If you're considering investing in a digital or virtual mailbox for your home or business, one of the first steps you need to take is filling out form 1583 from the United States Postal Service (USPS).
While this form can seem complicated at first glance, it will be quick and easy with the proper preparation and knowledge. Below, we'll give you the 411 on Form 1583, including why this form is so important, how to correctly fill it out, and where to send it when you're done.
What Is USPS Form 1583?
USPS regulates all mail in the United States. Accordingly, they have set guidelines for handling and receiving mail. They require all commercial mail receiving agents (CMRAs), like those who offer virtual mailbox services, to meet specific requirements before they can start receiving mail on behalf of their customers.
Form 1583 is also known as the United States Postal Service Application for Delivery of Mail Through Agent. This form authorizes a CMRA to begin receiving mail for a specific customer or mailbox owner. Anyone renting a P.O. box, postal box, or virtual mailbox within the U.S. must fill out this form before the CMRA can begin to receive mail.
Will Form 1583 Change My Address?
No. Filling out and submitting Form 1583 will not change your address. If you want to forward your mail from a previous address, you will need to file a Change of Address form with USPS.
Is Form 1583 Necessary for All Virtual Mailboxes?
Yes. USPS requires all CMRAs to provide and retain copies of Form 1583 for all customers. These forms must be notarized and sent to your CMRA before they can legally receive mail on your behalf. All virtual mailbox providers operating in the U.S. legally require this form to receive mail for any customer.
Are Separate Forms Required for Multiple Virtual Mailboxes?
Yes. If you manage multiple mailboxes, you'll need separate forms for each address you use. You might not be required to notarize additional forms after the first is submitted and your identity has been properly verified. Check with your provider about their notarization policy.
Do I Need Separate Forms for Family Members or Employees?
No. Form 1583 allows you to include spouses, children, or employees. For individual use, you will need to include your spouse's name in Box 2 and children's names in Box 12. For a business, employees' names go in Box 12.
How Long Does It Take To Complete Form 1583
Filling out your form should not take longer than a few minutes. However, getting your form notarized and submitted to your virtual mailbox provider or other CMRA could take several days. Upon receipt, most virtual mailboxes can be set up and start receiving mail that same day.
How to Fill Out USPS Form 1583
If it's your first time using Form 1583, you might need a little guidance when filling it out. Below, we've outlined everything you will need to know from start to finish.
Step 1: Get a Copy of Form 1583
Your virtual mailbox provider or CMRA should be able to provide you with a copy of Form 1583. You can also access a printed copy of the form from your local post office branch. For convenience, you can download the form online at usps.com, but you'll need to print out your digital copy of the document so it can be notarized.
Step 2: Fill It Out
Form 1583 is broken up into three main sections — CMRA information, mailbox owner information, and business information. Below, we will review each of these sections and what should go into each box.
Your CMRA might provide you with a pre-filled form, which includes their information already written in. Be sure to double-check for accuracy before proceeding.
Below are the boxes that correspond with the CMRA information on Form 1583:
- Box 4a - 4e: Fill in the name of your virtual mailbox provider (CMRA).
Mailbox Owner Information
Below are the boxes that correspond with the mailbox owner information on Form 1583:
- Box 2: If this mailbox will be for personal use, fill in your full, legal name and that of your spouse, if applicable. If the mailbox for a business, fill in the full, legal name of the company.
- Boxes 3a-3d: Fill in the address you have selected for your virtual mailbox.
- Box 5: Sign this box to authorize your virtual mailbox to receive restricted-delivery mail on your behalf.
- Box 6: Fill in the name of the person applying for the virtual mailbox — usually the same as Box 2.
- Boxes 7a-7e: Fill in the current address and phone number where you can be reached.
- Box 8: List the two types of ID you will use to verify your identity. Note that one must be a photo ID. See Step 4 for a full list of acceptable forms of ID.
- Box 12: If this mailbox is for personal use, and you want to include your children, add their names in Box 12.
- Box 16: Sign the form in this box.
Additional Business Information
Below are the boxes that correspond with the business or corporation information on Form 1583:
- Box 9: Fill in the name of your business.
- Boxes 10a-10e: Fill in your business address. This can also be the address of your registered agent.
- Box 11: Fill in your business type or industry. For example, the type of service or products your business provides (insurance, clothing, restaurant, etc.)
- Box 12: Fill in the names of all employees receiving mail at this address. These individuals will also need to provide verifiable identification but will not require separate forms.
- Box 13: If you are a corporation, list the names and addresses of your officers.
- Box 14: If your business name is registered, include the official name, the county and state where you are registered, and the business' registration date.
Step 3: Have It Notarized
If you do not plan to sign Form 1583 in front of your CMRA agent (which is the likely scenario if you're applying online), you will need to have it notarized. This step lets your CMRA verify your identity and is required by USPS. You must provide proof of identity before the notary can notarize your form. The notary will need to sign Box 15 on the form.
There are several ways to find a local notary in your area. A quick google search should provide you with several affordable options, and most notaries charge $20 or less. Courthouses and banks typically have a notary available during business hours, and many banks will offer the service free of charge for customers. Both U.S. and non-U.S. notary seals are accepted.
Step 4: Include Copies of Your ID
When you submit your form, you will need to include two forms of identification. At least one of these must be a photo ID. If you included your spouse in the application, you will each need two forms of ID.
Acceptable IDs include the following:
- 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
Non-acceptable forms of ID include social security cards, birth certificates, and credit cards.
Step 5: Submit It
After your form has been filled out, signed, and notarized, you can submit it to your virtual mailbox provider or appropriate CMRA. Be sure to include the original, notarized form, along with photocopies of your IDs. Check with your provider to verify how they prefer receiving your information. Typically, you can mail, email, or fax your form.
We're Here to Help
At SnapMailbox, we were founded with the mission to make virtual mailboxes simple and easy for everyone. That's why our customer service agents are trained to help you with every step of the process, including filling out Form 1583. Call our customer service line or send us an email. We'll be happy to help you get your virtual mailbox up and running in no time.