Mailbox Regulations

Mailbox Regulations – Regulations You Shouldn’t Ignore

The USPS (United States Postal Service) has mailbox regulations regarding residential mailboxes and mail delivery.  Mailbox requirements are designed to standardize the mail receptacle, mail delivery and pickup.

Post Mount and Curb Side Mailboxes

There are regulations regarding curbside mailboxes.  A curbside mailbox can be one of three size for residential mail:-

  • Small T1 (C1)size is approximately 5 inches wide by 6 inches tall and 18 ½ inches long.
  • Medium T2 (C2) size is approximately 6 inches wide by 7 inches tall by 19 inches long.
  • Large T3 (C3) size is approximately 8 inches wide by 11 ½ inches tall by 22 ½ inches long.

The “T” stands for Traditional and the “C” stands for Contemporary.  The dimensions reflect the minimum interior size.

The Importance of Mailbox Positioning

Curbside or Post Mount Mailboxes

The curbside mailbox post should be positioned 6-8 inches from the curb and approximately 42-46 inches high measured from the lawn to the top of the installed curbside mailbox, not the top of the post.  If the post has a vertical arm, the arm should not extend any closer than 6 inches from the curb.  When installing your new set, make sure your set complies with these regulations.

Be cautious when building your own mailbox and post. Approximately 100 motorists are killed yearly in collisions with curbside mailboxes.  Some posts are mounted in concrete or constructed of indestructible materials. In a collision, a motor vehicle can be severely damaged and its occupants injured or killed.

Placement of Wall Mount Mailboxes

The USPS does not have rules or regulations for wall mount mailboxes, however, you should notify your local mail carrier before installation to ensure proper placement of the mailbox and check for any local codes or regulations governing placement of the mailbox.  The mailbox should operate easily and nothing should obstruct the opening and closing of the lid.

If you live in a community governed by a home owners association then they will have their own rules or requirements which you need to comply with.

Comments

  1. Kim Evans says

    I would like to know what the laws are pertaingin to posting association notices on curbside, residential mailboxes in a planned community.

    Thank you.

    • Thanh Lieu says

      I would like to know the management of Mobile home Park can put the rent bill and the notice to the curbside mailbox in each unit in the Park.
      Thank you

    • Jonathan Martin says

      You can post notices on the outside of a mailbox as long as it does not interfere with the pick-up or delivery of the mail,,,,,I am a USPS Letter Carrier

      • Knowledge Hound says

        NO, YOU MAY NOT:
        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. The USPS Domestic Mail Manual goes on to states that it is a federal offense and there is a significant penalty for violating this law.
        http://www.residential-mailboxes.net/mailbox-laws-and-regulations/law-for-residential-mail-box

      • Diana and Raymond Brown says

        We are new to the area and I noticed that the mail person usually delivers mail to the boxes around 2:30 in the afternoon. My question is this, 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? We have never lived in a country setting neighborhood and we are originally from Illinois.

        Any assistance you could give would be appreciated.

        I want to follow all laws and regulations faithfully.

        • Rhea Ramsey says

          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.

    • Knowledge Hound says

      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. The USPS Domestic Mail Manual goes on to states that it is a federal offense and there is a significant penalty for violating this law.

      • peggy sanders says

        fed-ex put a package in my mail box. and when i tried to get the over stuffed oackage from my mail box my mail box broke off the base that it sat on. who do i report this to. it’s my understanding that it is illegal for any one to put mail in there except for USPC.
        VERY UP SET AND WANT TO FILE A COMPLAINT

    • brenda says

      So far as our HOA is concerned, one cannot put a name on a mailbox. While this is one of our rules, I would also caution you against doing that even if it were allowed. In these days of identity theft and other intrusions on our privacy, it just may not be the best idea to put your name on your mailbox. Hope this is helpful.

  2. Margarite says

    3.1.4 Clear Approach
    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.

    Domestif Mail Manual (DMM) USPS

    • Lillian Olsen says

      Do I have the right to post a limited parking sign on either side of my mail box?

