Law & Legal & Attorney Government & administrative Law

Laws About What You Can Put in Mail Boxes

    U.S. Constitution

    • The main law governing mail in the U.S. is Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution which grants Congress the power "To establish Post Offices." This is a broad grant of power which leaves it up to the U.S. Congress to pass laws governing the postal system and mailboxes.

    Federal Laws

    • There are a series of federal statutes that govern the U.S. Postal Service and grant a monopoly to the USPS, including giving it the exclusive use of mailboxes. These laws are referred to as The Private Express Statutes, codified at 39 U.S.C., 601-606 .

    Administrative Rules

    • Title 39 of the Code of Federal Regulations contain administrative rules enacted by the USPS which further clarify federal laws regarding what can be placed in your mailbox. These rules make it clear that you cannot put anything in your mailbox. Only the USPS can place mail on which the proper postage has been paid in your mailbox.


    • Local governments and community and civic groups are also prohibited from putting items in your mailbox unless proper postage has been paid. In fact, if postal workers discover such items, the USPS is permitted to send an invoice for the estimated postage to the agency or organization that distributed the information found in your mailbox.

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