It seems like something that should be pretty cut and dry, until you start to do it.  Are there special rules when installing your mailbox?

It's time to replace your mailbox

Remember when your mailbox got smashed by a plow in January and you said that you'd replace it once all the snow was gone?  Well, as this is being written, we are well into June and the snow should be long gone for now.  You might also want to replace your mailbox with one that is big enough to fit packages in it.  They call those Next Generation Mailboxes.  Click here to see more on them.  So maybe it's time to replace that mailbox.  That seems like a simple thing to do.  You put a pole in the ground and then bolt the mailbox to the pole, right?

Then the questions start

Are you supposed to use a certain pole?  Does the pole have to be sunk in the ground a specific depth?  Can you use any mailbox?  How close should it be to the road? Should it be a specific height off the ground?

That's what we're here for.

You've got questions, we've got answers

1. Are you supposed to use a certain pole? 

According to the United States Postal Service, the best choices for a mailbox pole include something like a 4X4 treated wooden support, or a 2" diameter standard steel or aluminum pipe will work fine.  They encourage you to avoid things that could be dangerous to have roadside like heavy metal pipes, concrete posts, and farm equipment.

2.  Does the pole have to be sunk in the ground at a specific depth?

The post should be buried no more than 24" deep in the ground.

3. Can you use any mailbox?

The USPS requires your mailbox to meet the Postmaster General's (PMG) seal of approval.  That means it meets USPS size and construction standards. Most mailboxes that are sold in stores will have that seal of approval.  However, if you'd like to make your own, you can.  They just ask that you bring your mailbox to the post office for approval.

4.  How close should it be to the road?

When mounting your curbside mailbox, you should make sure that it's the proper distance away from the road.  They suggest that if there's a curb, you keep it 6"-8" away from the curb.  If there is no curb, call the post office for guidance.

The box should also be between 41"-45" from the ground to the bottom of the box or the mail opening.

Other than that, make sure to put your address on your mailbox.  Then you're pretty much done!

If you have a wall mounted mail slot or a slot in your door, click here for more on how to be sure they're installed correctly.

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