|Rural Addressing (faq)|
Q: Why is Wabasha County changing everyone's address? What's wrong with my old address?
A: The old Rural Route Box style addressing is nearly impossible to locate in an emergency, because it is setup to facilitate easy mail delivery, but is of little assistance to emergency responders. Fire numbers have been used, but they also are not the best method of locating residences. The new rural addressing system is a logical, sequential system based upon an accurate countywide grid, which can be easily integrated into a computerized emergency dispatch system. You see, this new address will be tied to your phone number, so if you call 911, your number and your address will be displayed. This information can also be tied to a computerized map that will show exactly where you are calling. This ensures quick response time in an emergency.
Q: I don't like my new address. Can I keep using my old address?
A: Unfortunately, no. The Post Office will continue to deliver mail to your previous address for a period of at least one year after being notified of your new address. Beyond that time frame, we cannot guarantee that your mail will be delivered to your previous address.
Q: Why does my address not have a post-directional (eg. NE, SE, NW, SW) like people in neighboring cities/counties have? Is this a mistake?
A: Cities and some counties put a post-directional on one's address if they have adopted a "quadrant" style addressing system. A quadrant system's numbering starts from a pre-defined point in the middle of a city or county, and the post-direction is determined by which direction the residence is from that point. This works fine for cities, because most residents receive mail from that city's post office. However, if Wabasha County had adopted this type of system and used the community of Theilman as a starting point (because it's near the center of the county), someone with a Kellogg mailing address who lives northwest of Kellogg would have a post-directional of SE. This becomes very confusing and it was decided to start our system in the Southeast corner of the county, and work out from there, without the need for post-directional.
Q: The street sign for my street is in a bad location and/or hard to read. Can somebody move this sign?
A: Street sign location was chosen by the Sheriff's Department, based upon where the sign would be most visible from all directions. However, the sign company had to put many signs in alternate locations due to issues with underground utilities. The Sheriff's Department is currently reviewing the location of and names on the street signs and will be making changes in the next several months. Feel free to call the Sheriff's Department at 651-565-3361 if you feel a sign needs to be changed.
Q: My next-door neighbor has a house number that is not even close to mine. Shouldn't his address be one number higher than mine because nobody will ever build in between us?
A: The rural addressing system is designed to allow up to 1000 addresses per section mile or 500 addresses on each side of the road (north and east sides are even numbers, whereas the south and west sides are odd). Since there are 5,280 feet in a mile, that means that the address will go up by 2 for every 10.56 feet (5280 feet divided by 500 numbers = 10.56). So, if your neighbor's driveway is 100 feet from your driveway, there would be a difference of 18 numbers between your address and his address. And even though no one may ever be able to build in between you and your neighbor, there are other areas in the county where residences are packed together very closely, and we designed the system to be able to accommodate all situations.
Q: Changing my address is a real hassle. Will I ever have to do this again?
A: While we would like to guarantee that your residence's address will never be changed again, we can't do that. However, the rural addressing system is set up to be a permanent addressing system, so the majority of residences in the county will most likely not have to change addresses again for a very long time, if ever. We've spent a lot of time researching how other counties have done their re-addressing, and we know what works, and what doesn't. We also realize what a hassle it is to change your address, so we will certainly try to avoid changing addresses again. But, there will be instances where we will have to change addresses in the future, as outlined by the Wabasha County ordinance.
Q: I have a PO Box at the Post Office in town. Do I need to change my mailing address?
A: No, although the Post Office requires your physical address be updated in their records, and other shippers, such as UPS or FedEx will ask for your E-911 address. Also, it is very important that you CALL your phone company about this address. Have them understand that you want to receive your bill at your PO Box, but that you have an E-911 address you need to give them. If the phone company does not have this information correct, it could delay emergency responders in case of an emergency.
Q: I already have a street style address. Do I need to change my mailing address?
A: Most likely, yes. If you live in the Reads Landing or Sand Prairie area, your address will be changing. Issues have been discovered within these addressing systems which could confuse emergency responders. Rather than change a substantial amount of addresses within these mini-systems, we decided it would make more sense to re-address all rural residents with one, consistent addressing system. If you live within an incorporated city (one with an elected mayor), currently have a street-style address, and have received notification of a new address, the notification letter may have been sent to you in error. Please contact your city hall or the Wabasha County Sheriff's Dept. at 651-565-3361 for more information.
Q: I have a street sign at the end of my private driveway. Won't people think that my driveway is a public road?
A: That's possible. However, if your driveway has 3 or more residences on it, it has to be named and signed. You may also have a signed driveway if it's longer than 500 feet and can't be seen from the road. This is done to assist emergency responders in locating your residence. Assigning a road name to your private driveway does not change ownership or maintenance responsibilities.
If you're concerned about people mistaking your road for a public road, we suggest that you put a sign at the end of your driveway stating that it's a private drive, or placing a No trespassing sign. If you do have people trespassing onto your property after these signs have been placed, please contact the Wabasha County Sheriff's Department for assistance (651-565-3361).
Q: Do I have to get a new driver's license?
A: We recommend that you do. Since you did not physically move, there will be no fee to receive an updated license. Just be sure to bring your address notification form along with you. If your driver's license needs to be renewed within the next year, you may just want to wait until then, since your old address will still be valid. However, keep in mind that if you don't update your address on your driver's license, and your driver's license does not need to be renewed for several years, you may not receive a reminder from MN DVS. This also applies to vehicle titles. If you need more information on this, please contact the Wabasha County Recorder's Office at 651-565-3623 or the Minnesota Department of Public Safety/DVS at 651-296-6911.
Q: Who do I need to notify of my new address? Will Wabasha County help me notify?
A: Aside from the obvious, such as family and friends, be sure to notify the phone company. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOU GIVE THIS INFORMATION TO YOU PHONE COMPANY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. The Wabasha County Sheriff's Department is working to ensure that your telephone company's address database is up to date. However, on occasion a residence may be missed. There are other unique instances where information is not correct within their database. Remember, the primary goal of the new addressing is system is to help locate you in case of an emergency.
Also, you should notify the following offices/companies: The Wabasha County Auditor's Office (651-565-2648), gas/electric, cable TV/satellite, internet, mortgage, loan, MN DVS (Driver's License and Vehicle Title), insurance, magazines, newspapers, school, and daycare. Simply keep track of anything else that shows up in the mail with your old address on it and be sure to notify them of your new address.
Wabasha County does not have the resources to send out address updates to outside companies. Feel free to ask us any questions regarding this change, however. Also, keep in mind that you have at least 1 year to notify everyone of the change.
Q: I gave my mortgage company my new address, and they think I've moved and need proof that I haven't. What do I do?
A: This is why it very important to keep a copy of the notification letter you received in the mail. The Wabasha County Sheriff's Department (651-565-3361) will be able to provide you with a duplicate copy of the notification upon request.
Q: Will I be getting a new fire number sign?
A: Yes. The new signs will be blue in color and will be your new house number. Please don't remove your existing fire sign until you receive your new sign. Feel free to put your new house number on your mailbox and/or house. Also, your new sign may be put in a different location than your old fire sign. This is because the new sign needs to show quickest access to your home in case of an emergency. Please don't move your new sign.