Tag: Mailbox

27
Oct

Pro-tip for politics: the United States Postal Service is not amused

The United States Postal Service considers mailboxes their property, even if they were installed by a private homeowner on his or her own land. They govern strictly what can and cannot be placed in the mailbox:

If you have a curbside mailbox or a mailbox on the outside of your house, USPS regulations govern what can and cannot be placed in them. Generally speaking, only mail that has been sent through the USPS ® may be placed in these types of receptacles. Conversely, USPS regulations do not govern what can be placed in a mail slot on your door. This means that if a local business wants to put a flyer in the mail slot, they can do so.

But beyond that, they also regulate what can be put on the mailbox and its support structure.

    • Can a flyer/envelope be put it in someone else’s mailbox without being mailed? What if a stamp was placed on it?Postage must go through the United States Postal Service and be delivered for it to be valid postage and therefore acceptable in the mail receptacle. A flyer cannot be placed in a mailbox after putting a stamp on it unless the item was actually mailed.   According to Sect. 508.3.1.3 of the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM):“No part of a mail receptacle may be used to deliver any matter not bearing postage, including items or matter placed upon, supported by, attached to, hung from, or inserted into a mail receptacle. Any mailable matter not bearing postage and found as described above is subject to the same postage as would be paid if it were carried by mail.”

      “Postage” is defined as: Payment for a delivery service that is affixed or imprinted to a mailpiece, usually in the form of a postage stamp, permit imprint, or meter impression.

Notes:

    • If you have a curbside mailbox or a mailbox on the outside of your house, Postal Service regulations govern what can and can not be placed in them. Generally speaking, only mail that has been sent through the USPS may be placed in these types of receptacles. Conversely, USPS regulations do not govern what can be placed in a mail slot on your door. This means that if a local business wants to put a flyer in the mail slot, they can do so.
    • For further questions (or to report occurrences) regarding flyers being placed into your mailbox without first going through the postal system, please refer to the local Post Office.

I am aware of cases in which mail carriers have collected the flyers attached to mailboxes of the support structures, taken them back to the local post office, and mailed a bill for first class postage due for each piece to the person who placed the flyers on the mailboxes.