USPS P.O. Box Renewal

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November 17, 2023

A 2020 Pew Research Center report showed that the number of delivery points in the United States, including post office boxes (P.O. boxes), numbered 159.9 million.

This number suggests a significant demand for P.O. boxes managed by the United States Postal Service (USPS) nationwide. If you own a P.O. box or plan to rent one, consider the possibility that you’ll renew your rent to continue using your box.

How do you renew your P.O. box? What benefits does having a P.O. box gives you? How much does it cost to rent one?

This article explores the process of renewing a P.O. box and discusses how to pay for rent renewal. This article also discusses the various fees, box sizes, and payment options the Postal Service provides when renting out a P.O. box.

If you need to visit a post office to rent or renew a P.O. box, use FindPostOffice.org’s online search tool to search for a post office by city, state, or ZIP code.

P.O. Box Renewal: “How Do I Renew a P.O. Box?”

When renewing your USPS PO box rental, your renewal payment options are the same as when you pay for a new P.O. box. The sections below discuss the ways to renew your P.O. box.

What Is Automatic Renewal?

By setting up automatic renewal payments online, you can automatically pay your annual or semi-annual P.O. box fees on the due date using your credit or debit card.

You must use a saved debit or credit card to set up this feature. If you haven’t saved a card, you can start by adding one to your account.

Having a saved card is essential because if you don’t have one saved in your online account, you can’t pay your P.O. box fees automatically.

The sections below discuss how you can pay for your post office box renewal.

Online With a Credit or Debit Card

To pay your renewal fee online through a debit or credit card, go to the P.O. boxes page on the USPS.com website and click “Renew” to go to your “Manage Your Account” page. Next, click “Renew PO Box.”

This payment option is available 30 days before your next payment is due.

At a Self-Service Kiosk

You can find self-service kiosks at USPS post office locations. To find one, go to USPS.com and click “Find Locations.” Afterward, select “Self-Service Kiosks” from the drop-down menu.

At the Post Office Where Your Box Is Located

If your payment is more than 10 days late, your only option is to pay your P.O. Box renewal fee at the post office.

“What Happens if My P.O. Box Renewal Fee Is Late?”

If your renewal payment is late, USPS will close your box, and you cannot retrieve your mail.

Payments more than 10 days late will require you to go to the post office where your P.O. box is located to pay your rental fee. You must also pay a handling fee to cover the Postal Service’s processing costs.

Suppose USPS doesn’t receive payment 10 days after the due date. The Postal Service will terminate your P.O. box service, return incoming mail to the sender, and charge a fee to reopen your box in addition to any unpaid monthly P.O. box fees.

Boxes already added to an account have a 10-day grace period. This allowance gives you enough time to pay their renewal fees online.

You cannot pay late payments online or at a self-service kiosk. Once your box is closed, USPS will make them available to new customers.

“I Already Have a P.O. Box. How Do I Renew It Online?”

As discussed earlier regarding online payments using your debit or credit card, you must visit the USPS website to renew your P.O. box online.

Select “Renew” and sign in to your USPS.com account. Go to your “Manage Your Account” page, select the P.O. box you want to renew, and make your payment.

Can You Renew Your Post Office Box at Any Post Office?

You can pay your PO box rental fee at any post office with an automated postal center (APC).

An APC is a self-service kiosk that gives you access to frequently needed postal products and services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Can I Renew My PO Box Online, or Do I Have to Do It in Person?”

Aside from paying online, you can visit the post office where your box is located to renew your P.O. box. You can pay at the counter using cash, credit card, or check.

Post Office (P.O.) Box Information: What Is a P.O. Box?

A P.O. box is a secure, numbered box you can usually find at the post office that keeps your mailpieces until you collect them. You can use your P.O. box service to keep your personal or small business mail safe in a locked mailbox within a post office facility.

“Can I Get a Free P.O. Box From USPS?”

If you want a free post office box service, you can qualify if your address meets all the following requirements:

  • Your physical address is within a geographic delivery boundary administered by a post office.
  • Your physical or business location is a potential delivery service point.
  • USPS does not provide letter carrier deliveries to your physical or business address.
  • You don’t receive letter carrier deliveries through an out-of-bounds delivery receptacle (locations outside the limit of a delivery carrier’s line of travel).

If you meet these requirements, don’t use the USPS online application to reserve a P.O. box. Instead, contact your local post office to apply for a free box.

Benefits of a PO Box Service

Depending on your mailing needs, a P.O. box can provide you with the following benefits:

  • Security: A P.O. box lets you keep your packages and mail safe at the post office. Only you or the people you specify can pick up your mail.
  • Privacy: A P.O. box can provide peace of mind by keeping your home address and essential documents confidential.
  • Flexibility: A P.O. box can help you receive mail on schedule, your way. You also have a range of P.O. box sizes to choose from and rental terms of 3, 6, and 12 months.

