Executive Director’s Commentary
By Don Eversmann, F240000
Quite often as families join FMCA, they are on the verge of making that once-in-a-lifetime whirlwind tour of the United States and possibly even Canada or Mexico. These motorhome owners very quickly find out that unless they have a family member who will periodically forward their mail, they are at a loss to stay on top of their correspondence, and especially their bills. What to do about the mail is always a concern for the FMCA traveling family, especially when it comes to changing your location/address for receipt of mail regularly. Full-timers and motorhomers who enjoy extended summer trips or winters in warmer climates are especially aware that keeping up with the mail can be a source of frustration and worry.
FMCA’s mail forwarding service started off small and was instituted as a member benefit in 1980, more than 25 years ago, so that families might enjoy their travels without having to worry about when and where they would receive their mail. Today FMCA forwards mail for some 3,000 to 3,500 families on an annual basis.
If you plan to be on the road for an extended period of time (two months or longer), FMCA’s mail forwarding program may be for you. The only cost to you as an FMCA member is the First Class postage that moves the mail from FMCA to you on a weekly basis. The expense of handling the mail currently is underwritten by FMCA. It is recommended that once you have made your plans, you enroll prior to hitting the road.
Enrollment forms are available from the FMCA national office. FMCA’s mail forwarding service operates as a commercial mail receiving agency (CMRA) by accepting members’ mail from the United States Postal Service and forwarding it to another address. Therefore, all mail forwarding participants must complete Postal Service Form 1583, Application for Delivery of Mail Through Agent (available from the FMCA national office). This form must be completed and then signed in the presence of a notary public. You will need to return this postal form with your mail forwarding enrollment form. I would encourage members enrolling in the program to allow a processing period of two weeks from the date that their enrollment form is received by the national office.
You also will need to establish a $50 deposit in a postage account with FMCA. This deposit may be paid by American Express, Discover, MasterCard, or VISA. When the balance in your postage account falls to approximately $15, your credit card will be charged the amount needed to bring the deposit up to $50, and you will receive a statement of the charge. You also can do this via a check, but note that any delay in maintaining an appropriate amount in the account to cover your postage may delay your mail.
In addition to providing your home post office with your name and FMCA’s Round Bottom Road mailing address, the address you supply needs to include an additional line with the letters PMB (private mail box) followed by your FMCA membership number. The Postal Service requires all mail sent to the mail forwarding address to include the PMB designation. This also will ensure that once your mail reaches the FMCA mail forwarding department, it can be distinguished from other participants’ mail.
FMCA’s mail forwarding service is applicable to all types of mail (except bulk rate catalogs), including letters, magazines, and packages; however, all mail is bundled and forwarded via First Class mail only. All Second and Third Class mail will be forwarded via First Class unless you request that it be discarded.
Your Family Motor Coaching magazine address automatically will be changed to the mail forwarding address, and First Class postage for forwarding the magazine will be charged to your account. Or arrangements can be made to have Family Motor Coaching magazine sent to another address, or held.
Mail is forwarded on a weekly basis and in an alphabetical sequence, so mail goes out to members with last names starting with A through C on Monday, D through G on Tuesday, and so on. Participants receive a schedule informing them of the dates that their mail will be sent. They’re also informed of deadlines for receipt of address changes, or if participants are between destinations, they can notify mail forwarding personnel to hold their mail until further notice.
Unfortunately, because of the volume of mail that is handled by the mail forwarding department, mail forwarding personnel are not permitted to sort through members’ mailboxes to check for specific pieces of mail, and members may not telephone and ask mail forwarding personnel to open and read mail to them.
By using the FMCA mail forwarding service, you can be assured that your mail will be delivered to you in a timely and conscientious fashion. More information regarding this service can be found in the January 2007 issue of Family Motor Coaching magazine beginning on page 184. To use this service, call the Mail Forwarding Department at (800) 448-1212.
Mail Forwarding Service Forms Available On FMCA.com
Locate the following forms by clicking on the “Forms” link near the bottom of the left-hand navigation bar on FMCA.com.
“¢ FMCA mail forwarding procedures and form (PDF 518K)
“¢ Postal Form 1583, Application for Delivery of Mail Through Agent (PDF 30K)
Send the completed and notarized forms to:
Mail Forwarding Department
8291 Clough Pike
Cincinnati, Ohio 45244
For more information, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (800) 448-1212.