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FAQ Compliance Edition

This article dives into the most common compliance questions we get from members at our coworking space. We tackle everything from “Why is it important?” to the nitty-gritty of ID requirements. We’ll also explore some common misconceptions and debunk the myth that compliance is just the operator’s responsibility.

FAQs: Mailbox Renters and Their Compliance Questions

Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down and talk with one of our operators at Piloto 151 to learn more about what goes into keeping a space running smoothly while maintaining compliance. We discovered that members across the board, from virtual-only to in-office veterans who’ve been in the space since its beginnings, have similar questions regarding compliance. We’ve gathered them here with a few answers that may help you tackle even the most curious of members. Let’s start with the tough ones first.

Compliance, in its most basic form, involves the steps you take to ensure your business meets USPS rules and regulations.

Why is it important?

Being compliant ensures you as a renter can receive mail at your preferred coworking location. If you’re not compliant, your coworking space operator can (and should) refuse to accept mail on your behalf.

Why does it matter to me?

If you’re not compliant, the space operator is not legally allowed to handle mail on your behalf. Unless you’re compliant, the only place you can legally receive mail is at your residential address.

Does it add any value to my business?

Yes! Ensuring that you’re compliant also means you are legally allowed to use the business address of the location!

Our operator, who for the sake of this article we’ll call “M”, mentioned that most members aren’t too keen on compliance—they’re not sure what it means or how it affects them (or could care less). Our suggestion? Launch an educational campaign! It can be an email, a message, or a simple reminder when they pick up their mail. Emphasize why compliance matters and how it can make a difference to their business and membership.

M also mentioned that members who know a bit about compliance often see it as ‘our’ problem, meaning the coworking space’s responsibility. But here’s the thing: if we continue to operate without reinforcing the rules and allowing members to receive their mail regardless, it might indeed become a problem for us.

Practices as lenient as these can result in you, the business owner, losing your CMRA status, which we definitely want to avoid. So, if it means marking even your favorite member’s mail as ‘return to sender’, then that’s what we have to do until they become fully compliant.

Another question that seemed to permeate the “why would I even care about becoming compliant” sphere is about IDs:

Why do you as an operator need two forms of ID when the one I’m giving you is valid? Plus, why do you need two IDs, isn't one enough?

Here’s the deal: The United States Postal Service is a federal branch of the US government that follows strict protocols similar to other government offices. That’s why they ask for two different forms of ID, which is especially important when handling private and personal items like someone else’s mail. We need to be absolutely certain about your identity to protect your privacy and ensure secure handling of your mail.

M, our stellar interviewee, expressed a frustration that we’re sure will resonate with all operators: 

“Unfortunately, the USPS database is incredibly limiting. What used to be a very large amount of accepted IDs are now falling under the same category when uploading them into the database. For example, a driver’s license and non-driver IDs are all grouped into one category: Driver/Non-Driver’s ID. This causes a lot of headaches when you’re trying to upload them or fill out information—you get an error code saying you can only use that category once. It’s tough for everyone involved.”

Postal mail compliance is all about making sure Commercial Mail Receiving Agencies follow federal rules and regulations when they receive physical postal mail for others. If you want to explore more about what postal compliance means head to our Compliance Resource page for more resources!

About PilotoMail

PilotoMail is a mail management platform that creates recurring revenue streams for mailrooms through postal mail handling automation, and virtual mailboxes for the remote workforce. Property managers, coworking spaces, mail centers & registered agents can handle large volumes of mail efficiently, comply with all postal regulations, and increase revenue from their existing footprint effortlessly.

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