How do you receive physical mail as a digital nomad?

Thomas,
I’m going by what Traveling Mailbox told me directly, as the rep I spoke with had actually been to India before.

Perhaps I can check with a bank in a few weeks. i’m heading to Varanasi next Thursday for a week, then Rishikesh for a few weeks…

Just thought I’d throw another service into the mix. We’ve been using them for nearly two years with great success. They have a Florida address (no state tax) and they assist with arranging evidence of residency.

It’s St. Brendan’s Isle - sbimailservice.com/

The site (and the customer dashboard) look seriously dated, but they are very responsive and flexible. They forward, scan, etc. They’ll deposit checks and do whatever is needed when you have unusual situations. I’ve been 100% satisfied.

Lee

@Ramblurr, this is an excellent point. I was also wondering why folks aren’t talking about this. I had forgotten that a drivers license is going to require an in-state address and utility bills. Florida is great for remote because it is free of state tax and the license is good for 10 years. You can renew vehicle registration to an out-of-state address in FL too (you can’t do this in PA, for example). The only downside is it’s not a good airport hub. Can you renew in South Dakota remotely?

I have signed up for TravelingMailbox and it’s pretty cool. They have addresses in NV, FL, and TX.

Attached image shows US states by income tax range.

Unfortunately SD doesn’t have remote renewal, you have to go there physically every 5 years.

I considered Florida, but found out (or at least I remember thinking so) that the addresses you get with mail forwarding/handling services aren’t usable when applying for a drivers license.

Is that not the case? What does it take to get a drivers license in FL?

In SD its very easy. I arranged my mail forwarding account with Americas Mailbox online, flew in on a Monday, picked up the documents from their office. Then I stayed the night in a local hotel, and on Tuesday morning to the documents to the DMV, was issued my drivers license in less than an hour and flew out Tuesday afternoon.

IIRC, to get a drivers license in FL, you must bring some ID along with proof of residence, which can include some bank or utility bills with your address listed on it.

If your mailbox company provides a non-PO box address like Traveling Mailbox does, you shouldn’t have any problems as there is no visual difference in the address, although I’ve never tried.

SD sounds really easy, I might have to look at it more closely–that’s awesome.

How do you go from a Traveling Mailbox account to getting that document with that address on it? Obviously a utility bill won’t work. Open a local bank account? That’s not ideal.

SD is very easy, the negative bit is you have to go back every 5 years to renew and the mail forwarding companies like Americas Mailbox haven’t entered the 21st century yet when it comes to document scanning and preview like their competitors.

I just saw that Earth Class Mail is filing for bankruptcy.

For those using Earth Class Mail, have you received any notification as to if they will remain solvent?

Here’s a copy/paste of the email I received on the matter:

Dear Customers and Vendors,

We are reaching out to inform all of you of changes
taking place at Earth Class Mail. Several months ago we were
approached with an offer to buy our company. Since then we’ve been busy
performing significant due diligence and last week
the terms of sale were agreed upon. Management and employees have
worked incredibly hard to grow Earth Class Mail into the company it is
today, and we are truly excited for the opportunities this will bring.
For our customers, new ownership will mean expanded
services and an improved user experience, and for our vendors, you are
likely to see more business from us as we expand.

One condition of the sale is that the buyer acquire
Earth Class Mail in connection with a bankruptcy process. Please be
assured that this
will not impact our ability to service our customers or to
pay our vendors. Though our business is solid and generates positive
cash flow, for many years we have been encumbered with a large amount of
legacy debt that the business will not be
able to repay. While we are very proud of the products and services we
have delivered, our financial position has nonetheless hindered our
ability to expand our business and improve the services we provide.

We currently expect the bankruptcy process to be
completed in a few months. Please be assured, however, that while that
process will be going on in the background, we will continue to run our
business just like we have. You’ll see no
changes in service for customers and we will continue to pay all of our
vendors in the same timely manner we always have. Once the bankruptcy
process is complete, the legacy debt will no longer be a burden on the
business, allowing the new owners to make
investments in the company that are not possible today. Some of the
improvements you can expect to see include a significant update of our
user experience, as well as integration of our products with services
like Google Drive or Dropbox. You’ll still be
working with the same great people you have been since, unlike many
bankruptcies, our success in running a profitable business means there
will be no need for any employee layoffs.

To our customers, we thank you for giving us the
opportunity to serve you. We appreciate your business and the confidence
you have placed in us. To our vendors, we sincerely appreciate your
services and ongoing support to our business and
we apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. If you have any
questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Regards,

Earth Class Mail

I think you can just have all your current banks and credit cards point to the “local” address. The bank itself doesn’t have to be local.

We use EarthClassMail at my company, and it’s always worked fine. Even the scans of checks are high enough resolution that you can take a picture of them on your computer and deposit them via mobile banking apps.

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Breanden, does this mean you don’t have to pay the “check deposit fee”? I want to go with EarthClassMail, but their fee for check deposit is ridiculous.

You don’t need to pay that if they aren’t depositing it for you.

I didn’t see any mention of www.shipito.com on here for anyone looking or package/parcel storage and forwarding so I thought I’d add it incase anyone checks out this thread for parcel based forwarding.

I don’t use them specifically at the moment as I don’t need mail/parcel forwarding, however I did use them for quite a few years and was very happy with their service. Their multiple locations helped with avoiding sales taxes, consolidation was pick and choose so you could have things repacked how you wanted and their shipping rates were unbeatable.

I have traveling mailbox. It is great. $20 a month and I have a “real” address in Seattle, not some PO Box.

I’ve used Earth Class Mail for years. I don’t pay for their check deposit. I just scan into my bank via mobile app from my laptop screen. Traveling Mailbox is cheaper, paying $26 / mo now with ECM and only need the $15 / mo plan that TM has. Will probably make the switch. Just have to inform clients of change of address!

I’ve used SwissPostBox for a number of years. It’s worked well, although their interface isn’t the greatest… I use it for everything. Infact, I’ve also used it as my “residential address” when checking into hotels, for example!

Depending on which country you live in, sometimes you can pay a courier to keep a domestic address.

For example, in Latin America there are a few such services like Aeropost/Aerocasillas. http://www.aeropost.com/

You pay a low annual fee and get your own PO Box and physical mailing address in Miami that you can forward all your mail to, then it’s delivered by them to your new country of residence. You can pick it up in their branches or have it sent door-to-door. This is also a good way of receiving expensive packages via online shopping that would normally be lost or stolen in the local snail mail.

Another nice service with automatic scanning in Luxemburg:
https://www.bpm-lux.com

Very cheap.

@kristinm_wilson -
Do you know any physical address service provider in Central America, Costa Rica prefered or Panama?

@nevergoingback yes I use http://www.aeropost.com/ for both Costa Rica and Panama. They have services all throughout Central America. Enjoy!

Others for Costa Rica are: CR Box and JetBox

@kristinm_wilson thanks!
Aeropost looks more like Amazon and you get a address in Miami not in Costa Rica.
Or am I missing something?