      I live next door to a church and day care that runs out of the church. the teachers park
      on either side of my mail box and the USPS driver cannot pull into the curb and out again
      easily or without get out of his car.

    • olehip says

      Does the post master have the right to stop mail deliverly in the case we moved our mail box from crub side to 5 feet in the yard. We are putting a side walk in and it would be a hazard to the children walking on the side walk. Any help thank you.

    • Lori says

      I too would like to know the answer to Vals question, and if the answer is no, what does one do about it?

    • rmPublisher says

      Only USPS employees and resident owners (to whom the mailbox belongs) are allowed to access the mailbox.

  3. frank landry says

    Can a person put trash in your mail box because they found trash in a ditch line. They are trying to make a point but I don’t thik this is the way.

  4. need help says

    help!! there is a truck parked daily, atop of my grass, and curb, and atop of my curbside mail box. this neighbor has
    5 vehicles, and says, he will not move his vehicle. we are squeezed into this cul-de-sac. he says his garage is for entertaining!! what are the usps rules??

      • reneethatsall says

        IF ITS YOUR PROPERTY HAVE IT TOWED OR AT LEAST TAGGED BY THE CITY. YOU CAN ALWAYS SAY THE CITY DID IT, CAUSE THE POST MAN COMPLAINED….HEHEHE

    • Allen says

      Is there anything legally we can do about a neighbor that always parks at the curb in front of our mailbox,causing us to not get our mail? We have asked them to not park there when mail is due, but they don’t listen.

      • carrrier says

        Research traffic violations, in Fl during certain hours u are not allowed to park within 30′ on either side of box.

  5. Bob Laird says

    If a mailbox is not within regulations being put too close to the curb, and I hit the mailbox and break my mirror is the homeowner responsible for replacing my mirror?

  6. autoversicherung vergleich says

    I had been arguing with my close friend on this issue for quite a while, base on your ideas prove that I am right, let me show him your webpage then I am sure it must make him buy me a drink, lol, thanks.

    – Kris

  7. Ronnie says

    I have a neighbor that continues to park in a manner that block my mailbox. I have ask the neighbor to stop blocking the mail box but it continuse to happen. The postal personal has not been able to deliver my mail and this is a problem. Does the USPS have any rule regarding this?

  8. gj says

    i got a question is it ok to have many names in a mailbox eventhough they dont leave here…. coz sometimes if there’s a new mailman or mailwoman in our street they dont put the right mail on the mailbox and its been 4 days. and when we check the other mailbox our mail was there… and here’s the weird thing the people that live upstairs on us they take our mail gues how i found out i got a catalog issue on dec 2010 that i got first den the next week i got a catalog with the same name and its dated on august 2010. how weird is that? and i caught the girl pulling out mail from my landlords mailbox the one that sticking out she pulled it right out and put all the mail in their mailbox and by the end of the week they clean their mailbox with the mail that she took didnt even bother putting it in the right mailbox.

  9. DeAnna says

    I have a neighbor who puts notes in my mailbox any she wants to communicate with us. What is the law concerning this situation?

      • Rob says

        Do you know the regulation that says that specifically? Regulation form and number? I’m having a hard time finding it on the net…
        Thanks.

        • SHIRLEY HABROCK says

          The driving area for the mail carrier directly in front of the mail box has two huge holes. They are getting longer and deeper. Who is responsible for filling these holes? I live on Highway 35, Emerson, NE 68733

  10. Judy says

    Is it possible for a person living in a recreational camper trailer as his permanent location to have and use a mailbox at his rural location?

  11. Kevin says

    I have a neighborhood cluster box that does not have a drop slot, requiring me to go elsewhere to mail items.
    Is there some law or rule preventing me from installing my own box on my property. Who determines weither you can or can’t?

  12. DON F says

    I have a neighbor that insist on parking his van as to block my mailbox.Is there a law on the books regarding this issue.

  13. C Bacon says

    in winter esp. I would like my mail delivered to my house and not down the lane at a box.
    I am to old to go out everyday to get mail this way and liked having it delivered to my door/ handed to me. wish there were some rules about this for the benefit of seniors.

