We put together a collection of responses to the critical question of how do you provide a proof of address if you don’t have an address. Here are the responses!
- Use your parents or friends address, otherwise, use a virtual office service if it’s for a business… If you’re in a new country just use the address of your Airbnb or whatever hotel you’re staying in
- I set up virtual mailboxes and addresses. It’s a game to me.
- In Guatemala, I found a mail delivery place where I was able to use their address as if it was my own; just added my name to the top line.
- For a US address I use a service out of Florida that is specifically designed for boaters and RVers. But there’s no reason other types of nomads couldn’t use it. You can register it as your domicile, get DL, register your vehicles and even register to vote. https://www.sbimailservice.com
- www.physicaladdress.com Been using the service for 2 years. It’s amazing.
- 3 plus years with these guys while I was in Australia. They assign you a box and you can use PO Box or Apt. or Suite etc. very happy so far. https://www.usglobalmail.com/…/mail-package-forwarding/…
- PO Box is so cheap anywhere especially Thailand
- If you’re an American, Texas Home Base is really good. Been using them for over a year. They provide mail forwarding and act as a domicile, so you can use the address for tax purposes.
- I got multiple Utility Bills. Just ask a friend with a flat in countries like Thailand, Georgia or Paraguay if you could pay his utility bill on your name. It is generally easy to do that, just go to the notary and file it with the provider. Long term every nomad should get some Real estate investments anyway, so then it is less of a problem
- Just get a transferwise borderless account. You don’t need proof of address or anything.
- Check out N26. I have just moved to France from Australia and limited paperwork and no proof of address when I got this account, it has been a great bank.
- Georgian (country, not state) banks don’t require proof of address, only a passport. Flights can be fairly cheap from Europe and it’s a wonderful place to visit anyway.
- I’ve been spending years doing this passively about 10 years and actively the last four years. What I’ve discovered is setting up virtual mailing addresses works best. That and persistence plus flexibility. I still have problems with national credit card companies and the like much more than regional brick/mortar banks. I’ve had very few problems with LOCAL (to where I have a virtual address) branches of REGIONAL or NATIONAL banks. Once I’ve setup the checking or savings (why?) or both it’s relatively easy to get a great credit card through them instead of through a separate provider.As an aside it probably helps that I own multiple properties but have the mortgages routed to one or more of the virtual addresses too. All of this causes those virtual addresses to appear on my credit report from the various providers which lends credence to their validity.However, problems persist…New addresses means more questions like do you rent or own? Hmm…rent? Cost is a few hundred a year so I just say $300/month. I mean it could be if used their services to ship mail internationally.
As an aside the credit card and other financial providers have referenced “Homeland Security” as the reason for the scrutiny on my address(es) where they say, “But that’s a mail forwarding service, or that’s a business”. They follow up with “What’s on your driver’s license and what address do you use on your federal income tax filings. Well, it’s one of my virtual address so your move buddy.
I did bother to Google that shit and it turns out that, as suspected, it’s actually the Patriot Act which preceded Homeland Security by a year and a month. I despise such replete consistent imprecision so appreciate my choice to dump those poorly informed companies.
Anyway, to be fair a financial service provider has every right to refuse me service or funds for whatever the fuck reason they would like. I’m fine with that. I won’t pester them and would appreciate if they would stop pestering me too.
Renting an apartment anywhere shouldn’t matter where you have your bank or are you not asking but suggesting that you would want to get a local to your new apartment bank account and/or other financial services. I probably have distinct advantage based upon my age, income, net worth, collateral and ethnicity but I do not NEED to have local banks or maybe I should say I have not perceived of a distinct advantage.
I’m planning on traveling to China next year to visit my daughter and try working remote for a few days while traveling around. Also I regularly get sent to Europe and Scandinavian countries for a few weeks a few times a year and setting up a bank account with or without a physical/virtual address could have some distinct advantages if I were to want to invest in their local markets/businesses. But that’s just a passing fancy or interesting to me want. I’m pretty lazy too so probably will never bother with it.
Good luck to you though and I would be SUPER interested in any insights you find on this or anything else dealing with money.
Hope this is helpful for you! If you’d like to learn more about digital nomading and location independence, here’s our master guide!