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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Banking is obviously an important aspect to get right.

When I move to Mexico, I will not retain a residence in the USA. I'm currently a renter and therefore will simply leave. Nor do I have family whose address I can use. But I do want to keep most if not all of my bank accounts/money in the USA (I'm not moving to Mexico for the banking ...).

Also, a USA address will be needed for my American driver's license and car registration.

I plan to enter by car, getting a 180 day tourist card. I'm doing this so I can test the waters and see if the reality of living in Mexico matches what I generally expect. I'd also like to spend time in a few different places to determine which is truly best. Having a car will allow me to do that with greater freedom and more basic belongings in tow. Ideally envisioning a destination with at least some elevation, as I like cooler nights (not winter, though).

Question - Is it easy to use a Mail Box address somewhere in south Texas, for these purposes? I already get all my bank statements via email, so very little if any banking-related snail mail will actually be delivered - but I still need the address. Have you or anyone you know done this?

Please feel free to post anything relevant to the topic. Thank you.
 

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Bummer you don't have a families' address to use. I suppose you could pay for a Post Office box in a town along the border.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Everette. I'm wondering if its as easy as it seems at first glance. Notably, will it fly easily for drivers license and car registration purposes? Or will the DMV in Texas somehow know - and say, hey, you can't use that address for a driver's license!
 

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When I move to Mexico, I will not retain a residence in the USA. I'm currently a renter and therefore will simply leave. Nor do I have family whose address I can use.
When I moved to Mexico a few years ago, I used my parents' address in the States for banking and other purposes. When my father passed on and my mother moved to a nursing home, a good friend allowed me to use her address. Maybe you have a trusted friend who would do the same for you.
 

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I, too, am interested in anything that anybody has to say. This fits my situation almost to the letter. If you have anything relevant to add please keep it on the board and not PM.
Thanks
Matt
 

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try something like this:

Mailbox Forwarding | Virtual Office Address - Mail Scanning

they give you a usa address to use, its not free, never tried this before so i know nothing about these services, but a google searched pulled up many sites that do the same thing for expats

these places seems kinda cool, they will email you a copy of your snail mail and you can pick which ones you wants physically sent to you

i'm lucky all my snail mail goes to my uncles house

and you say your going to drive here, only drive during the day,for you and your car sake it is not safe to travel at night, pot holes, speed bumps, desperate local's in need of money, etc..

should consider leaving the car in the usa also, the bus system in mexico is very good and cheap ( most buses now have seats that almost lay flat to sleep in and touch screen computers on the back of the chairs to watch movies and get online etc.. and a baged lunch

example why i say bus: mexico city to acapulco around 400 peso (26 dollars)

if you drove your car from mexico city to acapulco as example, your gas alone would be more plus there are toll charges that will cost you about 900 peso, unless you take the back roads for free but at times could be unsafe for outsiders passing threw
 

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There are forwarding sites with MBE from Miami and Laredo that get stuff down to Mexico but they are well-known and don't serve as permanent US addresses for many organizations. South Dakota will allow you to get plates without being a resident. But you must have a permanent US residence.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the input. I'm aware of the perils and cautions of driving in Mexico. As I noted in my original post, the mobility and ability to travel with more belongings are major plusses in favor of a car. I'm not a big "belongings" person but I also cannot imagine living for six months with what can be carried in one big bag and a back pack.

Also its possible that Mexico might not work out (I simply might find I do not like it as a place to be for more than a few months, for example), in which case departing Mexico will be easier in that I can just drive the car north and leave, and have a car in the USA to serve me as I pursue whatever might be next.

Re: the mailbox forwarding - I've seen these websites/businesses - I'd like to hear some real life evidence that they work, that there is not some surprise reason why they do not. The websites are designed by people who want you to give them money - of course they are going to make it sound great and easy. Does the steak match the sizzle?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
There are forwarding sites with MBE from Miami and Laredo that get stuff down to Mexico but they are well-known and don't serve as permanent US addresses for many organizations.
But can they be the US Residence of an individual? To serve the basic purposes I laid out in my original post? I don't think of this as sneaky or wrong, as others have posted here many use the address of a relative as their US address, using MBE or similar is the same.
 

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I have been renting a box from a UPS store in Texas since I moved to Mexico 2+ years ago. This is used specifically for banking but I occasionally provide that address to other organizations that might want to send me mail at a US address. However; I do not believe this will work for maintaining your drivers license.

The license is valid for 6 years so, you can probably get a renewal using your current address and then not have to worry about it for a while. But, you would not, I think, be able to use that PO Box address for the license itself. When I got my license, I had to also provide a phone / electric / cable bill to prove it was my legitimate, resident address.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
DW, you may have just identified why it will not work well for the drivers license/car. Thanks.
 

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We have used the Laredo TX MBE and our US friends have used the Miami one. He experienced some trouble using it as an US address. We have had no trouble yet. We get amazon shipments there.

But we are Canadian residents with a permanent address in Canada. Ironically it is a rental property that we sublet when in Mexico. And we have Canada Post forward our mail to Laredo.
 

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Just on the banking issue, I was able to open a bank account with a USA address that sounded residential but was actually a Postal Annex shop in San Diego that I use for mail. Several weeks later though, I received a stern letter from their head office in Minnesota with a demand for my REAL residential address. They were fine for it to be a Mexican one and said the MAILING address could be anything anywhere. Might be an option to just leave your residential address with the bank as it is now (even though you're no longer living at the address) and change the mailing address to whatever forwarding service you choose. If you love the Mexican life and decide to stay here then you could change your residential address to that of your Mexican home.
 