“How Do I Pay for My P.O. Box: What Options Do I Have for Making a Payment on My P.O. Box?”

Similar to how you pay to renew your P.O. box rental, the following methods are acceptable payment options to pay for your P.O. box:

  • Online with a credit or debit card
  • Payment at a self-service kiosk
  • Payment in person

Aside from these methods, you can also pay by mail by sending a check or money order. Make your order payable to “U.S. Postal Service” and include your P.O. box number on the check’s memo line.

“When Do I Need to Pay My P.O. Box Account Renewal Fee?”

You must pay your P.O. box renewal by the 10th of the month that the payment is due. If you don’t pay, USPS will close your P.O. box on the 11th of that month.

“What Are P.O. Box Fees and Which Can I Pay Online?”

When you apply online for a new PO box, you can choose a three-month, six-month, or twelve-month payment period. USPS then bills your rental fee and the refundable key deposit to your debit or credit card.

Prices can vary based on the post office and the size of the box.

Length of Rental Time

As mentioned earlier, P.O. box rental periods can cover 3, 6, or 12 months.

It is usually more expensive when you constantly renew your rental for short periods. If you need the P.O. box for at least one year, applying for an annual rental from the start is cheaper.

Box Size

USPS offers five P.O. box sizes, from extra small (XS) to extra large (XL). Smaller boxes are less expensive, but not all sizes are available in every location.

Geographical Location

P.O. box rental prices can change yearly in places where USPS controls enough of the market to set P.O. box prices without competition. Also, private-sector companies in some markets can offer similar products that help keep costs down.

Additional Fees

As of July 2023, USPS charges a $5 deposit for the first two keys in market-dominant locations. Additional duplicate keys after those first two keys cost $12 each.

For lock replacement and late payment fees, USPS charges $25.

“How Do I Pay My PO Box Online?”

Go to the P.O. box online application on the USPS website to pay online. Next, navigate to the “Manage P.O. Box” page and click “Renew P.O. Box” to make a one-time payment.

What Credit Cards and Other Payment Options Are Accepted for Payment of a P.O. Box?

The following payment options are available for paying for your P.O. box:

  • VISA
  • MasterCard
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Click to Pay
  • Apple Pay

“How Often Do I Need to Pay for My P.O. Box?”

If you opt for a three-month payment term, you must enroll in automatic renewals with no opt-out. 

On the other hand, choosing a 6- or 12-month period allows you to opt out of automatic renewal.

Can a Credit Card With an International Billing Address Be Used for P.O. Box Fees?

As of July 2023, USPS does not support payments from credit cards with international billing addresses.

“How Do I Edit a Card Linked to an Automatic Renewal?”

To edit your card for automatic renewal, follow these steps:

  • Sign in to your P.O. Box account by clicking “Manage Account.”
  • On your Manage Your Account page, locate the box whose automatic payment details you want to edit and click “See Details.”
  • Click “Edit Payment Info” and “Use a Different Card” to modify your card information.

P.O. Boxes — Convenient Payment Options: “What Are My Options for Paying P.O. Box Fees?”

As mentioned earlier, you can pay for your P.O. box online, at the post office, at a self-service kiosk, and by mail.

Pay Online

The online payment feature becomes available 30 days before your next payment is due. You can securely store up to three credit or debit cards in the USPS system.

Pay at a Self-Service Kiosk

As mentioned before, self-service kiosks are found in USPS locations. These kiosks, such as APCs, provide quick and convenient access to postal services and products that most retail customers frequently buy. Most of these APCs are avail­able 24/7.

Pay by Mail

When sending a money order or check payable to USPS, ensure to address it to the postmaster of the post office where your P.O. box is located.

Pay in Person

If your location is near a post office, paying your P.O. box renewal in person may be more convenient. You can pay using cash, credit card, check, or debit card.

“What Happens if I Don’t Pay for My P.O. Box?”

Suppose you don’t pay for your P.O. box for over 10 days. As mentioned in this article, USPS will discontinue your service and return your mail to the sender.

Things Which Are Important

To keep your P.O. box active, renew it before or within 10 days after the primary due date. Always renew on time to avoid having your mailbox closed, and deliveries returned to the sender.

One way to avoid late payments, especially for three-month rentals, is to set your renewals to automatic. This way, the system can automatically pay the renewal fee even if you forget when the payment is due.

If you are a small business owner, one essential P.O. box service for you is Caller Service. Consider using this feature if you have five or more P.O. boxes at one location or receive more mail than what fits the largest box.

PO Box Size Options

Post offices usually offer five P.O. box sizes, depending on availability. Choose your P.O. box size based on the type and volume of mail and packages you expect to receive.

When selecting a box, a few points to note are the following:

  • Most P.O. boxes have a depth of 14.75 inches (in).
  • Not all sizes are available in all locations.
  • Prices differ based on your location.