  14. Natalie says

    I’ve noticed that there are colored stickers placed our mailboxes. 1. A white rectangle, 2. A red circle, 3. A black circle (I think it was a circle). What do they stand for? I live in Charlotte, NC?

    • Snoglydox says

      I know this is really late, but the stickers sound like newspaper route “hints;” stickers are used by some newspapers to indicate delivery status (week delivery, weekend delivery, stop delivery, behind on payments, etc.)

  15. Lizz says

    I am a bit upset that I cannot insert the annual civil code (paper) into my tenants mail box on an annual basis. I just had a postmaster bring me back all of the civil codes which I inserted. This is a community on private property, I have had a extreme run-in with one of the tenants several years ago and he beat the heck out of me. I was traumatized needless to say and so I really have an issue with delivering this item to tenants doors. I also don’t understand why if I cannot touch mail going in and out of the mail box, what gives postmaster the right to go and retrieve each individual paper, just to them all back to me and reprimand me for doing something so horrible. My tenants weren’t complaining, they knew I was out there inserting this item into their mailbox and besides that, earlier this year the new mailman who was learning this route, took a sharpie pen and wrote on each individual mailbox the address number or house number. It looked hideous, people were angry and appalled that a usps carrier had the gall to do this and was so naive that he didn’t have the ability to read the numbers right off of the home. My numbers were inpossible for Mr. Magoo to miss, I don’t understand why they are so government sometimes and not so much at other times. I believe their privelage is one which is unfair and we should have some say one way or the other.
    Thank you for listening.

  16. Kim says

    I’m sorry that you did not like what I wrote, but I thought we were able to speak our minds.
    Am I hurting someone’s feelings? Obviously the good O’l Governments!!!

  17. karry says

    I purchased a new mail box because the one that was previuosly installed was cracked and my mail was getting wet.
    I set the post and mail box in the exact location of the old one. The address numbers were not placed on the box yet and when I came home friday evening the numbers were wrote on the mail box i purchased by the mail carrier with a white marker.

    Do the Mail carrier have the write to MARK on purchased property WITH OUT NOTIFYING THE CUSTOMER FIRST?

  18. steve says

    My neighbor across the street has back into and knocked over my mailbox 3 time over the past year. Both of our mailboxes are in my yard but only mine is getting run over because it is the first one to be hit. This time when I put it back up I put it on the other side of his so that they would run over their own mailbox first. The mailman is now telling me that I must move it back to the other side because it is not in the right numerical order. Is he right?

  19. Sheila says

    I have a neighbor who has now twice left letters in my mailbox regarding her/his opinion of my dog’s barking. The letters are not signed and I don’t think it’s legal for this person to open my mailbox. Is it and if not, who do I report it to?

  20. Liz Warner says

    Is it okay to put flyers for local events in the APS (newspaper) boxes? It’s not actually in the mailbox. What are the rules on the APS boxes?

  21. Nima says

    Hi, I don’t like to receive advertisements, then I put the sticker wrote on it ” NO Ads” and stick it inside my mail box.

    Is it ok?

  22. Shawna says

    I recently moved from one apartment to another thats in the same complex.I have already completed/confirmed my change of address. I asked the manager if they would notify me if the new tenant brought my mail to the office. He said they would, then added, “if she brings it to the office. But she would be well within her rights to throw it away.” That doesnt sound right to me.
    Also what is the ettiquette? I have always taken mail that wasnt mine to the mgr. Office..

    • rmPublisher says

      It is whatever the local USPS dictates. If the neighbors boxes are curbside, then you will be required to install curbside also. Check with your local USPS on their requirements.

  23. Donny Griffin says

    I put a note in my cousin’s mailbox next door to advise him of something. If that is not legal, what is the penalty? Does the complaint have to come from him?

    • rmPublisher says

      Only USPS employees (and residents at a particular location, of course) can place/remove items from the mailbox.

      • Rob says

        Do you know the regulation that says that specifically? Regulation form and number? I’m having a hard time finding it on the net…
        Thanks.

