Post Service offers new services at two down-Island offices


The US Postal Service, at its Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs post offices, will offer three new services to customers. Notices explaining the new services, which include street addressing, real mail notification, and signature on file, appeared in mailboxes last week. They are free for boxholders at those two offices and unavailable to rural route customers.

With street addressing, a customer’s mailing address may either be the street address for the Post Office where their P.O. Box is located or their P.O. Box number. Some merchants do not allow shipping to P.O. boxes. The street addressing service enables customers to receive packages and deliveries from private carriers who require a street address for delivery, such as UPS and FedEx.

The real mail notification service will notify the boxholder by email each day that mail is received, Monday through Saturday. Signature on file will allow the post office to accept some signature-required mail and packages, which a customer can then collect at his convenience.

The most recent post office box fee structure includes the charge for these services, but the customer must sign up to use them. The postal service advises that for real mail notification, the customer’s cell phone provider may charge fees for text messaging.

Contact the post office for the required forms and for more detailed information.

In January 2011, there were 49 test sites nationwide that started the program and the number of offices expanded in January 2012.

These new services are available at several post offices in the Greater Boston District (Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs included). More offices will be added as time goes on.