Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

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Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with a passion. Learn More

Street Address vs. Mailing Address

When completing forms that ask for my personal information, I find that many forms ask for “Street Address.” I dutifully fill in my home street address. When I do this I find that, a couple of weeks later, I get a phone call asking me if I’ve moved because a mailing addressed to me was returned marked “unable to deliver.” I explain that I don’t receive mail at my home address, and that I have a Post Office Box for that purpose. The frustrated caller then corrects the information that I provided on the form. I calmly explain that I provided the correct information that was asked for. But this wins me no points with the caller.

On other occasions, I have been able to ask someone, “Do you really want my “street address,” or would you rather have my “mailing address?” On many of these occasions I have been told, “No. We have to have your physical street address.”

So it appears that when a form says “street address,” sometimes they really want a “mailing address,” and at other times they really do want a “street address.”

Is there a general rule of thumb to decipher what people really want?

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Nope. No rule of thumb. City dwellers are ignorant of RR's and PO Boxes, I guess. I go through this several times a month. It really ticks me off when they ask for both a street and a mailing address on the same form then claim that they can't ship because the addresses are different. Why do they think they should be the same? Isn't that the point of asking? Their brains actually explode when they enter my street address for my credit card company, which has my mailing address on record, and the card gets rejected.

Pete1 Nov-28-2008

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I do both addressess and put a forward slash in between them
and hope some one picks up on it that the PO box adress is for mail only ?

krysdan Nov-28-2008

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I deal with this problem a lot, as I too use a PO Box.

Many forms will give two lines for the address itself (not state and such). When that happens, I put down BOTH my physical and mailing address. That way, if it's mail, they'll ignore the street address, and vice-versa if they need a physical location.

Some places don't have this option; if it's not an automated thing (like filling out a contest slip at the mall), I'll put down the physical address when asked and write next to it "not for mail", which hopefully makes them call me if they need the mailing address.

It's annoying that some sites don't allow a PO Box anywhere, especially when I know that they will be mailing me something. I usually default to my PO Box unless it blocks that, in which case I fill in the physical one and try to send them a note saying that they need to think more.

Robert2 Nov-30-2008

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I had this problem with an ex-boss mailing me my last cheque... Ended up being a huge pain, and the guy practically yelled at me. I filled out multiple forms when I was hired including both mailing and street addresses, he mailed it to my street address.

Graham1 Nov-30-2008

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Consider this: UPS and FedEx will not deliver to PO boxes. Sometimes when someone wants your "mailing" address, they really want your actual street address in order to send a package to be delivered to your home via a delivery service other than the post office.

porsche Dec-01-2008

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I don't know, you must live in Crazyland, from my point of view.

I live in the greater metro area, and when they say Mailing Address, they mean, Where the Post Office/Government thinks you are, and when they say Street Address, they mean, We're shipping something; where do you want it to go? Everyone knows how this works, don't they? I can't imagine how your world hasn't ground to a screeching halt.

Seriously, what you are saying should be completely correct. If someone gets confused, simply be very patient with them and rest smug in your knowledge that they are complete ignoramuses.

If you can ASK questions, though, the shortest way to find out what they want is ask what they want it FOR. Good luck.

scyllacat Dec-16-2008

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"UPS and FedEx will not deliver to PO boxes."

Minor nit: It should be "cannot." The Post Office boxes belong to the USPS and cannot legally be put to any other use.

scyllacat Dec-21-2008

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No, "will not" is correct. As long as the package is small enough to fit in the box they "can" deliver it. Come to think of it, even if the package is bigger than the box, the post office will still hold it for you. Even if it's illegal, or the post office is uncooperative, or the post office is on the moon, that still doesn't mean it "cannot" be done. I suppose if the post office were in another dimension... Case in point, some third party delivery services WILL deliver to post office boxes for letters and small items. I suppose they just pay the extra postage for the final leg of the delivery (and charge you accordingly). Another case in point, one of the big services, I think UPS, offers a lower cost hybrid delivery service, only for large volume customers, where they deliver to the regional post office and the USPS does the final delivery, so obviously, there's no legal, organizational, or physical reason why it's impossible. It's purely a matter of policy, or rather, a limitation on the spectrum of services they're willing to provide. Notice I said "willing", not "able". If you requested that the UPS driver dance naked and sing show tunes during the delivery they would certainly be able to accomodate you. I would doubt very much that they'd be willing.

porsche Dec-21-2008

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Ok, I was speaking in the legal sense. I suppose I should have said "Are not allowed to."

And that's what I was told when I worked for one of those "hybrid" postal service places. We had to have separate forms allowing us to accept packages from other places. But we weren't USPS, so we were allowed to do so.

Wow, you folks are bigger pedants than I am.

scyllacat Dec-22-2008

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I just make sure I know why they need my address and how they would send whatever it is they are sending.

Mark2 Dec-29-2008

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You sound like a difficult person.

dan1 Jan-22-2009

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When we take an order, my company asks for a "billing" and "shipping" address. It should be obvious which is for what. When we ask for the billing address on the phone, we actually add "...the address listed with the credit card company..." and when needed, we say that we don't ship to PO boxes. Seems pretty simple to me.

anonymous4 Jan-22-2009

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I do what Danny does. If the form is a hardcopy, I write out both addresses with a slash. But I'm a big fan of the "billing" and "shipping" system. I've had many packages go astray because of this confusion.

At one point I just put my work address on everything. That really worked out well for me.

