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Using a Mail Handling Service/PMB to establish residency and Patriot Act complications


anothernewbie

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I would like to use a PMB as my sole address for both residency and mailing purposes. However, due to the Patriot Act, many banks, credit card companies, etc do not accept a PMB/mail handling service as proof of residential address. Has anybody here run into this issue and found a way to work around these sorts of issues while using a PMB as their sole address?


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we also use Escapees and have had no issues with the Patriot Act although I think some people have had some problems.

 

Do not use the term PMB#

 

which pegs your address as a mailbox.

 

I use the # sign, as if it is an apartment number.

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We used St Brendan's Isle in Green Cove Springs, Florida. In fact they had ALL the necessary forms on their web site to change your domicile to Florida. Unlike many here, you DO NOT need to use Escapees address, or domicile in Texas to have the tax advantages that can be found in certain states. Establishing a domicile in Florida is quite easy as we discovered in Jan. 2014.

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I would like to use a PMB as my sole address for both residency and mailing purposes.

Welcome to the Escapee forums! Are we correct in assuming that you are an RVer who is looking for an address service to live on the road full-time? We can offer you a great deal of help if that is the case and Escapees RV Club offers one of the best mail service operations for such folks. They offer a domicile address in either Texas or Florida and may have the services working for South Dakota by now as well. If you were to share a little bit more information about yourself, we could probably give you more and better information.

 

. In fact, it was tested in the courts by the Escapees organization.

Actually, the testing through the courts was not exactly done by Escapees but rather via a series of suits by political entities who were attempting to prevent those of us using the Escapee address service from voting. Having begun to use the mail service just as all of that was taking place, I remember it very well and followed the outcome closely. The result was that the people who brought the suit appealed over and over, all of the way to the TX supreme court where the legality of our addresses were once more upheld. Those same people attempted a federal suit but it was refused as outside of the jurisdiction of the federal courts. The Escapee part in all of this was defending against the suit and the raising of the money to pay attorney fees associated with that suit. At the time there was a special defense fund for that purpose which members were asked to donate to but the fund no longer exists.

 

Since that time the TX legislature has also passed changes in the laws to specifically legalize the use of the the Escapee address and any other service address of similar structure for all legal purposes in the state of Texas. There have been occasions when some financial institution has refused to accept the address but when it has happened, if the Escapee office is made aware of it they then act to correct the problem with the business involved and have successfully done so numerous times.

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That section of the Patriot Act which requires banks to verify the identification & physical address of new customers, also includes an exception for those who have no physical address, you are allowed to provide the physical address of a close friend or relative to comply, (the account would still be under your name & your mailing address; the friends address is only used for CIP verification)

Also, the customer identification program (CIP) only applies to new accounts. So if you already have a long standing relationship with a bank, this requirement does not apply and there is no need to change banks just because you're going fulltime. Although a few institutions are expanding this requirement on their own, to include existing accounts.

 

 

 

 

I would like to use a PMB as my sole address for both residency and mailing purposes. However, due to the Patriot Act, many banks, credit card companies, etc do not accept a PMB/mail handling service as proof of residential address. Has anybody here run into this issue and found a way to work around these sorts of issues while using a PMB as their sole address?

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Many post offices allow the use of their physical address with a # after with a PO Box number. They do say that this is not allowed for the purpose of establishing a physical residency.

 

I really get almost no physical mail anymore so to use a mail forwarding service is costly and not offered in some states that I would like residency. I am guessing things will change in future since we now have computer based mail boxes.

 

I am testing my health insurance issues (not Medicare age) with only having a PO Box in Yellowstone and no physical address. We will see what happens. The marketplace took General Delivery on the web site (since you have to be in person to rent a PO Box and I am not there yet) and discussions with marketplace staff want to make this work since my job is in a federal park. The insurance company said they have to abide by whatever the marketplace allows.

