How to Close Out a Post Office Box

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Sometimes when you rent a P.O. box, you may need to close it before the agreement is up. Closing a P.O. box, whether because you’re moving or no longer need it, is a fairly straightforward procedure and may entitle you to a monetary refund depending on when you decide to close it.

Updating Postal Information

To get a post office box, you fill out an application online or in person at the post office. This application remains on file with the post office for as long as you continue to rent it. If you are moving, inform the holders of your P.O. box application so that they can update their files accordingly and, if necessary, close the P.O. box. Not updating and failing to pay any rental fees may cause your P.O. box account to be terminated automatically.

Change of Address Form

If are closing your P.O. box because you’re moving, you must fill out a change of address form, which is available online at the USPS website. In the case of P.O. boxes that don’t require rental fees, this address form may be filled out by anyone whose name is listed on the original PS Form 1093 that you filled out when you obtained your P.O. box. If the P.O. box is rented, the person who is paying for the box must fill out the form.

Forwarding Mail

After filling out your change of address form, turn it in to the post office that owns your P.O. box. Once the post office has it, the process generally takes seven to 10 days, after which you will be able to receive mail at your new address. The forwarding process is free if you fill out the application and hand it in -- in person, but it costs $1 if you fill it out online. You may also be eligible for a refund on your old P.O. box depending on the number of months left in your agreement.

  • If you close the P.O. box within three months of a six-month payment, you’re entitled to half your money back.

  • If you cancel within three months of a yearly payment, you’re entitled to three-quarters of your money back, whereas if you cancel within six months, you’re entitled to half your money back.

New Mailbox Verification

After moving to your new location, complete the P.O. box verification process by going to your new local post office with the PS Form 1093 you filled out previously and two methods of identification such as a state license, passport or mortgage. Present these to an employee along with any money if money is required. Once the application has been verified, the new post office presents you with keys to your new P.O. box.


About the Author

Boze Herrington is a writer and blogger who lives in Kansas City, Mo. His work has been featured in Cracked and "The Atlantic."

Photo Credits

  • Gary Ombler/Dorling Kindersley RF/Getty Images