Oh yeah, DHL will only deliver to Post Offices for delivery - another complication in the mix when you've dutifully provided your physical address only to have your package delivered to the Post Office, which will not deliver to your physical address because you have no mail box. Argh.

Krystal Jan-25-2009

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The house I rent has a mailbox at the sidewalk in front, which I installed when the local PO said they would no longer deliver to the mailbox mounted on the wall beside my front door. The same PO also informed me that, since I have a PO box, they would not deliver to the house at all, regardless of whether the box was on the wall or at the sidewalk.

Mail and packages are still routinely delivered to both the house and the PO box.

mike7 Jan-30-2009

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Wow, what a lot of "to do" about this subject. I work for the government and have been instructed that when serving someone a document via certified mail, that the Post Office can not or will not (which ever is the correct description there) deliver certified mail to a PO Box. Therefore, we have to have a physical mailing address.

tandablackford Feb-03-2009

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Okay. I started this stream. Some of you understand what I wrote in my original post, and some do not. Of course, I am smart enough to put both my P.O. Box and street address when there is room for both. But the question remains, why would someone ask for my "Street Address" when they really want my "Mailing Address"?

Porsche thought that she was enlightening me when she said that Fed-Ex and UPS will not deliver to P.O. Boxes. Of course. I know that. I don't receive mail at my street address. How could I NOT know this, Porsche? That is why, as I said in my original post, that when a form asks for "Street Address," I dutifully supply my "Street Address." I assume that they don't WANT my P.O. Box because they only plan to use Fed-Ex or UPS, OR they plan to come and visit me. But then, often times, they go ahead and attempt to MAIL something to me using the U.S. Postal Service. (sigh) Get it now?

The point is, if you ever find yourself in the position of asking someone for their address, decide in your own mind why you are asking. If you plan to MAIL that person something, then ask for their "MAILING ADDRESS." Otherwise, ask for their "Street Address."

Pete1 Apr-20-2009

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I also have a PO box because the post office does not deliver to my physical address. I always give out my address as:

123 Main Street, Box 456
Anytown, USA 12345

The post office doesn't like the fact that I don't write PO Box and dont put it on a seperate line but they always deliver it. UPS and Fedex rarely have a problem handling it this way, but they call If they do. This works best for me.

When I used to include both like this (what the post office wants):

123 Main Street
PO Box 456
Anytown, USA 12345

or like this:

123 Main Street, PO Box 456
Anytown, USA 12345

Occasionally, for various different reasons entities would try to drop the PO box and send mail to the physical address and it would be returned. The same would happen when I give separate mailing and physical address - occasionally someone would use the wrong one and it would get returned.

The weirdest one was Best Buy. For a time they were using the post office database to verify shipping addresses. They literally would not sell to me online (or by phone) because the post office database did not have my physical address and they did not ship to PO boxes.

Dave3 Apr-23-2009

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Best Buy is the worst! Best Buy will not "mail" you a refund check or a rebate check to your Post Office Box. They will only mail it to a physical address! Why? Don't ask me. I've tried to explain to them that I don't receive mail at my physical address, and they just can't wrap their tiny brains around that concept.

Pete1 May-16-2009

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“...why would someone ask for my ‘Street Address’ when they really want my ‘Mailing Address’?”

For the same reason they give you ¼" for your 3-digit area code (0.083" per digit), but 5½" for your 5-digit zip code (1.825" per digit): Rank incompetance in creating forms.

brian.wren.ctr May-18-2009

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We have this problem all of the time, because we get no US Post Office delivery in our neighborhood. We are forced to have a PO Box.

Many web merchandiser software packages cannot deal with a 'PO Box ####' in the address area. One example is If you have a PO Box in your PayPal shipping address, their web merchandising system will puke over it. I had to create a new address entry at PayPal just for NewEgg purchases, which only has my street address. As soon as Newegg starts using the USPS for delivery, it'll be broken.

Likewise, if a shipper sends a package via USPS to my street address, and does not have the box number, the package will be returned to him as 'undeliverable'.

It's a pain in the rear. I wonder if I can get around this by submitting a change of address form with my street address as my old address, and my PO Box as my
new address?

Chris Shaker

cjshaker Jul-25-2009

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Why can't the post office have a system where they simply place the mail which has been addressed to the street address in the post office box? If I send a letter to my sister to her street address, it arrives at the post office in her town, they look at the street address and place the mail in a car. They drive to her house and they place it in a box stuck in the ground in front of her house. If they can do that, why can't my sister send me a letter addressed to my street address, it arrives at the post office, they look at the street address and place it in a box in the post office. Is this that difficult? But nooooooo. I get a small package delivered from Hong Kong. The post office sees that it doesn't have a PO number but rather than look up in a simple book to place it in the propper mail box, they would rather put it back into the truck, drive it 75 miles to New York City, place it on a plane and fly it thousands of miles to the other side of the world to return it. Does that make any sense?

Jeff1 Dec-06-2009

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Once I received a piece of junk mail that had my correct name on it. It had the street address from a company that I used to work for, but drastically misspelled. It also had a different city, from my current job listed. The zip code was for my HOME address. Other than my name, not one thing on the address was correct or consistent. Miraculously, the mail was successfully delivered to my home! Just for fun, I tried to mail myself something with only my name and zip code on it. Didn't work. Surprise!

porsche Dec-06-2009

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Ok - you have a physical domiciled residence that you use with the state for voter and title registration - example --
231 Lake St,

But your town - Anytown does not do delivery so you have
PO BOX 123

However the Station Address is
987 Main ST

Here it would be
987 Main ST UNIT 123
987 Main ST STE 123
987 Main ST #123
987 Main ST PMB 123
987 Main ST APT 123

verify at

jwelam Jan-14-2010

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I do payroll for a living. We base our tax withholding on your physical address. But I get employees that argue that they want their mailing address on their paycheck. What's a payroll clerk to do?

happiness Jan-14-2010

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Gigi: The solution sounds simple to me. You have two separate issues to deal with. So, deal with them separately and stop trying to kill two birds with one stone. On the first issue, keep a file on the employee's physical address for determining withholding tax. Then, on the second issue, which is the employee's mailing address, I recommend MAILING the check to the employee's MAILING address. Get it?