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Unlike many here, you DO NOT need to use Escapees address, or domicile in Texas to have the tax advantages that can be found in certain states. Establishing a domicile in Florida is quite easy as we discovered in Jan. 2014.

 

I agree. Despite this being an Escapee's forum, there is no reason to imply that the use of Escapees mail service in TX provides any special benefits that can't be provided by other well established mail services in SD, FL and elsewhere.

 

It is naive to think that the Escapees TX address doesn't show up as a PMB on the address databases used by most financial institutions. Our SD address is a "real" street address just like Escapees provides, but we get plenty of mail addressed to us with the PMB notation. But that notwithstanding we have only had one financial entity question us about it and they were quite willing to accept an "alternative" residential address (our daughter's ) without causing us to change the mailing address for the credit account in question.

 

Using our PMB address we have drivers licenses, voter registration, a nursing license, and multiple credit cards.

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I really get almost no physical mail anymore so to use a mail forwarding service is costly and not offered in some states that I would like residency. I am guessing things will change in future since we now have computer based mail boxes.

While that may be very true, I wonder how you propose to register your RV, insure it, hold a driver's license, file federal tax return, file for or receive Social Security, and a host of other legal issues which require you to have a physical address? Those factors are the greatest reason that so many people choose to domicile in TX, SD, or FL.

 

I agree. Despite this being an Escapee's forum, there is no reason to imply that the use of Escapees mail service in TX provides any special benefits that can't be provided by other well established mail services in SD, FL and elsewhere.

I just read the entire thread and can't figure out what has you so upset! Not one post says that Escapees is the only legal address and even they offer both TX and FL as a domicile address and SD is in the process... Quite a few of us here do support the Escapee's mail services and we believe their service to be as good as you can get, but not one person has said that there are no other good ones. You are actually proof that not all members of Escapees choose to use their mail services and you are never penalized in any way for not using that service. In addition, the question of the first post was not about choosing a service but rather about problems from financial institutions having problem with the use of a PMB as your legal address. My TX driver's license has had PMB- 0000 on it with out any problems. And Escapees does get involved with the financial institution's acceptance of their address, and has done so successfully in several instances already. If your service has legal & lobbying activities, share that with folks as many may not be aware of it.

 

I would like to use a PMB as my sole address for both residency and mailing purposes. However, due to the Patriot Act, many banks, credit card companies, etc do not accept a PMB/mail handling service as proof of residential address. Has anybody here run into this issue and found a way to work around these sorts of issues while using a PMB as their sole address?

To get back to your question, have you received anything that was helpful up to now, or could you clarify your question just a bit more?

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We established our residency in South Dakota with no issues concerning the Patriot act or anything else. License, voter registration, insurance- heath, tow vehicle, and rv, banking- we changed to a bank in Sioux Falls that has better service than BOA or Wells Fargo.

We use Dakota Post (formerly Alternative Resources) in Sioux Falls. There are several other companies that work with fulltimers in South Dakota as well. As far as the PMB #, if I'm filling out an application or whatever, in the address line there is usually an apartment or suite number blank or box. I just put our mailbox number in that spot and haven't had any issue yet.

I also have WellMark health insurance in South Dakota, but I didn't qualify for any subsidies which I am told makes a difference in being accepted or not.

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I also have WellMark health insurance in South Dakota, but I didn't qualify for any subsidies which I am told makes a difference in being accepted or not.

 

Be careful of Wellmark. We were applying for a Medigap policy, no subsidy involved, and were rejected because of our PMB address.

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I just read the entire thread and can't figure out what has you so upset!

 

I surely wasn't upset; all I was doing was echoing Medico's statement that the Escapees mail service doesn't provide any special benefits not available through other mail services. Methinks you are awfully sensitive on the subject.

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Believe me, I'm on my tiptoes with them. They pay my scripts and doctor bills, and I don't complain about what they don't.

 

The good news for us was that our broker assured us that no other carrier would have that problem and they were correct.

