Don’t Put Your Flag Up

One question we are often asked is “Why there is no outgoing mail security on a locking mailbox?”

For residential curbside locking mailboxes, the USPS mandates that the mail carrier cannot be required to have a key to access your mailbox. That means that incoming mail is deposited through an incoming mail slot or bin, and outgoing mail bust be retrievable without a lock.

Outgoing Mail on Mail Boss Mailbox Models

On the curbside Mail Boss and Package Master, there is an outgoing mail tray that is revealed when you open the incoming mail door. On the curbside Mail Manager, there is an outgoing mail clip on the inside of the incoming mail bin. On the Wall Mount Townhouse and Metro, there is an outgoing mail clip that is revealed when you open the incoming mail door.

Should You Send Outgoing Mail from Your Mailbox?

Briefly, no. If you are sending checks, bill payments, or anything with sensitive information that can be used for identity theft, we always recommend bringing it to a blue USPS collection mailbox or directly to the post office. Better yet, use online bill pay. It’s more secure.

If you must send mail from your mailbox, DON’T PUT THE FLAG UP!

The flag is just signal to thieves that says “Hey, come steal my mail!”Replacement Flag

Unlike with traditional mailboxes, with locking mailboxes, the outgoing mail is in a separate area than the incoming mail, so the mail carrier will see it when depositing your incoming mail and take it regardless of whether you use the flag or not.

So, if you must use outgoing mail from your locking mailbox, whatever you do, don’t put the flag up!


  1. Jason on October 10, 2019 at 10:30 am

    As a postal worker….We hate the mailbox you are telling people to get especially if you are somebody that receives small packages and large envelopes. I have heard of carriers skipping houses with these boxes because things won’t fit in the slot like a normal box. Second DONT EVER TELL PEOPLE NOT TO PUT THEIR FLAG UP. … if you don’t put your flag up and on that day you don’t have mail. Because your flag isn’t up we won’t know to stop at your box and we will skip it. So in all this is the stupidest most annoying box for a mail carrier

    • Yaasmiyn on September 8, 2020 at 8:15 pm

      Some feedback from a consumer, I brought this mailbox because I am tired of the mail man jamming packages in normal box that don’t fit and damaging my goods.

      • Catherine on March 26, 2022 at 3:10 pm

        My carrier won’t take outgoing mail without the red flag up,even when I have incoming mail!

        • Hoss on June 1, 2022 at 6:30 am

          Well file a compliant online with USPS

    • Carl Durgen on September 26, 2020 at 12:12 pm

      So while the box may be annoying to you, it’s your job. We buy these boxes because they are far more secure. Don’t like it, go be a healthcare worker.

    • Mr. Furley on March 13, 2022 at 8:29 pm

      As a postal consumer, I find the slot height for incoming mail to be similar to the blue mailbox slot outside my post office. If I don’t happen to get mail on the day I have outgoing mail AND the carrier skips my mailbox, there’s always tomorrow.

    • Max Stinklewinsky on October 11, 2022 at 6:02 pm

      Has my mail man loves it!

  2. Joseph S Taub on August 17, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    The flag seems not to matter on my route–or at least on my box. I am retired and don’t get a lot of incoming mail–except bills–so if I put a letter in my mailbox WITH the flag up, it still remains there UNTIL I GET a letter, sometimes for four or more days!!! I’ve also been treated to incoming mail just put on top of outgoing mail which was not picked up; and my favorite: TWO OUT OF THREE picked up but not the third!

    In their defense, the local Postmaster has called me a LIAR!!

  3. Rose Haskins on September 5, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    My next door neighbor like to leave the flag up. When they don’t use it at all
    What shall I do ?

  4. Rose Haskins on September 5, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    My next door neighbor leaves the flag up when they don’t use it
    What shall I do

    • Rose Haskins on September 5, 2020 at 3:02 pm

      My next door neighbor leaves their mail box up periodically at times
      When they don’t use it at all
      What shall I do
      Or who do I need to speak with

      • SR09 on August 30, 2021 at 6:11 pm

        Nobody. You just mind your own business and leave your neighbors be.

  5. Rachel C Cassidy on November 14, 2020 at 4:48 am

    I have used the flag up option on our mailbox for out going mail and had no problem w the mail person taking it til yesterday when they refused to take it..the address was to the White House. I’m honestly thinking they aren’t taking it because they disagree w my political views because of the name of addressed. I called the post office yesterday saying the mail person didn’t take my letters and they said they would ask why and call me back. I haven’t got a call back but this was just yesterday. What actions should I take if it was a political situation ? Honestly I dont know if I can trust this mail person after this to take my mail..I may have to go straight to USPS mailbox . Any thoughts?

    • duh on December 31, 2020 at 2:41 am

      you’re overreacting. if you have such a problem “trusting” your carrier go to a post office box instead

  6. Linda on February 20, 2021 at 7:33 am

    I think the person delivering the morning paper is putting my flag down. He’s a very nasty person who I have reported hundreds of times. He delivers when he chooses, he may throw it in the road, mud puddle, but seldom in the paper box. Now I’m finding my flag down every time I put mail in my box. Can he be prosecuted if I have a camera catching him messing w my mailbox?

  7. Brenda Cox on March 4, 2021 at 6:00 pm

    I had a previous renter of a room in my house, that left summer of 2017. I’m getting all kinds of new mail for her. I think she is using my address for new mail and is taking it out of my box on occasion. Does USPS issue locking mail boxes, or where do you get them?

    • Luke Walker on March 8, 2021 at 7:33 pm

      All of our mailboxes are USPS approved and available for sale Here.

  8. Catherine on August 30, 2021 at 7:40 am

    My mail carrier aka prima Dona won’t pick up my mail if the red flag is not up

  9. Reality on October 5, 2021 at 11:16 am

    And to the white house mailer , how would they know what’s in it? They have no clue. What do you have long fireside chats with them on your political views and mail contents ? Plus if they skipped your box then they don’t even know who it was to at all. Yes folks they sometimes wait until you have incoming mail. The law allows that . Read it. As to others mail, mark it return to sender . Tell the postmaster to do it automatically if no forwarding address. They do so upon request. Trust me, I’ve done it myself more than once.

  10. GB on November 27, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    These comments are amazing just saying.

  11. Common Good on January 5, 2022 at 10:45 am

    Be kind to your local postal worker! Be kind to everyone! Have a nice day. Don’t be an entitled ahole 🙂

    • Catherine on March 26, 2022 at 3:12 pm

      Tell the carriers.not to be a prima.donna!

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