What are the Policies for Setting Up a Locked Mailbox?

How Should I Acquire a Locked Mailbox?

The United States Postal ServiceĀ® does not sell or provide personal mailboxes. If you would like to obtain a locked mailbox for your residence, you are encouraged to purchase your own locked mailbox at a local store.

Note: A mail box with a lock must have a slot that is large enough to accommodate your daily mail volume. The Postal Serviceā„¢ neither opens a locked box nor accepts a key for this purpose.

How Should Mailbox Keys Be Maintained?

If the mailbox is for a house, condo, apartment or other physical residence:

  • When you move in, pickup the mailbox key(s) from the owner, manager or prior resident.

Note: You may make duplicate keys at your own expense.

  • When you move out, leave the mailbox key(s) with the owner, manager or next resident. Any duplicate keys that you had made should also be left when you move out.
  • Some residences have a centrally located unit that contains two or more mailboxes. These are known as cluster mailboxes or NDCBUs.

If the mailbox is a PO Box at the local Post Office location:

  • When you open your PO Box, pay a refundable deposit and receive your key(s).
  • Note: You are NOT allowed to make duplicate keys. However, you can receive additional keys by filling out PS Form 1094 (Request for Post Office Box Key or Lock Service) and paying the refundable deposit.
  • When you close your PO Box, return the key(s) to the Post Office facility where the box was issued and receive your deposit back (for the initial key(s) as well as any additional keys that may have obtained later that are listed on PS Form 1094).

I Found a Key in My Mailbox. What Is It For?

If you have a key in your mailbox it is likely because you are using a Cluster Box. These units often have parcel lockers. The parcel locker is used for items that are too large for your individual box within the Cluster Box. The key in your mailbox is a parcel locker key. This key has a tag that indicates the parcel locker that contains your item. Insert the key into the correct parcel locker, and you will be able to retrieve your mail piece. The key will remain in the locker once you have inserted it.

What Should I Do If My Mailbox Key Has Been Lost, Stolen, or Broken?

You will need to verify whether or not the mailboxes at your residential building (e.g. apartment, condominium, etc.) are owned and maintained by the United States Postal Service. Such boxes should have the picture of the Postal ServiceTM Eagle or a statement similar to "Property of United States Postal Service" on the side.

  • For only those boxes that are maintained by the USPS:
    • Please call you local Post Office facility for assistance.
  • For all other mailboxes:
    • Please speak with your residential building owner or manager, as they are responsible for purchasing, installing, and maintaining mailboxes.
    • Your local residential building complex is also responsible for individual locks on the boxes and may keep a duplicate key to these locks.
    • The United States Postal Service is not able to help you access mailboxes owned and maintained by private residential building complexes.

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