E-911 changes disrupt mail to county addresses

Lawton_Some people who live in rural Oklahoma are having a hard time getting their mail. It all started with E-911 changes to county addresses. Since that time, some mail either goes to the wrong place, or comes so late some people have creditors calling.

Before the streets out in the county didn't have a physical address. Now that they do, mapping all these new locations is becoming such a problem state representatives are taking the issue to the capitol.

"Sometimes you'll see several different people with the same name," said Rush Springs Representative Joe Dorman. "You'll see a junior, or a third, and so it gets confusing if they don't know what street address is connected to that individual with a post office box."

So a lot of things are getting returned to the sender -- asking them to put on a proper address. Representative Dorman says this confusion is because the counties have not been communicating the street changes properly with the post offices. And the post offices haven't been inputting the new information as quickly as possible. But they're not the only problem. "One of the biggest culprits we're seeing are utilities not changing over quickly enough because the utility is in the address of the actual physical place," Dorman said. "And then when it doesn't get changed over with the E-911 address, it's causing difficulties."

Dorman says the utility companies have also been slow about changing those addresses over, even as the mail gets sent back to them. So bills are getting slowed down in the process, a problem Dorman knows all too well. "In fact I was a victim of this too," he said. "Just a few months ago I received a notice from a collection agency that I hadn't paid a bill. And the reason was it was going to my street address in Rush Springs on Apache Street, they weren't sending it to my post office box. First time I even knew about it is when the collection agency contacted me."

While Representative Dorman is tackling the issue at the state level, Congressman Dan Boren is trying to get the problem corrected at the federal level.