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Old 19-03-2012, 10:04   #1
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Mail Forwarding

For you long-term cruising liveaboards (not in one place)... What mail forwarding service have you used and would you recommend them?

I know St. Brendans Isle in Florida was founded by cruisers and is probably a popular service. One of the issues I am considering is whether having our address changed to an out of state address causes any residency issues. Any thoughts...

Thoughts and comments appreciated
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Old 19-03-2012, 10:49   #2
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Re: Mail Forwarding

I've used a local "mail and parcel" type business for years and across several different countries...has worked out fine for me. Using an address that is local to your residency/business needs certainly makes many things easier. I also maintain US phone (Skype) and FAX (eFAX numbers). This way I don't even have to bring up the subject of where I am. They can call me or FAX me on a US number.

BTW: Government officials, esp USA, don't like it when they ask your location and you say "wherever I drop the hook"....giving them a US address works much better.
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Old 19-03-2012, 11:43   #3
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Re: Mail Forwarding

We still own a house, but we don't want to saddle the family members living in our house with our mail duties, so we are thinking of a service.

I'm not sure using a mail forwarding service in another state is a problem, but it might confuse things to have a different state address listed on our mail.
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Old 19-03-2012, 12:12   #4
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Re: Mail Forwarding

I only have one letter I have to have every year !! My Doc. form !! and it has to go to Oregon, Connies sister forwards it or takes care of it as we wish ! other then that cell phone, ssb, e-mail same as others our retierment cks go to bank and credit/Debit cards do the rest !along with a tad of cash ! thats all we need !!
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Old 19-03-2012, 12:43   #5
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Re: Mail Forwarding

You might have problems with residency issues, for example:
If you have mail sent to NY but live in PA, NY will find out you filled out the fed taxes with NY address and will send you a notice to pay NY tax.
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Old 19-03-2012, 13:03   #6
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Re: Mail Forwarding

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Originally Posted by teejayevans View Post
You might have problems with residency issues, for example:
If you have mail sent to NY but live in PA, NY will find out you filled out the fed taxes with NY address and will send you a notice to pay NY tax.
teejay...That's what I am thinking. I'm sure I could justify my residence, but you never know how many phone calls it would take to do it.
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Old 20-03-2012, 12:53   #7
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Re: Mail Forwarding

You can use a mail service such as St. Brendans Isle without claiming it as your residence. I can't see any complication with maintaining your NC residence and using an out of state mailing service. I'm sure SBI can advise you of the conditions that they use to establish or not to establish their service as your residence.
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Old 20-03-2012, 13:53   #8
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Re: Mail Forwarding

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teejay...That's what I am thinking. I'm sure I could justify my residence, but you never know how many phone calls it would take to do it.
Since I just ran into this problem, it looks like I just have to fill out a form...but will that be the end of it, who knows?
Tom
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Old 20-03-2012, 14:36   #9
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Re: Mail Forwarding

This was covered a while ago and the issue of jury summons came up. Seems some states won't take NO for an answer.
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Old 20-03-2012, 15:35   #10
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Re: Mail Forwarding

Pamlico, most states, most agencies, allow for having a "mailing address" as opposed to a "permanent" or "residency" address. The USPS is grossly unreliable about forwarding mail unless you pay something like $5/week to have it forwarded once a week by priority mail.

Janet, on the subject of jury duty, Florida has been notoriously lax, ergh, generous, about ignoring jury duty but apparently that's changing, both Broward and Palm beach county have announced they're going after folks now and they'll expect a timely response and a Damned Good Reason before they'll consider excusing residents from jury duty now. SBI is not in those counties, but once a trend starts in a state...
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Old 20-03-2012, 15:46   #11
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Re: Mail Forwarding

Lots of people who aren't boaters get mail in more than one state. Think of people who own summer homes, etc. However, some states, especially those with income taxes (which Florida does not have), scrutinize these addresses more carefully to see if you might possibly be working in the state and not paying tax on the income earned there. Having said all that, it is simpler when dealing with officialdumb to have everything go to one legitimate looking address that isn't a PO Box or other obvious mail service. For some things, like a driver's license, most states won't take anything but a street address verified through the Postal Service. However, apparently SBI says that these things can be done through them if you wish to move your license to Green Cove Springs, FL. If you don't intend to move your legal domicile to Florida I think it is simpler and cheaper to just keep your current address. I find that I can whittle down the important things that come via mail to a very few as most bills, etc. can be sent via email. The ones I couldn't get rid of were my life insurance bill (they only mail and only accept checks), my driver's licenses (renew every 8 years), my income tax address (but you can file and receive refunds electronically), my CG documentation, my FCC radio station license, and a couple of others. Something arrives periodically in the mail that is a surprise, so it is good to have someone there who can take care of something important.

By the way, it is usually so expensive and so slow to get mail in many places cruisers go, like much of the Caribbean, it just isn't worth it unless someone is flying in to see you and can carry the mail. I find it is just about critical that someone "back home" can take care of an important bill for you, etc. It is generally pretty easy and cheap to call from almost everywhere, so it is fairly easy to give instructions to your home base person. If you're staying within the USA it is entirely possible to do it all yourself and get mail forwarded at reasonable intervals.
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Old 20-03-2012, 15:49   #12
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Another plug for SBI
Great people and service to sailors, merchant mariners, traveling nurses, etc

They can help with every issue mentioned

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Old 20-03-2012, 15:57   #13
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Re: Mail Forwarding

We use SBI, but we also residents of Florida for now. I use SBI as my mailing address for our registrations including our driver licenses. Our boat document number is our physical address on our driver licenses (new thing in Florida since they now require a physical address).
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Old 24-03-2012, 09:03   #14
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Re: Mail Forwarding

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Originally Posted by ReMetau View Post
We use SBI, but we also residents of Florida for now. I use SBI as my mailing address for our registrations including our driver licenses. Our boat document number is our physical address on our driver licenses (new thing in Florida since they now require a physical address).

ReMetau, this is a little off subject, but could you please explain to me via PM how you convinced DMV in Florida to accept you Doc# as your physical address? I can't even convince them to take my cable bill!! And I am a Native Floridian!! Never licensed in any other state!! Thanks for your help & Advice!!
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Old 24-03-2012, 09:26   #15
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Re: Mail Forwarding

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ReMetau, this is a little off subject, but could you please explain to me via PM how you convinced DMV in Florida to accept you Doc# as your physical address?
Even if you could convince some DMV person to do so, don't. It will inevitably lead to hassles somewhere down the road at some border crossing or in dealing with some official. I have found the best policy is to make all your papers match addresses and have whatever it is look totally normal, just like any landlubbers. You don't want anything on your papers or ID that makes you stand out from the crowd, because that is what they will focus on. For years my wife had a driver's license that said just "Newport Harbor" as her address and she was continually getting grief about it anytime she needed to show her driver's license for something like renting a car--people just didn't believe it was a legitimate license seeing that address. Besides, I'm pretty sure that Homeland Security rules now say it must be a legitimate street address on there.
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