No, Your Mail Carrier Won’t Need a Key!

I was just looking at our Mail Boss locking security mailbox video on YouTube. I was thrilled to see that at the time of this posting we have over 30,000 views! Perusing the comment thread, I can see that there is a great deal of confusion about how your mail is delivered with a locking mailbox in general and the Mail Boss security mailbox specifically.

Living and breathing MailBoss mailboxes, I often take for granted that the average person will understand exactly how they work. But I now realize that for many people, the concept of a locking mailbox is quite novel, so I will take a few minutes to answer a question we are commonly asked:

“Will my mail carrier need a key to deliver my mail to my new locking mailbox?”

I saw in the YouTube comment thread:

obeseotters (1 month ago): ok so how does the mailman open it? does he have a key that works on all boxes?”

Another user responded:

MyMultimedia (4 weeks ago) YES! In the middle of every locking mailbox, the keyhole has a circle that doesn’t belong on the mailbox owners key. The mailmans key has that circle, which works on all boxes. If it didn’t have that circle if it locks, it wouldn’t be postmaster general approved!”

While I’m sure MyMultimedia was simply trying to be helpful, his/her response was inaccurate. In fact, I have never heard of such a system. To my knowledge, the United States Postal Service regulations specifically stipulate that the postal carrier WILL NOT carry a key to curbside mailboxes. So I aimed to clarify this point with my response:

EpochDesignLLC (3 hours ago): @obeseotters: The mailman DOES NOT NEED A KEY to deliver your mail, there is a incoming mail slot that opens without a key and allows the mail man to drop your mail down into the storage compartment, which cannot be accessed without a key.”

So I hope that answers it! If you are interested in seeing exactly how mail is delivered with the Mail Boss security locking mailbox, please see this post on the incoming mail slot, or this animation we have just developed! And as always, please feel free to send us questions via the Contact Us form or through the Blog Comment thread.


  1. Janie S. on September 19, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Ah, thanks so much for this info! Was wondering about that:)

  2. mb on February 24, 2015 at 6:18 am

    how do i get the lock with the key for the postman?

  3. Jenny on February 27, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    No USPS approved residential mailboxes can require the postal carrier to carry a key. The only mailboxes for which the postal carrier has a key are cluster boxes, and those are approved and typically installed by the USPS. For all Mail Boss mailboxes, the homeowner uses the key to retrieve the mail that the mail carrier deposits through the incoming mail slot/bin.

  4. william on January 16, 2016 at 12:50 am

    ok But what if I want to send mail out? I did see anywhere on This box to put outgoing mail? it looks like anything going in goes to the locked part

  5. Jenny on January 18, 2016 at 11:31 am

    All of the Mail Boss mailboxes have outgoing mail capacity as well. The Mail Boss Curbside and Package Master have an outgoing mail tray above the incoming mail slot where you can leave mail for the carrier. You don’t have to use a flag since the outgoing mail is in a separate area – the carrier will see it and take it regardless. On the Mail Manager, there is a concealed outgoing mail clip on the incoming mail bin door where you can leave outgoing mail.

  6. Crystal Ann Nash on May 24, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    I’m interested in finding out about your locking crbside mailboxes; only the patron has a key to get the mail.

  7. Jenny on June 8, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    That is correct. The mail carrier deposits the mail through an incoming mail slot or bin, and the patron has the key to unlock the secure mail storage area.

  8. Tom on June 10, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    What if I want to put packages in outgoing mail?

  9. Jenny on June 14, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    The Mail Manager only accepts letters for outgoing mail. The Mail Boss and the Package Master have a small area large enough for a box of checks to send outgoing mail. Please be advised this area is not secure.

  10. Diane Clark on May 16, 2018 at 7:11 pm

    I have a mailbox that has a lock with a slit for mail. What happens when the mailman
    has a small package for me and it won’t fit through the slot? Do they have a universal
    key that will open the mailbox?

    Thank you.

  11. Gabriel on May 29, 2018 at 11:48 am

    Hi Diane, thanks for your inquiry. I do not know what model of mailbox you have, nor if it is a Mail Boss so I do not know the circumstances of your mail delivery. Generally, mail carriers do not carry and are not allowed to carry keys for residential delivery. Sometimes though, there are exceptions such as cluster boxes where there are central locking systems that can be easily and quickly opened by a single key (or mail thief). Mail delivery does very based on local regulation, though at our residence the mail carrier delivers anything that will not fit in our mailbox directly to our front porch. If you are concerned about receiving larger packages that will not fit in your current mailbox, I would recommend looking into our Mail Manager or Package Master, both of which can take a fair sized or even awkward package.

  12. S McEwen on January 12, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    Can the mailman access outgoing mail?

  13. Gabriel on January 22, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    Hi ‘S McEwen’. Yes the mail carrier can access outgoing mail. Simply leave the flag up so that they know there is outgoing mail, and leave your mail in the designated outgoing area or clip. Outgoing mail is not secure, so if the documents are sensitive be sure to drop it off at a local USPS drop box or post office!

  14. Colleen on May 23, 2020 at 9:00 am

    what if I do a stop mail and then I want my mail delivered two weeks later when I returned from town will it all fit in the locking mailbox or am I going to have to go to the post office to get it

  15. Diane on December 21, 2020 at 9:52 am

    I believe you must got to the post office in person to reinsate delivery-at which time you collect the mail.

  16. Mary on July 17, 2021 at 9:23 am

    This is a commercial mail question: my business shares office apace with another business. We share suite 103. The postmaster recently told me (after changing his information multiple times so I think he’s a dope), that I need to change my suite to 103-A. I know of many many businesses that share office suites without issue. I can’t find anything in google about restrictions for people sharing an office suite and their shared mailbox. Does anyone know if he’s right or should I go to my congressman?

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