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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Do I Need an Address?

Original Article

For the most part the answer is no.  Actually this topic came up when I was trying to determine if and where I should get a PO box in Las Vegas.  We haven't actually had a physical address for almost a year and while I have a mailbox/remailing service in Seattle, it now looks like Vegas will be our home base for the time being.  Eventually we will have a physical address (when the sale closes on the property we are buying here), but it kind of dawned on me that now nearly everything is done online these days, so is it even necessary to have an address?  Here's some thoughts:

  • A "ghost address" is recommended by JJ Luna in his book 'How to Be Invisible' as an added layer of personal security.
  • My driver's license still has my old address on it since the state department of licensing refused to change it to my mailing address, stating that it would require legislative action since "everyone has to have a physical address on their license."  They also noted that homeless people don't drive but I didn't want to argue with idiocy so I restrained myself.
  • All of my bills are paid online, my banking and investments are taken care of online, and my clients pay me online so none of these items need to be mailed to me.
  • I am much easier to find online than at a stationary location as I am almost always out and about and frequently traveling all over the US and occasionally the world.
  • About 99% of the mail I receive at my mailbox is junk mail.
  • I don't subscribe to newspapers or magazines as I read all of these online now.
  • It is a very rare occurrence that I receive a personal letter now that everyone has email and/or text messaging.
  • Almost everything you sign up for has a space right after your name for your address (credit cards, library cards, Costco card, frequent flyer cards, etc). 
  • When you call 911 they ask for your address even if the event you are reporting isn't happening at your address (it took a few minutes of explaining to them why I don't have an address during the few times I have called in the past year, a waste of time--and invasion of privacy--if you ask me).
  • Some things are dependant on the city/county/state in which you live: concealed carry license, auto and boat registration, insurance rates, business license, voter registration, etc.
  • If I do need something mailed (ie: from Amazon, Newegg, prescriptions, etc), I have it sent to where ever I happen to be at the time.
  • Many travelers have mail delivered to them via "general delivery" as explained here.
I'm thinking I really don't need an address, however a ghost address would probably be the best way to go as the places that do require an address generally won't take a PO box.  I don't want to use the address of any of the places I stay as I don't want my mail going to a dozen different places, so now I am off to consider the possibilties of/find a ghost address.

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