Postmaster Approved Mailboxes If you ever wondered why mailboxes are all generally the same size and similar in many different ways, the answer is that they must follows the regulations of the US postmaster. Mailboxes themselves are actually protected by the federal government which is why there are postmaster approved mailbox requirements. In addition to the basic mailbox requirements, there are also set-up, maintenance and other issues that have to be addressed as well. Mailboxes themselves may go back well over a century, but they are still guided in their overall use by the US Postal Service. Basic Mailbox Requirements From purchasing your new mailbox, setting it up and maintaining it, there are rules requirements that you will need to know. Seal of Approval: Before you purchase your next mailbox, check it to see that is has the seal of approval from the Postmaster General. That way, you’ll know that you are getting a mailbox that is legal in all respects. Display Address: You will need to accurately display the address either on the lid or side of the mailbox. In addition, if your mailbox is on a different street than your residence, the street name should appear on it as well. Set Up Conditions Now that you have your mailbox requirements, the next step is properly setting up your mailbox. Here is where you are recommended to call your local postmaster to ensure that it is set up properly along the curb. While all curb and road conditions vary to a certainly degree, you want the mailbox to be easily accessible from the mail truck. In essence, the mailman only needs to lean out a little ways to open, place the mail and close the mailbox without having to get out of the truck. - Height: 41” to 45” off the ground - Curb: About 6” to 8” away from the curb If there is no raised curb, then you will need to speak with your local postmaster for guidance in setting up your mailbox. For those in the city, you can set up your mailbox attached to the house near your front door. It needs to be readily accessible from the sidewalk, porch or steps. The mailbox itself needs to be roughly 4’ off the ground for a walking mail carrier to easily access the mailbox. Materials for Set Up The mailbox requirements for mounting along the curb in terms of the materials used is a balance between sturdiness to resist the inclement weather and the ability to break-away in case it is struck by a vehicle. If you live along a highway, the Federal Highway Commission recommends a wooden mailbox no larger than 4” x 4” supported by a 2” in diameter steel or aluminum pipe that is buried no more than 24” into the ground. Do not use concrete or heavy metals for the mailbox or the supporting pipe as it may cause additional harm to the vehicle, driver or passengers if it does not give way. Finally, you will want to maintain your mailbox properly and replace any loose parts, hinges or door. Also, remount the post if it is loose and replace any missing house numbers as well. Follow these mailbox requirements and you will have no problem at all receiving the mail.