  24. Karen says

    Is it permissible to place newsletters for the neighborhood on the mail box posts. The location does not interfere with the mail delivery. I talked with a mail carrier and they said it was ok as long as it didn’t interfere with the mail and it wasn’t on the mailbox itself. The police said it was a federal law they you couldn’t put a anything on the post either.

    Thanks!

  25. Jason says

    Two years ago, I moved into a new town and the post office asked me as a new resident to install a mail box on the curb and I did despite that the previous owner and all my neighbors on the street have wall mounted mailboxes next to the door. Over the two years, two more new residents moved in and none of them has installed curb side mailbox(they said they ignored the notices from post office because all other neighbors didn’t have curb side mail boxes except me) and they continue to receive mails in the original wall mounted mailboxes.

    Since my mail box is the only one sticking in the front lawn on the entire street(12 houses), I want to remove it and use the wall mounted one but the post office said I can’t do it. What shall I do? Any regulation on this?

  26. steve says

    Pep;e keep knocking down my mailbox I’ve confronted them and thay told me that they were goning ti fix it .What is the law on this?

  27. Greg says

    The USPS is requiring that a mailbox tower be erected to service some 40 commercial tenants in my building. Each tenant does have a mail slot in their doors to receive mail. Do I have to build this tower?

  28. Michele says

    Can the developer of my neighborhood install mailboxes that belong to neighbors on my property without my consent? I have checked with the postmaster and he states that the developer did not seek approval from him for the mailbox placement. Is it within my right to remove the mailboxes from my property given that he did not have approval from the USPS to install them?

  29. jerry says

    My girlfriend hit some black ice and slid into a large brick and block mailbox structure. It was built on a footer only 18 inches off of the pavement. The wreck resulted in a totaled car and shattered heel. She just got a steel plate and 11 screws put in her heel.I wonder if the homeowners house insurance should help us with the hospital bills. We are going through hell because of that unbreakable mailbox.

  30. MARIE says

    CAN THE USPS STOP DELIVERY IF YOU MOVE YOUR MAILBOX ON YOUR HOME TO A DIFFERENT LOCATION ON YOUR HOME AND LET THE POSTMAN KNOW AHEAD OF TIME THAT YOU ARE MOVING IT AND HAVE BEEN DOING IT FOR YEARS. THEY HAVE HELD THE MAIL FOR 2WKS WITH NO CALL OR NOTIFICATION THAT DELIVERY WOULD BE STOPPED. IS THERE SOME RULING OR WHERE DO YOU COMPLAIN IF THIS WAS WRONG???

  31. Martha Riggs says

    My renter has allowed friends of theirs to use the address for mail. Their friends live in another country and visit here on occasion. I thought that was illegal. What is the truth?

  32. gary jamison says

    wife & I have a duplex in a small rural Kentucky city that we rent out. This has been a duplex for the last 50+ years and is located in the historical district within 4 blocks of the downtown square.
    The local postmaster has sent our new tenant a letter informing them that they will no longer receive porch delivery. They will be required to place a curbside mailbox in order to get their mail.
    This city street is a state highway which has a lot of commercial traffic involving large trucks. It is only a two lane street which poses a safety issue of retrieving one’s mail.
    For more than 50 years residents have been able to walk out their front door to get their mail from the mailbox on their front porch.
    I have the presence of mind that this is not a standard procedure with the postal service. I would entertain an educated guess that this is a local postmaster’s rule and not a national USPS standard procedure.
    This local post office has been holding our tenant’s mail and we have just learned that their mail has been returned to the sender as having no mail box receptacle or unknown resident, when in fact there is a box on the front porch for the last 50 years. Some of this returned mail involves their utility bills and the utility service knows that the tenant lives at that particular address.
    Any insight into this situation will be of great help.

    thanks, gary in Russellville, Kentucky

  33. says

    A mailman, delivering mail, runs over two sprinkler heads and ruins them. The post office paid for repairs. Can the postmaster, then force the two affected homeowners, plus 5 other nearby homeowners, to move their mail boxes down the street onto one neighbor’s frontage while four of the neighbors, on the cul de sac, are allowed to leave their boxes where they were first installed?
    The postmaster has issued an ultimatum, “the boxes must be moved by Sept. 3rd to avoid interruption of mail services.”