Pete1 Jan-15-2010

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Ah Pete. Fully understood. "Sounds simple"
So tell me, do you program software? Can you get our software to do that? (yes, we outsource to a big company that has many different products and various versions of each of those products.) Second, are you good at getting EMPLOYEES to understand that there's a difference? (I can't even begin to tell you what I see and hear.. for instance the guy whose address we looked up on google maps and saw that we was living in a strip mall.) And third, knowing when a P.O. is connected to a R.R. I have yet to figure that one out (so if you want to help, tell me how to determine if an address is just a box in a building or a real address.) (or tell me there are no longer R.R.'s!)

happiness Jan-15-2010

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Dear Gigi: First: Nope - I don't program software. And no, I can't get your software to "do" anything. Second: You say your employees want their mailing address on their paycheck. Starting with the assumption that you know what this discussion is about (companies that send mail to "physical addresses" instead of "mailing addresses") I must assume that the reason you included this tidbit is because employees want their "mailing address" to show through the window on the envelope. This way the Postal Service will deliver the paycheck to their "mailing address" and not to a "physical address" where they cannot receive mail. If that is the case, then it sounds like those employees already know the difference between "mailing address" and "physical address." As for those employees who say that they live at strip malls or under bridges ... well, all I can say is that the world is full of idiots and we can't help them all. And third: I never said I wanted to help. I said I wanted people (and companies) to understand the difference between mailing addresses and physical addresses, then figure out which one they really wanted, and then ask for it. By the way, "a box in a building" IS a "real address." Its A "MAILING ADDRESS." If you want to know where I live, ask for my "PHYSICAL ADDRESS."

Pete1 Jan-18-2010

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OK. Thanks for not wanting to help.That's all I really from your post. I've got W-2's to mail, so I'm done with this discussion.

happiness Jan-18-2010

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The discussion was never about how to mail W-2s. Nor was it about finding people to advise you on how to work around the peculiarities of your job. The discussion was about forms that ask for a "street address" when they should ask for a "mailing address." And, on a much larger scale, I suppose the discussion is also about people who don't know how to use the English language - both those who attempt to write it, and those who attempt to read it.

Pete1 Jan-20-2010

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for those with payroll issues... it is real simple

ask the employee for an affidavit of domicile of both physical address [where do they reside] and the employee's mailing address [where do i get mail ? ] and the employee's package shipping address [ where do i get packages ? ]

Set up a file, database, spreadsheet, ledger, etc. with employee name, domiciled address, and mailing address.

Not too hard..
However, be more specific than stating Street Address, please

justin.w.elam Jul-31-2010

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@ Pete: check out my situation.... i live in a rural area that due to some population growth was able to actually have a post office and is considered a town. ok? so now instead of receiving mail in the nearby town we have our own zip code and everything. YEAH ! for us? no! I of course sometimes have shipments come to me via UPS or Fedex and need to disclose a street address..Well unfortunately in the 30 yrs that i have lived in this exact location i have never known what my street address is. never had to since i had a PO in a different city. If I needed something shipped i would instead use cross points..hwy such and such and y street. That had worked for a while until more and more places needed an actual house number or orders would not process. Luckily i was able to call some program some years back that helped you find out your RR/street and 911 addresses to people in my situation for 911 purposes. So now, if i type in the street address they gave me and not only does in NOT register in my city, it registers in a nearby town (the area i live in is still too small that for physical address purposes i have to use a zip code pertainig to that city instead of the zip code i actually live in) but its shows me about 3 miles north of where i actuallly reside...when i tried to inform them that they had given me the wrong address they kept assuring me that they had not. ggrrr i have lost so many packages to this and most of the time i have to track my order and call them to have them notate the account that they need to call me for directions or else gps will toss them to a whole different area..if im lucky enough to get the same driver from either fed ex or ups they know where to find me BUT if not i end up having to pick up my packages 4 towns down at the main shipping offices! living in a rural area is a pain let me tell you..You (pete) can at least provide either address if properly specified. me? i'm lucky enough to have 911 find me in case of an emergency!!!!!!!!!!!! below are examples of different methods i have had to use

mailing address:
PO Box ##
This City, St 12345

shipping address:
## Lost Rd
That City, St 54321
## Lost Rd
This City, St 12345

julissabarco Aug-09-2010

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JWLZ: I feel your pain, but are you saying that I should just count my blessings??? All I'm asking is that people who create "fill in the blank" forms make a clear distinction between "street address" and "mailing address." Unfortunately, that is not often the case. Most of the time when the form asks for a "street address," what they REALLY want is a "mailing address," which MAY be the same for some, but is not for all. However, it would be so much simpler if they would just ask for a "mailing address," which is ALWAYS a "mailing address" for everyone. That's why this column was started, not as a launching point for every OTHER kind of problem involving shipping and mailing addresses.

