How to Determine Mailbox Location

If you have recently moved into (or are building) a new house that did not have mail delivery before, you need to know how to determine your precise mailbox location.
It is very important when you are dealing with the United States Postal Service (USPS), which is a Federal Agency and governed by Federal Laws, to meet the exact specifications required to determine mailbox location. It is mandatory to meet these particular construction standards to receive mail delivery. The following steps will teach you how to determine mailbox location.

Obtain your mailbox and verify its support. You can either purchase a “Postal Service (Postmaster) Approved” mailbox or you can create a custom one, which will need to be approved by your local postmaster. Make sure you have a post if needed or some other form of support for your mailbox, such as a fence or block structure. If the support is not part of your mailbox, make certain it is approved as well.

Contact your mail carrier or postmaster. There are numerous conditions concerning curbs, roads and other issues in various areas around the country. For this reason, it is advised that you contact your mail carrier or postmaster prior to setting up a mailbox. Ask them for any special requirements concerning the location of you mailbox.

Set up your mailbox in the correct location. A good rule of thumb (and suggestion from the USPS) to use when placing your mailbox is this: the measurement from the bottom of the mailbox to the surface should be between forty-one to forty-five inches.

Things You Will Need

  • Federally Approved Mailbox
  • Measuring Tape

Tips

  • Make sure you have your name on your mailbox and it is at minimum 1 inch in height.
  • Your mailbox should be located off of the road and allow enough room for the mail carrier's vehicle to safely deliver your mail.
  • If there are no other mailboxes on your road, make sure you ask your mail carrier or postmaster what side of the road you should locate your mailbox on. It is common for mailboxes to be on the same side of the road as your house, or the opposite side also.

Warnings

  • An advertisement of any kind on your mailbox or the support of it is strictly forbidden.
  • If you have a locking mailbox, you have to have a mail slot big enough to accommodate the volume of your daily mail.
  • Any questions concerning how to determine mailbox location, contact your local United States Postal Office. See Resources for more USPS information.

About the Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published online at the Travel Channel and Intel.