    Is it legal?

  34. jerry Garretson Jr says

    My wife has her mail temporarily going to a neighbors house while we sort some things out. Can she or I check that box for her mail?

  35. mary bonefas says

    we live in a small texas town( Albany,texas) with a population of about 2200 people. I have been informed that we can not have a crub side mailbox for our home address. we were told we have to pick up our mail at the main post office in town. the mailman delivers mail by mail truck to the addresses on the street right behind our home. I was told he couldn’t deliver to our home because we’re not on his route. the town is small I don’t understand why every house can’t have their own mailbox at their home. are there any regulations that pertain to this type of mail delivery system ?

  36. Justin says

    I am wanting to know if there are regulations on House Numbers to be clearly seen in the state Of Missouri or Greene and Christian Counties to be more precise?

  37. gracie says

    I live in a over 55 community. Mailboxes are placed at the curb in front of their homes. My mailbox is placed at the curb in the center of my neighbors yard. I have asked my Postmaster for approval to move my mailbox to the curb in front of my home. He tells me I have to file a hardship claim. I am 70 years old. I want my unlocked mailbox in front of my home for security reasons and so I can access it when it snows. How do I get approval?

  38. AL says

    WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT NEIGHBORS THAT ARE LETTING THEIR DOGS POOP IN FRONT OF OUR MAILBOXES? IS THIS A POSTAL VIOLATION

  39. says

    I still don’t understand y my mail box should be 42′ to 46′ in height. Mine’s 12′ short! what’s the problem can’t the mail person bend down 12′ to put mail in the mail box or r they just bunch of lazy postal workers in the US?Also, since my box is 12′ short jerks driving by w/a bat don’t have very good angle in hitting& knocking off my box….So, if I follow postal regulations & some jerk knocks off my 42′ mail box….who’s going to pay for damages…who the post office?Right, like in my dreams! 3 more days to comply, what r they going to do keep my mail!I’ll just go to the post office & get it!

  40. Gina says

    How often must you get the mail from your mailbox? I usually pick up my may 1-2x a week and now my mail is no longer being delivered with no notice as to where the mail is, how to get it, or what the problem is.

  41. R.Funk says

    I live on a cul-de-sac where I have my own mailbox located south of my driveway and three neighbors mailboxes located north of my driveway on my property. I have asked these neighbors to move their mailboxes from my property because of the damages being caused to my property by neighbors and postage deliveries running over my property. My neighbors refuse to move their mailboxes from my property. One of the neighbors have ample room on his property to relocated his mail box according to postal regulations. The other two neighbors properties do not extend to the curbside. However, Pasco County had placed flags on a utility easement and had explained that these two neighbors have ample room for their mailboxes. I never have given these neighbors permission to locate their mailboxes on my property. Also, every time it rains, a foot of water floods the area by the mailboxes and my driveway due to the continuous use of the neighbors and mail carrier driving over my driveway causing lowering of the area. Having the mailboxes in their present location is also hindering me in the use of my side yard. Is there any reason why these neighbors should be allowed to keep their boxes on my property?

  42. frank rodriguez says

    if I move from a private mail box to another and I request my mail to be forwarded do they have to do it?

  43. says

    can a civilan ask for an audit of thear local post office. can said post office hold your mail for ransom for ten day’sand add a 20 dallor late fee to your mail box, Im pretty sure I paid my rent on it in med decemberYet ont the 2 end of june the closed my mail box, I thought that six month’s was six month’s to the day,I feel they are stealing from me not only money but rental time as well. what can I do?
    are they allowed to set thear own rule’s. and if they are imbezalling our money what can we do about it.????

