Mailbox Height & Placement – Official USPS Guidelines

Mailbox Height

Your mailbox height may not interest you most of the time, but rest assured that this is a very important topic to your mail carrier.  The USPS official mailbox regulations state that the mailbox should be positioned at a height between 41″ – 45″.

Mailbox height
Mailbox Height

When measuring, take note that this height measurement is from the road surface, not where your post is placed.  If your post is on the downside of a hill, take this into consideration when measuring as this will position your box lower.  Also, notice that your measurement is to the bottom of the mailbox door, where the hinge is located.  This is the standard mailbox height that is most accessible from the mail carrier’s vehicle.  If you position the mailbox too high or too low, it may force the carrier to open their door to insert your mail.  This will not result in a happy mail carrier and we definitely want to keep those who are delivering our mail happy!  (See Unfriendly Mail Carrier)

Curb Placement

Equally as important, be sure the front edge of your mailbox is 6-8″ from the curb.  If you do not have a curb, place it 6-8″ from the edge of the road.  The distance you place the post from the road does not matter, it’s all about that front mailbox door.  This will enable your mail carrier to pull up to the mailbox, insert your mail, and proceed without having to exit the vehicle.

mailbox placement

Which side of the road?

Your mailbox placement should always be on the right side of the road on one-way streets.  That is, if you are driving down the road, your mailbox should be on your right side.  This is the direction the mail carrier’s route will naturally take as they are traveling down the road.

In rural settings, look at other mailboxes on the same road.  You will want your mailbox on the same side as the others, even if it means you must cross the road to get your mail.

Don’t forget to keep trash cans and vehicles a good distance from your mailbox to allow your carrier enough free clearance.  They will greatly appreciate this little courtesy!

38 Responses

  1. Pamela Sullivan

    Where can you place your mailbox on the street? Does it matter if it’s near a sewer grate or white line So?

  2. L. Powell

    Where should RFD Mailbox be house mounted for handecaped delivery?

    • Sam

      CALL your local post office and speak with supervisor. Also, your mail carrier can help you know where to relocate your box according to your need and physical limitations.

  3. Cris R Petersen

    The 1st diagram shows a requirement of 6 to 8″ from the curb to the mail box front with the door closed.
    The 2nd diagram shows a requirement of 6 to 8″ from the curb to the top of the door when opened.

    Which is it? ?

    • D Staven

      6 to 8 inches from the curb when mail box front with door closed.

    • Donny Salami

      6 to 8 inches for the Mrs….

      the rural mail carriers are a little more flexible….they’ll service 10 to 12 inches all day.

  4. Norma J Green

    My mailbox has been the same box, on the very same post and at the same exact spot and height since 1976, thats 44 years since my father put it there as per postal requirements. They, nor I, since I’ve been living here now for 13 of those 44 years, have never had an issue with the mail carrier about the mailbox, however, since last summer 2019 I’ve noticed that almost every week , at least twice a week my door has been left opened, some others on the street have been having the same issue. I do not know who our carrier is as I have seen 3 different carriers over the past year.
    When I decided to make a complaint about the opened door then I received a recording stating my mailbox must be adjusted in height and placement.
    I fully believe this is retaliation for my complaint, Which by the way was Not to cause trouble But to have someone talk to the carrier about being more careful.
    I do not see why we have to adjust our mailbox after 44 years.

    • carmen

      Should be happy they reached to close for 44 years, you didn’t say if was close to correct placement. Most carriers do what they can to keep all customers happy. As in alot of issues, walk a mile in another mans shoes. Just cause was done for 44 yrs don’t mean it was right.

  5. Cecilla Vickers

    Our mailbox was the same height as all the other boxes along our road and suddenly we were told that our box was a foot to short and we had to raise it by one foot. I am 4 foot 11 inches tall now My box comes to my nose and I cannot see over it. It gets hit and knocked down about once a month. I got permission to move it just this week. I have nearly been hit by cars and fallen down the hill that it stands on and hurt myself several times I am 65 years old.

  6. Brian O'Connor

    We installed our mailbox in 1999 and we’ve had over 20 years of service without any complaints. Today (April 19, 2020), we got a notice from our present carrier “Ron Xxxxx” (dated 17 April) telling us that our mailbox was non-compliant because it is too low and we needed to have problem corrected. “Ron’s” notice kindly gave us until May 1 to solve our problem, or else our mail delivery might be suspended.