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I just wanted to chime in to point out that you wouldn't be able to use a PO box to maintain your driver's license. At least not in Texas or Arizona (the border states I have experience with.)

Alternatively, you could get a box at a UPS store or the like (Mail Boxes Etc) and use your box number like an apartment number. It should suffice for your DMV and banking needs, I've been doing it for years. There is a cheaper version here in El Paso called Melek that has all the same functions of a UPS store for a cheaper rate. UPS charges $240/year for the smallest box they offer while Melek only charges $108/year.
 

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...I was able to open a bank account with a USA address that sounded residential but was actually a Postal Annex shop in San Diego that I use for mail....
I'm assuming that you mean San Diego, CA. It is my understanding that California is not even a tiny bit bashful about demanding their share of taxes from anybody who has even a scent of California residency about 'em. I (I'm not the OP) would hesitate to take the easy option of using a relative's address due to this. Wouldn't you know it, I'm the only one in my family not in California.
Matt
 

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Having had some experience with this issue, I'll pass on what I know.

First: Let's ignore the ethics of pretending you live where you don't. Multiple opinions on that one, along with expecting someone else to take care of your mail for you and forwarding, etc.
I don't have that option, so when we moved to Mexico, we moved. I signed up with a "mailbox" company which worked like many others. They gave you an "address" to give out for mail you wanted to arrive securely. This is actually a P.O. Box in Laredo, TX. Several times a week they would collect the mail in Texas and put it in the local box you rented from them. This works, up to a point.
I tried to order some stamps but the U.S. postal service wouldn't fall for the Texas address. Neither would a few others entities. No big problem until my U.S. bank (with which I'd had an account for ten years, including years before moving to Mexico, got picky and wanted my actual residence info.
Being in Mexico was not okay. They cut off my account.

At that point, I had to find a place to have my SS checks auto deposited. Had to go through the process of changing address with SS (four pages) and have the checks deposited in a Mexican bank.
Still do-able, and it's been working.

However, be aware that U.S. banks want a U.S. address to open an account these days.
Drivers licenses want proof that you live where you live. Seems like wherever you turn, this becomes a speed bump ("tope" in Mexico) on the road of life.

If you do have somebody in your life who will take responsibility for your mail........it's up to you which course to follow. Everything works if you let it.
 

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However, be aware that U.S. banks want a U.S. address to open an account these days.
As I posted, the US Bank I approached a year ago to open an account (which incidentally WAS US Bank) rejected my fake US address but said there were no problems, it was perfectly legal and fine for me to open an account with a Mexican address.
 

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The idea that anyone should require a "permanent" or "real" or "physical" address is one of the most archaic and restrictive concepts that technologically modern democracies still cling to and cannot seem to escape.

All of the earth is as much ours as anyone else's, and we should all have the freedom to roam.

Having said that, bureaucracy is stubborn, unenlightened, and resistant to change.

Personally, I still use my former "physical" address in the states for vehicle and voter registration, and as my address of record with my financial institutions. However, all of said institutions permit listing a preferred mailing address. In the case of vehicle registration, though, there was no easy way to do that online. I had to call my county revenue commissioner and speak with a dreaded human to set up a separate mailing address to receive my annual vehicle registration card and tag sticker.

Even prior to becoming an expat, though, I've operated online businesses that require a "physical" address. To make life easier, seek out a UPS store (or other similar provider) that has a stand-alone mailing address. In other words, the UPS store should not be a "suite" of its own. That way, your mailing address is simply that address, and your three-digit box number appears to be simply a suite or apartment number, rather than an obvious rental box. It won't fool anyone who bothers to actually verify the address, but it makes filling out forms (both online and offline) a whole lot easier, and doesn't raise any immediate address format red flags.
 

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The idea that anyone should require a "permanent" or "real" or "physical" address is one of the most archaic and restrictive concepts that technologically modern democracies still cling to and cannot seem to escape.

All of the earth is as much ours as anyone else's, and we should all have the freedom to roam.

Having said that, bureaucracy is stubborn, unenlightened, and resistant to change.

Personally, I still use my former "physical" address in the states for vehicle and voter registration, and as my address of record with my financial institutions. However, all of said institutions permit listing a preferred mailing address. In the case of vehicle registration, though, there was no easy way to do that online. I had to call my county revenue commissioner and speak with a dreaded human to set up a separate mailing address to receive my annual vehicle registration card and tag sticker.

Even prior to becoming an expat, though, I've operated online businesses that require a "physical" address. To make life easier, seek out a UPS store (or other similar provider) that has a stand-alone mailing address. In other words, the UPS store should not be a "suite" of its own. That way, your mailing address is simply that address, and your three-digit box number appears to be simply a suite or apartment number, rather than an obvious rental box. It won't fool anyone who bothers to actually verify the address, but it makes filling out forms (both online and offline) a whole lot easier, and doesn't raise any immediate address format red flags.
That "physical address" the mailing service gives you with a street, etc., doesn't fool those who want to know for very long, even though it doesn't have a box number.
The one I had listed the number as an apt. number. Mighty small living quarters, though.:D
 
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