Pete1 Aug-11-2010

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lol yes i know why ur column was started silly..what i had attempted to get acroos was that aside from sometimes not being clear on what they want on their "fill in the blank" forms the people wanting the info can sometimes cause i bigger issue especially for people in my situation because i lost a package..sorry if i rambled in my previous post but it had just so happened that i had they same issue with the whole mailing/street issue when i came across ur post. i had ordered a pillow pet for my daughter..the company shipped using fedex smartstop or something like that, which if you dont know is both fedex and usps. I had never heard of this method of shipping. So because the company didnt clearly specify what address they wanted my package got sent back to the main shipper... had they explained that they were mailing my package out to the MAILING address i wouldnt have given them my SHIPPING address which was what they stated they wanted..they were unclear! they asked for a street address (which i consider shipping) when they really wanted my mailing address..ur right they should be specific! maybe by giving an example like where you get large packages or if they are shipping to mailing they can state where you receive ur standard mail or small packages..specify! or make it simpler and ask for just mailing which as you said, " always a mailing address for everyone"

julissabarco Aug-11-2010

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hi guys ,,,,, i need your advice regarding an email i received today saying :
............., After you find a Western Union agency you need to go with cash money, an identity card(e.g passport or national identity card) and send the payment to the agent of the **** embassy at the PHYSICAL ADDRESS, ................. in United Kingdom!!!!
is that a fraud/scam?
will the money go to that physical address ?
if not ,,, who's gonna receive it in UK ?

Hitto Mar-10-2011

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Hi, i need help. I am trying to fill a form in from America and everytime i enter my postal code or zip code as they refer to it, it blocks me after the first 3 digits asking for 5 digits. I am totally confused. CAN ANYONE HELP?

Angela Curwen Mar-11-2011

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Just bought a house on a US Highway near an intersection ... USPS Priority Mail tracking said "Undeliverable as Addressed" ... and they're giving me a free P.O. box ... I just googled: "not deliver to post office box" and this string was the 7th hit on the page ... good information ... I've come across this problem before, living on a rural state highway ... before 911 gave everyone a GPS location, I was required to put up a mailbox on the highway to accept UPS/FedEx deliveries ... many good suggestions here ... I even saw "NewEgg" mentioned ...

Thomas Hardin May-04-2011

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Hello i have a question regarding the united states postal service

My question is will a piece of mail that is unable to be forwarded be sent to a address other than my own if i gave the sender of the mail the address? I'ts a debit card that im expecting and it is unable to be forwarded but the reason im having it mailed to a friends address is because i dont want a family member knowing that i have the card. I did give the bank my friends address to send it but im just wondering if there is gonna be a problem because my friends address is not my own mailing address that the post office has on record. I was told as long as the sender has the correct address i told them to send it i wouldnt have a problem getting it. I know for a fact though that if i changed my address with the post office and didnt inform the bank thats sending the debit card my new address it would get sent back to them because it has a "No Forwarding" stamp/sticker. Hoping someone can tell me if ill recieve the card or not.... Thank you

Cazic Aug-18-2011

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I just tried to buy stamps from USPS and discovered I have two different zip codes, xxxxx-zzzzz and xxxxx- yyyyy one for my post office box and another for my physical address. I give up and my decision now is to use ONLY the original 5 number zip and ignore the rest. So much for being "mail cooperative"!

busyspouse Sep-08-2011

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If you want to send mail of yours to someone else's address (and not have it returned by the postman who knows you don't live there), then use your name, c/o their name, their address. (the c/o stands for in care of - like if you were spending the summer with your brother's family and your mail at home was on hold - not forwarded- but your mother wants to send you a birthday card at your brother's house.)

Meg1 Sep-27-2011

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I am looking into getting a PO Box which I have never had before because my regular mailman disappeared and the one that has taken over for the last few weeks has been giving my mail away more often than not. Trying to address this problem with the US Postal Service is like talking to communicate with escapees from an insane asylum. They don't knowwhat voice mail is and they refuse to take a message because they have no secretaries.
Packages disappear, mail disappears. How much I can't even know. Some mail is returned but the last week's worth has not been. And at the end of the month is when many of my credit card billings come through - and at the beginning of the month my bank statements and other important documents. I never really thought about how much information about me comes through the mail - from credit reports to bills to bank states and proof of deposit. There is a reason why long ago when people had some sense it was made a felony to steal other peoples mail. Now there is no need to steal it, the mailman will give your mail away to others right to their door.
For those who have PO Boxes, how reliable are they when the mail is still going through the postal service. Do you seem to be getting mail and packages or are there lots of lost mail in that system too?

nightmare Oct-31-2011

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I have the same issue as the origanal poster, and what works for me is writting my street address, and on the the zipcode portion add a - and the 0, then your PO number..

123 random street
Cobb, Ca.

the -0123 being the PO box #, where as the 95426 is the actual Zip code.

annon-cobb Nov-16-2011

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correction above, the 123 is the PO box, the -0 is required to make it work. if your po box is only 2 digits, then you would use -00 first

annon-cobb Nov-16-2011

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I've come to this page because I do work for a software company that sells HR software that interfaces with payroll systems, and I'm documenting how to fill in workers' addresses. We have both a residence address (physical address, please) and mailing address. When I first started at the company, however, I lived on a sailboat where I could not receive mail, and it was a real pain. HR required my physical address (I used my mother's address in another state) and then sent important paperwork there, and I had to figure out how to get it. (We weren't using our own software then.) I definitely feel everyone's pain.

