How To Get Mail By General Delievery

Getting mail through general delivery is simple: **locate the post office that handles general delivery in the area where you want to receive mail and have your mail directed to that address**. You don’t even need the street address of the post office, just the right ZIP code. The [U.S. Postal Service](https://www.usps.com) implements a few basic rules governing general delivery, some of which are flexible, depending on the postmaster at the branch.
Find the Right Office
Typically, **only one postal facility in an area with multiple branch locations will accept general delivery**, though in some cities this rule is bypassed. Call to find out which facility accepts mail through general delivery. If you want to receive mail while on the road, select post office locations in key spots along the way.
Format It
**The most important thing to remember is that you must use the ZIP code that corresponds to the post office receiving your general delivery mail.** The ZIP code showing on a piece of mail addressed to general delivery tells the postmaster which office to send it to. Instruct anyone who will be sending mail to you — from friends and family to creditors and businesses — to format your address as follows: **Your Name *General Delivery* Town, State and ZIP Code** To play it safe, do a test to make sure you’ve gotten the right general delivery address. Simply address and mail a general delivery note to yourself and pick it up a few days later.
Pick it Up
**Post offices usually won’t hold general delivery mail longer than 30 days**, according to the USPS. You can request that mail be held longer than this, but approving your request is entirely up to each postmaster. When you pick up your mail, **be ready to provide identification**, whether it’s your driver’s license or some other form of official photo ID. The postmaster has the right to refuse to hand over mail to anyone without proper ID.
Remember the Rules
There’s no time limit for how long you can receive mail through general delivery, though a postmaster may terminate your right to receive it if you get so much mail the office can’t reasonably hold it for you, or if you have a history of letting mail sit beyond the 30-day limit. Although presenting photo ID is usually required when receiving your mail, the USPS allows one exception to this rule: If the postmaster or another service representative knows you personally and knows you have no permanent address at the moment, you may be allowed to have your mail.

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How To Get Mail On The Road

1. Use General Delivery mail service if you are able to stick to a pre-planned itinerary. General Delivery (also known as “Poste Restante” in Europe) is a worldwide service offered by post offices to deliver mail to itinerant individuals who have no permanent address. To get mail on the road with General Delivery, have your mail addressed with your first and last name, care of “General Delivery” (or Poste Restante), c/o the post office address. Once it arrives, the postmaster will hold your mail for at least 30 days. In America this service is free but in other countries fees might be assessed.

2. Purchase a membership at a mail forwarding service, such as that offered by Escapees, a camping and RV club dedicated to fulfilling the needs of full-time RVers. For a fee, Escapees mail service will give you a Texas address to use for mail delivery. They will hold all mail that comes to you at that address until you call to have it sent to you somewhere. You can use General Delivery service for delivery, a private residence, hotel, campground or anywhere with an address. Other mail forwarding services exist in places such as UPS Stores and business service stores that offer photocopying, passports and other administrative services of this nature.

3. Consider getting your mail on the road via worldwide couriers, like UPS or FedEx. This can be expensive, but it’s faster than most mail solutions and it’s available worldwide. You’ll need to know the address of the UPS or FedEx store where you want your mail. To save money, have as much mail as possible delivered in one envelope to this location. Once it arrives, they will hold your package of mail until you pick it up. The advantage to using these companies is they are open later than the post office and oftentimes on weekends.

4.
Ask a friend or family member to collect and hold your mail, then have them send it to you when you know your itinerary. Again, you can utilize General Delivery service when choosing this option. To make it easier for your friend or family member to help you, have your mail sent to their address and provide them with postage money and large envelopes before you depart on your journey. Once you have a significant bundle of mail collected and know your upcoming address, your friend or family member can send it in one package.

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