Installing a New Mailbox
Look for Postmaster General's Seal
Every new mailbox design should be reviewed and receive the Postmaster General’s (PMG) seal of approval before it goes to market. If you opt to construct your own mailbox, it must meet the same standards as manufactured boxes, so show the plans to your local postmaster for approval.
Looking for a larger mailbox? Try one of our Next Generation Mailboxes. Learn More about larger mailboxes
Placing the Mailbox
Here are some helpful guidelines to follow when installing your mailbox:
- Position your mailbox 41" to 45" from the road surface to the bottom of the mailbox or point of mail entry.
- Place your mailbox 6" to 8" back from the curb. If you do not have a raised curb, contact your local postmaster for guidance.
- Put your house or apartment number on the mailbox.
- If your mailbox is on a different street from your house or apartment, put your full street address on the box.
- If you are attaching the box to your house, make sure the postal carrier can reach it easily from your sidewalk, steps, or porch.
Installing the Post
The best mailbox supports are stable but bend or fall away if a car hits them. The Federal Highway Administration recommends:
- A 4" x 4" wooden support or a 2"-diameter standard steel or aluminum pipe.
- Avoid unyielding and potentially dangerous supports, like heavy metal pipes, concrete posts, and farm equipment (e.g., milk cans filled with concrete).
- Bury your post no more than 24" deep.
Approved Door Slots
Some homes and apartments have a slot in the door for receiving mail rather than a mailbox. The standards for an approved door slot are:
- The opening must be at least 1 1/2" x 7".
- The bottom of the slot must be at least 30" above floor.
- Horizontal slots must have a flap hinged at the top.
- Vertical slots must be hinged on the opposite side from the door’s hinges.
Inside Door Slot Hoods
The standards for approved inside door slot hoods are:
- The hood should not project more than 2 1/16" beyond the inside of the door.
- On a horizontal slot, the hood should not extend below the bottom of the outside plate.
- On a vertical slot, the hood should not extend beyond the side of the outside plate on same side as the door’s hinges.
Mailboxes take a beating from the weather, so we recommend an annual mailbox checkup to avoid damage to your mail or difficulty identifying your address.
- Tighten loose hinges on the door
- Take care of rusty or loose parts
- Replace missing or faded house numbers
- Keep the path to your mailbox clear