How Do You Get a USPS PO Box? (Step-By-Step)

Whether you travel a lot and want to ensure your mail is stored safely or run a business and want some privacy, there are many reasons to get a USPS PO box.

If you’re thinking about renting a PO box but still have questions about how to apply and how much it will cost, then keep reading! My article will answer all of your questions!

How Do You Get a USPS PO Box?

You can reserve a USPS PO box online or at a Post Office. You’ll need to show two forms of identification, one primary and one secondary, and a primary ID must have a picture. A secondary ID is used as proof of address. Also, you must complete PS Form 1093, Application for Post Office Box Service.

To find out even more about USPS PO boxes, make sure to read the rest of the article!

Step-By-Step On Getting a USPS PO Box

You can apply for a PO box in person at a Post Office or online at

If applying in person, follow the instructions below:

  • Complete all of the required information on PS Form 1093, Application for Post Office Box Service.
  • Bring a copy of the completed form along with two forms of acceptable U.S. identification (one with a photo and one without) for verification to a Post Office.
  • Select your PO box size and pay for your desired rental period (three, six, or 12 months) using a credit or debit card.

Also, note that you can complete your application at a post office other than where the PO box is located.

If applying online, follow the instructions below:

  • Search for an available PO box by entering an address or a zipcode under “Reserve a New PO Box.” Choose an available PO box location by clicking on the location in the list or map.
  • Choose an available PO box size indicating a three-, six-, or 12-month payment preference, and click “Continue.”
  • Complete the PO Box Online Application (PS Form 1093) and agree to the terms and conditions to proceed to enter payment information.
  • Select your payment method and enter your card information.
  • Read the refund policy, and if you accept it, click on the box to the left of “I accept the refund policy.”
  • Click “Continue.”
  • Review the application and payment page for accuracy before you submit your application.

Once you’ve submitted your PO box application, you can view a confirmation page with a summary of your order details, along with instructions about how to activate your box.

Also, you have 30 days to bring your printed PS Form 1093 and two forms of identification to the Post Office when you reserve your box.

If everything checks out, you’ll receive your keys or box combination.

What Do I Need To Open a USPS PO Box?

To get a PO box number and pick up your keys, USPS requires that you show two valid IDs (one photo and one non-photo).

With that, your ID must be current (i.e., not expired), contain enough information to confirm that you are who you claim to be, and be traceable.

Therefore, Social Security cards, credit cards, and birth certificates are not acceptable forms of identification.

Instead, USPS accepts the following documents as proof of identity:

  • Valid driver’s license or state ID card
  • Military, government, university, or recognized corporate ID
  • Passport, alien registration card, or certificate of naturalization
  • Current lease, mortgage, or deed of trust
  • Voter or vehicle registration card
  • Home or vehicle insurance policy

Also, you’ll need to complete PS Form 1093, Application for Post Office Box. Here you’ll be able to add your spouse, children, or business partner to the list of people who can access the box.

That said, all applicants (except minors) listed on Form 1093 must also present two forms of identification.

How Do I Find a PO Box Near Me?

You can search for Post Office locations near you using the search bar under “Reserve a New PO Box” on the USPS website.

Then, enter either your zip code or your full address, and the site will show you the closest locations.

Also, you’ll be able to see which PO box sizes are available at each location, as well as any additional services offered (e.g., Premium PO Box Services and Parcel Lockers).

How Much Is a USPS PO Box?

How Much Is A USPS PO Box?

A few factors affect the price of a USPS PO box, namely the size of the box, how long it’s rented for, and where it’s located.

Box Size

Box size is the first factor that impacts price. That said, USPS PO boxes come in five different sizes: extra-small, small, medium, large, and extra-large.

Not surprisingly, smaller boxes cost less than larger boxes.

Additionally, the dimensions of each box size are as follows:

  • Extra-small (3″ x 5.5″): Holds 10-15 letters or two rolled magazines.
  • Small (5″ x 5.5″): Holds 10-15 letters or five rolled magazines.
  • Medium (5.5″ x 11″): Holds a stack of large envelopes and magazines.
  • Large (11″ x 11″): Holds 10-15 letters and two shoebox-sized parcels.
  • Extra-large (12″ x 22.5″): Holds multiple parcels and flat rate boxes.

Rental Term

The rental term also has an impact on the price of a USPS PO box. For example, boxes can be rented annually (12 months), semi-annually (six months), or quarterly (three months).

With that, per-month rental fees are lower for boxes rented on an annual or semi-annual basis.

Box Location

PO box location is the third factor affecting the rental price. That said, USPS divides PO boxes into two groups, competitive and market-dominant, based on their location.

Further, PO boxes in competitive areas are close to businesses offering private mailboxes (mostly UPS). Also, these areas tend to be more populous.

However, boxes in these areas are more expensive than boxes in market-dominant locations.

Moreover, PO boxes in market-dominant locations are serviced primarily by USPS. Also, these boxes tend to be in more rural areas, so they’re less expensive than boxes in competitive areas.

For example, an extra-small PO box in Salisbury, NC (a market-dominant location) costs $26 for a three-month rental.

But, if you rent the same-sized box for the same amount of time in Boston, MA (a competitive location), you’ll have to pay $43.

Fortunately, you can find out the exact pricing in your area by heading to the USPS website and entering your address.

Additional Fees

In addition to the factors listed above, there are a few additional fees to keep in mind, such as:

  • Key deposits: $5.00 per key (no deposit for the first two keys at competitive locations).
  • Key duplication or replacement: $9.00 (after the first two keys).
  • Lock replacement/late payment: $25.00.

How Can I Get A Free USPS PO Box?

If your physical address is outside of the USPS delivery area, you may be eligible to receive a free (Group E) PO box.

More specifically, if your physical or business address meets the following criteria, you can inquire about getting a free PO box.

  • The physical/business location is within the geographic delivery boundaries administered by a Post Office.
  • The physical/business location constitutes a potential letter carrier delivery point of service.
  • The United States Postal Service chooses not to provide letter carrier delivery to the physical/business location.
  • The customer does not receive letter carrier delivery via an out-of-bounds delivery receptacle.

If you believe you meet all of the requirements, don’t reserve a PO box using the online application. Instead, contact your local Post Office for more information.

If you want to know more, you can also see our posts on how much is a PO box at USPS, if USPS delivers to PO boxes, and how long does USPS priority mail express takes.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of

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