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Author Topic: Suggestions for changing permanent address and mail forwarding while traveling  (Read 283 times)

Timmy_B

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Hey, all.  Sorry to drag up a year-old thread but our circumstances have changed and in doing a search, this thread came up.  We have a bit of a complicated situation, so I’ll try to summarize the important parts:

•   Lived in Michigan all of our lives
•   Retired in summer of 2017 with intention of moving to Florida full-time
•   Moved to Florida and established residency with driver’s licenses, car registrations, voter’s registration, etc., first in Duval County, then in Sarasota County
•   Decided in spring of 2019 to become RV’ers, not full-time but definitely more than 50%; returned to Michigan for the summer to save money and set that plan into motion
•   Purchased an RV in Michigan, where it is registered simply because we have full-time free storage on an RV campground owned by relatives
•   Will be living in Florida (most likely Manatee County) in a rented condo from Jan 1 to April 30, 2020 (and each succeeding year)
•   Will be in RV the rest of the year, travelling all over (no specific destinations for 2020 yet)

When we left Sarasota, we went with a local mailing service similar to SBI called NATO Mail, in business in Sarasota since 1957.  We updated our driver’s licenses (no problem) and tried to update our voter registration (problem).  For whatever reason, the registrar did not accept our new address.  No big deal, we figured; we’d straighten it out when we return to Florida in January. 

Now, without warning or notification to customers, NATO Mail has suddenly closed its doors.  In addition to some of us who have very important things lost in the mail (licenses, credit cards, checks, etc.), our address has become an invalid one.  I am hesitant to use a service like SBI or the like, simply because we WON’T be anywhere near those counties and it DOES look very suspect, and other than UPS Stores, there doesn’t appear to be another CMRA in the Sarasota/Bradenton area.

We are considering our options, but really don’t know what the best one is.  My thought is this, and please tell me if you disagree (or agree!): when we move to the condo in January, update our PERMANENT address and voter registration online (pretty simple in Florida, and being a REAL residence, should not have the issue we had before), and then leave it as that when we leave the condo in May, but change our MAILING address to the RV park in Michigan, where we know our mail will be in good hands.

I would love to hear any thoughts you might have to help us with this.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 07:25:56 PM by Back2PA »
2019 Thor Vegas 24.1
Sarasota FL
South Haven MI

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re:Suggestions for changing permanent address & mail forwarding while traveling
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2019, 07:09:38 PM »
I would do what you propose.  It would be even better if you bought some kind of home in Florida and rented it out when you are away for the summer and fall.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2019, 07:27:12 PM by Back2PA »
Gary
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Back2PA

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(Moderator note: split and created new topic more relevant to the OP's questions)
Scott
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Timmy_B

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Re:Suggestions for changing permanent address & mail forwarding while traveling
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2019, 08:38:33 PM »
I would do what you propose.  It would be even better if you bought some kind of home in Florida and rented it out when you are away for the summer and fall.

Thanks, Gary.  I appreciate your feedback.  Unfortunately, we would not be in any kind of position to purchase anything at this time, but it might be worth keeping our eyes open for a bargain with a land-contract!
2019 Thor Vegas 24.1
Sarasota FL
South Haven MI

Timmy_B

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(Moderator note: split and created new topic more relevant to the OP's questions)

OK, thanks Scott!
2019 Thor Vegas 24.1
Sarasota FL
South Haven MI

johnhicks

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  SBI has been in business since 1988 and is very well-regarded. UPS Stores aren't owned by UPS, they're indepently owned and are only as good as the store staff and of course can close. I had to drop UPS Store service when a new owner was totally incompetent.

  To solve your problem, use the condo as your permanent address. I use a house I own in Florida as my permanent address although I haven't actually lived in it for almost 10 years.

 Use SBI as your mail-forwarding service and change all your mailing addresses to that. You can do that with d/l, voter reg, banking etc. Is the rv park in Michigan willing to forward your mail to you wherever you are?

  Also, go paperless on as much as you can. I've cut down on stuff mailed to me so much that SBI only forwards an envelope or two every couple of months. They also offer services to view online your incoming envelopes or scanned mail.

Timmy_B

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  SBI has been in business since 1988 and is very well-regarded. UPS Stores aren't owned by UPS, they're indepently owned and are only as good as the store staff and of course can close. I had to drop UPS Store service when a new owner was totally incompetent.

  To solve your problem, use the condo as your permanent address. I use a house I own in Florida as my permanent address although I haven't actually lived in it for almost 10 years.

 Use SBI as your mail-forwarding service and change all your mailing addresses to that. You can do that with d/l, voter reg, banking etc. Is the rv park in Michigan willing to forward your mail to you wherever you are?

  Also, go paperless on as much as you can. I've cut down on stuff mailed to me so much that SBI only forwards an envelope or two every couple of months. They also offer services to view online your incoming envelopes or scanned mail.

Thanks, John!  I appreciate the advice from someone who is in my shoes!!!  :)
2019 Thor Vegas 24.1
Sarasota FL
South Haven MI

Lou Schneider

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As you found, it's important to choose a mail forwarding company that will be around for a while.   Escapees runs the largest mail forwarding business in the country and while they are based in Texas, they have legally accepted addresses in Florida and South Dakota.  Since Escapees does more than just mail forwarding, it's a safe bet they won't close their doors in the forseeable future.

https://www.escapees.com/mail-service/

If you're going to have a permanent address in Florida, use that for all your mail.  Before you leave on your trip, submit a Vacation Mail Forwarding request online and have the PO forward your mail to your mail forwarding service. 

The mail forwarding service will receive your mail and send it on to you.

Be sure to save the Transaction Number when you submit the Vacation Forwarding Request, when you get back to your condo you can cancel the Forwarding online using that number.

