Discussion Forums - USPS Postal Regulations USPS Postal Regulations

Topic: Another question about 13 oz rule......

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: Another question about 13 oz rule......
Date Posted: 6/27/2008 7:17 AM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2007
Posts: 52
Back To Top

I used the PBS postage and bought the postage and DC through PBS (I am not using stamps but online postage).  The package weighs over 13 oz and I need to know if it is okay to just put the package in my mailbox for pickup?  I am on a rural route and I can normally just drop the package in my mail box but with the package being over 13 oz I  am wondering if I needed to schedule a pick up or if it just okay to put in the mail box like a normal package.

Date Posted: 6/27/2008 8:12 AM ET
Member Since: 4/21/2008
Posts: 664
Back To Top

The 13 oz rule only applies to dropping off packages in the blue boxes. Your carrier will pick up whatever you put in the box as long as it has postage. I've even left money in the mailbox to pay for the envelope I was mailing when I was out of stamps. They don't like to do that a lot but they will do it.


Also, the 13 oz rule does not apply to packages that have postage printed out from a place like PBS.


Date Posted: 6/27/2008 9:10 AM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2007
Posts: 52
Back To Top

Thank you so much for the quick reply :)

Date Posted: 6/27/2008 9:36 AM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
Back To Top

Actually, carriers are not supposed take over 13oz packages left in mailboxes with stamps anymore, they require you to take them to the post office and hand them to an employee. As long as you are using some kind of prepaid postage (PBS, APC, PayPal, etc) you are OK to drop the package anywhere, but I wouldn't try stamps unless your carrier OKs it first.

The rule:

Starting Monday, July 30, customers can use one of several convenient online postage applications — available 24/7 — or an Automated Postal Center, if they wish to mail items that weigh more than 13 ounces in Postal Service collection boxes or Post Office lobby mail slots; or if they wish to leave the items for pickup by their letter carriers. Online postage applications include the Postal Service’s Click-N-Ship service on usps.com and PC Postage from an authorized USPS vendor.

If a customer is unable to use one of the above methods to prepare and affix postage, items weighing more than 13 ounces must be presented for mailing to an employee at a Post Office retail service counter. Business customers who use postage meters may continue to use meter postage for packages of any weight and mailing method.

Date Posted: 6/27/2008 10:51 AM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
Back To Top

If your carrier will take outgoing mail, this is something they can take. Some will not take mail, since they are technically there to deliver the mail. The regs are that they do not have to pickup mail. Please dont tell my mail carrier about this rule, since he always takes mine from my mailbox. shhh.

Date Posted: 8/2/2008 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2008
Posts: 3
Back To Top

Okay, I'm confused. Can I put stamps on a book weighing over 13 oz. and put it in my mailbox for my carrier to pick up?? I have my own mailbox and live in a big city, as opposed to a rural area. I thought I was doing the right thing when I read the rule to "take packages over 13 oz. to the post office." So I took three books to a p.o. and put them in the blue box. (I didn't go inside because I had my 4 year old w/ me and it was just easier to use the box.) So then today, in my home mailbox, one of the books was sent back to me with a sticker saying for security reasons I had to take it to the p.o. Well, I guess they mean I have to hand it to an actual person. I figured the blue box would be fine because it would still alleviate my mail carrier's burden, which I thought was the purpose of the rule. Anyway, the other 2 books that I put in the same blue box were not returned to me. Do you suppose they let them slip by and just sent back the one so I'd get the message for next time? It seems that people put books over 13 oz. in their mailboxes with no problem. I'm just wondering if I really have to schlep this book back up to the p.o. on Monday. If I do that and then on Monday afternoon I get another of my books sent back to me I may get a little testy! Sorry so wordy... Thanks for any help.

Date Posted: 8/2/2008 10:48 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
Back To Top


If the book weighs 13 ozs or more, and has stamps, it must be handed to a postal worker inside the PO, it can not be dropped in a blue box, and should not be left outside for a carrier to pick up. They are supposed to return the package to the sender.

If you are using printable postage, you can drop it in the blue box, since printable postage is traceable to the purchaser of the postage. The same with metered postage, like Pitney Bowes postage machines.

This rule came into effect as a result of the unibomber, and used to be 16 ounces, and was recently lowered to 13 ozs.


Subject: Package over 13 oz.
Date Posted: 8/3/2008 4:18 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,448
Back To Top

That is why printable postage is so great. I can print it up anddrop it in the blue box by the post office...doesn't have to be the one by the PO, but it is the closest one for me on my way to work.  And I generally have my credit that evening sometime.



Date Posted: 8/8/2008 12:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
Back To Top

You can put the printed postage packages in your mail box or a blue box because they can track the postage back to the sender.  That's of course if your mail carrier will pick up packages in your mailbox-some won't.