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Receiving mail under a pseudonym

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Balog, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. Balog


    Mar 19, 2009
    Mukilteo, WA
    First, let me clarify that I'm referring to the United States postal service.
    Second, I'm dealing with a third party mailbox store (UPS) that rents PO boxes.

    Basically, I want to receive mail under an assumed name. Why? I do a lot of business on forums, and (at least in some cases) would prefer to keep my actual name out of the discussion. Nothing illegal or nefarious, just a private person. I'm being told that there is no possible way to legally receive mail addressed to a pseudonym.

    Is there any way to legally do this? Anyone know of any precedent in this matter?
  2. Sollie7


    Mar 13, 2011
    Woodstock, Ga
    People can send you stuff with any name and it will still get to you as long as the address is right. It can even be something ridiculous and theyll still deliver it
  3. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    You can receive mail addressed to any name imaginable, as long as the address itself is legitimate. People do it all the time. I've sent and received mail with all kinds of goofy names and pseudo-business names over many years, and never had a problem.
  4. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Rent a PO box, and have people send you whatever addressed to P.A.Pennysworth at PO Box...
  5. john grey

    john grey

    Apr 19, 2011
    Oracle, Arizona
    To the best of my knowledge the USPS delivers mail to an address (PO or not),not to a primary individual. A family may have many members, some with unique names or whatever. I know of no law that demands proof of identity to the mail sender UNLESS in Civil Action or a Penal code violation occur and the investigative process demands a discovery motion of who is behind that address (or PO Box).

    Attempting to "hide" identity behind a pseudonym is actually difficult if a variety of circumstances come into play.
    Insurance investigation, HAZMAT or DOT violations, fraud investigation, and /or Civil action (this could include defamation, if the opposing party has paid out for a lawyer & they want to know "source"). There are even more but I don't want to make a big deal out of it.......you get the idea.
  6. Balog


    Mar 19, 2009
    Mukilteo, WA
    As have I, the difficulty is that the PO Box store receives the mail but will refuse it unless addressed to the box holder.
  7. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    To avoid any potential legal problems, obtain the PO box under your actual name, then list your pseudonym(s) as authorized to also receive mail at that box.

    I've never tried to get a PO box at an off site place like the UPS store or anything, but since 9/11 you can't get one (PO box) at an official PO without 2 forms of ID and a street address so it may be a moot point either way as to who's name you can obtain a PO box under.

    I have a PO box I've had for over 25 years and after 9/11 I had to produce the proper 2 forms of ID and reconfirm my street address in order to keep it.
  8. Balog


    Mar 19, 2009
    Mukilteo, WA
    Right, that's form 1583, I filled one out myself. What they're saying is that they need a form for every name that receives mail there, and each form needs two kinds of ID. No place to list alternate names on that form.
  9. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Weird. Must be new anti-terrorism stuff, I've never seen that before. Used to be, any name you wanted to use was fine, and if you really wanted to be sure of delivery the PO Box place would put a little note in the back door of the box saying which names were being used.
  10. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Look up the regulations for Assumed Names, or DBA (doing business as) in your state.
  11. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Don't use a PO box store. Use your post office.
  12. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    I do it all the time.
  13. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Post Office, rent box under your name, add pseudonym as authorized to receive mail at that address. Done it, works. Of course you would not do this if you know something blatantly suspicious might be sent there. Like a Baggie of white powder or Heisenberg crystal blue street product. :)
  14. That's crazy....I live in a rural area that has a small post office - you HAVE to have a PO box if want to get mail out here. I didn't show anything...just gave him a couple of bucks and signed a form; here's your key. I guess the dude did watch me move in though...
  15. Jinro


    Oct 9, 2011
    West TN
    If it's just your name you're worried about, what about using your actual address but a fake name? Without registering the name or anything, of course. Magazines don't even list names yet they get mailed out without problems. And I've been getting mail addressed to random people I've never even heard of, but the address is mine. If mail is getting to the address but under a different name, the PO isn't really going to care. They probably don't even know who lives there, all they care about is the number, street name, and zip code.
  16. CapnSev


    Aug 19, 2006
    Coeur d'Alene
    Ordering some pr0n huh?
  17. I got a mailout from one of the local mom and pop music stores awhile back.

    Addressed to "Hoss Menua".
  18. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Odd, wifey kept her maiden name when we married and when I had to show two Id's to get the box renewed the lady at the PO counter told me to make sure to list (in the spaces provided on the form) anyone with a different name who would be receiving mail in that PO box. I listed her (wifey) on the form as also receiving mail at my PO box and have had no problem with that happening.

    Maybe renewing a PO box requires a different form than obtaining one for the first time?

    Either way I wouldn't be too concerned about it. I still get the occasional piece of mail addressed to my brother, who lived with us for a while when he first came back to this part of the world...about 14 years ago.

    Maybe do a test mailing to the PO box with your home address as the return address and see what happens?
  19. Balog


    Mar 19, 2009
    Mukilteo, WA
    The issue came up because I signed up for that free year of Bass Player magazine as John Balog instead of my real name. The petty bureaucrat douchebag who runs the place has been refusing them (or getting them and then chucking em, not sure).

    In the past, people I know from forums have sent me stuff addressed to my forum handle, and I'd hate to not get delivery of something.
  20. Jhengsman


    Oct 17, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    This is where the US and public service bit comes into postal service's operations. Commericial Mail Receiving Agencies (CMRAs) like Mail Box Etc, and its successor the UPS Store must maintain on file who they are renting their mailbox to in a case a Postal Inspector needs to trace it. They don't want to get caught without it or the service will stop delivering mail to them and that part of the business is gone. They have a great incentive to only accept mail to the name that State ID card they took a copy of states. Also the address must be in a form that you can not con people that into believing you are in an office building and a suite.

    So you might fill out a change of address card saying you are in 121 Main ST. Suite 204 but the postman responsible for 121 Main will change it to PMB (Private Mailbox) 204

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