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Receiving Mail with No Address
Old 07-14-2018, 09:14 PM   #1
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Receiving Mail with No Address

I hope some of you who travel a lot will know the answer to this question.

My son has sold his car and is moving to LA. Since he does not have a fixed address there yet, he is having the car dealer mail the check to us (in Texas). He then wants us to send the check to him.

What are the options in terms of where to send the check to him? The two I have thought of are to rent a PO box from the post office or to rent a private PO box. I am not sure which is less expensive. I also don't know how readily available post office PO boxes are there. Also, how secure are private PO boxes since we will be mailing a check to him?

Any other options? He only really needs to receive the one piece of mail.

(He will be looking for a job and I don't know if there would be any reason he would need a PO Box to put on applications, etc. He will be staying in a youth hostel).
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:19 PM   #2
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Found this when a friend needed to do this, it worked for him in Ohio

Although I would recommend you checking with the Post Office in question, yes, it used to be possible everywhere in the world.

It would be addressed to the recipient, General Delivery, City, State,ZIP code, with a note on the bottom of the package, “Hold for pickup”

(Outside the U.S., it is Name, Poste Restante, city, COUNTRY. And you should state: VIA Air Mail. ) (if you have an American Express card I’d suggest the package be sent to you c/o of the appropriate AMEX office. I’d again suggest you contact AMEX first, though)

If there is more than one Post Office in the destination city (as there would be in most large cities), you need to put the address and correct ZIP code for the PO where you want the package held for your pickup.

One caution - nowadays post offices are a bit leery of held packages for people they don’t know, so do check first that this will be okay - you might have to assure them that the package does not contain anything dangerous.
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Old 07-14-2018, 09:23 PM   #3
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can the cheque be put into his bank account ( if you knew his bank account details and can get to a branch of his bank )

maybe that could work
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Old 07-14-2018, 10:53 PM   #4
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There is something called General Delivery that I used often when we were RVing full-time. I always called the receiving post office to make sure they accepted it - sometimes it has to go to a certain post office in a city. Also I would double check with them that I had the address was done correctly for General Delivery. I usually had it sent priority mail so I could track it.
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Old 07-15-2018, 03:04 AM   #5
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can the cheque be put into his bank account ( if you knew his bank account details and can get to a branch of his bank )

maybe that could work
No because (1) he has to endorse it and (2) we can't just deposit to his account (bank does not allow that). If the check was payable to one of us we could pay it then transfer the money to him using Zelle Quickpay but the check is payable to him.

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There is something called General Delivery that I used often when we were RVing full-time. I always called the receiving post office to make sure they accepted it - sometimes it has to go to a certain post office in a city. Also I would double check with them that I had the address was done correctly for General Delivery. I usually had it sent priority mail so I could track it.
I wondered about this. In a smaller town I could see this working. But Los Angeles is a big place. I could see his check getting lost and then him having to wait to get the car dealer to replace it and since he really needs the money now I doubt he would want to take that chance.
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:49 AM   #6
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No because (1) he has to endorse it and (2) we can't just deposit to his account (bank does not allow that). If the check was payable to one of us we could pay it then transfer the money to him using Zelle Quickpay but the check is payable to him.
I believe you can endorse the check with

FOR DEPOSIT ONLY


I do that on occasion with our business checks if I am not near our stamp endorsement
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:03 AM   #7
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No because (1) he has to endorse it and (2) we can't just deposit to his account (bank does not allow that). If the check was payable to one of us we could pay it then transfer the money to him using Zelle Quickpay but the check is payable to him.



I wondered about this. In a smaller town I could see this working. But Los Angeles is a big place. I could see his check getting lost and then him having to wait to get the car dealer to replace it and since he really needs the money now I doubt he would want to take that chance.

Well you certainly know what your son's signature looks like, who is really going to care if you sign the thing. I'm curious what kind of bank doesn't allow deposits to a checking account. With no address he won't be able to open another bank account and might have a great deal of trouble cashing that check, or he will pay a ton in check cashing fees.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:04 AM   #8
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Can't the staff at the youth hostel accept an overnight envelope for him? I've had things sent to even smaller motels, but never a hostel, so I don't know for sure, but I would think that would work. Wait until he gets there, have him confirm they'll accept delivery, then send it via FedEx or USPS overnight mail.

It's expensive to use overnight mail, but still cheaper than renting a PO box (and yes, PO boxes are readily available in LA and secure).
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:08 AM   #9
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Well you certainly know what your son's signature looks like, who is really going to care if you sign the thing. I'm curious what kind of bank doesn't allow deposits to a checking account. With no address he won't be able to open another bank account and might have a great deal of trouble cashing that check, or he will pay a ton in check cashing fees.


I agree. Just endorse the check “for deposit only”, sign your son’s name, and deposit it in his account. The bank won’t look at the signature.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:10 AM   #10
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Well you certainly know what your son's signature looks like, who is really going to care if you sign the thing. I'm curious what kind of bank doesn't allow deposits to a checking account. With no address he won't be able to open another bank account and might have a great deal of trouble cashing that check, or he will pay a ton in check cashing fees.
I think Kat is saying that her son's bank won't allow her to deposit a check into her son's account. Most banks don't allow 3rd party deposits any more. We ran into that with Chase a few years ago.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:22 AM   #11
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I think Kat is saying that her son's bank won't allow her to deposit a check into her son's account. Most banks don't allow 3rd party deposits any more. We ran into that with Chase a few years ago.

Say what? I'm going to give written instructions to my bank allowing anyone to deposit money into my account. Anyone who wants to test it, feel free to do so.

