Your mailbox is a crucial part of your life. For some people, it’s how they stay in touch with the outside world. It’s also where all their online purchases get delivered.
Depending on your mailing habits, you may be making frequent stops at the mailbox. Hence, keeping the mailbox as close as possible would make life a lot easier.
That said, you can’t just place it anywhere and call it a day. There are certain rules and regulations to the placement of the mailbox.
So, if you’re wondering, where can I put my mailbox? You’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a look at some of the guidelines you have to follow when installing a mailbox.
Installing a mailbox isn’t as simple as picking a spot and planting it. First, you need to be mindful of your surroundings.
In addition, you need to be aware of a few rules and regulations before you install a new mailbox. The United States Postal Service (USPS) set these rules to ensure the safety of the mail carriers as well as your mail.
Bear in mind that the regulations may change slightly depending on the type of mailbox you wish to install.
The curbside is one of the most popular mailboxes. This is because they provide easy access to both you and the carrier.
While there are not many rules about the location of a curbside mailbox, they can be limiting. These rules are there to make your mail carrier’s life a little easier.
The only requirement is that the area you choose should be able to support your mailbox. Since curbside mailboxes are top-heavy, you need to plant them in the ground.
For this reason, the area should have at least 24 inches of loose soil underneath so you can dig right through.
There are a few regulations specific to curbside mailboxes, such as:
- The mailbox should be facing the road for quick and easy access
- House numbers should be visible on the front or the side
- You need to plant the mailbox post at least 2 feet into the ground
Locking mailboxes are similar to curbside mailboxes in many ways. That’s why they share some of the same regulations.
However, the main difference is that locking mailboxes come with a lock. The lock shifts the position of your mail slot slightly. So, you need to make a couple of accommodations for this shift.
For this reason, you can place your locking mailbox on the curb if you adjust its height. Moreover, as long as the protective flap doesn’t get in the way, you can place the locking mailbox the same way you would a curbside mailbox.
Some things to keep in mind include:
- The drop box needs to be between 5-6 feet from the ground
- If the mailbox has a protective flap, it must face inwards
Package mailboxes are much larger than curbside and locking boxes. Still, they share many of the same guidelines.
For example, the mailbox needs to be facing the road, with adjustments for the size of the box. All you need is to make sure that the package slot is about four feet off the ground.
Wall Mount Mailboxes
Unlike all other types of mailboxes, wall mounts are a little complex. Unfortunately, the USPS doesn’t have specific regulations for the position of the box, but they do have a few guidelines you should be aware of.
Most guidelines are there to make mail delivery more efficient. Still, the most important one is that your carrier should have a safe and unobstructed path to your mailbox, especially for the mail carrier.
The best way to figure out this path is to talk to your carrier. Together, you can come up with a convenient placement for both parties.
You also have to keep in mind that you can only install a wall mount mailbox if the mail carrier travels on foot. If they use a car, it’s likely they won’t even see your mailbox.
Your mailbox’s relation to the road is essential for mail delivery. There are two different distances you should be looking at: horizontal and vertical.
Generally, you want your mailbox to be at least 6 inches away from the road, with the slot facing outwards. This allows your carrier to deliver mail without having to reach out of their car.
The ideal position of the mailbox is six feet from the ground if you measure from the top of the mailbox.
However, this can be hit or miss depending on the type of mailbox you’ve installed. So, to get the most accurate results, make sure you measure from the mail slot, not the top or bottom of your mailbox.
The distance from your road to the mail slot should be about 3–4 feet.
For faster deliveries, you want the mailbox to be as close to the curb as possible without blocking the road. When it comes to standard mailboxes, this is usually between six and eight inches.
However, if you have an unusually shaped mailbox or a raised curb, this changes things. To get the ideal mailbox placement, in this case, you have to talk to your mail carrier for guidance.
As long as your driveway is accessible to the mail carrier, you can place the mailbox as close to the driveway as you want.
You have to keep in mind the distance from the road and curb, but the driveway is fair game. However, the best practice is to leave about a 15-foot radius of space around the mailbox, just in case.
In most residential areas, people place their mailboxes on the right-hand side of the road. The main idea is that your mail carrier should be able to have easy access to the mailbox from their vehicle.
Generally, people place their mailboxes within their property lines. Doing this makes your mail carrier’s job much simpler.
It’s worth noting that ‘within property lines’ doesn’t just mean on your house. It also includes the front yard and driveway.
You can still place your mailbox on the house, which makes it inconvenient for everyone involved. The biggest hurdle is that the mail carrier may find it difficult to find the mailbox, which means you might miss some mail.
If you want your mailbox to be as close as possible, it may be a good idea for you to invest in a wall mount mailbox.
While placing your mailbox right outside your door may seem appealing, it’s usually not recommended. You save yourself the trip to the curb, but you make the mail carrier much more difficult and time-consuming.
If you still want your mail delivered right to your doorstep, talk to your carrier in advance. Then, when you reach an agreement, you can even consider installing a door mail slot, which should help you save on space on your doorstep.
As mentioned above, it’s always best to leave some space around your mailbox. However, in some cases, that’s not always possible.
If there’s a fire hydrant in front of your property, you may want to avoid it when installing a mailbox.
Fire hydrants are a crucial safety element in every neighborhood. Even though they’re not in constant use, they still need plenty of space around them for easy access if and when the need arises.
The fire hydrant itself won’t cause any damage to your mailbox. Still, if a first responder needs to use the fire hydrant and your mailbox is in the way, they’ll just pull it out.
So, to be safe, your mailbox should be at least four feet away from a fire hydrant. If this isn’t possible with a curbside mailbox, you may want to consider a wall mount mailbox or door slot.
If all these rules and regulations have left you in a bundle of nerves, relax. Start by trying out a location, and if you don’t like it, you can change it.
The rules and regulations are there to make everyone’s lives a little easier. So, straying a little away from them isn’t a big deal. Just make sure you let your mail carrier know beforehand where they can find it.
Moreover, if there’s an issue with the placement of your mailbox, the USPS will let you know. They can’t force you to change the placement, but they can strongly encourage you to move it to a more convenient location with easier access.
Figuring out the perfect placement for a mailbox can be a little tricky. So, to answer the question ‘where can I put my mailbox,’ you need to consider a few factors.
Some of these factors include the type of mailbox you’re installing and the area surrounding the box itself. To help ensure you pick the perfect place, it’s always a good idea to include your mail carrier in the decision.
I have a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies…I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house.