  44. Jennifer Willard says

    I have been living at my house for the past 27 years and my mailbox has always been in the same location and I have never had any issues. In the past year I have recently got a new mail carrier and as a result have had nothing but issues. First off let me start by saying I don’t live in the greatest area which is half the reason why my mailbox is on the side of my house near my gate. If my current mailman even hears my dogs bark from a locked and closed house, he will not deliver my mail. To me this is ridiculous bc according to him my dogs can break through a double glass window or locked door. I was told by said mailman that their are rules as to where your mailbox can be… Is this true? I see people up and down my street with similar mailbox placement and I seem to be the only one targeted by this ridiculous mail carrier

  45. says

    I had a few complaints here in Ottawa county in holland city at michigan state. My single family residential curb side parking is not ok with them when I am parking near the curbside mail box infront of my yard, even though my car was not even blocking the mail box. The mail service said it’s not ok to park my car near the mailbox in my front yard curb side walk because they wanted to be able to have a easy access without having to get out from there car just by driving right through to drop off the mail. If I won’t stop parking my car in my curbside walk near the mail box they will not drop off the mail. & I think it’s really ridicoulis but in California state I never I had any complaints about my parking in the curbside walk near the mailbox infront of my yard. Is it true or false?

  46. wendy bordsen says

    I have been living at an address in Hollywood Florida for more than a year. With four people at the residence, and only one key. My sister just went on vacation, and the mail is piling up.
    I approached the new mail clerk on 7/10/14 and asked her politely if she would give me the mail. She ignored me because she was talking on her cell phone throughout the whole time.
    She locked the box and walked away. Today The same clerk was delivering mail and I said,”Would you give me the mail for the apartment”, she Irately said. I said ” I know, but she repeated it three more times. How do I get my mail. , “I don’t have to give you any mail.
    Please Email me about how to get my mail.

  47. ashley says

    My landlord fills out a form, and only names listed on the form receive mail in the tenents mail box, all other mail (non-tenents) is delivered to office. It helps so ur mailbox doesn’t have previous tenents mail, but it means if a friend has a letter delivered to ur place for easier pick up. They will not receive it and the landlord can see who has illegal tenents. Is this legal?

  48. J. House says

    I have a new neighbor who has undeveloped property in the woods behind my house and only lives (or camps) there part-time. He asked if he could have his mail sent to my home address. Besides not wanting to be responsible for his mail, what other legal issues might be involved?Truth is, I don’t trust his motives – and would hate to be nailed by the county for property taxes, etc. Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated.

  49. Henry says

    I live in a large condo association. I found an offensive religious book in my locked mailbox without any postal markings or even a wrapper or container – just the book. Apparently according to building management someone had put a book in every mailbox. They are claiming it is the postal worker who delivers the mail daily as he is the only one with a key to the mailroom behind the mailboxes. Is this allowed? It was quite disturbing.

  50. Tim says

    I have a Property Manager client that wants all the cluster boxes fenced on three sides. I have completed one as an example and the carrier has torn it down twice. I’ve read that the immediate area around a cluster box is property of the USPS, so my question is should I give up on this job or is there a way to satisfy both parties?

  51. Barbara says

    Live in a HOA and we have centrally located mailboxes for each street. Who is responsible to maintain the boxes if one if damaged by a snow plow or car hitting it. We recently had our box knocked done by a snow plow and the local post office is giving us a hard time about replacing it. We have had this happen on other streets and it was never problem. These boxes were installed by the post office so isn’t it their responsibility? In the meantime we cannot get mail.

  52. says

    i am disabled and cannot cross the road fast enough before cars going by too fast,
    route 79 Ithaca new York, can i put my mail box on the left side of road so it will be on the same side as my house

  53. says

    My nieghbors had my truck towed. It was in front of the mailboxes over a Sat.night ’til Sun morn. I went down to move it and it was gone.It was there about 14 hrs. She claimed to the police that it was parked illegally. she told the tow truck driver that she didnt know whose truck it was. It was actually half on the edge of the town road but half a truck cant be towed, so she was in a grey area.So we paid had to pay 150 to get the truck back. I know it should have been there, but it was too icey to move it anywhere else. Did she really have the right to have it towed??

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