Where I am, if you live in an apartment you have to have your name on the door to get stuff delivered to your apartment. If the name on the package isn't one of the names on your door, it won't get delivered.

I'm going to the US, staying at an Airbnb apartment, and need to receive a package.

Is it possible for me to receive a package if it's sent to my name + their address?

  • 10
    You may wish to add the line c/o Owners Name The owner, while away, may have their own mail held, or forwarded to another address, in which case it can be a problem.
    – Giorgio
    Feb 14, 2017 at 23:34
  • 1
    Anecdotally only, 'yes.' I did exactly as @Dorothy said and had absolutely zero issues. I am not an attorney, but just speaking from personal experience.
    – Mikey
    Feb 15, 2017 at 4:33
  • Ask the AirBNB host. They may have suggestions to make sure you don't have a problem.
    – Karen
    Feb 15, 2017 at 14:26
  • I live in the US and regularly have items shipped to myself both at work and at home without listing my name. In practice, as long as the address is correct it's not normally a problem. Many of the answers below cite some specific regulations that state that you SHOULD include a valid name -- but in my personal experience it's not normally checked. They may be stricter if the package is coming from overseas. Also, as some have indicated, if the package requires a signature and nobody is home to accept it, then you may be required to show matching ID when you pick it up.
    – A C
    Feb 15, 2017 at 18:49
  • 1
    I get random mail all the time from people that don't live with me (previous tenants, typos in the address, friends, etc). But since you are sending mail to someone else's house that you plan to be at, I'd do what others say and ask the host first. They may not want to take responsibility for your packages and they will appreciate your consideration.
    – coblr
    Feb 15, 2017 at 22:31

5 Answers 5


It depends on the delivery service, and it depends on the package, and it depends on the location. We can't give you a definitive answer without more information about the apartment and how it is set up.

Mail and packages are misdelivered all the time; there is certainly no law against it. In cases where delivery is direct to the recipient— the U.S. Postal Service to an official mailbox, or via delivery or courier service whether signed for at the door or left at the door— you will generally have no problem.

There are various relevant regulations in the Domestic Mail Manual, notably under Recipient Options. Broadly speaking, however the recipient's name is mainly of interest because there are provisions where a certain recipient wants to block mail from being delivered to an address— a change of address form, refusal from a certain sender, vacation holds, refusal of sexually explicit material, and so forth. The rules for commercial services are governed by their Conditions of Carriage document, for instance see FedEx and UPS.

Indirect delivery

But there are certainly cases where you may not reliably receive mail or packages addressed to you at a particular location, namely large buildings and institutions. In some cases, either the Postal Service, or private delivery/courier services, or both may deliver to some agent of a large building or institution like a high-rise apartment, condominium complex, or student dormitory. They will essentially never deliver to individual rooms of places like hotels or hospitals. In all such cases, the building has a mailroom, concierge, or other office that accepts the mail and packages and distributes it internally.

In some cases, packages too large to fit in the mailbox will be placed in a locker, and the key to the locker (or the combination or keycode) placed in your mailbox. But in older buildings, the volume of deliveries may be overwhelming, and they may make you jump through some hoops.

I lived in such a high-rise. The front desk signed for all USPS packages, then left a slip in the unit's mailbox to claim it. If you didn't have the key to the mailbox, or you lost the slip, you could go down and tell them the unit number and show ID that matched the recipient name. But FedEx and UPS packages went to the building concierge, and they would refuse any package addressed to someone who was not on the official list of building residents. They didn't want to take up scarce storage space for misdelivered packages, and didn't want the liability for returning unclaimed ones. It was easier simply to refuse delivery to anyone they didn't recognize.

