, also known as General delivery
in the United States
, is the service
offered by the post office
of most countries. Mail
is addressed to the recipient's
name, with the words "Poste restante" below that, and then the city
the mail is to be delivered
to, plus applicable postal codes
, &c. Such mail upon receipt by the postal service
is to be held in the city's central
post office to be picked up by the recipient, who must prove that they are indeed the addressee
. Poste restante is very useful for sending mail to travellers
, though they must be aware that they are to receive
Here's what the USPS' Domestic Mail Manual has to say about "General Delivery":
D900 Other Delivery Services
D930 General Delivery and Firm Holdout
D930 describes the intent
of general delivery
and how to obtain and use a firm holdout
1.0 General Delivery
General delivery is intended primarily as a temporary means of delivery:
a. For transients and customers not permanently located.
b. For customers who want post office box service when boxes are unavailable.
1.2 Service Restrictions
General delivery is available at only one facility
under the administration
of a multifacility post office. A postmaster
may refuse or restrict general delivery:
a. To a customer who is unable to present suitable identification.
b. To a customer whose mail volume or service level (e.g., mail accumulation) cannot reasonably be accommodated.
1.3 Delivery to Addressee
A general delivery customer can be required to present suitable identification before mail is given
to the customer.
1.4 Holding Mail
General delivery mail
is held for no more than 30 days
, unless a shorter period
is requested by the sender. Subject to 1.2, general delivery mail
may be held for longer periods if requested by the sender
The Domestic Mail Manual can be found at http://pe.usps.gov/text/dmm/DMMTC.htm