For an expat, having a commercial mail receiving agency (CMRA) when you move out of the country is kind of like the Robin to your Batman. They are perfect in every way, except there’s one little nagging issue. It is super easy, but not breezy to set up an account.
It would be way too simple to just sign up and boom! your mail will now be forwarded to your new home. But it isn’t. We don’t often think mail is as precious as it really is. In this day and age, it is kind of nice to have to jump through hoops just to verify you are who you say you are. Identity theft is on the rise and crooks are becoming more and more efficient. The easiest way to obtain someone’s identity is through their discarded mail. Your name and address are right there on the front, if opening the right piece of mail, your phone number, bank statements, credit card info, IRS info, etc. all in the hands of a true con artiste! That’s a very scary thought!
This is the exact reason why CMRA’s need more than one type of identification, as well as a signed and notarized form 1583 (which we found full instructions from US Global Mail, thank you guys!) that is required by USPS, just to be able to accept your mail.
First off, without the 1583, USPS will not even allow a CMRA to release the mail to you…USPS doesn’t know who you are and why you want to have John Doe’s mail sent to a hub and then forwarded to you? Which makes sense.
Secondly, they require one type of valid photo identification and another form of id, photo not necessary. Last but not least, a verified credit card is needed to finally complete account set up. This is strictly to deter identity thieves, it is easy to obtain one form of id for a person, two is a little trickier, and three is almost impossible.
Though tedious, the verification process of CMRA’s is definitely necessary. It helps to protect the customer as well as the liability of the company. If you’re moving across country, dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s is essential!