Skip to Content

Is It Illegal to Put Something in Someone Else’s Mailbox?

Is It Illegal to Put Something in Someone Else’s Mailbox?

Share this post:

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click one of these links and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. In addition, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Have you ever had someone put something in your mailbox that isn’t from the postal service? Perhaps someone was handing out fliers or something of that nature.

You might find it annoying to have such things placed in your mailbox. Is this even okay for people to do?

Is it illegal to put something in a mailbox when you aren’t a postal service worker? Can people be punished for doing this?

Keep reading to learn about whether it’s okay to put things in mailboxes when you’re not from the post office. This will ensure that you understand this topic fully so you can make good choices.

It’s Illegal to Put Things in Mailboxes

It’s illegal to put things in mailboxes if you aren’t a postal worker. Someone can’t just come up and place an item in your mailbox without breaking the law.

Only United States postal workers are allowed to place things in mailboxes. You as the resident are allowed to open the mailbox and pick up your mail, of course, but no one else is allowed to put things in the mailbox.

If someone in your neighborhood is leaving things in your mailbox, they’re breaking the law. The law specifically states that you can’t place items in a post office box when no postage has been paid.

So putting random things in the mailbox will always be illegal. If someone is caught putting things in a mailbox, it’s a punishable offense.

A person could be fined as much as $5,000 for doing this. An organization could face a $10,000 fine.

Only authorized U.S postal service personnel should be placing items in the mailbox. If you see solicitors or others putting things in your mailbox, you can inform them that they’re breaking the law.

A mailbox is intended for the receipt of postage-paid mail. Other items are not meant to go in the mailbox.

Can Other Delivery Services Use the Mailbox?

No, other delivery services aren’t allowed to use the mailbox for deliveries. If another delivery service such as UPS or FedEx is delivering a package to your home, they’re supposed to deliver it to the door.

They might also deliver packages to other designated areas where you receive packages. They’re not supposed to place packages in the mailbox.

If this happens, the workers in question are technically breaking the law. Things like this might happen from time to time if a new delivery person hasn’t been fully trained, but it’s not supposed to happen.

The major delivery services will not do this. Even local courier services should know that they’re not meant to put things in the mailbox.

The mailbox is specifically intended for mail. Packages and other types of deliveries need to be placed elsewhere.

Is it Legal to Put Fliers or Posters on a Mailbox?

No, it’s not legal to put fliers or posters on a mailbox. You aren’t allowed to put anything on the mailbox.

If someone is soliciting and tapes a poster or flier to your mailbox, they’re technically breaking the rules. They need to deliver the fliers elsewhere.

It doesn’t matter what type of flier or advertisement is being affixed to the mailbox. This is simply not acceptable, and people can get in trouble for doing this.

Even posters about missing pets or other informational pamphlets cannot be distributed in this fashion. Someone would need to go door-to-door to deliver such things.

Can I Put a Package in My Mailbox for Pickup?

You can put a package in your mailbox for pickup if you want to. However, you have to make sure the postage is paid first.

It’s necessary to place a paid postage label on any packages that you want to have picked up for delivery. As long as the postage has been paid, it can be put in the mailbox and a postal worker will pick it up when they come to deliver your mail.

When you put something in the mailbox to be picked up by the postal worker, you’re supposed to raise the red flag on your mailbox. This indicates to the mail delivery worker that they need to pick up a package.

If you don’t raise the flag, a postal worker might assume that the package is merely your own mail that you forgot to check from the prior day.

Is putting a package in the mailbox for pick up a good idea? Well, it might not be depending on the situation.

You see, there are many people who go around stealing packages these days. It’s obviously illegal to do this, but that doesn’t mean that thieves won’t steal.

When you raise the red flag on the mailbox, it indicates that there might be something worth stealing. A shady individual might see this and steal your package before the mail carrier can even pick it up.

Many think that it’s better to drop packages off at the post office in person. If the package can’t fit in an official post office box somewhere in town, you can go right to the post office location and drop off the package that way.

Consider a Locked Mailbox

Locked mailboxes can be convenient when you’re trying to avoid having people get inside your mailbox. If you’re worried about people stealing your mail, a locked mailbox can solve this issue.

These mailboxes contain a mail slot so the postal worker can deliver your mail. They can’t get inside the mailbox, though.

You have the key to the locked mailbox and you must use it to receive your mail. The postal worker won’t be able to pick up packages from the mailbox if you have one of these boxes, though.

This is more useful if you’re worried about having personal letters or sensitive information stolen. Many people feel more secure using locked mailboxes.

Final Thoughts

It’s illegal for people to deliver things to your mailbox if they’re not official postal service workers. They aren’t even allowed to affix fliers or posters to the mailbox.

If you see someone doing this, inform them that it’s illegal. This should get them to stop.

You can put packages in your mailbox for pickup if you want to as long as you have a postage-paid label. The postal worker will then pick up the package the next time they come around.

Some don’t like doing this because of the danger of the package being stolen before the postal worker gets to it. It’s up to you how you want to do things.

Share this post: