How Do You Get Mail To A Tiny House? (Personal Experience)

Honestly, when I first started considering a tiny house life, I haven’t thought about receiving mail. It wasn’t an important action in my life. When I was coming back to my home in the evening, I used to check the mailbox automatically. But my brain hasn’t registered that action as an important one.

Just a couple of days before my move to my first tiny house, I have asked that question to myself: “How am I going to receive my mail when I am living in my tiny house?”. And I started my research.

First of all; you can live without an address if you’re okay living off the grid or hooking up via a main house on the property. You will just need a formal address for official reasons (to do your taxes and get a driver’s license, etc.). As long as you can provide such a formal address (your family address would work if there is one), you will not need to work on your address solution.

If you insist on getting mail to your tiny house; here is the list of possible options that you have (at the end of this page, I have prepared a summary table with all the options and their summary characteristics):

  1. Just install a mailbox in front of your tiny house (there’s a slight chance that this may work)
  2. Officially request an address
  3. Rent a USPS PO box
  4. Use ‘USPS General Delivery’ function
  5. Rent a UPS Mailbox
  6. Use friend, family, landlord mail address
  7. Use a mail forwarding service
  8. Using Amazon lockers
  9. Using the ‘ship to store’ option for online purchases

They may work or may not work depending on your particular situation.

Tiny House On Wheels Mail Situation

If you will be traveling most of the time with your tiny house on wheels, the mail receiving problem becomes is a little harder. Since you will be traveling a lot; you won’t be able to rent a PO box or UPS post box.

The receiving mail solution is to work with friends or family members, so they can forward your mails to your temporary address OR work with a mail forwarding service.

If your tiny house on wheels stays in the same location all the time; you could potentially get an address for the plot of land that you reside on. If you own the property where the house resides. Keep in mind that it may draw more attention to your tiny house than you would like.

Make sure that your house is built in accordance with all zoning laws for the area before requesting an address and mailbox for the property.

Can Tiny Houses on Wheels Have an Address?

Tiny houses on wheels do have the option of getting their own address in certain situations.

Check with all zoning laws and local building codes to ensure that your tiny house on wheels is legal in your county and on your property. Otherwise, you might be drawing unwanted attention to yourself.

If you are legally living in your tiny home on your own property, you can request an address for the plot of land where your house is located. You will need to call the county assessor’s office to make your request.

It will be reviewed, and they will get back to you. Keep in mind that not all counties will grant addresses to lots that are deemed to be vacant.

You may have more luck with receiving an address for your vacant land if your tiny house is built there on a permanent foundation. Some areas require a building permit before they are willing to or able to issue a street address.

(If you want to put your tiny house on wheels on a foundation (which will increase the chance of getting an official address), check this article: Can You Put A Tiny House On Wheels (THOW) On A Foundation?Opens in a new tab.)

Tiny House On Foundation Mail Situation

If your tiny house is sitting on a foundation your mail receiving problem is a little easier to resolve. You have more options to pick from. Including make a request for an official address, as long as your tiny house is built to code.

If your tiny house is not built according to code, you can rent a PO box, rent a USPS box or you can use one of your neighbor’s addresses (if s/he lets you).

Even you can try to install a postbox in front of your tiny house. In most cases, the postman wouldn’t care about the official status of your tiny house and just deliver the mail. Why not try?

Can Tiny Houses on Foundation Have an Address?

If you are legally living in your tiny home on your own property, you can request an address for the plot of land where your house is located. You will need to call the county assessor’s office to make your request.

You may have more luck with receiving an address for your vacant land if your tiny house is built there on a permanent foundation. Some areas require a building permit before they are willing to or able to issue a street address. In some cases, the county may not award the tiny house with an address because it is not a permanent structure.

The best is checking with your local building office. They will have the right answer for your case.

