USPS 1583 Forms: What it is and how to complete one

Tere Kovacs

Tere Kovacs

July 21, 2021

USPS 1583 Forms: What it is and how to complete one

When you decide to make the change to a virtual mailbox service, you need to authorize your service provider to receive and open your mail. You do this with an official form called USPS 1583.

This form allows the company to open and scan your mail, and lets you check your mail from anywhere. 

Mail tampering and mail theft is a federal crime, punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a $25,000 fine. So how can virtual mailbox providers like Earth Class Mail, a LegalZoom Company open your mail?

Earth Class Mail, a LegalZoom Company acts as what the government calls a Commercial Mail Receiving Agency (CMRA). This basically means it's a business that handles mail on behalf of other businesses and people. To become an agency, we have to comply with strict guidelines set up by the postal service.

The USPS 1583 officially authorizes the Commercial Mail Receiving Agency to receive and open your mail. 

Why do I need to complete a USPS 1583?

The government wants to make sure that no one signs up for a virtual mailbox as a method to steal someone else’s mail -- which is why they need an official form to be notarized and only allow certified companies to handle other people’s mail. 

The form ensures that you, and only authorized parties, can access mail that is addressed to you.

Regulations require the form to be notarized before sending it to us. The notary's seal proves that you are the person who is authorizing Earth Class Mail, a LegalZoom Company to receive mail in your name or your company's name. 

How to complete a USPS 1583

The two-part process to complete and notarize the form takes about 15 minutes to complete.

The form is just two pages long and requires you to have selected your new address, the company you want to use to receive your mail, and, if you are a business, list company officers. 

On the new address area of the form, you will list one of our PO box addresses or a real street address, depending on the virtual address you select. 

What forms of ID can be used for a USPS 1583?

Once you’re ready to have your form notarized, you’ll need to have two forms of identification ready. 

The first form has to be one of the following:

  • A state ID card, such as a driver's license

  • Passport (from the United States or other country) or Passport card

  • U.S. Permanent record card

  • Certificate of Naturalization

  • Armed Forces card

  • U.S. university ID card

  • Uniformed services ID card

  • Tribal identification card

The second form of identification can be an official document with your current mailing address such as a utility bill, voter registration card, or vehicle registration. 

These include:

  • Utility bill

  • Voter registration card

  • Vehicle registration card

  • Vehicle insurance policy

  • Home insurance policy

  • Lease

  • Mortgage

  • Deed of Trust

  • Form I-94, Arrival and departure record 

How to submit USPS Form 1583

Once you have your identification ready, you can start the onboarding process at Earth Class Mail. You’ll be guided in a step-by-step process that will give you clear instructions for completing the form and authorizing the form through our complementary online notary services. 

Then you’ll begin a live video chat with a notary, which will make your form official. 

The notary will walk through the form with you to ensure you understand what you are signing and then ask for two forms of identification. If you use our online notary partner Notarize, Earth Class Mail, a LegalZoom Company pays for the notarization services. 

Please note that your personal information will never be public, used on your account, or even impact your mailing services. The information requested on this form is strictly used to complete the USPS Form 1583. 

What do I do after I complete a USPS 1583?

Once you’ve submitted your form online, you can begin using your private mailbox. 

That doesn't mean you’ll automatically start collecting mail or packages at your new virtual address, however.

The 1583 Form authorizes us to accept mail in your name. It does not change your address with the USPS or tell us where to forward your mail.

You’ll need to inform your senders of your new address and change your address with any important contacts, such as banks and business registries. You can also fill out a change of address form with the postal service, which will automatically forward your mail to your new virtual address. 

Once you do this, you’ll receive notifications when your mail arrives and you won’t have to sift through your junk mail ever again. 

Still have questions? Our customer service department offers live help with virtual mailbox set-up, too.

Customer Support

Email: [email protected] 

Call: (210) 802-5211, press "1" for support


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