What do expats do about mail?

Whether you're moving away for a few months or forever, you may still want to keep a U.S. address. Earth Class Mail can help.

by Earth Class Mail
updated December 22, 2022 ·  3min read

If you're planning to move to another country, you have a lot of logistics to take care of before you set off on the adventure of a lifetime. Whether you're moving away for a few months or forever, you may still want to keep a U.S. address. Why?

  • You need reliable mail service. Depending on where you move to or travel to, you may not enjoy the standard of service that you've grown accustomed to from the U.S. postal service.
  • You may need a U.S. mailing address to keep some other U.S. services. If you want to keep your U.S. bank account, you'll still need to maintain a U.S. address.

How to manage your mail when you're living in another country

So what do you do about your mail when you're moving overseas? Some people rent a P.O. Box if they only plan to travel temporarily or for a short-term move. Others use the home address of family members or friends as their own, even for a long-term move.

Postal mail privacy

However, when you trust an in-law or friend to receive your mail, you're trusting them to either forward you your mail or open letters on your behalf. This jeopardizes your privacy and personal information. You may receive highly sensitive and personal letters in the mail, including IRS letters, bank statements, health insurance, or possibly legal documents. Keep that in mind when deciding if you want to open your family and friends to any mail you may receive.

Plus, while away, you'll likely actually need something that arrives in the mail. Do you really want someone else to open all of your mail? In addition to this being against federal law, it forces you to rely on others for handling personal documents and packages.

Mail service for expatriates, digital nomads, and frequent travelers

Instead, you could get an all-in-one mail management solution that doesn't entail trusting your in-laws or friends to handle your mail. A virtual mailbox with Earth Class Mail, a LegalZoom company, gives you the ability to receive your postal mail and important documents online, no matter where you are. If you receive packages or want hard copies of your mail, virtual mailboxes can forward them to wherever you choose.

Virtual mailboxes provide you with a real street address. Your mail gets processed and uploaded into your account, so you don't have to check your physical mailbox, just your account.

You can access your mail from anywhere on any device and then decide what to do with each piece of mail: have it securely shredded, share it as a PDF, forward it, or deposit a check. You'll manage your home affairs (like tax forms) while overseas. Virtual mailboxes accept mail from all carriers, so there is no need to worry about that.

Can you use a virtual address for U.S. banks?

As an expat, you might not have a home address in the United States, so what address do you use for your bank? If you already have a U.S. bank account, you can update the billing or mailing address to one of our virtual mailing addresses.

If you don't already have a U.S. bank account and are already living overseas, you can set up your bank account with a relative's address, then update your mailing address to your virtual address later on.

Interested in finding out more about Earth Class Mail? Check the available plans and pricing here.

Get help starting your business. Learn More

About the Author

Earth Class Mail

Read more

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of the author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.