Solstice Ashore Nov-23-2011

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What gets irritating is when you give someone your mailing address or P.O. Box # and they say we need your physical address we can't ship to a P.O. Box and you give them your physical address instead. Then a few days later the mail shows up in your P.O. Box and the mail person bitches you out for putting your physical address and not your P.O. Box #. Or if you pick it up after hours you get those stickers on your mail telling you to have the address changed to your P.O. Box #. Make up your minds ppl.

Tony1 Dec-02-2011

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I am recently very frustrated because after receiving mail at my home address for several years via UPS, all of a sudden they don't recognize the address. When I called up to check on this the UPS rep stated that because of some new law I must use an actual physical address. I am an AVON rep living in a housing development has our USPS mailboxes located several miles away - big pain in the butt right there, and one grouchy mailman to boot. Well AVON needed the USPS address because they chose to send some small items to me. And if there was a larger UPS delivery the UPS main would still deliver to our home address, even with our housing box address on the box which was great. Well, no more. Now my husband recently received a postcard from them stating that they had one of our packages there and would hold it till a certain date, which, OF COURSE EXPIRED by the time we got the card. Lovely new friggin rules and when you call the number on the card all you get is an automated response. Lovelier indeed! Now with these new rules in place it really is a joy to order items online because on many sites they will NOT let you know how they will ship it so it's sort of like Russian Roulette. I am having packages delivered to another family member who actually receives her mail at her home - USPS, Fedex and UPS. Sorry but this new system stinks. I feel like I am penalized because I happen to live in a development with a separate US mail box area.

Hannie5 Dec-10-2011

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I have a PO Box because the USPS does not deliver in my area. Additionally, the USPS does not recognize my physical address, so when I try and give a company that must deliver to a physical address via UPS or FedExpress, it is impossible since no computer on the planet, it seems, will recognize my physical address as existing at all.

Cathy2 Jan-18-2012

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An update. I think it's pretty odd that now when I use my residential post office box address, UPS suddenly can deliver a box to my actual physical address. They must have hired a NEW driver who didn't see the connection with the physical address and my mailing post office box address. So now I still cover the bases, because who knows when this guy will move on and another UPS guy will begain the whole mess again and have to get familiar with our mailing and physical address. All I can say is I will NEVER move again to any development where I cannot get ALL of my mail delivered at the house. Just a BIG OLE PAIN IN THE ARSE!! LOL!

Hannie5 Jan-18-2012

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Wow I am not ALLONE! For years I have been placing my home address over my PO Box (I have had the same box # since I was 17 and now I am 61!!!) and sometimes some places can never figure it out. My post office has it's very own zip code, just for boxes. Well today, in my mail was a memo from USPO saying that they will have a new agreement to sign so that they can ACCEPT UPS/DHL/FEDEX/ETC packages addressed to the PO street address and box #!!!!!! Don't know how much extra, but they say they will even email when a package is received!!!!! Guess they need extra $$$! How many years I have had to work with my physical address and my mailing address and how many people I have confused. The state can't get my zip code right - they keep using my physical address zip, not my PO Box. I finally found a credit card company that maintains both of my addresses for verification on orders - so I use only this card for internet purchases. Good luck to everyone!!!!!!

Mark W Jan-30-2012

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I received the same info as Mark W in my PO box, and would love more information. It told me to sign up to which I did but it gave no new info. If anyone finds out how to sign up for the services please post here.

spook Jan-30-2012

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Reading all of this, I just realized how lucky I am. I happen to live in Germany, where DPAG has to serve ALL street addresses nationwide. If they chose just to discontinue service for a single address, they would no longer operate a "Universal Service" and then they'd have to pay 19% VAT on all postage. The result of this is that mail gets even delievered to people who live on small islands and to people who live somewhere in the alps. We even got a post office on the Zugspitze, the highest mountain in this country. I have even seen appartment houses which have their mailboxes on the individual floors, so people don't even have to get out of the building to get their mail.
One effect of this is that everybody whom I know receives mail at their street address. PO box service in our country is also great. DPAG doesn't charge rent for their PO boxes, you just have to pay a one-off setup fee. And private mail companies (DPAG doesn't have a monopoly on postal service) are even allowed to deliever to PO boxes (which is a quite good thing), although this option is not available with all carriers. However, our PO boxes have also some drawbacks: 1) you cannot receive parcels through your PO box. DHL (a subsidy of DPAG) offers a service called "PackStation" which is some kind of a PO box for parcels - but this service is seperate from the PO box service of DPAG, so you would have to subscribe to both services seperately and then, you would end up with three different addresses - A PO box address which accepts letters which were send through DPAG, foreign state-owned post companies and some private post operaters, A Packstation address which looks terrible (it includes some horrifying long number) and accepts only parcels and packages that were sent through DHL or DHL partners but NO letters and your normal street address. I don't understand why DHL can't just put PO-box addressed parcels into a packstation and put a notification card into your PO box. An additional drawback of PO boxes is that you have to give DPAG your street address when you rent a PO box. This prevents those who are really in need of a PO box from getting one. (Think of those few people who don't have a street address because they live on a boat or in their car or something like that.)

For those who live at a street address that isn't served by USPS, I got an idea: I have heard of a case where someone managed to create a virtual street address by filing a mail forwarding order for a fictional address. The result was that mail which was addressed to that fictional address was actually delievered to the guy who had made up that address. Now, I think that the same might work for street addresses that aren't served by USPS. (Sure, the idea of street-addressed PO boxes is even better than what I suggest here because that way, your home and your PO box would be known under the same address and all items would either go to your home or to your PO box, depending on the carrier. But I think that implementing this using mail forwarding may actually be feasible.)

