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Don't get P.O.'d at the P.O.: Use your P.O. Box number and make things easier for everyone


by Karin L. Nauber

The question has arisen lately if there is a requirement to use our Post Office Box number on mail that is delivered to the local post offices since we do not have home delivery.

I wish there were a simple answer to this question.

While many of our rural area post offices don’t “require” the P.O. Box number, there is a requirement to use it, especially if the P.O. Box is your delivery point.

Each person who receives mail can have one free delivery point. For people in rural areas, that free delivery point is their mailbox which is typically located at the end of their driveway. Although the delivery point is free, the owner has to have a mailbox which has to be properly set and maintained.

For most people living in small cities where in-town delivery is not provided, then the free delivery point is a P.O. Box typically located within the post office.

So, if I have lived in town forever, why do I need to use my P.O. Box number?

Well, because, not all of the postal workers know who you are. 

We get pretty spoiled in our small towns because “everybody knows everybody.”

But with new people moving into our communities all the time and sometimes needing to have a substitute postal worker at your local post office, this isn’t always true—not everybody knows everybody anymore.

Postal regulations are fairly strict, too, regarding who can pick up your mail if you don’t have a box.

If a new postal worker comes to work and doesn’t know who you are, how will they be able to easily put your mail in your box? They won’t be able to....

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