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 a 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 a federal prison and a $25,000 fine. So how can virtual mailbox providers like Earth Class Mail open your mail?
Earth Class Mail acts as what the government calls a Commercial Mail Receiving Agency. 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.
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 notarized before sending it to us. The notary's seal proves that you are the person who is authorizing Earth Class Mail to receive mail in your name or your company's name.
The two-part process to complete and notarize the form takes about 20 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.
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 licence
Passport (from the United States or other country) or Passport card
U.S. Permanent record card
Certificate of Naturalization
Corporate ID card
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 such as a utility bill, voter registration card, or vehicle registration.
Voter registration card
Vehicle registration card
Vehicle insurance policy
Home insurance policy
Deed of Trust
Form I-94, Arrival and departure record
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 authorize the form 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 the online notary, Earth Class Mail 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.
Once you’ve submitted your form online, you can begin using your private mail box.
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.
Instead, you’ll need to inform your senders of your new address and change your address with any important senders, 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 again.
Still have questions? Our customer service department offers live help with virtual mailbox set-up, too.
Email: [email protected]
Call: (210) 802-5211, press "1" for support
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