I think that this residential development which has its mail boxes several km from the homes is actually an attempt to create street-addressed PO boxes. I'm afraid that if these letter boxes hadn't been placed that far from the homes, USPS might have refused to deliever to those addresses.

However, I've also encountered issues with the postal system in my country.
Story #1: I moved to a new house. By new, I mean that the house had just been built that year. As our property has never ever had a building on it before we built the house, it didn't have an address at first. So we had to go to some office in the city hall and ask them to assign our house an address. They did so. We got something like "Example Street 45a" as our house was between "Example Street 45" and "Example Street 47". ("Example Street 46" was on the other side of the street.) Unfortunately, the other houses in our street were all 25 years old, so it was quite unusual that a new address was added to our street. We knew that mail companies use to keep lists of addresses, so we notified the two mail companies that serve our neighborhood explicitly about our new address, so they would actually deliever our mail. And what happend? The first few letters we got were returned until they realized that we had told them that there was a new address in our street. The first that arrived had a "Return to sender - receipient could not be found under this address" marking on them (although they were delieverd to us just fine). Since then, the post operators did everything just fine. However, we still have issues with geo databases. These databases claim to include EVERY house in our country. However, our house is missing in most of them. For instance, if I type our address into GoogleMaps, it will change it to the address of one of the adjacent houses. For that reason, some companies even "correct" our address that we use to quote correctly as "Example Street 45a" to "Example Street 47" or "Example Street 45" which causes our mail to go to our neighbors.

Story #2: This happend to a relative of mine. He moved back to an appartment house where he had been living before. Now one needs to know that here in Germany, individual letterboxes within appartment houses are only identified by the family name of the person living there. This means that if you move within the same house, your address doesn't change, even though your physical mailbox changes. Now, guess what happend to my relative. DPAG remembered that he no longer lived there and returned all mail as "undelieverable". He had to notify DPAG that he was back, and suddenly his mail got through again.

Story #3: This is something that I read in c't, a really good German computer magazine (btw. there is no English-language equivalent to c't). This story takes place in some small village where a small unnamed street was branching off a bigger, named street. Such scenarios are quite common, and as usual, the small side-street was integrated into the numbering of the named street. So there were houses no. 1, 3, 5, 11, 13 etc. belonging to the named street while houses no. 7 and 9 belonged to the unnamed street that branched off the named street between houses 5 and 11. All was fine. Then, the small unnamed street was extended beneath its end and new houses were built. these houses were numbered 7a, 7b, 7c, 7d, 7e, 7f, 7g, 7h, 7i, 7j, etc. When they had reached 7q, they found it would make sense to give that street a name of its own. They did so, and since then these houses were addressed as "John Doe Street 1", "John Doe Street 2", "John Doe STreet 3" etc. Now some geo databse company heard about this and added these address changes to their database. The result was that many software products would now automatically change the old addresses to the new ones. This was great, as it saved the residents of that street the work of informing everyone of their address change. Unfortunately, there was still a gap between several buildings in the big main street which were later filled with some new houses. And these new houses got house numbers. And ... you get it ... They got those house numbers that had been used for the previously unnamed street. The result of this is that those people who live in those new houses often get their addresses "corrected" to addresses in the other street. They are lost in the parallel universe of address "correction".

Anonymous3 Jan-31-2012

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FYI ... for those in rural areas
take the street address of your post office e.g.
visit ... click on find locations ... enter your city and state ... click on see more results .. you should see your local post office with the zip+4 ending in -9998
that is the address you want to use for your "STREET MAILING ADDRESS" as it corresponds to a Street Address ...
then visit ... and input the street address of the post office with # and your box number ... click okay. .. and you will have your "STREET MAILING ADDRESS" to give to your financial provider and others ...

justin.w.elam Feb-08-2012

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Hey there justin elam... isn't it nice how you show up at a little girl fight and bring your pit bull and threaten to turn it lose on them. big man.

shadow Feb-16-2012

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Ok so now my husband and I recently got some documentation in the mail concerning the changing of our physical address. As I explained above because we have our home mail boxes all lumped together on top of a mountain - real pain in the arse - I am wondering if now this new address will serve as the billing and shipping address. My husband is checking with our lovely post office to see what is up with this "New" 911 address rule. So quick. No warning. Just some documents letting us know and here is your new address. They claim they are having trouble locating our homes on the small mountain that I live on. In fact, now we are required to post a Green sign that I believe has to be 18' x 18" long with our house number on it so that they can find us. lol. I think I'll put up a Green Neon sign with the words "Eat At Joes" underneath the house number. Good grief! I cannot wrap my mind around all of these new and improved mail rules. Sorry but I just have to vent. I'd get in big trouble if I punched out the next mailman. ;)

Hannie5 Feb-20-2012

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(Just my opinion) If you all are having mailing/street address issues, you should attend a town meeting or something. Mail your congress of your state and let loose your problem. I'm sure your not the only one with this issue. I readed all these issue and I of all people have it the worst. Technically I don't have a street/physical address, as I live 50 miles from the nearest town, highway is 10 miles away from my house which isn't on a paved or maintain road by the state. (A dirt road in the middle of nowhere with one to many roads leading off.) It has a route number near a milemarker from off the highway and no company in this so call country won't accept it as a street/physical address and when I provide a PO Box they won't take it. Don't bother with telling me to verify my physical/street address because where I live is on Indian/Native American Land and 911 address don't really exist for us. If you need a police or ambulance you have to meet them at the road by a milemarker or give them a latitude/longitude. Well back on topic, in all the years I have lived here (45+) I have never recieved a package at my resident and my mail sometime gets lost or takes an extra few days to find me. Because of this issue, I don't have a bank account, credit cards or anything requiring a physical/street address, simply because I can't not provide a VALID physical/street address. If I'm lucky they take my mailing address which is a PO Box. At least the state I live in doesn't require a physical/street address on my driver license.

