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Old 05-26-2021, 10:57 AM   #1
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Long Term Travel USPS Hold Mail Texas Vehicle Registration

We will be traveling about 3 months this fall. One month is the longest we have been gone so far. Most everything that might be done by mail has been transferred to online accounts.

I visited our local USPS office and told a clerk I would be gone about 4 months this fall and wanted to know my options for hold mail. The clerk said they offered a forwarding service, but that would not fit for us as we will be having many stops. The clerk offered to get a supervisor to speak with. I told the supervisor my story and that I would pick up the mail. The supervisor was helpful but did have to consult with someone else about my request. The supervisor came back, grabbed yellow form 8076 Authorization to Hold Mail, told me how to fill it out and signed and dated it. I think it probably helped that I selected the option that I would pick up all accumulated mail. The clerk suggested I turn in the form the week we were leaving.

Vehicle registration in Texas requires a vehicle inspection report before the registration is issued. I went to the local county tax assessors office, told them my story and was given form VTR-270 (also available online at TxDMV.gov). Was told to complete the form and mail it in with my usual registration amount. Was told that I could call the office, give them the VIN and license plate number, and they would tell me the registration amount. Upon return, I would have the vehicle inspected and take (or mail) the inspection report to the tax assessor and my registration would be issued.

All in all not too bad. But I live in a small town (25k), neither office was busy at all, so that might make a difference for you.

Hope you find this information helpful! To say that we are excited to be taking longer trips is an understatement.
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Old 05-26-2021, 11:33 AM   #2
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Hope that works for you but we live in a much smaller town and are lucky when our carrier gets the mail in the right box let alone holds it when requested. Then when we got back wanted to argue that we had our mail held. They did find a white tote full of our mail in the back along with several packages.

It does go well sometimes.


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Old 05-26-2021, 04:26 PM   #3
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Typically the initial mail hold is for 30 days (it's on the card). I have to go on line while on a trip exceeding 30 days and extend the hold. USPS.com is where I do it. Your hold should be in the system after a week or so. Of course maybe you could work out a deal with it being a small community.
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Old 05-26-2021, 04:48 PM   #4
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For the past five years we have been gone for the winter, 1 Nov - 15 May.
We have the neighbors pick up the mail as we get everything via the Internet.
We do our state vehicle inspection just before we leave, it's good for a year.
Same deal on the vehicle registration, renew before we leave.
Our registration stuff can be done on line and requires no paper work.
If you get the dates/times lined up it's no problem.
Good traveling!
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Old 05-26-2021, 05:02 PM   #5
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I hope they hold your mail, but they usually will only hold for 30 days. They do have a weekly forwarding service for a fee, however as slow as the Post Office service is at the moment, I wouldn't count on it. https://www.usps.com/manage/forward-premium

As far as Texas Vehicle registration, you've got a couple of options.
Get your vehicle inspected before you leave and then renew online.
Wait until you get back and do it then. You can renew online up to 6 months after the expiration, but you have to pay for the entire year. Then hope you don't get stopped.

When we started traveling for 3-4 months at a time, it quickly became apparent that online banking and credit card access was essential to keeping things up to date.
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Old 05-26-2021, 05:36 PM   #6
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I’ve done both options of having a neighbor pick it up or the post office hold it (30 days). The problem with the po holding it is if there is something that came by mail that you need it is impossible for a family member or friend to go pick it up.

I just use a neighbor. That way if I get something I need I can handle it.

I use Usps informed delivery so I get a daily email of what is being delivered that day.
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Old 05-26-2021, 06:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dalford View Post
I’ve done both options of having a neighbor pick it up or the post office hold it (30 days). The problem with the po holding it is if there is something that came by mail that you need it is impossible for a family member or friend to go pick it up.

I just use a neighbor. That way if I get something I need I can handle it.

I use Usps informed delivery so I get a daily email of what is being delivered that day.
X2

We've wintered away the last several years and have tried both and a family member/trusted neighbor getting the mail is best.

As mentioned, the PO will now only hold your mail 30 days and to get that renewed, they will not allow anyone other than the mailbox addressee to renew it. So if your gone, it starts to be delivered again after the 30 day hold is up! Trust me we tried!