    I’d like to know when these regulations went into effect.

    If after 2000, why wasn’t there a grandfather clause that would protect us and people like us, we who in good faith had our mailbox installed according to the then-current rules when we built our house, from being sucker-punched like this?

    It’s going to cost $$$ to satisfy “Ron” and whoever the chipper author who wrote the above prose telling us how tough delivering mail to non-compliant mail boxes is.

    • Connie

      Did you ever get an answer to this question? I, too, have had a mailbox in for over 20 years and got a similar notice to yours. What is going on?

      • Louise Emerson

        New rules by the postmaster general eliminated any carrier overtime. No additional time can be spent at customer’s boxes where carrier has to do more than pull up and deliver. If it requires having to excessively reach or open the vehicle door then the customer has to be notifed to comply within a certain time period or lose delivery service.

    • Dottie

      Is there any regulations as how close a neighbors mail post can be placed to the property line

  7. Bill Coul

    Two diagrams with dimensions of where and how high, etc have differing measurements. On one diagram the distance from the mailbox closed door is 6-8″ from the edge of the road/curb. On another diagram you show the distance 6-8″ from the front of the opened mailbox door. Which is correct because that distance difference is 8″ (length of the open mailbox door).


    A mailbox with the Postmaster General’s (PMG) seal of approval meets USPS size and construction standards. If you build your own mailbox or buy a custom-made one, it must meet the PMG standards. Show your local postmaster your mailbox plans or your custom-made box for approval.

  9. david brewster

    The first drawing shows the box 41″ to 45″ from the ground level. The second shows 41″ to 45″ from the street level. Which one is correct?

    • John Horton

      USPS regulations require the bottom of the mailbox to be 41″ – 45″ off the street level. If your mailbox is located on ground with a curb, you will need to subtract that height: (41 – 45) minus (height of curb). Similarly, if the grade slopes down away from edge of street, you will need to add to your post height accordingly.

  10. Carmen

    What is the correct height for each, when there are 4 mailboxes on the same post- 2 stacked on top of the other 2 ?
    This is for a 4 unit Condo. The boxes are next to the street.

  11. Oswald Rollinger

    We have been told to move our mailbox away from the road due to traffic issues.there was no guidance as to where or how far. I asked the postal supervisor for limits and received no answer. After moving the mailbox we received mail for two or more weeks and then a new note that the box is too far and needed to be moved again. Is this a post office norm and policy? What can and should be done?

  12. Nancy Baker

    After 10+ years with the same mailbox we received a notice saying our box needed to be 41″ – 45″. Not a big problem. Husband moved the box up by placing several 2×8 pieces of pine under the box (ugly but works). Then about 2 weeks ago we received a notice that made no sense and we were never able to determine what was needed. On Tuesday, December 1, we received a notice (on a USPS form from 1991) that our mail was on “HOLD” until we moved and attached the box to the post that is higher than the mailbox holder. When the box was moved up, it wasn’t placed completely up to the back post. I have found NOTHING that says that that is a rule for box placement. In fact, the form (from 1991) shows 2 examples of how to place your mailbox with NO post behind it. Now my mail is being held hostage until I fix a requirement that I have doubts even exist. Anyone else experience this? Now I’m going to have to replace the box and the post!

  13. Dennis

    In the first picture the 41-45” dimension is from the bottom of the mailbox to the top of the curb or ground or cement pad level. In the second picture the 41-45″ dimension is from bottom of the mailbox to the street level.
    I’m replacing my mailbox and it happens to be about 4″ higher. I asked my mail carrier his opinion and he said however I place it he will get the mail in the box. Very cool, I told him. He likes to get out and walk around once in a while.
    USPS. The first response dates back to June 12, 2016. Today is December 11, 2020 and this page and the drawing I’m sure has not been corrected/updated. PLEASE update this page.

  14. Lance BAILEY

    Are there any guidelines for what happens with packages send vis USPS that are too big to fit into the mailbox? We have had some that are 1, thrown onto the ground under the mailbox which is on the street 2, put onto our front porch 3, not delivered at all and notice given that they don’t fit in the mailbox. Is one of these correct?