Tiny House Mail Receiving Solutions

Just Install A Mailbox

If there’s a house on the plot: you could just try adding a new box. It’s pretty easy to add an additional box to the traditional home and label it with your address number + a letter — 989 B, for example. Usually, the mail delivery worker is so busy, they will not ask questions.

Or if there are houses in neighbor plots, you could try to add a mailbox in front of your tiny house with a logical number. If your neighbors’ numbers are 16 and 24; try to add 20. This may or may not work. There’s no guarantee, and I am not ‘officially’ suggesting this. I know a friend of mine has done it, and it is working for his case (If you try, this is your responsibility and I don’t take any responsibility).


The cheapest postbox that I found on Amazon is $13. Maybe it is not high quality, but up until you prove that the method works, you can buy one of them and try. If the method works, you can buy one of the stronger and bigger models.

Is the Solution Easy to Use and Reliable?

The solution is easy to implement and use, but I cannot guarantee the reliability. If the post office starts bringing your mails, most probably you will not have any problems in the future.

Possible Problems

Since this is not an official solution, and in reality that address is not yours; you may never start receiving your mails.

Or at some point, a USPS investigation may notice that you actually don’t own the address and the delivery may stop.

Request address

Getting an address can be tricky for a tiny house if you’re not building it to code. If the land you’re living on is empty or only has your tiny home on it, you’re most likely not going to be able to get an official address (again, depending on your local municipality’s rules and regulations).


When a home is granted a permit (if you are lucky), it triggers a whole host of actions including utilities, taxes, trash, and the assigning of an address.

In general; this process should take care of getting the address issue by itself. For some cases and for some jurisdictions, you will need to go to the post office and make the request by yourself. If this is the case, you will need to submit your application with your deed and with your personal identification to your USPS postmaster.

I couldn’t find any reference for pricing online and I have called my local USPS office. The application for a new physical address costs $70 dollar in my town.

Is the Solution Easy to Use and Reliable?

The process is not easy; you have to have all the proper documentation and approvals for your tiny house (and your tiny house supposed to be built according to code), and only then you can apply for an official address.

If you can manage to get an official address from USPS, it is one of the most reliable mailing services. You can receive any package, and mail from all over the world; without any problems.

Possible Problems

If your tiny house is not up to code, trust me, you don’t even want to start the process, because it will trigger a lot of inquiries and even city officials stopping by your property, which could lead to them condemning your tiny house.

Once you can an official address, there is no problems afterwards.


If you’re stationary (at least for some time), you have the option of getting a USPS mailbox at that city or town.

You’ll need to bring two forms of acceptable U.S. identification to the USPS office to rent a PO Box. One form of ID must contain a photograph, the other needs to confirm your physical address. You’ll also need to bring Form 1093.

Acceptable Photo IDs:

  • Valid driver’s license or state non-driver’s identification card
  • Armed forces, government, university, or recognized corporate identification card
  • Passport, alien registration card, or certificate of naturalization

Acceptable Non-Photo IDs:

  • Current lease, mortgage, or deed of trust
  • Voter or vehicle registration card

Quick Q/A:
Is PO Box the same as zip code?
PO Box and Zip Code are totally different. ZIP code represents delivery post office/area whereas PO Box is a box at a post office / particular location allotted to a particular person/organization.


The rental cost for a USPS PO Box depends on the size and in which Post Office the box is located at. Some can cost as little as $13 for an extra-small box for three months. You might also see fees as high as $600 for a six-month extra-large box rental in a big city US Postal Offices.


Usually there are 5 different size PO Boxes available in US Post Offices (not all the sizes are available in all USPS locations):

PO Box TypeSizeCapacity
Size 1 – XS3″ x 5.5″ (depth 14.75″)Holds 10-15 letters or 2 rolled magazines.
Size 2 – S5″ x 5.5″ (depth 14.75″)Holds 10-15 letters or 5 rolled magazines.
Size 3 – M5.5″ x 11″ (depth 14.75″)Allows large envelopes and magazines to be stacked flat.
Size 4 – L11″ x 11″ (depth 14.75″)Holds 2 shoeboxes and still has room for 10-15 letters.
Size 5 – XL12″ x 22.5″ (depth 14.75″)Big enough for multiple Flat Rate Boxes and parcels.
USPS PO Box Types

There are additional fees for different services as well (deposit per issues key, key duplication or replacement, lock replacement, late payment etc.)

