What Policies Cover Mailboxes Used for USPS® Rural Delivery Service?

How are USPS® Rural Stations, Branches, and Delivery Service Established?

Rural stations and branches are established, and rural delivery is provided, according to USPS policies and procedures, the characteristics of the area to be served, and the methods needed to provide adequate service. Requests or petitions to establish, change, or extend rural delivery service, signed by the heads of families wanting this service, must be given to the postmaster of the Post Office from which delivery service is desired, or from which the route operates, as applicable.

Any and all specific questions regarding Rural Delivery are handled by the particular postal unit involved with that route and with the rural carrier delivering to that route.

What are Some of the Guidelines and Policies for USPS® Rural Delivery Service?

  • Mailbox must be in the rural carrier's line of travel.
  • Subject to state laws, the mailbox must be placed on the right hand side of the road, in the direction of travel of the rural carrier, in all cases where traffic conditions are dangerous for the rural carrier to drive to the left to reach the box, or where doing so would violate traffic laws and regulations.
  • Rural carriers are scheduled to deliver mail within 30 minutes of the same time every day.
  • Requests / petitions for extension of route must be given to the postmaster of the delivery unit.
  • On a rural route, more than one (1) family, but not more than five (5) families may use the same mailbox. A written notice of agreement signed by those who use such a box is filed with the postmaster at the delivery unit.
  • Any questions regarding hardship cases or to request door delivery must be referred to the delivery unit.
  • An ordinary (unnumbered) parcel too large to fit in the mailbox will not be left unless the customer has filed a written request with the postmaster as a release for leaving the parcels.
  • Rural carriers are not required to go to the door with a Postage Due letter - only to the mailbox and blow the horn. The customer must come out to the mailbox to pay and/or receive the letter.
  • Rural carriers are required to stop at a mailbox with the signal flag raised, indicating mail to be picked up, even if there is no mail for delivery



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