Trillby Ken Feb-28-2012

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Wow I am not the only one frustrated with the PO Box, Street address thing. Living in rural Alaska I do quite a bit of Online shopping. It just amazes me how companies DO NOT WANT TO SHIP TO A PO BOX! In rural Alaska to have a Mail box is totally foolish..Snow and weather temps prohibit the use of a mail box. I have gotten into arguments with companies about shipping to my PO box explaining I prefer my mail to go to a Federally Protected Climate Controlled Post Office Box. Then when the realize that it is more practical to have a PO Box in my situation................I get the "It's our Policy Excuse"
My Post Office has now implemented a new (To Me) service of using the the Post Office Address with #XXX for all mail which must have a physical addy. THIS INCLUDES, UPS, FED X and the rest Not only that, They will email or text when I have mail. And YES I am totally shocked that a branch of our federal government has actually done something that makes sense.

Eskimo Bob Mar-20-2012

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We have all the same issues as those already addressed; however, we also have a problem with FedEx telling us that our physical address is not a valid address, so they cannot deliver, even though we have given the address assigned to us. We've even been denied when applying for something specific because we are told that we are entering a false address. Our credit rating has been questioned and at one point denied because we have been told that the physical address given is invalid. Who determines/assigns physical addresses?
An abulance took twice as long to arrive at the neighbor's for an emergency because they couldn't find her due to a physical address that was not registered correctly. This has been an issue since the physical addresses were assigned several years ago. Who do we contact? Who can correct this problem?

frustrated&concerned Oct-31-2012

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Does anyone have the problem with computers not excepting your physical address for mailing packages too? Some places deliver here and some say it doesn't exist. So stressful!

Shelley dawn Sep-05-2013

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most computers will not accept my physical address. i have to call and the customer service person insists my house doesnt exist, and they have to override it. i use the post office physical address with my po box under it.

cathy Sep-05-2013

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If they wanted to the US Postal Service could adjust their data base to show street addresses that do NOT receive mail delivery. I'm sure, if implimented, such a system would eliminate the aggravation expressed by many of those who have posted here. The problem is doing this would take money and Congress, specifically the Tea Party morons in the House, will not be happy until taxes, fundings and regulations are cut to the point that the USA starts getting foreign aid from El Salvador. I, also, do not receive home delivery of my mail. Everyone in my town must pay for a post office box if they want to receive mail. Someone mentioned Best Buy as one company that uses the Postal Service data base and so will not sell to people having street addresses which this data base does not verify. You can add AT&T Wireless to the same "list." The website of AT&T Wireless accepted my order for an Apple iPhone and emailed me a confirmation of my purchase. Two minutes later I received an email stating my order had been canceled because my street address could not be verified. I then placed the same order with Verizon Wireless and my iPhone was delivered, to my home, about a week later. Apparently, the Postal Service has a program which allows you to use the street address of the post office where your box is at. Someone using this system would have an address like this:

John Doe
123 Smith St., #567
Anytown, NY 12345-0567

Supposedly, the clerk at the receiving post office WILL accept packages from UPS and Fedex as long as the packages, and their contents, conform to postal regulations (under 70 lbs., no alcohol, within size limits, etc.). See:

The problem is UPS and Fedex do not always deliver during the hours the Customer Service counter of a post office is open. My local post office's Customer Service counter is only open four hours a day (10 to 2, Mon.-Fri.).

Big Horn Kid Mar-01-2014

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Enetspark is a world-class off-shore technology development center that provides cost-effective, innovative, and diverse technology solutions that meet the requirements of its clients all across the world.

Internet service May-06-2014

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"Street address" does not mean /mailing/ or /shipping/. It means the address where you are physically present to receive visitors.

Consider the U.S. Cusoms Landing Card -- it simply asks for "street address". And apparently this is exactly what they mean. They actually want the address where they can physically hunt you down. Same goes for FAA & FCC licensing. The FAA/FCC does not care where you receive mail or packages, they want to know where you sleep.

So in some circumstances, a "street address" is appropriate. (Although IMO, they still should not write "street address", but rather "physical address"). Anyway, in most cases where we encounter a "street address" form field, it's incompetence.

For some in rural gated communities, it's even more complex than the OPs situation. In these cases there can be a PO box along a rural route, and the /street address/ is inaccessible for UPS/fedex shipments (as they will be blocked by guards). So there are *3* addresses:

* USPS mailing address
* UPS/Fedex/etc. shipping address (the guard tower address)
* physical address

in the sticks Dec-21-2014

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My cable ISP rejects my credit card for payment because my service (physical) address is not the same as my card billing address (which is my mailing address).

verry Mar-20-2016

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I no longer accept delivery of mail at my home. The Banking institutions insist on my physical address, where I sleep at night. I find this to be a gross invasion of privacy and when I have given out the home address, despite my admonition not to send mail, I have had to suffer the unpleasant clutter of spam and unsolicited material that is too bulky for the box and is either stolen or blown down the street despite federal regulation against such tampering.
The U.S.P.S. even promotes their facility as "your other address".
Foreign Nationals reference the Patriot Act as their justification for demanding the address where I sleep. They are unable to send my a copy of the regulation,but to interpret as a priest what they alone understand. However, carriers such as UPS & FedEx do deliver to the Post Office Building, then the well-paid federal workers secure that and other postings for me.