  15. David Miller

    I have an issue that I can not park a car in front of my home without being too close to the mailbox for delivery… I have read the placement rules as to 6 to 8 inches from the curb and bottom of the mail box 45 inches from the ground… I want to reinstall my mailbox on the other side of my driveway which would allow the parking of a vehicle… I see nothing that would prohibit my moving the mailbox to the new location such as distance from a property line or distance from the edge of a driveway….

  16. paul roque

    I want to install my mail box by the curb, after 44 years by my front door.
    Here is the problem. My sidewalk butts to the curb! next to the street. (not dirt in between)
    CAN you tell me where to position a new cement pad for a new box by the curb.

  17. H

    Our mailman seems to be cognatively deficient ! He smokes all day and makes sure he throws his filters in our driveway. We know its him cause we were just there when we came home. No cig. filters. Then he delivers mail and there it is. He has even thrown his food wrappers down too. We can’t complain cause he will screw up our mail. We also get our neighbors mail and they get ours ! How do these people get hired ? Are their brains gone postal ? He also pulls our box as hard as he can and it is bent every day. I have pounded a few pipe supports into the ground, but he keeps on trying to pull it down. I am sure others have had the same problem. I spoke to the postmaster many years ago./ He died and new people run the show. The only decent mail carrier is a woman . Who I have met and she seems caring and nice !

  18. Richard Wilkolaski

    Where should a mailbox be placed for a house on a flag lot? The house in the back and the one in front share the same driveway which is beside our property. the owner of the flag lot wants to place their mailbox in front of our property. The front property has their mailbox in front of their house but thinks the flag lot mailbox should be in front of our property?

  19. George

    I work for a local government. I recieved a compliant about a mailbox placement. The new mailbox is located between the sidewalk and paved road. This location is a strip of grass, a local right of way. The mailbox was previously attached to a wall near the front door of the home. Please let me know if there any regulations for mailbox placement. Thank you.

  20. Luann Friece

    We get other poeples mail on the same street but are they getting my mail? I am not sure if it at post office thats doing this or the mail person thats delivering it! We have lots of different people delivering every week! The blue box drop off for mail are not safe. Drop box in varnell ga. I have used many times its by post office but mail never got to the place. The money order never got to water company. Did this two times. But had to pay it again. Was late and had to pay more , water company never got it! Drop boxes are not safe! I call in lots of the bills now. Our us mail service needs help ! Get people that do the job right!

  21. Beverly

    What is the official distance for parking near our Mail Box?
    we have a car parked less than 2 feet away

  22. Sean

    Eat one and put it the box you beaurcratic jerk offs…lean down a few more inches and get over it. I know you can’t get fired so f me too. Quit your bitching

  23. Cindy and

    My mail box has been DIRECTLY across from my drive way. For 20 plus years
    Well EVERYONE backs over it, now with the water company undermining the found behind it it’s in a very sad state of affairs.when I moved in they said just make sure it’s across the road from your driveway. Done.
    Now may I please move said box back down my road by 5-10 feet still across the road?
    There is no land issue at all will this be acceptable?
    Thank you

    • Louis DeJay

      Yes, Cindy. That will be ok. Please proceed. Any further issues can be directed to me.


  24. Kathy

    Your regulations state a mailbox of 41-45″ inches high. My local post office sent out “bitch” letters demanding we all install mailboxes that are 46″ high. They also demand they all be on the opposite side of the road from where I live creating a dangerous retrieval for us in the winter when we have 3 inches of ice on the street and the neighbor refuses to keep the snow clear from the mailbox bank in front of her house.
    We are already handicapped and while this may make the carrier happy, it makes it very difficult for us to actually collect our mail as well as hiring someone to actually install a new mailbox will be pricey. I miss the old days of hand delivery to the front door where the package locker is.
    Outside of renting a PO box and making the 30-mile round trip to collect the mail, what other choice do we have?

  25. Stacey Ricker

    We own a business and have had a multi residential mailbox unit on our property since the existence of mailboxes… the business has been here since the 1950’s. Do we have to allow this or should we receive compensation since it is on our property?


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