Mail Forwarding and Domicile locations are very important these days. Picking the wrong service or the wrong state can be costly and cause you a lot of headaches especially since 9/11 when the Patriot Act was enacted. Federal institutes such as banks and credit card companies can no longer accept PO Boxes as residential addresses. The companies listed below provide a street address that eliminates any issues with the Patriot Act. They also can help your decide your domicile location, the state that you want as your residency. Most RVers choose a state that doesn’t have a state tax such as Florida, Texas or South Dakota. Since we were already residents of Texas, we just stuck with Texas as our home state. If you choose a different state than you currently live in, you’ll need to change your drivers license and RV/vehicle registration. Also, the state you choose and the service you choose will also play a part in the cost of your insurance on your RV/vehicle so do your research first before deciding what state and what service you want to use. Here are a couple to research.
Request: People are always asking about how to handle having medications shipped to them. We don’t require meds to be sent to us on a regular basis so we don’t have any information to share on that topic. So if you get meds sent on a regular basis and would like to share your lessons learned, please send me an email with details. I’m sure our readers would appreciate the information. Thanks.
Escapees* (Escapees.com/support/mail-service) – Cost $115 a year but they require a $15 enrollment fee, a $50 postage deposit fee, and a $35 cancellation fee (to forward mail to your next permanent address for 6 months after you stop the service).
Note: We changed to Escapees because Traveling Mailbox requires letters to go to one address and packages to go to another. Letters to go a Dallas address and pkgs go to a North Carolina address. Letters are forwarded from the Dallas address to North Carolina where they are scanned so there is a couple of days delays for us to see what we have received. Not a big deal but we’ve decided to change to Escapees anyway especially when our insurance costs went up by $500 a year because of the Dallas zip code.
We recently encountered 2 incidents with Escapees that I felt was important to add to the website.
1. If you go to Livingston (or probably any of their locations) in person to pick up mail, please note that you have to tell them you want your “scanned mail” too otherwise they will give you only your junk mail. This only applies to those of us that request that our mail is scanned upon arrival so we can see, online, what has been received. This is the envelope scan, not the “open the mail and scan the content” scan. That’s another issue – see below. They have a note posted outside the Livingston mail window but I missed it and the clerk behind the window didn’t ask. So we drove an hour to pick up our mail, got home and looked at it and it was all junk mail, nothing important. We had to have it sent to us but we were leaving the area and would not be staying anywhere for long enough to get mail for several weeks. UGH!! Lesson Learned!!
2. If you happen to need Escapees to open a piece of mail and scan the contents, it’s great that they can do that. We had a piece of mail – a legal document – returned to us because it was missing a date. In order to figure out why it was being returned, we asked that the envelope be opened and the contents scanned. When you do that, you ‘content scans’ are put into a different screen than your ‘envelope scans’. So when you want your mail to be forwarded, you have to go online and click on send in next mailing for each piece of mail to be included with the next shipping of mail – BUT for ‘content scans’ you have to go into the ‘content scans’ screen and do the same for any mail that you requested them to open and scan the contents otherwise your “scan contents’ mail will not be sent to you with the rest of your mail. UGH! Second Lesson Learned.
Traveling Mailbox* (travelingmailbox.com) – Cost $15 to $25 a month depending on what plan you get. Then you pay for the shipping of mail to you and cost is usually about $9 a packing if you do 4 day with tracking. More if you need overnight shipping. They will scan each envelop and put it online so you can see what you have received. You can opt to have it shredded or sent to you. They will hold accumulated mail until you request it to be sent to you. A lot of times, we will check with the next campground to see if we can have mail delivered there and confirm the address and then have the mail sent. Sometimes the mail will get there before we do and they just hold it for us then we will pick it up upon check in.
My Dakota Address* (mydakotaaddress.com) – Cost range from $8 – $18 a month but I don’t think they scan the mail they just send you an email with a list of what letters you received.
*Both My Dakota Address and Escapees will help you with vehicle registrations. Traveling Mailbox does not.