Mailbox safety and FAQs
The postal patron provides a mailbox of light sheet metal or plastic construction that conforms to the requirements of the U.S. Postal Service.
It is TxDOT policy to furnish and install mailbox supports for all rural postal patrons located on state maintained highways. This service is provided free of charge.
Many types of custom and commercially available mailboxes and mailbox supports are potentially hazardous if hit by a vehicle.
TxDOT will only install mailboxes that meet the required crash tested safety specifications.
Home address numbers in a minimum one inch tall font should be placed on the mailbox to assist post office and emergency response providers. However, other decorative items that are attached add weight and can become hazardous objects if the mailbox were to be struck by a vehicle. These items may not be attached to the mailbox or to its support.
TxDOT has the responsibility of providing a safe and efficient transportation system for the traveling public.
Vehicles that collide with obstructions on the right-of-way can cause property damage, personal injury, or even death.
Efforts to create a safer roadside for errant motorists have included the development and crash testing of various breakaway supports for signs, illumination poles and mailboxes. TxDOT's safety supports have been crash-tested to federal National Cooperative Highway Research Program standards.
The tests performed on mailboxes and mailbox supports established justification for TxDOT to replace mailboxes and mailbox supports that are potentially dangerous to the traveling public.
In the interest of motorists' safety, it is TxDOT policy to furnish and install mailbox supports, free of charge, to individuals located on state maintained highways.
As a result of extensive research and testing, TxDOT has developed standards which it follows when installing mailbox supports. TxDOT personnel will install the correct type of support, in an appropriate location. Reflectors are provided on the supports for added nighttime visibility of the roadside obstruction.
Neighbor delivery and collection box units
TxDOT encourages the use of neighbor delivery and collection box units at locations with numerous mailboxes, such as mobile home parks and apartments. Due to their size and weight, NDCBUs should be installed off of the highway right-of-way and on low volume intersecting roadways or on private property.
If it is essential for a NDCBU to be located on the right-of-way, TxDOT must be contacted to designate an acceptable location. TxDOT is not responsible for the installation and maintenance of NDCBUs. You may contact the U.S. Postal Service regarding information about the installation of NDCBUs.
If you live along a state-maintained roadway, TxDOT will install your mailbox. Provide a U.S. Postal Service approved mailbox to your local TxDOT maintenance office and we will furnish the mailbox support with mounting hardware and install your mailbox.
We will also maintain the installation of your mailbox. If you are not sure which mailboxes are approved, call your local TxDOT office.
Newspaper delivery tubes
Newspaper delivery tubes may be attached beneath the mailbox, opposite the reflective marker on the same support. A separate support for newspaper tubes will not be allowed.
Newspaper tubes must consist of light sheet metal or plastic construction. The name of the newspaper may be imprinted on the tube; however, no other printing or advertising is allowed.
Mailboxes and/or supports that do not comply with TxDOT standards create a roadside hazard for the traveling public. For this reason, those not meeting standards must be removed. When a non-compliant mailbox and/or support is observed, TxDOT provides notification by mail requesting that the owner remove the box or allow us to install an approved support system.
If the violation is not removed in a timely manner, the department will remove the installation. Once the owner provides an acceptable mailbox, the department will furnish and install the correct support system.
TxDOT has 25 district offices located across the state to serve local transportation needs. By contacting the local district office, information about mailbox supports and installation can be coordinated. The postal patron will need to provide the specific location, highway number and county to the local district office.
Please contact your local district office, or local maintenance section office for mailbox supports, questions or comments.