Whether you’re sprucing up your home with a custom-designed mailbox, or replacing one that got damaged, you may be wondering if there is anything you need to know about USPS mailbox installation.
Well, we’re going to cover all of your questions in this article, including USPS rules, where to place your mailbox, and how to install one. If you have any questions like these, then make sure to keep reading this article!
How Does USPS Mailbox Installation Work In 2023?
USPS requires that you get approval from your local postmaster general for a new mailbox installation (or to change a mailbox’s location) in 2023. Curbside mailboxes must measure 41” to 45” from the road to the bottom of the mailbox, and be placed 6” to 8” away from the curb. Wall-mounted mailboxes must be near the main house entrance.
If you’re looking for even more details about USPS’ regulations regarding mailbox installation, then be sure to read the entire article!
Do I Need Permission from USPS to Install a Mailbox?
Whether you’re installing a new mailbox, or moving your existing mailbox a couple of inches, you need to request permission from USPS.
In terms of installing a new mailbox, make sure the one you buy bears a Postmaster General Approved (PMG) seal.
Custom-made mailboxes will be approved if they meet USPS’ established standards.
If you want to move your existing mailbox, call your local post office and speak with the delivery manager about the change.
Letting USPS know about changes to your mailbox location ensures that you’ll continue to get your mail on time.
Mail carriers have a specific line of travel they adhere to when preparing and distributing mail.
If they’re not aware of new mailboxes or location changes, then you may see a delay in mail delivery.
While most cases are approved, your mailbox installation may get rejected if you put it in a spot considered dangerous for a mail carrier, or if you put it somewhere that blocks access to a driveway or road.
How Do I Get a USPS Mailbox Approved?
Having a USPS-approved mailbox is essential to ensure timely mail delivery.
One option is to purchase a mailbox pre-approved by USPS. Such mailboxes will have a sticker indicating that they’re approved by the Postmaster General (PMG).
If you want to build your own mailbox, or buy one that’s custom-made, show your plans to the local postmaster for approval.
Finally, if you want to get drawings or measurements for building your own mailbox, write to US Postal Service Engineering.
Can I Put My Mailbox Anywhere?
You have a lot of leeway when it comes to where you put your mailbox, but USPS does have some regulations.
These regulations don’t come from USPS at the national level, but rather from local postmasters.
Postmasters are given the power to decide specific mailbox rules based on what’s best for their geographic location and mail service.
We’ll go into more detail about these rules in later sections, but in general, your mailbox must be in a safe, accessible location that doesn’t block access to driveways or roads.
What Are the Rules for Mailbox Placement?
One of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to mailbox placement is that the box must be easily accessible for your postal carrier.
Therefore, the approach to your mailbox should be clear of obstructions, so as to allow for safe delivery access.
If a mail carrier can’t reach your mailbox, then the postmaster may withdraw delivery service.
For curbside mailboxes, follow these guidelines:
- Position your mailbox 41” to 45” from the road to the bottom of the mailbox or the point of mail entry.
- Place your mailbox 6” to 8” back from the curb. If you don’t have a raised curb, ask your local postmaster for guidance.
- Put your house or apartment number on the mailbox in clear lettering, at least 1” high
- If your mailbox is on a different street from your house or apartment, put your full street address on the box
- Use a mailbox support that’s stable, but will bend if a car hits it
For wall-mounted mailboxes, follow these guidelines:
- Get a wall mailbox that can handle a normal day’s mail volume (e.g. letter sized-envelopes, postcards, and catalogs)
- Place the mailbox near the main entrance so your mail carrier can easily see it
- Choose any size or style you like- mounted mailboxes are not required to have a Postmaster General (PMG) seal of approval
Does It Matter What Side of the Driveway Your Mailbox Is On?
USPS doesn’t have any specific requirements about which side of the driveway your mailbox is on.
That being said, there does seem to be a fair amount of discussion about this question amongst mail carriers.
Some say that they don’t have a preference. Others say you should put it on the side that’s closest to your front door.
Still others recommend putting it on whichever side is easiest to see from your home.
If you’re not sure and don’t have a preference, follow what your neighbors have done (i.e. if they all have mailboxes on the right side of the driveway, put yours on the right too).
Alternatively, you could ask your mail carrier if they have any preference about which side of the driveway to put the mailbox on.
When it comes to installing a mailbox, it may seem like USPS’ regulations are excessive, but don’t get too caught up in the details.
As long as you’re using a pre-approved mailbox and/or post, you won’t have to worry too much about making mistakes with the installation.