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The only issue I have had was with our investments. They said because of the patriot act that that address could not be used. My domicile is in SD. My banks, credit cards, pension and health care is not an issue. Any advice would be great.

 

As was previously mentioned by Jim2 the Patriot Act has a provision which permits people to use an address of a relative, etc. This provision is just as applicable to financial institutions as it is to banks or credit card companies. The challenge is finding someone to speak to who is high enough on the chain of command to be capable of doing something other than read a script.

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As was previously mentioned by Jim2 the Patriot Act has a provision which permits people to use an address of a relative, etc. This provision is just as applicable to financial institutions as it is to banks or credit card companies. The challenge is finding someone to speak to who is high enough on the chain of command to be capable of doing something other than read a script.

I am using my Mothers address for them now. The issue with that is that I will be paying MD taxes on mandatory withdraws and Capitol gains. I mean I am not trying to cheat the system as I just started full timing and SD is my legal domicile. Fricken Uncle Sam.

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. I mean I am not trying to cheat the system as I just started full timing and SD is my legal domicile. Fricken Uncle Sam.

It really isn't Uncle Sam's fault as this is a "state's rights" issue since address requirements are left to the individual states. But as Joel has pointed out, no matter where your address really is the Patriot act is only an issue because your investment firm doesn't want to bother to deal with the exceptions to the general rule. I guess it depends upon how much the MD tax runs and the importance of getting clear of it to you. You might want to visit with an agent for your investment firm and tell them that if they can't help you, you can always move to a different firm who will do so.

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I am using my Mothers address for them now. The issue with that is that I will be paying MD taxes on mandatory withdraws and Capitol gains. I mean I am not trying to cheat the system as I just started full timing and SD is my legal domicile. Fricken Uncle Sam.

 

The use of an address for Patriot Act purposes doesn't have to affect the mailing address for the account or your residency. You should have the right to request that the financial institution not take any taxes out of your transactions. Nothing requires you to pay MD taxes if you're an SD resident. Even with respect to the credit account for which my wife had to use our daughter's address, the representative of the company she was dealing with told her "this doesn't change the mailing address of the account or anything else; it is simply an address on file for Patriot Act purposes."

 

The bottom line is that if you're an SD resident nothing can change that fact. You can have mailing addresses anywhere you want, but you only have one domicile. Having a financial statement mailed to a state is not the same as earning income in that state. Talk to your tax advisor.

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As a new member to this forum, I am elated to receive so many great answers. I read a few comments I believe from Kirk and some others asking for more specifics of my situation.


It's a long convoluted story, but the present situation is that I do currently have both a real physical residential address and a PMB. However, I am attempting to transition to a 100% nomadic lifestyle; this would involve getting rid of my residence and exclusively using my PMB. My main concern related to this are access to financial institutions (investment accounts, banks, and credit cards) and health insurance.


The conclusion I've come to so far from what I've read here and across the internet, is that I could probably succeed at using a PMB as my sole address; however, I will be limited in the types of financial institutions, health insurance, etc. that I have access to. I also surmise that I can increase my chances of success by persisting up the call center food chain at these various organizations.


The other alternative is to use the address of a generous kind-hearted friend, but that comes with its own set of issues, and I would prefer to be in control of my own destiny.


The decision making factors are more clear to me now. Thanks again everyone for the informative responses.

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There may be some small differences from state to state, but in general the issue should be pretty much the same in terms of the impact of the "Patriot Act" issues. I assume from what you have said that you are presently a resident of MD and have established a mail forwarding address with one of the companies in SD? I think that you may find it helpful to read this article which was published in Escapees Magazine about domicile and is presently posted on my website. Although it was published two years ago, very little of this has changed in the time since.

