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Q: USPS mail delivery to a private residence ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   8 Comments )
Subject: USPS mail delivery to a private residence
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: normsf-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 17 Sep 2005 17:39 PDT
Expires: 17 Oct 2005 17:39 PDT
Question ID: 569227
Can I notify the US Post Office that I wish to refuse to accept
delivery of all mail at my home address?
And are they required to comply with my request?
If so, how do I best go about it?

((all my important mail comes to my office...mail to my home is all "junk"))
Subject: Re: USPS mail delivery to a private residence
Answered By: tutuzdad-ga on 17 Sep 2005 18:25 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear normsf-ga;

Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to answer your interesting
question. Postal Office policy does permit a recipient to refuse mail
delivery. It says in part:



Addressees may control delivery of their mail. Without a contrary
order, the mail is delivered as addressed. Mail addressed to several
persons may be delivered to any one of them.


The addressee may refuse to accept a mailpiece when it is offered for delivery.?


Cleary then, according to the official USPS policy, you may control
delivery of your mail by placing a contrary order with the postmaster.

Here?s another alternative. If all your mail is junk anyway, have you
considered taking your mailbox down? I'm serious. You are not required
to have a mailbox. If there's no ?authorized depository for mail?
(within the meaning of 18 USC 1702, 1705, 1708, and 1725) all your
mail be withheld and returned to the post office as unclaimed or
?undeliverable?. (My wife worked for a post office as a rural mail
carrier for 5 years and I was frequently duped into coming along as
her ?helper?). If you can't take the box down consider placing a lock,
a fist full of duct tape or some well placed superglue on the door
that will disable it or render it unusable (assuming you own it of
course). This too will prevent mail from being delivered. If you want
to leave your box intact and you want to use another method, a
strategically placed trash can or parked car will also stop delivery:

"1.4Clear Approach

Customers must keep the approach to their mailboxes clear of
obstructions to allow safe access for delivery. If USPS employees are
impeded in reaching a mail receptacle, the postmaster may withdraw
delivery service."


I hope you find that my research exceeds your expectations. If you
have any questions about my research please post a clarification
request prior to rating the answer. Otherwise, I welcome your rating
and your final comments and I look forward to working with you again
in the near future. Thank you for bringing your question to us.

Best regards;
Tutuzdad ? Google Answers Researcher


defined above



Google ://


Postal service




Request for Answer Clarification by normsf-ga on 17 Sep 2005 19:15 PDT
Hi tutuzdad...thanks for the quick reply. The reference "Do42" you
supplied dicusses only two conditions of mail refusal.

1.  Refusal at delivery  ((when it's offered"))
2.  Refusal after delivery

But there is no specific reference to Refusal PRIOR to delivery; nor
how it would be accomplished.
You suggest placing a contrary order with the postmaster.  Knowing the
USPS this would have to be done on the appropriate  What do
you think?  Further comment appreciated.

Your suggestion for removing the box or blocking it, is good as a fall
back option.

thanks, norm

Clarification of Answer by tutuzdad-ga on 18 Sep 2005 11:20 PDT
>>> "Knowing the USPS this would have to be done on the appropriate  What do you think?  Further comment appreciated."

Today is Sunday and there's no post office open to make inquiries. If
you like I can call one Monday morning and ask them about a specific

Otherwise, my wife tells me that her post office policy was to place a
CLOSED card in the sorting slot of the addressee (usually when the
addressee took the box down to keep mail from being delivered or
someone has knocked the box down) to tell the sorters to return the
mail to "sender" as undeliverable.

On the other hand, acccording to USPS policy "F030" junk mail is not
mail that gets forwarded.

"4.0 Sender Instruction
4.1Mail Not Forwarded

The following types of mail are not forwarded:

a. Mail addressed to ?Occupant? or ?Postal Customer.?

b. Mail with exceptional address format.

c. Mail showing specific instructions of the sender (e.g., ?Return
Service Requested? or ?Change Service Requested?).

d. Perishable items not marked to abandon that cannot be delivered
before spoiling, or day-old poultry that cannot be delivered within 72
hours after hatching. These items are returned to the sender
immediately, if the return can be made before spoilage or within the
72-hour period."

F030 Address Correction, Address Change, FASTforward, and Return Services

So, if you prefer, you can simply fill out a change of address card;
have all your home mail forwarded to your business mailbox and you can
expect only mail that is specifically addressed to you to arrive there
- and the post office will cull the junk mail from it for you.  So, if
all you ever get in the box is junk mail and junk mail cannot be
forwarded mail by USPS policy, a change of address should stop ALL
mail from coming to the offending box, right?

Viola! Problem resolved. How's that? (though I still favor the idea of
chopping the mailbox down as a fool-proof method)

You can even apply for a change of address online:

normsf-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Researcher responded quickly and exactly on point.  Personal comments
were also very helpful.
First time user and very pleased.  I'LL BE BACK!

Subject: Re: USPS mail delivery to a private residence
From: nelson-ga on 17 Sep 2005 17:42 PDT
The sender pays the postage, so the USPS would do them a disservice by
not delivering it.  Just recycle it.
Subject: Re: USPS mail delivery to a private residence
From: normsf-ga on 17 Sep 2005 19:31 PDT
Nelson..thanks for your comment.  But I believe that your opinion is
at odds with my legal right to refuse delivery per USPS postal
regulations noted above.  The sender may pay postage but he also
assumes the risk of non delivery due to legal refusal by addressee. We
all assume that risk when we send mail.
Subject: Re: USPS mail delivery to a private residence
From: nelson-ga on 17 Sep 2005 20:55 PDT
So you get your birthday cards and stuff at the office, too?  This is
just plain weird.  (Or do you not have any friends or relatives?)
Subject: Re: USPS mail delivery to a private residence
From: joe916-ga on 18 Sep 2005 00:03 PDT
A Dog strategically placed should do the trick.
Subject: Re: USPS mail delivery to a private residence
From: biscuitblue-ga on 22 Sep 2005 15:12 PDT
This isn't true, at least in my area. The mail carrier frequently just
leaves our mail on the front porch. I bought an antique mail slot
( and he's too lazy
to insert the mail into the slot (and has already nearly ripped it out
of the wall trying to PULL it open, rather than PUSH).

The reason I got it in the first place was so we could travel and not
worry about mail in the mailbox. I tried to forward ALL mail to the
post office box a year ago, and instead it got "returned, no forward."
Perhaps mail carriers are brighter in other areas of the country than
they are here in Northern CA.
Subject: Re: USPS mail delivery to a private residence
From: biscuitblue-ga on 22 Sep 2005 15:17 PDT
ALso...when I HAD a forward order to my post office box, my bills and
other *real* mail got returned to sender, yet the junk mail was still
delivered to the house, left on the porch.
Subject: Re: USPS mail delivery to a private residence
From: tutuzdad-ga on 22 Sep 2005 16:49 PDT
Hmmm...sounds like you have a valid complaint with the Postal Service:

Subject: Re: USPS mail delivery to a private residence
From: tutuzdad-ga on 22 Sep 2005 16:50 PDT
Also, USPS says: "To document your complaint and have it forwarded to
the person or department that can best handle the issue, please call
the United States Postal ServiceŽ Customer Service at:

1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777)"

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