Can Mailboxes Be Moved? (Basic Rules)

The United States Postal Service (USPS) provides very specific guidelines for where homeowners should place mailboxes, and there are regulations to ensure that mailboxes are not moved without proper approval.

However, in some cases, it may be necessary to move a mailbox. For example, if you are planning to pave your driveway or make other changes to your property that would interfere with the placement of your mailbox, you may need to submit a request to the USPS for permission to move it.

In addition, if your mailbox is damaged or vandalized, you may also need the approval to move it. The best way to determine whether you need permission to move your mailbox is to contact your local post office and speak with a representative.

They will be able to advise you on the best course of action.

Here’s How You Can Move Your Mailbox:

You don’t always need a permit or written approval from the USPS to move your mailbox. However, make sure you know the rules first. When moving your mailbox, it should be in a spot that is easily accessible to the mail carriers. It should be visible and easy to deliver mail without any obstructions.

Do I Need Permission To Move My Mailbox?

In general, the US Postal Service permits moving your mailbox. This means you can simply move it without getting approval documents before moving the mailbox.

However, some rules apply:

When moving your mailbox, it should be in a spot that is easily accessible to the mail carriers. It should be visible to them, and they should be able to deliver mail without obstructions.

For example, if you have a curbside mailbox, it should be in a spot where the mail carriers can easily reach while they are in their delivery vehicles.

And if you have a mailbox attached to the wall, it should be very visible, and there should not be anything blocking it so that the mail carrier can easily access it.

Do I Need Permission to Change My Mailbox?

Depending on the type of mailbox, you may or may not need permission to change it.

If you have a curbside mailbox, you may easily change it whenever you want. As long as the mailbox follows the US Postal Service rules and regulations on size, construction standards, and location, you can install a new mailbox to replace an old one.

You also must follow all guidelines to ensure that the mailbox is fully functional. This means that it should be accessible to the mail carrier and that there are no safety hazards for the carrier when delivering your mail.

As long as you follow the USPS regulations, you should be able to change your mailbox for whatever reason – be it wear and tear or just because you want to change it to match the aesthetics and look of your house.

It is always best to call your local post office first, though!

If you are installing a custom-made mailbox to replace your current one, you need to have the design approved by your local postmaster general. You can go to your local post office and bring the design plan for your custom mailbox to have it approved before you have it constructed.

You normally use cluster mailboxes if you live in an apartment building or condominium. Since the landlord owns the mailbox, you cannot change it.

If you are the apartment building owner and have a cluster mailbox, then you can change your mailbox, but you would need permission to do so. Contact your local postmaster general and obtain the necessary permits before replacing or changing a cluster mailbox.

What Are the General Rules About Mailbox Placement?

The US Postal Service sets several rules and regulations regarding moving mailboxes. These rules and regulations are set to ensure the safety of the mail carriers as they deliver mail and the items they carry. 

A specific set of rules applies to certain mailboxes, and these rules vary from one type of mailbox to another:

Curbside Mailboxes

  • The mailbox should meet the USPS internal and external dimension requirements.
  • Homeowners should place the mailbox on the right-hand side of the road. It should be facing outward so that the mail carriers can access it easily without getting out of their vehicle.
  • The box or house number on a mailbox must be visible on the front of the flag side of the mailbox. It should be in numbers that are at least one inch tall.
  • The mailbox should be in any of the allowed materials: plastic, wood, ferrous metals, and non-ferrous metals. It can be any color, but it is recommended to have it in a color that makes it stand out from the environment. This is to make the mailbox visible to the mail carrier.
  • The mailbox should be placed 6 to 8 inches from the curb, and the incoming mail slot or door should be 41 to 45 inches from the ground.
  • The mailbox posts should be buried at most 24 inches deep. The post should be made from at most 4×4 inches wide wood. Steel or aluminum pipes with a diameter of 2 inches are also allowed.
  • The mailbox post should provide adequate support to the mailbox. It should be sturdy and able to withstand different weather conditions.
  • If you have newspaper receptacles, they may be mounted on the same post as the mailbox. However, it must not come in direct contact with the mailbox. It must also not be supported by the mailbox.

Cluster Mailboxes

  • Apartment houses must have USPS-approved 4C centralized mailbox equipment.
  • The parcel locker to compartment ratio should be at least 1:10. There should be at least 1 parcel locker for every 10 mailbox compartments.
  • There is no maximum number of parcel lockers allowed as long as the 1:10 ratio is followed.
  • Cluster mailboxes should be close to the entrance in halls or lobbies. It should not interfere with swinging or opening doors.
  • Cluster mailboxes should be in a location that both the customer and the mail carrier can easily and safely access.
  • Cluster mailboxes are also allowed to be outside the building as long as the installation standard is followed. They should not be installed on the street or a public sidewalk.
  • For exterior cluster mailboxes, a canopy should be installed. The canopy should be designed to provide the mailboxes with adequate protection from weather conditions. It should have good nighttime lighting.

All mailboxes must have a seal of approval. This indicates that the mailbox follows the standards for size and construction.

How Can I Safely Move My Mailbox?

To safely move your mailbox, you must contact your local post office first.

There are no rules that cover the relocation of mailboxes nationally, so it is up to the local postmaster to decide whether the relocation of a mailbox will be approved or not.

However, the USPS regulations for sizing, construction, and placement are the same in all states, so if your mailbox meets the size and construction standards, you should have no problems getting a permit to move your mailbox. You will be allowed to relocate it if you install it correctly.

So before moving a mailbox, call your local post office first. You can also go personally. This is so you can get their expert advice on how exactly you can move your mailbox depending on your location.

How Deep Into The Ground Should My Mailbox Be?

Having your mailbox at the right height ensures that the mail carrier can deliver your mail without having to leave the vehicle.

Generally, around 1/3 of the mailbox post should be in the ground. This means that the post should be set 22 to 24 inches deep into the ground.

This will give your mailbox a height of 41 to 45 inches above the ground. This is the right height to provide mail carriers with good access to your mailbox while staying inside their vehicles.

Can My Mailbox Be Attached to My House?

You can have your mailbox attached to your house if that is what you prefer.

If you want to change your curbside mailbox and get a wall-mounted mailbox instead, you should get permission from your local postmaster general.

There are a variety of sizes and styles available for wall-mounted mailboxes. These mailboxes are not required to have a seal of approval from the postmaster general.

Just make sure to install the mailbox near the main entrance without obstructions or anything blocking the way. This is so the mail carrier can easily see and access it.


Rules For Moving A Mailbox

When To Replace Your Mailbox – A Mailbox Replacement Guide

A Guide To USPS Mailbox Regulations