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Old 26-02-2014, 15:09   #1
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Mail forwarding, residency

Hi All,

My wife and I are retiring May 1 and heading from our home state of Alaska to our 36 ft Columbia currently in Portland, Or. The descision came on us suddenly so we find ouselves behind the curve on some preparations.

As of now we're planning to launch for Mexico on the sailing season summer of 2015. And then where the wind blows.

Can anyone give us some direction on the in's and out's of mail forwarding and retaining residency in your home state at the same time. So far we're having trouble finding a service in AK to handle our needs. Thanks.

Mark and Mary Johnson
S/V Gifty
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Old 26-02-2014, 15:41   #2
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Re: Mail forwarding, residency

There are many threads on this. Most use a forwarder in Florida. Some use a friend or relative.
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Old 26-02-2014, 16:59   #3
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Re: Mail forwarding, residency

Quote:
Originally Posted by sail207 View Post
Hi All,

My wife and I are retiring May 1 and heading from our home state of Alaska to our 36 ft Columbia currently in Portland, Or. The descision came on us suddenly so we find ouselves behind the curve on some preparations.

As of now we're planning to launch for Mexico on the sailing season summer of 2015. And then where the wind blows.

Can anyone give us some direction on the in's and out's of mail forwarding and retaining residency in your home state at the same time. So far we're having trouble finding a service in AK to handle our needs. Thanks.

Mark and Mary Johnson
S/V Gifty
If you're retaining a physical residency of some sort in your home state then it's easy to use any mail forwarding service. However, if you no longer have a residency but want to retain it as your home state then you probably need a service in that state. Each state is different in that regard. I just googled, "Mail forwarder Alaska" and found several listings starting with mailcache and alohaforwarding and also found changinggears has a listing of services.

St. Brendan's Isle in Florida is very popular because you can become a Florida resident by just working through them. Also, they're well set up for forwarding.

Most forwarding for boaters is becoming 95% computer and very little actual forwarding. This is different than traditional where they just collected and sent it. These services like St. Brendan's scan envelopes and will open and scan contents if you request. So very few items actually have to be mailed to you or at the least they can be held and mailed in fewer shipments. You might visit their site just to get an idea of services available.
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Old 26-02-2014, 17:24   #4
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Re: Mail forwarding, residency

We use St. Brendan's Isle in Florida and they are fantastic! 18 months now and not one error. Can't say that for the US Postal Service. As a matter of fact when we hang up the cruising life, St. Brendan's will still be our service. It's just too darn convenient to use their service.
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Old 26-02-2014, 18:10   #5
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Re: Mail forwarding, residency

We live aboard and use Pushing The Envelope on Hayden Island.
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Old 26-02-2014, 19:47   #6
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Re: Mail forwarding, residency

Another vote for SBI... Long time very happy client... These guys rock.
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Old 27-02-2014, 07:00   #7
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Re: Mail forwarding, residency

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Mark and Mary.
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Old 18-03-2014, 12:11   #8
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Re: Mail forwarding, residency

I'm about to drop MyUS after numerous problems. I've used them for a couple years, and they were pretty good until lately. Now, there seems to be an issue with every shipment they make.

I contacted SBI and would have been happy to sign up with them, but then they hit me with some requirement for me to send them notarized copies of photo id etc. This is supposedly some new US govt. requirement for mail forwarding.

The thing is, I don't even want mail forwarding. We haven't used the US mail for anything for about 8 years. Since we found out that the US Postal Service doesn't have a clue where the Turks and Islands is. They send our stuff to Frankfurt, on it's way to TURKey, and some of it has gone to Iceland. Most of it disappears.

Do you know of any courier forwarding type services that don't deal with the US Mail?
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Old 18-03-2014, 12:42   #9
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Re: Mail forwarding, residency

I know my PO box at the UPS store in Anchorage will forward for me. I don't know the costs. It is a normal street address though. Good luck.
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Old 18-03-2014, 12:45   #10
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Re: Mail forwarding, residency

FedEx and UPS ship to almost anywhere on earth; can be very pricey. When shipping...experience taught me to include the following... Let's say to Tortola, BVI...I'd write, in addition to the actual address, Tortola - British Virgin Islands, CARIBBEAN SEA. Another example, I'd add...Rangiroa Atoll (Tahiti), Polynesie Francaise/French Polynesia, PACIFIQUE du SUD/SOUTH PACIFIC.

Since adding the ocean's/sea's name to the address, I never had a package misdirected. Good luck!

