The questions and answers below are compiled from visitors of this site. They are not necessarily the views of the publishers of this website.
Please see laws and regulations concerning residential mailboxes for more detailed explanations.
General Mailbox FAQs
Can the management of Mobile Home Parks put the rent bill and other notices on our curbside mailboxes?
The USPS Domestic Mail Manual states that “no part of a mail receptacle may be used to deliver any matter not bearing postage, including items of matter placed upon, supported by, attached to, hung from, or inserted into a mail receptacle.” In other words, the mailbox may not be used for anything other than for pieces of mail with postage attached delivered by official carriers.
Can I put mail outgoing with postage stamps on them to get mailed. If this is okay, how does the mail person know that there is mail to be delivered in the mail box?
Your mailbox should have a flag, you raise it to tell the mail carrier you have outgoing mail. If your mailbox doesn’t have a flag, you should get a new one. This is what mailbox flags are for.
U.S. Code Title 39 governing the Postal Service states that the USPS is to provide a service for pickup and delivery of marked mail.
Without the flag, when there is mail in your box, there is no way for the carrier to know that you expect him/her to pick up your mail. Many people only pick up their mail every few days, so the mail sitting in your box looks like delivered mail, not mail to be picked up. The carrier would have to remove all mail out of every box, read every envelope to determine if it is yesterday’s mail for you or mail you want to go out, tripling the time required for mail delivery, and tripling everyone’s postage costs.
Unless notified, the carrier only puts mail in the box. If there is no mail to be delivered to your house on a particular day, the carrier will pass your box unless there is a flag to inform him/her that you would like your outgoing mail picked up. Because of this, USPS requires flags on mailboxes.
USPS-STD-7B contains the specific detailed requirements for mailboxes, which include the requirement for a flag.
The only thing the USPS requires on the mailbox is your house number. If the Homeowners Association says no names, they are within their rights.
With identity theft rampant and the importance of privacy, having your name on the mailbox may create unnecessary risks.
What happened to the "through rain and snow and dark of night a postman will meet his appointed rounds"?
That saying was never a motto, ‘promise’, or policy made by the USPS. It was actually hijacked from an early movie (1920’s or 30’s) and associated with the postal service. The official rules in force regarding residential delivery are designed to ensure the safety of the mail carrier and their vehicle so that the carrier can safely and reliably complete their duties each day to ALL customers on the route, and be present and uninjured (both carrier and their vehicle) to provide that reliable service again the next day to ALL customers on the route.
Only USPS employees and resident owners (to whom the mailbox belongs) are allowed to access the mailbox.
Post-mounted or roadside mailboxes FAQs
Postal carriers must be able to safely approach and leave box without backing. depending on the type of carrier vehicle, usually 10 feet on either side i.e. a total of 20 feet, would suffice.
No, which side of your driveway doesn’t matter, as long as you mount it the correct distance from the road and the correct height.
Domestic Mail Manual section “3.1.4 Clear Approach” states that customers must keep the approach to their mailboxes clear of obstructions to allow safe access for delivery. If USPS employees are impeded in reaching a mail receptacle, the postmaster may withdraw delivery service.
It is always prudent to check with local USPS any time you want to move mailboxes.
If you own the property where they are parking then yes you can. If, however, you are renting then no.
Does the postmaster have the right to stop mail delivery in the case we moved our mailbox from curbside to 5 feet inside the yard? We are putting a sidewalk in and it would be a hazard to the children walking on the sidewalk.
Yes, the postmaster has the right to stop mail if you move the box without permission and it changes the mode of delivery to the box, i.e. driving up to it versus walking.