One way to deal with this problem is to have the package addressed in care of the owner or other registered tenant, as others have suggested:

Your Name
c/o Owner's Name
1234 Main St, Apt 789
Anytown, US 87654

Hold for pickup

If the package requires that the recipient sign for it, and you are unavailable, it may be held at the post office or distribution center until you can pick it up. You can also deliberately send packages poste restante, which is called General Delivery in the U.S. You would address the package to the post office for a particular ZIP code, which will hold it for 30 days until you pick it up after showing your ID:

Example of a General Delivery mailing label, which is the recipient's name, "General Delivery", City, State, and ZIP Code

If you are shipping by FedEx or UPS, you can also request to have items held for pickup at a nearby installation of theirs, or at an alternative delivery location. These alternative locations are intended to be used by businesses, not individuals, and you may not qualify to use all of them, but for example in some cases you can have UPS packages sent to Staples, an office supply retailer, and FedEx accepts qualified shipments to FedEx Office locations (formerly Kinko's).

By the same token, if you are ordering from a major retailer, most will make the package available for you to pick up at a nearby location, e.g. Home Depot, Best Buy, Walmart, and so on. Amazon.com and others have set up delivery lockers in some cities where you can pick up your order with an electronic code.

  • 1
    I see a small risk of misunderstanding in the last paragraph. The seller, if it's a retail chain, will suggest you pick up at its nearest store — not that of some other chain. Maybe obvious, maybe not. Feb 16, 2017 at 7:13

It depends on if it's being shipped by the US Postal Service or a private company(FedEx, DHL, Etc.). The postal service offer "holds", which prevent any mail(including packages) from being delivered to a particular address. If your host has one of these in place, then the package will be held at the post office, and only they will be able to pick it up. Private companies are not party to holds and will deliver regardless. I would suggest using a private company with tracking, worst case scenario you can pick it up at one of their retail locations. You could also use General Delivery(internationally known as poste restante), but I would use caution with this method because, as far as I know, it is not widely used.

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    The rest of the world knows it as poste restante, but you can certainly mail to general delivery in the US from anywhere in the world. Feb 15, 2017 at 7:18

We have received letters and a couple of packages for relatives that are not listed. We have also received one horribly mislabeled package, it was meant for us but the postman certainly wouldn't know that. Never has it been a problem.

Besides, they don't even have any way to know. Our mailbox has a list of names--but it's the work of the postman, not from any official sources. I know that because my wife's maiden name shows up--she sometimes uses it professionally but it is not her legal name. Furthermore, that list of names is on the inside, somebody without a key can't see it at all. That means UPS and the like have no access to it, all they have to go on is what is written on the package. Nowhere on our house does anybody's name appear.


Yes it is very possible and done all the time. Just make sure it is okay with your host and you're fine.



An issue here (UK, perhaps someone could comment from the US as I'm sure it will be a little different), is that if there's someone in when a parcel is delivered (or it's small and doesn't need signing for so goes in the letter box), you're fine. But if there's no one there the postman (or delivery service person) will put a card through the door and you need to go and collect it. At that point they want to see ID. This varies from company to company. In the strictest cases they want to see your name and that address on the same piece of government/bank/utility-company issued paper. Of course you don't have that if you don't live there. The post office just want proof of name (usually, in practice). So using care of and the host's name would help, but would mean that the host would need to pick it up.

  • If this is completely inapplicable to the US case I'm happy to delete it, but there was too much detail to put into a comment when pointing out a new potential problem Feb 15, 2017 at 9:26
  • In residential areas, packages may get left on doorstep if no one is available to sign for it. If a signature is required, they may leave a slip with information about how to pick it up, when to reschedule delivery, or a signature line to release the delivery company from liability and let them drop off the package. Since a package was reported stolen from a previous resident at my house, I end up having to sign a lot of those releases. Requiring the addressee's reception in person is relatively uncommon except for highly valuable or sensitive materials.
    – choster
    Feb 15, 2017 at 15:32
  • @choster, thanks. In our case anyone can receive it at the stated address, but even though you have to have access to the address to pick up the card, they want proof of who releases their liability. We also get parcels on the doorstep but that's very variable. Feb 15, 2017 at 15:49

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