As a homeowner, you’re responsible for meeting mailbox height requirements. This means that your mailbox needs to be high enough so that the Postal Service can easily reach it.
How to Get Mailbox Height Requirements
The state postal service makes the guidelines for the design, size, and installation of mailboxes available and sends them to your local post office who then makes them available to you when you consult them before installing your mailbox.
Why the Height of Your Mailbox Matters
You may not think so, but the height of your mailbox matters. If it’s too low, your mail could get wet or be easy prey for pesky critters. If it’s too high, you may not be able to reach it without a stool or ladder, and that’s just dangerous.
What is the Mailbox Height Requirement?
According to the United States Postal Service, your mailbox should be at least 41 inches high so that you can easily reach in and grab your mail. Anything lower and you’re asking for trouble.
There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a mailbox height. First, make sure to measure the height of your current mailbox and then add the height of the post (if you’re using one). This should give you a good idea of how tall your new mailbox should be.
Also, be sure to take into account the type of terrain you live on. If you have a lot of hills or curves in your street, you may need to adjust the height of your mailbox accordingly.
Conditions for Mailbox Installation
There are two major conditions you must also take note of; installation of mailboxes is at the owner’s risk and it must be installed in agreement with the set standards.
It simply means the property owner is responsible for any damage incurred by the mailbox during road maintenance or highway operations, and the mailbox owner is responsible for any damage incurred if the installation is not per the applicable guidelines.
The reason for these rules is to ensure the safe delivery of mail, and to make sure the mailbox does not become an obstacle or create a hazard for those using and maintaining the highway.
How to Measure the Height of Your Mailbox
Measuring the height of your mailbox is actually pretty simple. Here are a few tips for measuring the height of your mailbox:
- Measure from the ground to the bottom of the mailbox opening.
- If you have a ledge or platform on which your mailbox sits, measure to the top of that ledge.
- If you have a flag or other decorative element on your mailbox, measure to the top of that element.
- Account for any slope or hill on your property—mailboxes should be installed at least six inches above the highest point on the ground.
- Mailboxes must be a minimum of six inches higher than the curb height.
Other Mailbox Placement Rules
Asides from the mailbox height requirements, there are some other important mailbox placement rules to take into consideration. Here are some of them below:
Installing Mailbox Post
Your mailbox post must not be more than 24 inches deep into the ground. The reason for this is that mailboxes that are most secured are not just stable, they can bend or fall away if hit by a vehicle.
A post buried too deep and not flexible, poses a major threat, based on the postal service rules. Ensure you use posts made with farm equipment, like concrete-filled cans, for your local mailbox.
Do not use metal pipes and concrete posts, they have no flexibility if hit by something heavy. A wooden post of 4-inch by 4-inch or 2-inch metal posts made from aluminium or steel is recommended by the federal postal service.
Your mailbox opening should not be more than six to eight inches back from the curb if it has one. If there’s no raised curb in your area, contact your local postmaster for help on where to place your mailbox.
Mark your mailbox with your house address if it is located far from where you reside, don’t just put your house number.
Door Slot Height
If your home has a door slot for mail delivery instead of a mailbox, you must get the state postal service guidelines for slots. For the mailbox slot, the bottom must not be more than 30 Inches above the ground.
The slot opening should not be wider than 1.5 inches and not longer than 7 inches.
Note: When taking measurements for your mailbox post, do not forget that the height measurement is from the ground where you will place your post, not from the road. This is assuming that the mailbox post is on level ground.
If the mailbox post will be placed on the downside of a hill, you must consider this when measuring, this will help position your box lower.
Take note, you are measuring the mailbox door where the hinge is located. This is the standard mailbox height requirement that is most accessible to mail carrier vehicles.
If the positioning is too high or too low, it will inconvenience the mail carrier and cause the mail carrier to open their vehicle door to insert the mail.
Difference between Private Mailbox and Post Office Box
For most people, a private mailbox(PMB) is the best option for a post office box (P.O BOX), but it also can have implications for people shipping to them.
Here are some main differences between PMB and P.O BOX:
- Post office boxes have a P.O Box address while PMBs have a house or street address. The latter is always desirable for consumers, especially people running small businesses. They wish to have their business address while they keep their home address personal.
- PO Boxes are only for postal service mail, packages and parcels, and because of this commercial carrier services can’t deliver to PO Boxes. Though there are exceptions, it’s very rare. While PMBs accept deliveries from all carriers including the postal service.
- Post offices can’t sign for mail delivered to individual PO Boxes, while PMBs require that someone signs before your mail is delivered. PMB staff do this in your stead and also keep it until you are ready to pick up your package.
Your PMB staff notifies you whenever you have mail or package waiting for you, while you have to regularly check your PO Box to confirm if you have mail.