As far as not being able to deposit it, just put it in an envelope and drop it in the night deposit box.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:22 AM   #12
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Doesn't he have any other need for an address for mail to be delivered to, while he is sorting himself out with permanent digs? Every time I have moved city, I've rented a PO box with a private mailbox business for the first few months. A PO box with the Post Office would work too. I don't know which is less expensive, but if it's just for small pieces of mail, then I don't think that either option is that pricey.

When I moved to LA in 1991, I rented a PO box on Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood. That was a while ago though, and that particular business is no longer there. Plus - you didn't mention which part of LA your son is moving to. It's a rather large place - unless you meant Louisiana, which is also large

On a different tack, I have always endorsed every single check I ever deposited into my checking account as "For Deposit Only". I was taught that way a long time ago, and have never used any other method.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:36 AM   #13
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Very Simple , Use FedEx 2nd day Air saver envelope , hold for customer pick at the desired FedEx or Fedex/Kinkos-Office location near him. Should be under $20.

Renting a PO box at an LA area post office ? usually a long waiting list. The best private mail boxes are at " Mail Boxes Excettera" " MBE" are a franchise of UPS . Pretty good security

Be advised many US post offices are closing the PO box lobbys after 7pm. They have had a rash of PO box break ins , and also problems homeless people camping in the PO box lobby at night. This includes the main post office in my city, Ironically 100 feet from a large busy sheriffs station.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:42 AM   #14
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We have faced this issue several times while traveling and our son has picked up checks that have been mailed to us, and have to be deposited within 90 days. For most checks he simply scanned them front and back (takes a photo with his smart phone) and emails them to me. I then print the images, sign the back, and do a mobile deposit. The one time he received a check for me for over $10k we arranged to have it deposited endorsed “Deposit Only” without a signature. I called the issuer (my employer, as it was an unexpected bonus check) and also my bank to let them know the situation and they were fine with doing that.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:59 AM   #15
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DW & I travel extensively and use Traveling Mailbox https://travelingmailbox.com. It works flawlessly for us. Although we subscribe annually, you can also subscribe for a single month at a cost of about $15 and continue month-to-month. In light of the fact your son does not yet have a fixed address, this might be a good solution for him. He gets an actual physical street address that will come in handy when a P.O. Box is not sufficient.

For check deposits, the way it typically works, is that upon the recipients instruction, Traveling Mailbox will scan the Front and Back of checks, so if his bank does electronic deposits, he can just use the scan for that using his banks app.

If electronic deposit via bank app is not an option, then it would require first confirming with the bank that they will accept a check deposit by mail and with the endorsement "For Deposit Only" stamped to the check. TM will take care of securely sending the check to your son's bank for deposit.
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:21 AM   #16
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I think Kat is saying that her son's bank won't allow her to deposit a check into her son's account. Most banks don't allow 3rd party deposits any more. We ran into that with Chase a few years ago.
no night deposit boxes or anything like that? So you have to show ID every time you want to deposit a check? What a PITA...

What about the scanning method Alan mentions...
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:57 AM   #17
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This isn't a 3rd party deposit

A 3rd party deposit is:
1 writes check to 2 who doesn't put it in his account but:
2 signs it over to 3
3 puts it in his (#3) account

and what kind of a bank doesn't allow 'for deposit only' deposits into the primary recipients account?

I have a feeling that there's another reason son doesn't want it deposited --- is he overdrawn?

At any rate, back to question: how to get mail to someone in a hostel
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Old 07-15-2018, 10:34 AM   #18
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Very Simple , Use FedEx 2nd day Air saver envelope , hold for customer pick at the desired FedEx or Fedex/Kinkos-Office location near him. Should be under $20.

Renting a PO box at an LA area post office ? usually a long waiting list. The best private mail boxes are at " Mail Boxes Excettera" " MBE" are a franchise of UPS . Pretty good security

Be advised many US post offices are closing the PO box lobbys after 7pm. They have had a rash of PO box break ins , and also problems homeless people camping in the PO box lobby at night. This includes the main post office in my city, Ironically 100 feet from a large busy sheriffs station.
Yep, good solution. Worth a few $$.

Or rent a private mailbox until his living situation is sorted out.
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:09 AM   #19
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Say what? I'm going to give written instructions to my bank allowing anyone to deposit money into my account. Anyone who wants to test it, feel free to do so.
I have an extra $10k. Can you send me your bank account number & PIN? I'll even send you a toaster after everything settles!
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:36 AM   #20
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no night deposit boxes or anything like that? So you have to show ID every time you want to deposit a check? What a PITA...

What about the scanning method Alan mentions...
I've never noticed whether the Chase branch here has a night deposit box. To deposit a check at the teller, you either have to show ID that matches the account name or have your ATM/Debit card. They have a little card reader on the counter where you enter the PIN to validate it. Alternatively, you can deposit a check at an ATM, which also requires the card/PIN; or via the mobile app, which has a secure login. So for any of those methods there's some kind of verification before the deposit is allowed.

They definitely did not want to let me deposit a check written by me from our Chase account into our daughter's Chase account. I didn't expend any effort trying to get them to consider alternatives such as a For Deposit Only endorsement with no signature or consider forging her signature, since it wasn't that urgent and I could just mail it to her. (This was a few years ago before they had Zelle for electronic transfers.)

The scanning/photo method works because the person whose name is on the check prints it out from his email, endorses it, and makes the deposit himself. It's a regular check at that point. It's not printed with MICR toner, but you don't need that for a mobile deposit anyway.
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