Mail & News Boxes Along Roadways

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for mailboxes within the road authority’s right of way.  For the safety of the traveling public, the following policy applies to mailboxes and their installations on roads with the posted speed limit of 40 mph, or greater.

No mailbox or newspaper delivery box, hereinafter referred to as mailbox, will be allowed to exist on the Lac qui Parle County right of way if it interferes with the safety of the traveling public or the function, maintenance, or operation of the roadway system.  A mailbox installation not conforming to the provisions of this regulation is an unauthorized encroachment under Minnesota Statutes 169.072 and Minnesota Rules, Chapter 8818.

The location and construction of mailboxes shall conform to the rules and regulations of the U.S. Postal Service as well as to standards established by the County Highway Department.  Standards for the location and construction of mailboxes are available from:

Lac qui Parle County Highway Department 
308 6th Avenue South Madison, MN 56256 
(320) 598-3878

A mailbox installation that conforms to the following criteria will be considered acceptable unless, in the judgment of the County Highway Engineer, the installation interferes with the safety of the traveling public or the function, maintenance, or operation of the roadway system.


  • No mailbox will be permitted where access is obtained from a freeway or where access is otherwise prohibited by law or regulation.
  • Mailboxes shall be located on the right-hand side of the roadway in the carrier’s direction of travel.  The bottom of the box shall be set at an elevation established by the U.S. Postal Service, between 42 and 48 inches above the roadway surface.  The roadside face of the box shall be:
     – On the Outside edge of aggregate shoulder or, – 8 – 12 inches outside of the paved shoulder or, – 6 – 12 inches back of the face of curb.
  • Where a mailbox is located near an intersection or driveway, it shall be in accordance with local ordinances and /or policies.
  • Where a mailbox is installed near an existing guardrail, it should, wherever practical, be placed behind the guardrail.
  • Exceptions to the placement criteria above must be approved by the County Highway Department and the local Postmaster.

Mailboxes shall be of light sheet metal or plastic construction conforming to the requirements of the US Postal Service.  No more than two mailboxes may be mounted on a support structure unless crash tests have shown the support structure and mailbox arrangement to be safe.

A single post should be used for the mailbox support that is constructed of either a:
 – 4-inch by 4-inch square wooden post, – 4-inch diameter wooden post or, – a metal support of a weight of three pounds per foot or less for any one foot of vertical measurement above ground.

For MnDOT’s standard “swing-away” design, the post must be embedded a minimum of four feet below ground and project at least two feet above ground.  A metal post shall not be fitted with an anchor plate, but it may have an anti-twist device that extends no more than ten inches below the ground surface. (See Chart 19-1 & 19-2) 

The post-to-box attached details should be sufficient strength to prevent the box from separating from the post top if the installation is struck by a vehicle.  The exact support hardware dimension and design may vary, such as having a two-piece platform bracket or alternative slot and hole locations.  The product must result in a satisfactory attachment of the mailbox to the post, and all components must fit together properly.

The minimum spacing between centers of support posts shall be a minimum of 30 inches.  Mailbox support designs not described in this regulation are acceptable if approved by the County highway Engineer.

For additional instructions regarding installation, please see the following illustrations.

Removal of Non-Conforming or Unsafe Mailboxes 
In accordance with Minnesota Statue 169.072 and Minnesota Rules 8818, any mailbox that is found to violate the intent of this regulation shall be removed by the postal patron upon notification by the County Highway Department.  At the discretion of the County Highway Department, based on an assessment of hazard to the public, the patron shall be given 60 days to remove and replace an unacceptable mailbox.  After the 60 days has expired, the unacceptable mailbox will be removed and replaced by the County Highway Department at the owner or resident’s expense, not to exceed the statutory limit, currently $75.00.