 

As far as moving your banking to the location of your chosen mail service or changing your address with the current bank, there have been some problems reported with this action, but most of those have not been recently so I'd suggest that if you have not done so, visit your present bank if you plan to stay with them and discuss the address change with them. If you plan to move your banking activity to a bank in SD, then choose a bank there and contact them about what needs to be done. I know that other RV folks have moved their banking to the communities around the mail service companies and few if any have run into any problems doing so.

 

I can't recall having heard of anyone reporting any difficulties with a change in address from a credit card company in the past year of so. I'd suggest that you simply do an address change with each of them and see what happens. If you have the mail service address now, do so ASAP so that you will have time to deal with this, should there be a problem, but I'd doubt that there will be any.Investment firms have seemed to be more of a problem with the PMB address issue than have most other institutions, but that is becoming less common so my suggestion is to make the move and do not anticipate a problem unless it actually happens. Those difficulties have become far less common and you may not run into any of them.

 

Health insurance is a very different situation and that same thing is true for vehicle insurance. Insurance is written by the the companies based upon the statistical data for the particular location of the address. In addition, each state has it's own laws regulating insurance companies and they require an agent to hold a license in that state so most agents in one state can not sell insurance in another state, with exception of a few agencies that are licensed in multiple states. The multi-state license is fairly common for vehicles but much less so for health coverage. If you are not of Medicare age you will have to change health insurance coveraage and probably need a different Medicare supplemental policy if covered by Medicare. There have been many reports of difficulty finding good health insurance coverage in SD recently so it would be wise to get started looking at that issue well before you make the actual move. There have been several reports on these forums of RVers moving domicile from SD because of the poor selection of health insurance coverages since the advent of the "Affordable Care Act" was instituted. Because I do not domicile in SD, I am only able to report what I read in the health care issue but suggest that you need to check that out early.

 

In general, most of us who have gone fulltime before you have found that it pays to get the address at least 3 months before we sell the house and start making the moves to the new address at that time, just to allow time do deal with any difficulties you run into. Many, many people have done the things that you are now anticipating and most have few if any problems. I think that being aware of the possible issues is a good thing but do not attempt to deal with problems until they actually exist. There are solutions for any problem you run into, even if it means choosing a different mail service or even a different state of domicile. Even though there are problems unique to the full-time RV lifestyle, there are also advantages in that we can so easily move to a new address or even to a different state. The key is to start early and allow enough time to deal with whatever does arise.

 

Good luck! and do keep us all posted as we really do care. :D

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The conclusion I've come to so far from what I've read here and across the internet, is that I could probably succeed at using a PMB as my sole address; however, I will be limited in the types of financial institutions, health insurance, etc. that I have access to. I also surmise that I can increase my chances of success by persisting up the call center food chain at these various organizations.

 

I'm concerned that you seem to have come away with the impression that going full-time and using a PMB is fraught with issues. That's often the take that newcomers get from reading discussion forums because most of what is posted are problems. If you read RV forums long enough you can also convince yourself that all RVs are trouble-prone pieces of junk and going full-time isn't worth the effort.

 

As a couple who are going on 5 years of full-timing, all I can say is that the problems aren't nearly as bad as they seem. Yes, South Dakota has a particular issue with health insurance for those too young to go on Medicare but for those of us who are on Medicare it isn't a problem. Yes, we had one Medigap insurer turn us down because of our PMB but our #2 choice was quite happy to take us. We've had exactly one financial entity ask us for a "Patriot Act" address and they were quite content with the one we provided. We bank with one of the country's largest banks and have investment accounts with them also.

 

For every post you have read describing a problem there are probably dozens of people who didn't post because they haven't had any concerns. Don't let the trees get in the way of seeing the forest.

 

Joel

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With my service at St. Brendan's Isle they actually provide a physical address that conforms to all federal regulations. Using that physical address we were able to establish domicile including registration of vehicles, registering to vote, driver's license, etc. I also used that address with my investment bank and all credit cards.

 

I believe the bottom line is, does the mail service provide a physical address with their service? If so they should be able to meet all requirements the federal and state governments should need.

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