The Ultimate Guide to Virtual Mailboxes for US Banking Purposes – Nomad Gate

The modern nomad lifestyle is all about freedom, flexibility, and the ability to live and work from anywhere. However, one challenge that many nomads face is maintaining a stable US address for banking and credit card purposes.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

My tax situation is probably different than most on this site but in the US state residency laws are very diverse. For example in my case the vast majority of my adult life was spent in NY - an easy state to divorce oneself from but my last US legal address was NC - this state’s property laws make removing residency quite difficult legally. For me it is far easier than most to understand these varient laws as my career was in Finance. In my case it is easier to pay NC each year for the time I spend within USA borders rather than sell my car, close my local bank account, get my name off the deed to my mother’s house etc - that is frankly much more trouble than it is worth. However, if I was in the GV asset class and income level these considerations could change radically. In that case, I will always recommend that a good global tax attorney is essential.

What can I use to make a main residence address for banking and voting?

These addresses should work well for banking. Whether you’d be able to use them for voter registration I’m not sure about, but I suspect it would be possible.

Either way, perhaps also prudent to ask the mailbox provider whether that’s OK or not.

Who is the best? I need to lay low? I also live in portugal and United Kingdom

Hey thar, TKR. Do you have any sense of how often these things get changed/re-characterized (non-PMB → PMB, residential → commercial )?

We’d like to shift to one of these within our already-state (Wash), but there are also solutions from the likes of St. Brennan’s (Reddit - Dive into anything) which feel safer (i.e. not just a weird flag that exists for unknown reasons), but require changing states.

No, not quite sure about that. However, I don’t think it’s something that happens frequently, at least for certain types of addresses that have been operational for some time.

I think the “safest” addresses are the ones that appear to be:

  • A private home (although I’d make sure the operator is trustworthy and plan on living there indefinitely)
  • An RV park or similar
  • Other type of mixed building (e.g. some stores and apartments sharing the same address) where the address format doesn’t require you to add on a specific suite number/letter in addition to your mailbox number

While there may be a CMRA located there, it’s less likely that the full address gets flagged as a CMRA.

If you click the Look up on Google Maps button for the listings you’re considering you should quickly be able to identify what kind of property it is with the help of Street View.

I believe the RDI is less important than the CMRA indicator for most purposes (I haven’t heard of banks or government entities using it for anything), however the listings you’ll find in the residential delivery areas are more likely to match the types of properties I listed above.

Cool, thanks for the thoughts!

1 Like

Banks generally want proof of residence, how to get that? Utility bill, phone bill, banking account statement and the likes. Any suggestions on how to give that proof?

I have applied for a American Express Credit Card and need to provide a proof of residence.

Do you have US credit history? That’s usually sufficient in my experience.

You can also change your address on an existing (US) bank account and provide that.

I applied by transferring my credit history from my country to USA thorough Nova Credit Line. I don’t have any existing USA bank account unfortunately.

Any other way to provide proof of residence for my non-cmra forwarding address?

The only way seem to be to go to USA and open a bank account, that is currently difficult to do for me

Would be easier with an existing US bank account for sure… And how are you planning on paying the credit card bill every month without a US bank account, anyway?

Perhaps there are other options, such as:

  • Somehow getting a government entity to send you a letter to the address you’re using. Perhaps if you send a local government entity a letter (you could send it with Mailform) they will respond to your US address.
  • If they accept a mobile phone bill you may be able to sign up for e.g. Google Fi and use their statement.
  • Could you change your address on file with a foreign bank (preferably one that issues English-language statements)? It’s possible it would be accepted.
  • Sign up for a cheap insurance (e.g. renter’s insurance) and cancel it when you no longer need the proof of address.

To be clear, there’s no guarantee that any of these would work, just trying to brainstorm some ideas for you.

I have an account with utoppia, they have my home country address.

This seems a viable option, do they not ask for proof residence, and what docs they ask for generally?

Could you add your US mailing address with them as well? If so that might solve your problem, at least if that address gets listed on your statements.

Hey @tkrunning - for the address what is difference between Non-CMRA with commercial use vs Non-CMRA & residential use? I am a US citizen living full-time abroad for some years now. I do have existing US bank accounts/credit cards and wanting to maintain them. Chase and BofA lets me add an international address to be on file for both Residencial and Mailing Address. However, banks like CapitalOne, Citi, etc. only accepts US address to be on file for both. I signed up for an Anytime mailbox address about a few years back but didn’t do much research on the address itself, I chose a random address within AZ state, because that’s where I used to live (my Driver License is from AZ) - but now its flagging as CMRA with some banks. My primary purpose is banking, an address for taxes possibly, and maybe renewing AZ Driver License in the future (if possible). Thanks a lot!

The RDI (residential delivery indicator) is essentially USPS’ classification of whether the address is used for commercial or residential purposes. You can read more about the indicator here:

I haven’t seen any examples of banks using this indicator when validating addresses, but you never know what the future holds.

In other words, getting a non-CMRA address is the most important factor for banking purposes. Finding one where the RDI = Residential is a nice bit of potential future-proofing, however currently it doesn’t seem to be important. And it may never become something banks check for at all—after all there may be legitimate reasons for why someone is living in a commercial building (e.g. a hotel).

Keep in mind that even banks that let you change to a foreign address might give you issues or close your account if you do. I don’t think BofA or Chase would give you any issues, however others such as Schwab definitely will.

I have United Kingdom. I am also American but my income and tax filings have ben in England the past several years. I did not have to file since the Ex and I separated and divorced. Can you send me to a lawyer and financial advisor in Portugal?

  • If you are looking for a lawyer in Portugal, you can use the service provided by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) of the UK. They have a list of English-speaking lawyers in Portugal who can help you with various legal issues, such as divorce, property, inheritance, and more. You can find the list here Find a professional service abroad - Find a lawyer in Portugal
1 Like

@tkrunning Thank you for the insightful and excellent article for non-CMRA-based addresses. Since you reviewed Anytime Mailbox addresses, could you possibly do the same for iPostal1 addresses as well, as they also have a larger database than Anytime Mailbox? We are willing to pay for a copy if necessary. Thank you.

@tkrunning I’m non US resident, can this addresses be used to open a brick and mortar bank account (like Bank of America, Chase) without telling I’m a non-resident alien?
Will this be a problem with the IRS maybe?