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Where Do You Put the Numbers on a Mailbox?

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Mailboxes are a staple of almost every household. Whether you’re sending or receiving mail, your mailbox is the central hub that makes it possible.

Having numbers that clearly identify your mailbox is important. It ensures that your outgoing mail gets picked up. At the same time, it makes sure that mail intended for you gets delivered.

However, you may be wondering, ‘Where to put numbers on a mailbox?’ You might also wonder if you need mailbox numbers and how they’re determined.

If this is the case, then you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out the answers to all of these questions.

Do Mailboxes Need Numbers?

The short answer to this question is: yes. Mailboxes require a number system because it’s a requirement imposed by the United States Postal Service (USPS).

The requirement is that as long as a household has an address number, then its mailbox must have that same number on it.

In other words, the number on a mailbox is typically the address number of the house it’s associated with. Since the USPS handles and delivers mail to hundreds of millions of mailboxes every year, these numbers help them do their job quicker and more efficiently.

In addition, mailbox numbers allow postal workers to work faster and be more efficient when delivering mail. More importantly, numbers reduce the likelihood that mail gets delivered to the wrong address.

There’s only one case where having numbers on a mailbox isn’t necessary. It’s when the house in question is located in a rural area that doesn’t have any allocated street names or address numbers.

How Big Should Mailbox Numbers Be

The numbers embellished on curbside mailboxes are required to be a minimum of one inch in height. The reason for this is that if they’re any smaller than that, they’ll probably be too difficult for the postal workers to make from a distance.

Using mailbox numbers that are bigger than the recommended one inch is also acceptable. Yet, just make sure they’re not taller than the mailbox itself.

How Are Mailbox Numbers Determined?

Have you ever wondered why house address numbers seem so random and all over the place?

Addresses of houses on the same street don’t follow a logical pattern either. Some even share the same numbers.

You might be walking down a street and find that its address numbers have gone from bigger to smaller all of a sudden, or vice versa.

Not only is this numbering system extremely confusing, but it’s also different depending on the area where you live.

To help make it easier to understand how this system works, here’s a quick overview:

When a city decides on the method of numbering addresses, they often base the numbers on the distance of each building from an agreed-upon reference point, which is usually located in the center of the city.

It could be the downtown area or a notable building or landmark. The important thing is that it’s at an equal distance from as many living areas as possible.

Using this method allows the city to have a zero-point from which they can measure the distance from houses to a set point on a map. In turn, it helps determine the address numbers of buildings that already exist, as well as those yet to be built.

A specific building’s address number is determined using many guidelines.

These guidelines aren’t set in stone and can be different from area to area based on various factors. These factors include the area’s population and whether it’s an urban or rural area. These guidelines include the following:

  • Address numbers increase by a given amount determined by their distance from the zero-point.
  • The second digit is determined by the area code where the house is located.
  • The following two digits are based on the number of households or businesses that the area can hold.
  • Each side of the street is assigned only odd-numbered or even-numbered addresses.

What Side of Mailbox Do Numbers Go On?

The recommended places to put the numbers are either under your mailbox’s flag or on its right-hand side. However, you should make sure that the flag isn’t hiding any of the numbers.

At the very least, you should have numbers on the side of your mailbox with the flag. However, it’s better to have numbers on both sides of your mailbox for maximum convenience.

Provided that nothing is covering any of the sides of the mailbox. This makes it easier for postal workers and emergency responders to quickly identify your address from all directions.

Should You Have Numbers on the Front of Your Mailbox?

If there’s space for numbers on the front of your mailbox, you should definitely consider adding numbers there. It ensures that the numbers are visible to postal workers who may not see them on the sides when delivering your mail.

This is especially true for door or house-mounted mailboxes, as it helps the postal worker ensure that they deliver your mail to the correct mailbox. In cases like this, the number should be clearly visible on the front of the mailbox.

Another case in which you should strongly consider adding numbers to the front of your mailbox is if it’s set up at an angle. For example, some mailboxes are set up so that they aren’t in the way of pedestrians or protrude onto the street.

In this case, the sides of the mailbox may not be clear to postal workers driving by. Therefore, having numbers on the front is a suitable option.


Having numbers on your mailbox is essential. For starters, they have to be clearly visible to postal workers in order to ensure that you receive your mail on time. Their visibility depends on their location on the mailbox, as well as their size.

Moreover, make sure that your mailbox numbers are at least one inch tall and that they’re located on both sides of your mailbox for maximum efficiency.

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