USPS is one of the largest shipping distributors in the country, and it offers a myriad of choices when it comes to shipping and receiving mail. For example, a PO box is a great option for receiving mail when you don’t want to hand out your home address.
But how much does a PO box with USPS cost, and how do you get one? I’ve researched the topic, so here’s everything I discovered!
How Much Is a PO Box at USPS?
The price of a USPS PO box depends on the box’s location, size, and payment period. The price range for the smallest PO box is between $13-$44 for a three-month pay period and $21-$75 for six months, and the largest box’s price ranges are $64-$360 for three months and $109-$625 for six months.
There are a lot of moving pieces when it comes to purchasing and setting up a PO box, so be sure to keep reading to find out more!
What Determines the Price Of a USPS PO Box?
The location, size, and how long you rent the PO box determines the price of a USPS PO box. Also, there may be additional fees when renting a USPS PO box.
However, the location of the PO box is one of the most significant determining price factors.
That said, the post office has two categories for PO box locations: “Market-Dominant” and “Competitive.”
Further, “Competitive” post office locations typically charge higher fees.
But, these PO boxes are known to offer additional services like longer hours of access and electronic notifications when you have mail.
Also, size is another factor to consider when looking into renting a USPS PO box.
For example, most PO boxes are about 15″ deep and typically are offered in five sizes: extra small, small, medium, large, and extra-large.
When deciding on the size of the PO box to rent, you should consider the types of mail you plan to receive.
With that, an extra small PO box is about 3″ x 5.5″ big and is best suited to hold about 10-15 letters or two rolled-up magazines.
Then, small PO boxes are slightly bigger than extra small boxes, coming in at 5″ x 5.5″ in size, holding 15 letters and up to five rolled-up magazines.
On top of that, medium PO boxes are 5.5″ x 11″ in size, are perfect for large envelopes, and allow magazines to be stacked flat rather than rolled.
Next, large PO boxes are one of two options available that work well for receiving packages, coming in at 11″ x 11″ in size with the ability to hold two shoe boxes inside while still having space for about 15 letters.
Finally, extra-large PO boxes are the last and largest option available and are the best option if you plan to receive multiple or large packages alongside regular mail.
That said, extra-large PO boxes are 12″ x 22.5″ in size and can hold multiple Flat-rate USPS packages as well as other parcels.
Additionally, the final factor determining how much your PO box will cost is the payment period of the PO box.
For example, the “payment period” refers to how long you’ll be renting the PO box.
Typically, your monthly payment will be less expensive if you opt for a longer payment period rather than a shorter one.
That said, most post offices offer payment periods of three or six months, while some offer a 12-month payment period option.
So, if you’re looking for the best possible deal on your PO box, it’s wise to opt for the more extended payment period to save some money.
However, if you’re interested in checking out a helpful chart and article on how much PO boxes cost depending on various factors, you can look here.
Moreover, to find a PO box location near you and get a price estimate, you can visit this page of the USPS website.
How Do You Get a PO Box With USPS?
If you’re looking to rent a USPS PO box, you have a few options available to you.
That said, you can either sign up for a PO box online or at your local post office.
Getting a PO Box Online
To get a PO box online with USPS, visit the PO box page on its website and select a location and size for your PO box.
If the location you’re looking at has the size of the PO box you selected available, it will prompt you to reserve the box. And if not, it’ll ask if you’d like to be put on the waitlist.
If you receive a waitlist prompt, you can either try a different location or PO box size to see if there’s something more readily available.
But, if you’re set on this particular location/box, you can fill in all of the information and be placed on the waitlist.
Then, once your PO box becomes available after you’ve been waitlisted, the post office will either call or text you to notify you of the PO box’s availability.
After that, you’ll have two days to reserve the box before it’s offered to the next person on the list.
On the other hand, if your box is available for reservation (hooray!), the next step is to select your payment period and fill out PS Form 1093 online. Then, you can click “Submit,” and the PO box is yours!
After submitting your forms, you’ll have 30 days to confirm your identity and pick up the keys to your PO box at the post office.
So, be sure to bring the printed-out 1093 form and two forms of acceptable ID with you.
Getting a PO Box In-Person
To rent a PO box in person, simply print off the 1093 form online, fill it out, and take it to the post office with two forms of acceptable ID.
When renting a PO box in person, it knocks out two birds with one stone, as it allows your identity to be verified while you apply!
To find out what kinds of ID you can bring when renting a PO box from USPS, visit this page.