Postal Operations Manual Revision: Modes of Delivery

Effective December 8, 2016, the Postal Service™ is revising the Postal Operations Manual (POM) to revise the order of sections that cover modes of delivery.

Postal Operations Manual (POM)
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6 Delivery Services
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63 Modes of Delivery, Mail Receptacles, and Keys
631 Modes of Delivery
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[Revise the order of current sections 631.2, 631.21, 631.22, and 631.23 to read as follows:]
631.2 Centralized Delivery
Centralized delivery service may be provided to call windows, horizontal locked mail receptacles, cluster box units (CBUs), wall-mounted receptacles, or mechanical conveyors (mechanical conveyors are only for high-rise and multiple tenant buildings, and only if certain conditions are met; consult your Postmaster for details).

a. Delivery requirements: CBUs and USPS STD 4C equipment may be approved for use at one or more centralized delivery points in a residential housing community or business location. The local postal manager must approve the mailbox sites and type of equipment. Boxes must be safely located so that customers are not required to travel an unreasonable distance to obtain their mail and to provide sufficient access to mailbox locations. Normally, it is appropriate for the receptacle to be within one block of the residence.

b. Centralized delivery addresses: Centralized delivery mail receptacles (including USPS STD 4C equipment and CBUs, delivery centers, and postal centers) must be identified by the same addresses as the dwellings for which they serve as mail receptacles. The respective, conforming addresses should be displayed inside the boxes and visible only to the carrier and customer when accessing that receptacle. USPS does not assign addresses; however, the sequential ordering of any centralized delivery equipment is subject to USPS approval for operational efficiency and to accommodate special circumstances or requests for hardship delivery. For security or privacy, mailer associations or customer groups may use another alphanumeric identification system on the outside of receptacles that is not part of, or used in, the mailing address.

631.21 Curbside Delivery
Delivery may only be provided to boxes at the curb with prior approval from the Postal Service, and so long as they can be efficiently, safely, and conveniently served by the carrier from the carrier’s vehicle, and so that customers have reasonable and safe access. Mail receptacles may be grouped two to a property line, where possible.

631.22 Door Delivery
Door delivery may be provided to boxes located at or near the door of a business or residential delivery point, or through a door slot, with prior approval from the local Postmaster, only if the box or mail slot can be efficiently, safely, and conveniently served by the carrier. Door delivery will generally not be available for new delivery points.

631.23 Sidewalk Delivery
Sidewalk delivery may be provided to boxes located near the public sidewalk. Options and requirements for sidewalk delivery, as directed by the Postal Service, are as follows:

a. If the sidewalk abuts the curb or if other unusual conditions exist (e.g., excessive street parking) that make it difficult or impractical to install or serve boxes at the curbline, customers with these situations may be permitted to install all their boxes at the edge of the public sidewalk nearest the residence, where they can all be served by a carrier from the sidewalk.

b. If the average lot frontage is 50 feet or less, the boxes must be located so that the carrier can serve them from the sidewalk. The boxes are not required to be grouped together.

c. If the average lot frontage is over 50 feet and does not exceed 75 feet, the boxes must be installed in groups of at least two.

d. If the average lot frontage exceeds 75 feet, CBUs must be installed.

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We will incorporate these revisions into the next online update of the Postal Operations Manual, which is available on the Postal Service PolicyNet website:

  • Go to
  • In the left-hand column under “Essential Links”, click PolicyNet.
  • Click Manuals.

The direct URL for the Postal Service PolicyNet website is

Source: Policies, Procedures, and Forms Updates

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