Posta Restante / official address / renting post box / virtual mail box – – Moving to Portugal – Expats Portugal Community Forum
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Posta Restante / official address / renting post box / virtual mail box

8 Posts
6 Users
Posts: 59
Community Member
Topic starter
Joined: 3 years ago

I am exploring options for our post and postal address.

One solution I thought might work would be Posta Resanta but would this be acceptable for official use in getting NIF, bank account and so forth in Portugal? (I have a UK address so EU address? until 31/12/2020)

Perhaps I could rent a post box (apartado) at the local post office - do people do this in Portugal and what would I need to set up one if so? (not a Portuguese address :-D) 

Has anyone done this or know if it would be an acceptable Portuguese address?

I don't want my post coming to the temporary place we will initially residing at.

Or would a virtual mailbox box be the route to go?

Criteria I am after is

* acceptable address for official correspondence in Portugal

* not imposing on newly formed acquaintances (in other words using homeowners address for my correspondence)

* degree of postal security


Would appreciate your experience and idea, please.  

PS today I am only considering solutions, not additional problems 😀



7 Replies

Posts: 0
Joined: 53 years ago

We bought a house in 2017 that was at that time a holiday home. We came every few months from the US. We did not have a post box at our residence although other townhouse owners did. We rented a postal box at the post office. We used it for all our Portugal correspondence but we used the physical residence location on NIF and bank paperwork. It is possible to have a residence address and a post office box for mail. In fact, many Portuguese do not get mail at home, they have to go to the post office and collect their mail. You can fill out a form so that you do not get advertisements or junk mail, only resident addressed mail. It worked out well for us for 2 years until we moved to a new home. Developing a relationship with the postal workers at your local post office is recommended even if you only go there to empty your box. Having contacts is always good. We felt our mail was very secure in the postal box.



Posts: 422
Active Member
Joined: 3 years ago

We used to have an Apartado as the mailman didn't deliver to our farm. It was very easy and convenient. 

I don't think you can use a PO Box for official purposes though.


Posts: 108
VIP Member
Joined: 7 years ago

We have a retenção at the regional post office (small local ones dont offer this service) so that we can used our proper address. It's quite expensive at about 10€ per month. A PO box can be set up at smaller post offices, but you have to use a PO address, this about 60€ per year.

1 Reply
Community Member
Joined: 3 years ago

Posts: 58

@cojabound, could you possibly enlighten me on how long they keep registered mail with retenção? Is it 12 working days or 6? The Correios website is a bit unclear on this.


Posts: 108
VIP Member
Joined: 7 years ago

We have not tested this as we usually collect every 7-10 days. We have had 'signed for/tracked' mail returned to sender occasionally as they have to be collected within a set number of days and we did not expect them. After a while you'll get to know the staff and they will probably allow leniency with standard mail even if there is a time limit for holding it.


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