A “permanent address” has become less relevant as society is driven forward by technology. I no longer need (or want) physical post, at best it is an inconvenience and at worst it causes me to miss important information. I’m removing my postbox.
Proof of Address (PoA)?
As I see it, the only reason it seems like we need permanent address is really as PoA for borrowing but banks, pay day loans, credit card companies mostly give out unsecured loans via the phone or internet so it it really that useful? Moreover, they trust credit agencies, who trust electoral registers and other financial institutes to have the right address. When asked to send PoA to whomever, they typically ask for a utility bill or driving licence. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) get proof by posting you the licence and I haven’t received a physical copy of a utility bill in two years. The whole idea of an address is a remnant of a bygone era.
In fact, all my bills are sent electronically, with the exception of my council tax and all (without exception) are paid online.
Some may argue that mortgages obviously need a permanent address but the last time I applied for a mortgage I did it all online. Proof of ownership is what is needed, which can easily be found on the land registry.
Proof of Identity != Proof of Address
Somehow the incumbent organisations need to move on from the idea of a permanent address and focus on proof of identity.
I current share a postbox with a downstairs flat and I’m not sure they would be happy if I removed it. However, my next house will not be coming with a letterbox. The postman can knock if they want my attention.