Detecting and validating Australian private mailboxes

As in the United States, there are alternate mailing options in Australia for receiving packages – or parcels – besides to your home or business. For example, PO Boxes and Private Bags are offered by the Australia Post, and there are third party providers of private mailboxes as well as other mailing options.

In this article, we will look at the 5 most common alternate mailbox services offered in Australia along with carrier compatibility, address information, and how to use our DOTS Address Validation International API to validate and parse out these addresses to identify most different mailbox services.

1. The Post Office Box (PO Box)

This is the most widely known and popular mailbox alternative for general use. Australia Post supplies PO Boxes for business or personal use as a safe and secure alternate to having mail and parcels delivered to your door. It works for parcels delivered by Australia Post and StarTrack but does not support other third party carriers. An example of a PO Box mailing address looks like this:

PO Box 105
North Sydney NSW 2060

Our service response is as follows:

2. The Post Office Box Plus

Australia Post recently introduced The Post Office Box Plus as an upgrade to the PO Box by accepting deliveries from other carriers, not just Australia Post and StarTrack. This is for non-business use only, and a customer may use a “suite” number corresponding to their assigned box number, appended to the street address of the relevant post office, as a delivery address for third party delivery providers.

This appears to be a relatively new service offered by Australia Post that went live at the beginning of this month. We have yet to come across an address that we can verify as a PO Box Plus address, since they have a similar address format and service response as a third party private mailbox provider (#5).

3. Private Mail Bag

Private Mail Bags are supplied and/or approved by Australia Post. According to the Australia Post website “A Private Bag is the best way to manage your mail if you live in a rural or remote area of Australia.” Australia Post approves private mail bag services where the customer’s premises are beyond the delivery scope of Australia Post. Parcels and mail accepted can only be via the Australia Post. Private Mail bags do not use street addresses. A sample address looks like this:

Private Mail Bag 6
Campbellfield VIC 3061

Our service response is as follows:

4. Locked Bag

A locked bag is a mailbox offered by the Australia Post. These are similar to private mail bags, but the holder must collect the mail at the post office. Parcels and mail accepted can only be via the Australia Post. The United States Postal Service offers a similar service known as caller service. An example address looks like this:

Locked Bag 4
Haymarket NSW 1240

Our service response is as follows:


5. Private Mailbox (Third party provider)

Third party providers like Mail Boxes Etc. and PACK & SEND offer private mailbox rentals, which provide customers with a street address and “suite” number corresponding to their private box. This gives the virtual presence of a physical business location and a secure mailbox for you to receive all your mail and parcels. This type of mailbox solution receives mail from all carriers. This should not be confused with a Private Mail Bag, which is with Australia Post and is not associated with a street address. An example address looks like this:

Suite 163
16 Cotham Rd
Kew VIC 3101

Our service response is as follows:

Our service will not be able to identify these private mailboxes, since they have a street address and suite number associated with them.

Other mail delivery options in Australia include the General PO Box (GPO Box), Red Door Box (RD Box), Common Box / General PO Box, and Roadside Mail Bag/Box (RMB). Have more questions on handling your Australian addresses? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help!

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