USPS requires all CMRAs to provide and retain copies of Form 1583 for all customers. These forms must be notarized and sent to your CMRA before they can legally receive mail on your behalf. All virtual mailbox providers operating in the U.S. legally require this form to receive mail for any customer.

Suppose I get the form notarized from an online notary. I start my virtual mailbox subscription. I handle my business (just need one document) and then I end my subscription.

Next year, can I re-use this form or do I have to get it notarized again? It would be more cost-effective to use it again in this situation.

  • 1
    Editing a question so as to totally invalidate existing answers is frowned upon. Ask a new question instead. Jan 5 at 0:45

I looked at the form. The CMRA must keep a copy on file, and it must be available for the USPS to inspect. Once an electronically notarized document is printed on paper, all the security features are lost. So the CMRA would have to keep the electronic version of the form on file; they might not be equipped to do that. Also, the USPS would have to be willing to inspect an electronic document, rather than the usual paper document; they might not be willing to do that.

If you get a paper version of the form notarized, I imagine the CMRA will throw it away once your subscription expires. Next year, when you want to reestablish the service, you will have to give them a new, original, notarized form. So when you go to the notary, you would have to get several copies of the form notarized; one for each subscription period that you think you will need.

  • I know it's not printed on paper. So sounds like I can reuse it next year?
    – user43352
    Jan 4 at 14:57
  • 15 USC 7001 and subsequent sections through 7006 appear to require both the CMRA and the USPS to accept such a document in electronic form, and give it the same effect as if on paper. "a signature, contract, or other record relating to such transaction may not be denied legal effect, validity, or enforceability solely because it is in electronic form" Jan 4 at 15:01
  • Perhaps David Siegel is correct with respect to USPS. But 15 USC 7001 also says "This subchapter does not...(2) require any person to agree to use or accept electronic records or electronic signatures, other than a governmental agency with respect to a record other than a contract to which it is a party." So the CMRA doesn't have to accept an enotarized form if they don't want to. Jan 4 at 17:45
  • The form says: *when any information required on this form changes or becomes obsolete, the addressee(s) must file a revised application with the Commercial Mail Receiving Agency (CMRA). *" Since one of the required fields is "Date" I suspect a new form is needed each time, but I am not sure of that. Jan 5 at 2:06

Strictly speaking, a "declaration" is a statement expressly made under penalty of perjury that would generally not be notarized, while a statement made under oath that is notarized is called an "affidavit". The question conflates the two.

One could affix a notarized "acknowledgement" to a declaration, but there would rarely be a point in doing so, rather than simply doing an affidavit in the first place. Usually, in a business setting, context authenticates the a declaration anyway.

In federal court, and in many states, a declaration is equivalent to an affidavit for most purposes, although usually, a declaration that is recorded in real property records is not self-authenticating in the event of dispute (meaning the identity of its signer would have to be proved with other evidence), while an affidavit would be self-authenticating. Some states only accept affidavits and do not accept declarations (which are a comparatively recent innovation).

  • The form doesn't require a notary's signature if it is signed in person in front of CMRA or the CMRA's employee. There are several notarial acts that might apply, such as attesting a signature, taking an acknowledgement, or administering an oath; the form fails to specify which is desired by the USPS. Jan 5 at 1:14

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