A U.S. post-office box provides an alternative mail-delivery system to receiving mail at your actual place of residence. While you can rent a P.O. box at the post office of your choice, you must still verify your current address upon rental. The post office requires that any verification documents you supply include only your current address. If you're unable to verify your residency, you may not obtain a P.O. box from any post-office branch.
When you apply for a P.O. box, you must complete application PS1093. This application requests basic information regarding your identity, including your current address. Upon submission of your application, you must provide two valid forms of identification. Both forms are used to support your application and verify that you are who the application says you are. Your current address of residence must be included in both forms of ID. Examples of acceptable identification may include your current driver's license or state ID and a mortgage statement or lease agreement.
If you move to a different state or city that causes you to need a P.O. box at a different post office, you may not simply transfer your application and prior-verification documents to a new location. You must submit a new application, complete with new verification documents to the post-office branch at which you wish to receive mail. You must be able to supply updated verification items, such as a new driver's license, mortgage statement or homeowner's-insurance policy.
If you move or desire to forward your mail from an existing P.O. box, you may submit a permanent or temporary change of address. A permanent change-of-address request forwards your mail to a new address, but also closes your existing P.O. box. A temporary change-of-address request may be used to forward your mail to a new P.O. box or residential address for six to 12 months; however, your old P.O. box is not closed.
The U.S. post office provides online tools to manage your P.O. box through the USPS.com website. Through the online account-management system, you may pay your P.O. box rental fees, update your primary address, apply for a new P.O. box and submit change-of-address requests. Some changes you make to your account online may require that you also visit a post-office branch to provide additional information. If you must visit a branch, you will be instructed to do so when you make changes to your account online.