‘Poste restante’ is a service
provided by postal systems where the post office holds mail (that has a notation written on it) until the recipient calls for it.
In general, this notation contains the word 'POSTE RESTANTE', the full name of the recipient (as on the identification presented to verify the identity; and with the surname listed first for ease of sorting), and the name of the destination
post office. As a courtesy to the postmaster, an expected date of pick-up is also indicated. Each postal system has its own regulation on how to handle the service
, including the length they hold the mail before discarding.
In the United States, the United States Postal Service uses the term general delivery
, and reserves the term poste restante for international mail sent to general delivery
Many Post Offices will reliably hold mail marked "poste restante" for at least a month - longer if the sender indicates a different period. There may be a fee for parcels held longer than one month.
See ➥ Shipping Packages & Mail