I just recently received a flyer for a local business in my mailbox, so it got me thinking, can you just put something in someone's mailbox, or is it illegal. I mean, it does seem like a great way to advertise your services or products - stuff flyers in mailboxes around your business. Most people check their mailboxes regularly, so they're likely to see your advertisement. Or what about a lost dog? It would make sense to put flyers in your neighbor's mailboxes. And if you're like me, your probably thinking, 'I bought it, so it's mine, doesn't that mean I can do what I wish with it?' But the question arises...is it legal in New York State?

The first thing to consider is that if people are putting stuff in your mailbox, it may cause your box to become full. Sure, a flyer doesn't take up much space. But what about neighbors dropping something off to you in your mailbox? Let's say they leave an item they borrowed in your mailbox, causing it to fill up. According to the United States Postal Service, a letter carrier can't put mail into your box once it is full.

Photo by the blowup on Unsplash
Photo by the blowup on Unsplash

The law is very clear when it comes to non-postal employees placing anything without paid postage into a mailbox,

The U.S. Postal Service would like to warn people that only authorized U.S. Postal Service delivery personnel are allowed to place items in a mailbox. By law, a mailbox is intended only for receipt of postage-paid U.S. Mail.

The postal service also says that aside from being illegal, random flyers placed in mailboxes can become a headache and inconvenience for residents,

Postal Service has received complaints of flyers without paid postage being placed in mailboxes. Though many may be unaware, it is important to know that this type of activity is illegal by federal law. It may seem to be an easy way to advertise, but only U.S. Mail delivered by authorized personnel may be placed in mailboxes.

There is one exception. Newspapers can be placed in a mailbox on Sundays, when the Postal Services doesn't deliver mail.

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