We use informed delivery as well and if we see something we need, the neighbor forwards it. (we get a few pre paid flat rate mailers for them before we leave) If we don't need it, they keep it in a box for us untill we get home.
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Old 05-27-2021, 07:18 AM   #8
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We took a six week trip earlier this year, February into April and my DW filled out the form for the Post Office to hold our mail. A couple of weeks into our trip our son stopped by our house to check on things and found the mailbox overfilled mail. Post Office never held the mail which led to our son having to stop every couple of days to collect our mail.
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Old 05-27-2021, 12:49 PM   #9
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I would investigate a local The UPS Store. They have private mail boxes that you can forward your mail to. Additionally they will provide mail forwarding and since the address is a street address they can receive packages from UPS, FedEx and Amazon.
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Old 05-27-2021, 01:31 PM   #10
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If you do NOT belong to the Escapees RV Club, JOIN! They're located in Livingston, TX and they have a VERY reliable mail holding / forwarding service available. If I lived in TX, that would be the service I would use (years ago, I chose to domicile in SD. Americas Mailbox provides excellent service too). If you're in the Livingston area (or can travel there easily) Escapees offer tours of their facilities which include the Mail Center. You should probably call first to find what, if any, Covid restrictions are in effect. It's WELL worth the trip!

PS: I believe that the Escapees RV Club has recently set up mail services in FL & SD.

PPS: a year or two ago, Americas Mailbox in Box Elder, SD greatly expanded their FHU RV park. MANY pull through sites and you're only minutes away from Rapid City, SD.
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Old 05-27-2021, 02:46 PM   #11
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We've been on the road 3-4 months at a time and simply use one of the mail forwarding services to handle our mail. There are many such services available, but probably the most popular are through Good Sam and the Family Motor Coach Association, but for those you need to be a member. We provide a temp change of address with the USPS and the mail is held at the private forwarding service. We then call them have the accumulated mail forwarded to a campground we'll be staying at down the road. The service is reasonably priced and most campgrounds are comfortable receiving mail for arriving guests. We've never had a problem getting the forwarded mail.
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Old 05-27-2021, 03:23 PM   #12
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X 2 on Escapees mail service. Have used them since 2005. Even though we are not full timers now, I still use them as we travel 2-3 months at a time. I have USPS forward to Escapees. I can always call and ask if there is specific mail, and have it sent to where I'm at, which includes USPS General delivery for small towns.
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Old 05-27-2021, 04:07 PM   #13
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We use Americas Mailbox in Box Elder SD. just east of Rapid City. Also No vehicle inspection there.
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Old 05-27-2021, 05:25 PM   #14
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TX vehicle registration renewal the easy way

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppySteve View Post
Vehicle registration in Texas requires a vehicle inspection report before the registration is issued. I went to the local county tax assessors office, told them my story and was given form VTR-270 (also available online at TxDMV.gov). Was told to complete the form and mail it in with my usual registration amount. Was told that I could call the office, give them the VIN and license plate number, and they would tell me the registration amount. Upon return, I would have the vehicle inspected and take (or mail) the inspection report to the tax assessor and my registration would be issued.
That's a lot of unnecessary work. Renew your registration online. It asks if the vehicle is out of state. Check "Yes" and it issues your registration without an inspection. It tells you to get it inspected within 3 days of returning to Texas, and keep the inspection certificate in the vehicle. You do not need to take it to the tax assessor's office, because the registration has already been renewed without it.

Once your payment has cleared, they email you a receipt to use as proof of registration, and they mail the sticker to your home.

I have done it this way the past three years.
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Old 05-27-2021, 06:19 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by johntaylor View Post
That's a lot of unnecessary work. Renew your registration online. It asks if the vehicle is out of state. Check "Yes" and it issues your registration without an inspection. It tells you to get it inspected within 3 days of returning to Texas, and keep the inspection certificate in the vehicle. You do not need to take it to the tax assessor's office, because the registration has already been renewed without it.

Once your payment has cleared, they email you a receipt to use as proof of registration, and they mail the sticker to your home.

I have done it this way the past three years.
Thanks a lot! Motorhome registration is due next March and I hope to be outta here then too!
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Old 05-27-2021, 06:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johntaylor View Post
That's a lot of unnecessary work. Renew your registration online. It asks if the vehicle is out of state. Check "Yes" and it issues your registration without an inspection. It tells you to get it inspected within 3 days of returning to Texas, and keep the inspection certificate in the vehicle. You do not need to take it to the tax assessor's office, because the registration has already been renewed without it.

Once your payment has cleared, they email you a receipt to use as proof of registration, and they mail the sticker to your home.

I have done it this way the past three years.
Yep, I have also done this the past two years. So easy.

Also, if you are within 90 days of your registration renewal deadline, you can get an inspection and renew.
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Old 05-27-2021, 07:44 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbles View Post
Typically the initial mail hold is for 30 days (it's on the card). I have to go on line while on a trip exceeding 30 days and extend the hold. USPS.com is where I do it. Your hold should be in the system after a week or so. Of course maybe you could work out a deal with it being a small community.
We stop our mail online for trips less than 30 days. Our local post office told us to fill out the card and leave the return date empty. When we returned from and eight week trip I stopped in and picked up our held mail.
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