USPS Is Asking for These Changes to Your Mailbox, Starting Sunday
You risk not getting your mail delivered if you don't follow this advice.
Your mailbox is what keeps you connected to the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). It's where your carrier drops off your mail, and picks up any outgoing letters—allowing you to avoid a trip to the post office. But the USPS is serious about mail security, so it won't deliver your mail unless certain conditions are met. The agency actually has strict regulations for mailboxes, and you may need to make some modifications to meet current standards. Read on to learn more about the mailbox changes the USPS is asking for, starting Sunday.
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Your mailbox can prevent you from getting your mail.
If you don't get mail on a given day, it's generally not cause for alarm—but in some cases, your house was skipped on purpose.
As the USPS warns on its website, both blocked or full mailboxes may prevent your mail from getting delivered. This can also happen if your mailbox is damaged or broken. Property owners are responsible for their personal mailboxes—which means they must maintain them and make any repairs when necessary, according to the agency.
Not doing so could prevent you from getting your regular deliveries. If you don't correct issues, you "risk having your mail service suspended until the problems are resolved," the Postal Service says.
The USPS is now asking customers to check their mailbox.
The Postal Service is gearing up for its own spring cleaning through Mailbox Improvement Week, which it holds every year in the third full week of May. This annual campaign from the USPS is meant to "encourage customers to examine and, where necessary, improve the appearance of their mailboxes," the agency explained in a May 15 press release.
Mail Improvement Week runs from May 21 to May 27 this year. To honor this annual event, the USPS is asking homeowners to inspect their mailboxes at the start of the week. Your mailbox should be safe to use, designed to protect the mail from weather, conveniently located, neat in appearance, and in-line with approval regulations from the Postmaster General, according to the agency.
If it's not, you'll need to take action to avoid losing your delivery service.
The agency says you may need to make changes.
Mailboxes can experience a good amount of wear and tear every year, which is why the Postal Service runs this improvement campaign annually.
"Repairing mailboxes improves the security, accessibility, and appearance of their mailboxes which makes delivering and receiving mail safer for our carriers and customers," USPS Tennessee District Manager Omar Coleman said in a statement.
In order to make sure your mailbox is in tip-top shape, you might need to make certain changes. Some of the common repairs include replacing loose hinges on your mailbox door, repainting mailboxes that have rusted or started peeling, remounting loosened mailbox posts, and replacing or adding house numbers.
"This is especially important in areas that receive a lot of heat and sun during the summer months," Coleman added, noting that hot weather can exacerbate worn receptacles.
But be cautious if you're planning to replace your mailbox altogether.
If your mailbox is too far gone, you might consider just getting a new one instead of trying to repair it. But the USPS is advising homeowners to be extra cautious when installing a new mailbox or replacing a worn one.
"He or she must use only Postal Service-approved traditional, contemporary or locking full/limited-service mailboxes," Coleman explained.
He added, "Customers must be careful when purchasing curbside mail receptacles because the use of unapproved boxes is prohibited."
If you want to use a custom-built mailbox, you need to talk to your local post office first. They can ensure yours "confirms to guidelines applying to flag, size, strength and quality of construction," the USPS said.
- Source: https://faq.usps.com/s/article/No-Mail-Delivery
- Source: https://faq.usps.com/s/article/Mailbox-The-Basics
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/local-releases/tn/2023/0515-mailbox-improvement-week-arrives-in-time-for-spring-cleaning.htm
- Source: https://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/2007/html/pb22206/mailboxkit.4.1.html
- Source: https://www.usps.com/manage/mailboxes.htm