The detailed cost information can be found on this page: PO Box Rental FeesOpens in a new tab.

Is the Solution Easy to Use and Reliable?

The PO Box solution is reliable, but I cannot say that it is easy to use. If your tiny house location is far from the USPS location, it is an additional hassle to go to PO Box and check email. It is definitely not as easy as checking the mail in front of your house.

Possible Problems

There are a couple small problems for this solution:

  1. Additional cost: The USPS PO Box renting is an additional cost to your monthly expenses. Even though many may not think that $13 – $27 is expensive for 3 months, there are many people out there who think otherwise
  2. Location: You have to physically go to the post office to pick up your mail. This is an additional task to do.
  3. Receiving ONLY USPS packages: Unfortunately, you cannot receive any packages from any other postal services (UPS, FedEx, etc.). This one was a surprise for me when I made my research about the PO Boxes. If you are expecting deliveries from USP or FedEx; you will need to find another solution.
  4. Not Receiving Mail With Signature Requirement: If a mail is required a signature, PO Box is not a good option. You won’t be able to receive that mail.
  5. No Physical Address: For some official mails (tax returns, car registrations, etc.), you cannot use a PO Box address, instead you have to provide a physical address, like “123 Main St #456, 07640, NJ”. Having a USPS PO Box may be a problem for such cases.

What is the solution when a physical address is required? If you have a post office box, there now is an alternative addressing method. In normal cases; this is a standard PO Box address:

Ms. A. Smith
PO Box 12345
Jackson Heights – Queens / NY

With the new alternative method you add the post office street number into the full address (where 257 Main St is Post Office street address), like:

Ms. A. Smith
257 Main Str. #12345
Jackson Heights – Queens / NY

USPS General Delivery

USPS General Delivery is a mail service for those without a permanent address, often used as a temporary mailing address.

Not all USPS Offices provide General Delivery service. You can easily check your USPS Post Offices’ services by finding its page by searching “town city-state post office services” on Google.

Once you confirm that your post office is accepting General Delivery mail, you can use that address and tell your family and friends to use it to send mail to you. The address will be something like this:

Mr. J. Smith
General Delivery
Ridgefield Park, NJ, 07660-9999

No need the full address of your post office. Just “General Delivery Town, State, Zip” information would be enough.

Pay attention the last part of zip code – 9999. This code lets the Post Office know that this is general delivery mail.g

Note: Anything sent ‘General Delivery’ needs to be sent via the US Postal Service. So, online shopping may be problematic with USPS General Delivery.

Once your package is delivered, head to the Post Office, show them your ID and get your package/mail.

Tips for using General Delivery:

  • Our experience with USPS General Delivery shows that; usually, small-town post offices’ staff tends to be friendlier.
  • We made a mistake once and checked our mail at the wrong post office. If there’s more than one Post Office in the area, General Delivery mail will be sent to the area’s main post office. Make sure you go to the right one.
  • As a general rule, many Post Offices will hold your general delivery mail for 30 days. But some may hold less than 30 days. Check with the post office, if you won’t be able to receive your mail/packages for a while.


Using USPS General Delivery service is free in US.

Is the Solution Easy to Use and Reliable?

I have not face any problems with USPS General Delivery service. Always received the mail on time, without any issues.

Possible Problems

If the sender uses any other service than USPS, your mail will not be accepted by USPS General Delivery service. This was the only issue that I have noticed.

This is especially problematic for online purchases in the cases that you cannot pick the shipping method. For example, you can never be sure that Amazon will ship your package with USPS service; unless you use this small trick: Add “PO BOX” text into your address and Amazon will send your package with USPS.