Mauritz
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Old 18-03-2014, 12:56   #11
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Re: Mail forwarding, residency

St Brendans Isle will forward your mail via courier service if you ask for it. You'll pay the price, of course.
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Old 18-03-2014, 13:36   #12
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Re: Mail forwarding, residency

No no no. I don't want mail forwarding at all. Useless to me. Nobody sends us mail anymore at our insistance. Doesn't work here from the US. Most of it disappears. We do get a few christmas cards in May. But a package with something good in it? forget it. I won't even try any more. I tried for five years. Doesn't matter what I put on the envelope. I could draw a map on it, and the USPS will still send it to Europe, where it gets lost. Or so I assume, from the pieces we have eventually received and the stamps on the wrapper. A friend in New Zealand sent me a CD, which never arrived. He sent another one six months later. It did arrive, in perfect shape, and it only took five months. Forget that.

I am trying to find a company that specializes in forwarding courier packages. If I have stuff shipped to them, they then will consolidate and reship via Fed Ex or UPS. I can combine several shipments into one and it saves a lot of money. Five 1 lb. packages are a LOT more to ship that one 5 lb. package. Only one clearance fee here, too. Fed Ex charges $ 25 per shipment in addition to the customs duties.

And yes, Fed Ex and UPS will deliver all over the world. That's not the problem. The problem is that many vendors in the US are clueless and won't even try to ship internationally. So I need the US shipping address. I do NOT need a US mail address.
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Old 18-03-2014, 13:57   #13
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Re: Mail forwarding, residency

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canibul View Post

I contacted SBI and would have been happy to sign up with them, but then they hit me with some requirement for me to send them notarized copies of photo id etc. This is supposedly some new US govt. requirement for mail forwarding.


Do you know of any courier forwarding type services that don't deal with the US Mail?
I founded (and later sold) Voyager's Service in the Florida Keys; I got out of the business some years ago (SBI was my main competitor and both of us were fairly small at the time). So I know a little bit about this.

I am sure SBI will send you what you want however you want to get it. When I was doing this, I rarely used US Mail for cruisers overseas. I know SBI does all sorts of cool stuff with scanning mail and email, etc. that was not an option back in the mid 1990s.

I believe the requirements for identification are requirements the US Postal Service has for private mail handlers like SBI (and the UPS Store, or any other place that has private mailboxes for rent). The mail handling company has to register with the PO in order to do business. They are not required to send your mail to you using the Post Office.

It's a pain, but on the other hand…I used to advise my customers to give me a copy (not notarized in those days) of the main page of their passports, and their drivers licenses and their medical cards. Some people just emptied out their wallets on a copy machine and gave me the copies. You never know when your ids will be lost or stolen, and it is very convenient to call up your mail forwarder and get them to help you. Also great to be able to have the passport faxed to the consulate where you are applying for a duplicate.

This advice about copies of ID is applicable for whomever does your mail, be it your sister or a mail forwarding company. Make sure someone has copies and can get them to you when needed.
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Old 18-03-2014, 14:02   #14
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Re: Mail forwarding, residency

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
No no no. I don't want mail forwarding at all. Useless to me. Nobody sends us mail anymore at our insistance. Doesn't work here from the US. Most of it disappears. We do get a few christmas cards in May. But a package with something good in it? forget it. I won't even try any more. I tried for five years. Doesn't matter what I put on the envelope. I could draw a map on it, and the USPS will still send it to Europe, where it gets lost. Or so I assume, from the pieces we have eventually received and the stamps on the wrapper. A friend in New Zealand sent me a CD, which never arrived. He sent another one six months later. It did arrive, in perfect shape, and it only took five months. Forget that.

I am trying to find a company that specializes in forwarding courier packages. If I have stuff shipped to them, they then will consolidate and reship via Fed Ex or UPS. I can combine several shipments into one and it saves a lot of money. Five 1 lb. packages are a LOT more to ship that one 5 lb. package. Only one clearance fee here, too. Fed Ex charges $ 25 per shipment in addition to the customs duties.

And yes, Fed Ex and UPS will deliver all over the world. That's not the problem. The problem is that many vendors in the US are clueless and won't even try to ship internationally. So I need the US shipping address. I do NOT need a US mail address.
Did the OP get his answer before this thread was hijacked?
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Old 18-03-2014, 14:09   #15
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Re: Mail forwarding, residency

What, you think a half dozen votes for St. Brendan's Isle is not sufficient?

Okay, I'll add mine. I visited SBI a half dozen times while buying this boat in Jacksonville. They were great to deal with. Very competent and nice people.

Happy, Mom?
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