This policy has worked very well for me since 1980.

Wm Stanley Apr-08-2016

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Yes,....when I opened my P.O. Box about two years ago (but since closed),....the Postal Worker gave me BOTH the usual P.O.Box Full Address AND an acceptable UPS / FedEx, or other Private Carrier Delivery Address that ALLOWS delivery to your P.O. Box in a round about way. The Mailing address reflects the physical address of the Post Office Branch, with the P.O. Box listed to the side. Technically the Private carrier IS delivering to a physical street address, and the Post Office is sort of forwarding it to your box. haha

Apparantly, the Post Office Head Honchos have decided "Practicality" trumps Federal Statutes. :-)

Joe T

My Post office asked me to change my street number to their street number for package delivery. Also change my PO Box number to Unit number. Now, I got a letter from one of my Credit Reporting agencies saying that one of my creditors reported that I have moved to a different address without telling them so I need to clear this up. i suppose this was supposed to make it easier for them deliver packages but it has resulted in unintended consequences for me. Should I write to each Credit Reporting Agency and explain that "No, I haven't moved. The Post Office just said I would have to write in a different street address or they would send any packages back without delivering them to me?"

Carole Peters Jun-11-2016

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"ATM machine"?

Nice tautology there.

user106928 Oct-07-2016

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I live in a rural area, and do not get U.S. Postal delivery at my physical address. I have a P.O. Box at the local post office but when address verification is requested, like from UPS, the post office has no record of my physical address. This can be a huge problem. The solution is to install a mailbox on the main road a mile away. My husband has been reluctant to do this for safety reasons, even though I him that our mail will continue to go to the local post office. I actually purchased a mail box which my husband has been avoiding. I am over 70 so it's rather difficult for me, maybe I can get my neighbor to help.

I work pre filling forms for different types of insurance. We have had this same debate. Does “street” mean the street you live on and therefore your home? I say no and here is why:

A company always wants an address they can mail your mail to, unless they ask for a "home", "residence" or “legal”. That being said, every address no matter PO or not has a: street, city, state, and zip. Most people will go on to say a PO box is not a street but I will always add, NOT EVERY town or person has a PO box at a Post Office. For example, I use to use a PO box at "Mail Boxs Etc." a small po box location and store with Kinkos type services. Very large cities have more than one main post office. Therefore, those people still have a "Street" address. "Street address" simple means the number and street name, it is the first part of every address “street, city, state, and zip”. For example my address at the Mail Box Etc. was: 6565 La Sierra Ave. PO BOX 144, Riverside CA, 92505. "6565 La Sierra PO BOX 144" is my "street". If I did not have to list a number and street name because my PO box is the main post office or my post office has shown me my address is only listed as PO BOX 144 then my "PO BOX 144" would be my "street address".

So if you see just “street address” They are simple asking for your “address” and your address should ALWAYS be your mailing address unless otherwise asked. They only want your home, resistance, or legal address for legal matters (all 3 of those are the same address asked in different ways) and ALWAYS want to mail you something. If they need your home they will ask, otherwise mailing address is the default. So imagine it says “address. “street”_________. They placed the word “address” behind street instead of placing in separated as “Address: “street, city, state, zip”. Get it?

Do you agree? Or should I still be debating this with co workers? lol

tonya Nov-17-2017

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just because i am trying to enter street address wow

richardwisecup Feb-03-2018

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i need your mailing address please

user107616 Jan-27-2019

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God bless me, maybe you too! One day at a time!!?!

user107960 May-24-2019

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I live in a rural area and I'm completely off the grid, and tax office is telling me I HAVE to register a 911 address, for one 911 does not work at my house, even if it did they do not maintain my rd and no ambulance or fire truck will not and cannot make it down it any way if it rains. So why are they trying to force me to pay for a 911 address ?!!! I already have a po box.. and doesnt 911 go by location of my cell fone anyway? Which by the way cell service is nil yo none also.

OuttaPlace May-31-2019

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What I really hate is UPS and FedEx look at my 4 line address with both physical andmail addresses. They turn white and say we can’t take one with a PO Box. So off goesthe PO Box.

Then about 1/4 of the time, the package comes in the mail because their computer saysit is cheaper to have USPS deliver it.

user108270 Oct-01-2019

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Thanks for sharing this information about Street Address vs. Mailing Address.

United Forward Mail Nov-25-2019

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I have a P. O. Box! When asked for street address and it's says no P.O. Box I put the street address of the post office where my Po. Box is! With the PO box number listed too. I was told I could do this by the one of the employees at Post Office. I do this with packages and some mail(if allowed by that company). If it will fit in box they will put it there. If it's a package, and will not fit in my box, I can go to the counter and get it. Hope this helps!

For example
200 Old Hendersonville Hwy. #676
Brevard, NC 28712

Crystalcrr33 Feb-09-2020

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I read recently the way to do it is if you live at 123 Main St ,smalltown,VA 45643 and you are forced like I am to have a po box than your address is.
John Doe, 123 Main St # 543, Smalltown, VA 45643.

ccjohncc Mar-06-2020

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i want adress for shopping

vidacute Sep-22-2020

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I have a po box a nd street address, the post office says it only fowards mail if po box is first and street address last.

I am not getting all my mail like bank statement, govt checks etc cause they mail to street address, need help to get all my mail forwarded to new address I

user109543 Jan-02-2021

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