The following sections discuss P.O. box sizes, what fits in these boxes, and how much it costs to rent them.

Larger Packages for P.O. Boxes

Suppose you receive packages that don’t fit your P.O. box. Your choices are as follows:

  • Get a slip to pick up the parcel from the post office counter during standard business hours.
  • Claim your item from a secure parcel locker at your convenience.

XS – Size 1

The extra small box (XS) measures 3in by 5.5in, and the rental starts at $4.67 monthly. This size is ideal for small business owners or households needing a P.O. box address and can frequently check their box.

What Fits?

An XS box can hold 10 to 15 letters and three rolled magazines.

S – Size 2

A small P.O. box (S) measures 5in by 5.5in and costs $6 monthly. This size can work for those receiving multiple bills, letters, and a few magazines or bubble envelopes weekly.

What Fits?

This box can hold 15 or more letters, five rolled magazines, or one small Priority Mail Flat Rate box.

M – Size 3

A medium box (M) has a size of 5.5in by 11in and starts at $9 monthly. It’s an excellent fit for those who get multiple mailpieces daily and want large envelopes and magazines to fit without folding.

What Fits?

You can fit large envelopes, magazines, and two small Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes in this box.

L – Size 4

A large box (L) measures 11in by 11in and has a monthly cost starting from $13.33. This box size may be for you if you regularly receive packages or multiple letters daily.

What Fits?

This box can fit small and medium Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes with enough room for 10 to 15 letters.

XL – Size 5

The largest P.O. box size (XL) available measures 12in by 22.5in and starts at $23.67 monthly. You can consider renting this box size if you’re a household customer receiving plenty of packages from online merchants.

What Fits?

The XL box is large enough to fit multiple packages.

Already Have a P.O. Box? Find a P.O. Box

If you already have a P.O. box, a few other options you can do with it are as follows:

  • Manage or renew your P.O. box online.
  • Add an existing P.O. box to your online account.
  • Maximize your PO Box experience with the free Informed Delivery service, allowing you to track packages, preview incoming letter-sized mail, and manage deliveries.

FAQs

  1. Why rent a P.O. box?

Aside from security and privacy, other possible reasons to consider renting a P.O. box include:

  • 24/7 P.O. box access at most post offices
  • Street addressing to provide a delivery address for other carriers like Amazon, Federal Express (FedEx), and United Parcel Service (UPS)
  • Having your signature on file to avoid waiting in line to sign for your package
  • Getting a professional-looking address to help separate your personal and business lives
  1. What happens if my P.O. box expires?

Upon your P.O. box’s expiry, you can renew your rent or close your box.

When renewing, ensure to pay your rental fee within 10 days after your rent expires. If you decide to close, USPS will close your box and return any incoming mail to the sender.

  1. What if the P.O. box I want is not available?

If your preferred P.O. box is unavailable, your choices are as follows:

  • Choose another box size.
  • Find a box at a different location.
  • Request USPS to add you to the waitlist.

If you request USPS to put you on a waitlist, the Postal Service will place your name on a list for that box size at your requested location. The Postal Service will contact you through phone or email when the box becomes available.

  1. How do I find my local post office’s P.O. box access hours?

To find your P.O. box’s access hours, use USPS’ post office locator to locate the post office that houses your P.O. box.

You can also use FindPostOffice.org’s online search tool to find a post office near you.

  1. How do I find the availability and prices of PO boxes online?

You can find available P.O. boxes online or at your local post office.

To find a P.O. box online, go to USPS.com and enter a valid street address, city, state, or ZIP code. Click “Search” and select a post office location convenient to you. Afterward, select a box size and payment period.

  1. How do I get technical help with PO boxes online?

To receive assistance with P.O. boxes online, visit the customer service page on the USPS website or email the internet customer care center.

  1. Will I be notified when my PO box service fees are due?

Yes, USPS will notify you if you provide the Postal Service with your email address. You will then receive email reminders and notifications in your inbox.

  1. Does USPS design its systems to securely maintain my credit or debit card information?

Yes, USPS’ secure systems help protect your information using the 128-bit encryption technology of the secure sockets layer (SSL).

An SSL is a security protocol that provides authentication, privacy, and integrity to internet communications.

References

  1. The state of the U.S. Postal Service in 8 charts
    https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2020/05/14/the-state-of-the-u-s-postal-service-in-8-charts/
  2. PO Box™ – The Basics
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/PO-Box-The-Basics
  3. APC — PO Box Renewals Frequently Asked Questions
    https://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2008/html/pb22239/html/POBoxkit_005.html
  4. The Automated Postal Center (APC) Program
    https://apwu.org/sites/default/files/po-106_automated_postal_center_program_11-07_1.72_mb.pdf
  5. PO Boxes
    https://www.usps.com/manage/po-boxes.htm