what is the correct height for a mailbox graphic

What Is The Correct Height For A Mailbox?

Last updated on February 25th, 2023 at 10:03 am

If you have just moved into a new home and need to install a mailbox or your old one has become damaged, knowing the correct height and installation process is essential.

If your mailbox is not installed properly, and at the right height, the United States Postal Service may not deliver your mail.

mailbox on a rural street in summer

Why Is Height So Important for a Mailbox?

You may wonder why height matters so much when it comes to installing a mailbox. While the height of your mailbox may not seem important to you, it most definitely is for your mail carrier.

We have all seen mail carriers driving USPS vehicles to deliver mail. Carriers pull over to the side of the road and place mail in each mailbox.

If the mailbox height is incorrect, the mail carrier would need to exit their vehicle to deliver mail, which would be unsafe in many areas.

mail delivery driver in a van

There is also another reason mailbox height is so crucial. If you live in parts of the country where snow falls frequently, you likely know snow plows come through and remove snow from the streets.

If your mailbox is at the wrong height, a snow plow will easily take it out, and you will be forced to fix the damage or replace your ruined mailbox.

You need to know the proper height so you can install your mailbox correctly and avoid problems.

mailbox in winter

What Is the Correct Height for a Mailbox?

According to the United States Postal Service, mailboxes should be installed at 41 to 45 inches from the street to the bottom of the mailbox. Your mailbox should also be installed 6 to 8 inches from the curb with the door closed.

Without the proper height, a mail carrier will be unable to access the mailbox from their vehicle. The USPS is stringent on mailbox installation regulations.

If you do not follow the rules of installation, your mail will not be delivered until you comply.

mailbox height diagram

Other Rules for Installing a New Mailbox

Many people may be unaware that the United States Postal Service also has other rules for installing mailboxes. If your mailbox does not meet the regulations, USPS will hold your mail for up to ten days.

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After this time, the mail will be considered undeliverable and will be returned to the sender. Consider the following to ensure your mailbox meets the qualifications.

Locked Mailboxes

If you install a locked mailbox, the slot must be large enough to handle the types of mail and volume normally delivered to the residence or business.

If the slot is too small to accommodate the mail pieces, the mail will be withheld, and a notice will be placed in the box.

Name and Number

There are certain pieces of information you must place on your mailbox. The letters and numbers must be at least one inch in height. Consider the following required additions.

  • You must place your house or apartment number in contrasting colors to the mailbox
  • The house number and street name must be placed on the mailbox if it is located away from the owner’s home.
  • The USPS advises individuals to use reflective numbers and letters to make them easier to see by the mail carrier.
mailboxes with numbers 1-4

No Advertisements

You are not allowed to place any advertisements on the mailbox itself or the supporting post. This rule is strictly upheld in some parts of the country, while other areas may be less strict.

According to the United States Postal Service, mailboxes should be installed at 41 to 45 inches from the street to the bottom of the mailbox.


Custom-Made Mailboxes

If you want to improve the curb appeal of your mailbox, you may decide to build your own. Before you get started, contact the USPS Service Engineering Department.

You may need to get your mailbox plans approved before and after construction begins.

custom wooden made mailbox painted with flowers and birds

All Mailboxes Must Be Approved by the USPS

Did you know that no mailbox can be sold without first obtaining approval from the USPS? When purchasing a new mailbox, make sure it contains the USPS seal.

Clear Approach

Mailbox owners must remain steadfast in maintaining a clear approach to their mailboxes. If the mailbox is not clear of obstructions, the mail carrier may withdraw service from the residence.

Follow the Rules for Mail Delivery

Getting your mail delivered daily is essential. If you do not follow the rules and regulations set forth by the USPS, you may be unable to get your mail delivered.

Following the above rules will help you know how to purchase and install your new mailbox. When in doubt, contact the United States Postal Service for direction.

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