When you sign up for a virtual mailbox service one of the things you have to do is fill in USPS (United States Postal Service) Form 1583.
This applies whether you’re using the service for business purposes, or as an expat, traveler, etc.
Thankfully, it is a relatively simple process.
Today we will look at what you need to do to complete Form 1583, why it is mandatory when using a virtual mailbox service, and other common questions.
Common Form 1583 FAQs
What Is USPS Form 1583 and what does it do?
The United States Postal Service regulates all mail in the USA.
This means that a standardized set of rules have been established for the correct receiving, processing, handling, and delivery of mail.
As a virtual mailbox service will be receiving mail on your behalf, it means that the provider has to meet specific requirements before they are eligible to receive your mail.
To this end, virtual mailbox service providers (and package forwarding companies) are known as a commercial mail receiving agents (CMRAs).
The full name of Form 1583 is the United States Postal Service Application for Delivery of Mail Through Agent.
Essentially, when you fill in Form 1583, you are giving the virtual mailbox service provider (or the CMRA in the viewpoint of USPS), to begin receiving mail on your behalf.
Without that permission, the provider will not be able to carry out their service.
Does this mean I Need a Separate Form for each Family Member or Employee?
No, the form is designed to cater to a number of names should a specific scenario require it. This means that all family members using a service can have their names entered onto one form.
For spouses on the same account, the name goes in Box 2 on the form. If children’s names are to be added as recipients, these go in Box 12.
Box 12 is also used if you are a business owner and are looking to have employees’ names on the account too.
Do all virtual mailbox services require Form 1583 to be filled in?
Yes, they do. As we have already mentioned, Form 1583 is a mandatory requirement.
All CMRAs must have a valid Form 1583 for all of their customers. Furthermore, the forms have to be notarized and be accompanied by copies of the customer’s identification.
In short, to legally operate as a virtual mailbox service in the U.S, Form 1583 has to be completed by every customer.
In what situations will I need to fill in more than one Form 1583?
If you have multiple mailboxes with different addresses, you will need to complete a form for each address.
However, most service providers will not require each form to be notarized. Once your identity has been verified, and the first form complete with a valid notarization, additional forms will be valid by proxy.
How to Complete USPS Form 1583
Filling out Form 1583 is not particularly taxing. Much of it is self-explanatory. However, for guidance, the below steps will help ensure that you complete the form without any errors.
Download Form 1583 online
Your first step will be to download Form 1583 from the internet. The virtual mailbox service you sign up for will provide a downloadable link during the signup process.
You can also download the form directly from the USPS website.
Should you want a paper copy without having to download and print it yourself, you can also pick up the form from your local post office branch.
Entering your details
There are three main sections to Form 1583. There is the area where the CMRA information has to be entered, (i.e the details of your service provider), an area for the mailbox owner’s details, and an area if the mailbox is being used by a business.
Let’s take a look at each of these in turn.
Mailbox Owner Information
The mailbox owner information should be added as follows:
BOX 2: The name of the owner and spouse (if applicable). If the mailbox is owned by a business, the legal name of the company goes here.
BOX 3A – 3D: The address that you have selected for your mail to be sent, (as provided by the virtual mailbox service).
BOX 5: This box has to contain your signature. It will provide the mailbox service authorization to receive mail on your behalf.
Box 6: The name of the person applying for the service. (This is usually the same name as in Box 2.)
BOX 7A & 7E: Your current contact address and phone number
BOX 8: Here you will list the two items of ID that you will provide as proof of your identity. (A list of applicable forms of ID is contained below).
BOX 12: If more than one recipient is being added to the mailbox, (i.e your children or other family members), the names of those recipients are added here.
BOX 16: Your final signature.
Information about your service provider (CMRA) also has to be provided. If you downloaded the form from the provider website, it could be that the details have already been filled in.
If not, you will have to obtain the business details of the provider and enter them into BOXES 4A to 4E.
Additional Business Information
Where the virtual mailbox service is to be used for a business you will need to add additional information about the company, (beyond what you have placed at the beginning of the form).
These details are as follows:
BOX 9: Name of the business
BOXES 10A – 10E: Your business address (or address of a registered agent if you use one).
BOX 11: The type of business
BOX 12: Names of all employees that have been added to the service account and will be receiving mail at the address. Forms of ID will also need to be sent to verify each name added to the account.
BOX 13: In the case of a corporation, the names, and addresses of the company officers need to go here.
Box 14: The county and state of where the company was registered have to go here, along with the registration date.
Notarizing USPS Form 1583
Notarizing Form 1583 allows the CMRA to verify your identity. It is also a requirement of USPS.
The notary will need to sign Box 15 on the form and will need to have seen your ID in order to do so.
There are a number of online options for notarizing forms such as 1583.
You can also find public notaries in your area by doing a quick Google local search.
Courthouses and banks also often offer notary services. Both U.S. and non-U.S. notary seals are accepted by the major virtual mailbox services and importantly USPS.
What forms of ID are valid?
Copies of your ID will be required when you submit the notarized form to your service provider.
One of these will need to include a photo ID.
Valid IDs for Form 1583 include:
- Valid driver’s license
- Corporate or work ID
- Student ID
- Green card
- Voter registration card
- Vehicle registration card
- Insurance policy (home, health, or vehicle)
- Current lease or mortgage agreement
Submit the form to your Service Provider
The service provider will likely accept all your ID and completed form via the online dashboard in PDF and jpeg format.
You will also have the option to email. Either way, it is a good idea to read the FAQ or contact the provider to see how they prefer you to send the forms and supporting documentation.
And there you have it. A comprehensive guide to filling in Form 1583.
As you can see, it should not present any problems. The longest part of the process is waiting for the notarization.
Once you have sent the forms across and the service provider has verified your identity and details, you should be able to access the full range of mailbox services and begin using your new virtual address.
I’m a 25 year veteran of USPS. I’m retired now, but as the editor of Mailbox Master, I can’t quite remove myself from the carrier industry just yet. 🙂