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but if you have a large box, then it is usually worth it to try. Anything less and it is up to you if it is worth the extra payment or not. Especially if you are only in for a three-month subscription and not a whole year.
Do I Need Proof Of Residency To Get A PO Box?
Yes, in general, you do need proof of residency to get a PO box. This is usually because only United States residents can have a PO box. So if you don’t have a residence in the United States, you can’t get a PO box.
This is unfortunate for those who want a PO box but don’t live in the United States. After all, how do you get your mail forwarded? Well, you can get a mailbox at a privately-owned mail company that is similar to the USPS.
These places are usually happy to let anyone get a mailbox and help them set it up. This way, you have someplace to send your mail legally without any interruptions. The fees are usually affordable as well.
What Happens If I Don’t Pay For My PO Box?
If you don’t pay for your PO box, don’t worry, you won’t automatically lose access to your mail nor will they throw your mail away. There is usually a ten-day deadline after your payment is due to send your payment.
If the payment is not sent in by that day, then the mailbox will no longer give you access and the keys will be changed. From there, the mail will be returned to the senders. So make sure you pay as soon as possible.
This is why it’s a good idea to either get a yearly subscription so you only have to remember once a year and set it up on automatic payments online. Otherwise, you may lose your mail or have it greatly delayed.
What Happens To My PO Box If I Move?
Luckily, we have a guide on what to do if you move and how to prepare your USPS services. But we can break it down really quick anyway! The first thing you should do is have a place for the mail to be sent.
The new place that is. So, find out your new address and when you will be moving as accurately as possible. From there, you can have your mail forwarded starting on a specified date, which is super easy.
Don’t cancel your USPS PO box service until you have lived at the new place for a while. Otherwise, you may not receive all of your mail and there may be confusion. So give it at least a three-month term to catch up.
Can I Get A Free PO Box?
There is one way to get a free PO box and it involves providing both proof of residency and proof that you cannot receive mail at the location. This can be difficult but it can be done. The proof of residency is the easy part.
As for the proof that you can’t receive mail there, well, there are a few options. You will have to complete the online application and then retail personnel determine customer eligibility and can let you know if you qualify.
Does FedEx Deliver To PO Boxes?
FedEx can deliver to PO boxes only if you select FedEx SmartPost when delivering. If you want to ensure that the mail or package is delivered to the post office via FedEx then you need to contact the seller.
Do this prior to ordering to ensure that it can happen. This is very simple and all the seller needs to do is ask FedEx if the package would be eligible. Most of the time, it is, and there won’t be any hiccups.
Does UPS Deliver To PO Boxes?
In a few cases, UPS will deliver to PO boxes but the package will not be covered by the UPS Service Guarantee. Instead, all responsibility is transferred over to the post office. Most of the time, this means a delay either way.
So if you have a PO box as your shipping address then you probably shouldn’t use UPS. Instead, use USPS or at the very least FedEx. Otherwise, UPS is a solid option that works well with physical addresses.
Do International Couriers Deliver To PO Boxes?
Finally, we have international couriers which can be difficult to track and find information on. So places like DHL may not be able to deliver to the post office. This makes international ordering difficult.
If possible, ask the overseas seller or shipper to use FedEx SmartPost where possible. FedEx serves over 200 countries, so there’s a good chance there is a FedEx location near the seller. It doesn’t hurt to ask!
Should I Get A PO Box?
If you’re not sure if you should even get a PO Box then you need to think about it a bit longer. The PO box cost can be a big one. This is something that you should think about and whether you can budget it in.
The second thing is whether or not there could be any problems with delivering to your physical address. Finally, if you don’t want to give out your physical address, then a PO box is a good safe alternative.