If your General Delivery address is:

Ms./Mr. Awesome,
General Delivery
Ridgefield Park, NJ, 07660-9999

Use this address instead:

Ms./Mr. Awesome,
General Delivery
PO Box
Ridgefield Park, NJ, 07660-9999

Just adding “PO Box” (without a number) to the address forces Amazon to ship your package via USPS. I have tested this trick personally many times, and it works like a clock.

Lastly; postmasters may restrict the use of General Delivery if a customer:

  • Cannot present suitable identification – so, better you have your identification ready when you are picking your mail
  • Has mail volume or service level (e.g., mail accumulation) that cannot be reasonably accommodated. so, if you are expecting to receive mail all the time, maybe better to rent a PO Box, so you will not have any problems with the postmaster.

UPS Mailbox

UPS mailbox services are almost identical to the USPS PO Box services available at every USPS postal office, with a couple of little changes (mostly advantages for the users).

The best part of UPS Mailbox services is you get a normal-looking mailing address you can use for job apps or anything else (ex. 66 Overpack Avenue #69, where 69 is your box number). Nobody would notice that that address belongs to a box, not to a real house.

UPS Mailbox

Also; you can get regular mail from any carrier and they’ll sign for packages for you. A USPS Post Office box will only accept packages that are sent via USPS, while the UPS Store will accept anything. They also automatically generate an email to you when the package arrives and remind you a few days later.

Finally, I figured out after a while that my UPS Store rental box doesn’t get junk mail like a normal address. That is huge for the people who are trying to cut the clutter from their lives.


There are 2 main variables which decides the UPS Mailbox cost:

  • location of the UPS store, the town, city, or municipality it is situated in, and
  • the demand for different mailbox sizes is all going to contribute to UPS business mailbox cost structures you want to be aware of.

Generally, there are 3 different mailbox sizes available at UPS stores. Here are the box sizes, and average prices:

Box typeMonthly cost
Small$10 – $30 a month
Medium$20 – $40 a month
Large$30 – $50 a month
UPS Mailbox Types and Prices

Is the Solution Easy to Use and Reliable?

If the cost is not much for you, you can easily start using UPS Mailbox service. It is easy to use and reliable. Many UPS Postboxes are accessible 24 * 7. So; you will not need to rush to USPS office to access your mailbox.

Another benefit is being able to receive mail and packages from any carrier. When you order something online, you will not worry about the delivery service, UPS will receive from any carrier.

Possible Problems

Cost is the only problem for this solution: All these benefits are coming with a price tag. UPS Postbox solution is more expensive than USPS PO Box solution.

Otherwise, UPS Postbox solution is great. Their staff is usually helpful and friendly.

Use Friends, Family Or Landlord address

This solution is pretty self-exoplanetary. Either you will use one of your friends’ or one of your family members’ mailing addresses and they will inform you once you receive mails. The other way is ‘address sharing’. If your tiny house is in a lot with the main house, you can share the mailing address with the house owner (if the main house owner is ok with this solution).


There is no cost involved with this solution.

Is the Solution Easy to Use and Reliable?

The solution is easy to implement, maybe the easiest one on this list.

However, reliability may go up or down based on the friend, family, landlord life situation. If they are going through a hard time in their lives, or if they are on a vacation; you cannot expect them to inform you whenever there’s a mail for you, or cannot expect them to go to a post office to mail your mails.

Possible Problems

The problem with this solution is that it can become a burden to the person receiving your mail. Also, they may see something they don’t think is important and it ends up being a hassle for you in the future because it wasn’t addressed on time. This happened to me last year with my car insurance, and the headache was big.

Better to work with someone in the same US State as you for simplicity when it comes to taxes and vehicle registration.

Mail forwarding service

A mail forwarding service arranges for mail (including packages) received at one address to be forwarded to a second address.