The Post Office will Vacation Forward mail for up to 6 months, at the end of the 6 months you can extend the Forwarding again one time only for up to an additional 6 months (1 year total).
« Last Edit: September 12, 2019, 12:55:03 PM by Lou Schneider »

Timmy_B

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As you found, it's important to choose a mail forwarding company that will be around for a while.   Escapees runs the largest mail forwarding business in the country and while they are based in Texas, they have legally accepted addresses in Florida and South Dakota.  Since Escapees does more than just mail forwarding, it's a safe bet they won't close their doors in the forseeable future.

https://www.escapees.com/mail-service/

Yeah, that's what I thought about NATO Mail; we were both born in the same year!!!  I'll check out escapees.  I did not know they had a Florida connection.

Thanks!
2019 Thor Vegas 24.1
Sarasota FL
South Haven MI

johnhicks

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  Escapees mail goes to Texas and then to Florida or something like that; it's kinda kludgy. However, it is very well-regarded and can provide you a physical address in Texas or Florida. But since you have the condo, you have the physical address. Escapeed would be fine just for the mail forwarding at least.

  And I mean it on the paperless. Do it. When I changed from UPS Store to SBI I had only a couple of mailing addresses to change that meant anything.

johnhicks

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  And while we're on this, I had a couple of banking accounts (credit card etc) that refused to accept the SBI PMB address....so I just left them on the UPS Store PMB mailing address and they were happy. They're paperless anyway, and they have my "real" address. Also, SBI is good for voters reg.

Timmy_B

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  Escapees mail goes to Texas and then to Florida or something like that; it's kinda kludgy. However, it is very well-regarded and can provide you a physical address in Texas or Florida. But since you have the condo, you have the physical address. Escapeed would be fine just for the mail forwarding at least.

  And I mean it on the paperless. Do it. When I changed from UPS Store to SBI I had only a couple of mailing addresses to change that meant anything.

Yeah, I've been heavily involved in the tech world for about 35 years.  99% of the things I do are online (and usually, automatically done) and I write maybe one check each year!  If I can use the condo address as my permanent address, I might not even need to have a mail-forwarding service; simply turn forwarding on from USPS and for all my important things (banks, FL driver's license, etc.) change my current mailing address to my fifth wheel.  I will find out more when I meet my landlord in person this winter.

Thanks again for the help!
2019 Thor Vegas 24.1
Sarasota FL
South Haven MI

johnhicks

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  Consider if you're going to be stationary when you leave the condo or if you're going to be moving around. USPS forwarding may not be feasible, depends. And I believe credit cards can't be USPS forwarded.

  Also I've found UPS Stores to be useful in receiving SBI mail packs and Amazon packages if they can't be delivered to the CG; they usually charge $5 a package.

Timmy_B

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  Consider if you're going to be stationary when you leave the condo or if you're going to be moving around. USPS forwarding may not be feasible, depends. And I believe credit cards can't be USPS forwarded.

  Also I've found UPS Stores to be useful in receiving SBI mail packs and Amazon packages if they can't be delivered to the CG; they usually charge $5 a package.

Forwarding is just for those straggler pieces of mail that come through.  We seriously don't see more than a small handful of them and those are one-offs, which are corrected immediately afterwards.  The ONLY reason that I was with a service like NATO Mail was to make sure we had a legal FL address after we left our apartment until we returned.  I wouldn't have even realized that they went out of business if I hadn't had one (very important) piece of mail that had to go there instead of my temporary address.  Simply horrible timing.
2019 Thor Vegas 24.1
Sarasota FL
South Haven MI

docj

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Forwarding is just for those straggler pieces of mail that come through.  We seriously don't see more than a small handful of them and those are one-offs, which are corrected immediately afterwards.

Even after 9 years of full-timing there are some things that unavoidably go to our mail forwarding service address. For example, in SD my vehicle registration renewal stickers are sent to the vehicle's registration address.  Replacement credit cards are usually sent to your legal address unless you make other arrangements which may be difficult to do with some card issuers.  Checks printed with your name and address will almost assuredly be sent to that address. And so on.....

I'm not sure why you care where in FL the mail forwarding service is located.  It's not likely that you are going to go there very often, if ever.
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Timmy_B

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Even after 9 years of full-timing there are some things that unavoidably go to our mail forwarding service address. For example, in SD my vehicle registration renewal stickers are sent to the vehicle's registration address.  Replacement credit cards are usually sent to your legal address unless you make other arrangements which may be difficult to do with some card issuers.  Checks printed with your name and address will almost assuredly be sent to that address. And so on.....

I'm not sure why you care where in FL the mail forwarding service is located.  It's not likely that you are going to go there very often, if ever.

Not the way it works in Florida.  They have a "current address", which can be different than your permanent address.  When I leave FL, I turn that over to the MI campground, as I know I'll get anything important sent there.  Every bank account that I have is changed online the same way at the same time.

The reason I want to have my permanent address in Sarasota/Bradenton is because that is where I consider myself to be a resident of and I want the ability to vote in those elections.
2019 Thor Vegas 24.1
Sarasota FL
South Haven MI

johnhicks

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  SBI in Clay County just went through a big legal hoodoo to be sure their customers can vote, and they can. I don't vote in local elections in Pasco, where I can, because I don't know any of those people or issues, but I could. My domicile is Pasco but of course I could change it to Clay.

  In short, the local supervisor of elections cannot deny the right to vote.

  It was a bit humorous in Clay; the supervisor, a Republican, got the notion that all those SBI customers shouldn't be voting in Clay. Notwithstanding that the demographic of potential SBI voters was tremendously Republican. And they were legal residents of Clay, whether he liked it or not. Not to mention that a single PMB business was singled out while others were ignored.

  Just Florida politics as usual.