People often need this service when they are away for an extended period or when their mailing address is not close to where they live or work. In our case, we have used a mail forwarding service since we didn’t have an official address for our tiny house.

Mail Forwarding Services are something taken right out of the full-time RV lifestyle. They keep in contact with you and help you determine what mail needs to be addressed immediately and what can be held and forwarded when you’re standing still for a time.

When deciding on a mail forwarding service, you need to pay attention to details. There are some important questions to ask:

  • How often the mail will be forwarded?
  • How much the company will charge for each mail to you?
  • Does the company have any additional services (mail scanning, etc.)?
  • Is there any restriction with large packages?
  • Is there a limit with monthly incoming envelopes?
Mail Forwarding CompanyMonthly CostMain Functions
Traveling MailboxOpens in a new tab.$15 – $55Envelope scan, mail scan, mail shred option
Snap Mail BoxOpens in a new tab. $10 – $40Real street address, mail scan, mail shred, free trial 30 days
iPostal1Opens in a new tab. $10 – $402000+ Real street addresses, mail scan
Physical AddressOpens in a new tab.$8 – $27Envelope scan, mail scan, mail shred option, free local pickup
Post Scan MailOpens in a new tab.$15 – $30400+ Mailing addresses, mail scan, mail shred, local pickup
Mail Forwarding Companies, Prices and Features

This video explains the process in detail:


The mail forwarding cost is between $7 – $55 as you can see above table. The different companies have different limitations. So; check the details of each plan and compare it with your requirements to pick the right plan for your case.

Is the Solution Easy to Use and Reliable?

If you have a continuous internet connection (to decide which mail to be forwarded to you, and which ones to be shredded), this solution is one of the best mail solutions for tiny house owners.

The companies are reliable and I haven’t heard any problems from anyone.

Possible Problems

The only downside I can think of is that the limit to how many scans the forwarding company is willing to do and then there are add-on prices. If you are receiving more mails than your plan covers, you will have additional costs.

Other Mail Services

Apart from USPS, there are 2 other big mail service companies in US; UPS and FedEx.

In general, UPS and FedEx care even less about if your address is official or not. As long as they can find it on google maps, you are good.

For me, I just added a post with a house number and I received packages from both FedEx and UPS without any issue.

Amazon Locker Deliveries

You can get Amazon packages delivered to one of their lockers, which are pretty much everywhere these days. The issue is, you can only get Amazon packages to those lockers, nothing else. But if you are using Amazon heavily, it is an easy solution. You don’t need to pay rent or fees. Whenever you have a package, they deliver it to a locker near you (the one that you choose).

Amazon locker delivery

Ship To Store Options

Another option for online purchases is the ‘ship to store’ function. Many big retailers have this option on their websites. Most of the time, they don’t charge anything for shipping for this option. Whenever your item reaches the store near you, you receive a text message or an email, and you go to the store to pick up your item.

It is pretty easy to use and reliable service.

Tiny House Mail Receiving Solutions Summary Table

Mail SolutionApplicable to Tiny House On WheelsApplicable to Tiny House On FoundationNotes
Just install a postboxNoYesNot official, may not work
Request an official addressNo (for most of the cases)YesNot an easy process, will not work if tiny house is not built on code
Use USPS PO BoxYes (if stays at the same location for a long time)YesAdditional monthly cost, accepts only USPS mail
USPS General DeliveryYesYesFree service, accepts only USPS mail
UPS PostboxYes (if stays at the same location for a long time) YesAdditional monthly cost
Use friend, family, landlord addressYesYesFree, but may not be 100% reliable
Mail forwarding serviceYesYesAdditional monthly cost, these services have monthly mail limitations
Mail solutions for Tiny Houses

Kutluay S.

Kutluay is a typical family man, with a wife, 3 kids, and a dog. And he has dreams - like everybody. He loves sharing his knowledge with the world, and here is the website. His latest passion is Tiny Houses.

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