Are you having problems getting your mail delivered as you would expect? This can happen for a number of reasons, but it’s a pretty serious problem that you need to fix as soon as you can, because it will cause major issues if you are consistently missing out on mail.
USPS may not deliver mail to your home if they cannot access your mailbox for some reason, if the weather conditions are too hazardous, or if there is an animal that makes it potentially unsafe for the mail carrier to approach the mailbox. It’s also possible that deliveries will cease due to travel restrictions or an overly full mailbox.
Does USPS Deliver Mail Every Day?
In most cases, USPS will deliver mail to every US property on most days of the week. Of course, there will be situations in which there is no mail intended for your house on that particular day, and if this occurs, no mail will arrive.
It is quite normal to find that your mailbox is empty for a day or even two days, especially if you get a lot of things like bank statements online instead of in the mail. However, if it has been more than a couple of days (excluding Sundays) and no delivery has been made to your home, you may be starting to feel concerned.
If this happens, there might be an issue with your mailbox or its setup that is preventing USPS workers from bringing your mail. You will need to resolve this problem promptly if you want to get your mail.
Why Might USPS Not Deliver Mail?
There are quite a few things that could cause USPS not to deliver your mail, so it’s important to check each of these reasons and see if it applies in your situation.
Reason One: Hazardous Weather Conditions
USPS generally delivers no matter what the weather is doing, but it may not do so if the weather is very serious. If the roads are unsafe and government bodies are recommending that people do not drive, USPS may call off their deliveries throughout the affected area for the sake of safety.
This will result in mail being delayed until the weather improves. Although the US Postal Service is usually good at getting through bad weather and is not deterred by sleet, snow, hail, rain, or other bad weather, there are limits that apply, and the mail carriers will protect themselves where they need to.
You don’t need to do anything if this has occurred, because the lack of delivery will be affecting everyone in your area, and it will end as soon as your postal service workers are able to safely resume their usual operations.
It may take a day or two for full services to be restored and there is likely to be some backlog, but they should be delivering again as soon as it is safe, so you can look forward to your mailbox being filled once more.
Reason Two: Inaccessible Mailbox
In some instances, the inaccessibility will be more localized and not due to the weather, but due to some condition surrounding your home. For example, if your mailbox is inside a fence and the gate is locked, the USPS worker will not be able to access it.
Any number of things could cause the inaccessibility of a mailbox. In some instances, it could be as simple as someone parking their vehicle right in front of your mailbox, making it impossible for the mail carrier to reach the box from their truck.
Other things like a fallen tree, an unsafe pathway, litter, and more could prevent your mail carrier from being able to reach the box, and your mail will not be delivered if this occurs.
In general, USPS workers will not move items so that they can access the mailbox, because this could cause liability issues if they damaged something or injured themselves. Therefore, if something is blocking access to your mailbox, you will need to remove it yourself.
If you haven’t had any mail for a few days, check whether your box can be easily accessed from the street, and if not, take steps to change this so that your mail carrier can resume their job.
Reason Three: Unsafe Access To Mailbox
Sometimes, a mail carrier will be able to access the box but will not feel safe doing so. Again, the reasons can vary, but an aggressive (or apparently aggressive) animal is often the cause. If you have dogs loose in your yard, your mail carrier may be reluctant to enter the yard, and therefore will not be able to deliver the mail.
If you find that your mail is not being delivered, check whether anything could be causing your mail carrier anxiety. There are many videos of mail carriers being attacked by aggressive animals, including geese and chickens, so bear in mind that all kinds of pets might make the mail carrier nervous, even if they aren’t generally aggressive.
You should make sure that you fence in dogs or other pets before the mail carrier arrives. Although many mail carriers will deal with animals, if they are afraid of your pet, they are within their rights to refuse to enter the yard. Without entering the yard, they cannot deliver your mail.
Put animals away and ensure that they cannot escape before the mail carrier reaches your street, and you shouldn’t have a problem.
Reason Four: Road Restrictions
Often related to bad weather conditions, road restrictions can also cause major problems for the USPS mail carrier, especially if you live in a rural area. Anything that makes the roads difficult to travel on safely could lead to reduced deliveries or a total lack of deliveries.
For example, a worn track, a damaged bridge, flooding, landslides, and many other issues could make the roads unsafe for the USPS driver. It can also take time for these issues to be cleared, and some of them will be recurring issues (such as flooding), which may mean that your deliveries stop and start according to the weather conditions.
You might be wondering if USPS has an obligation to deliver to your property in spite of the road conditions, but the answer is that they do not. USPS can refuse to deliver to a property if they cannot safely reach it and the road isn’t being maintained.
If your service gets withdrawn, you may have to contact USPS in order to get it reinstated and restart your mail deliveries, so it’s best to avoid this if you can. Keep country roads in good condition wherever possible.
Reason Five: A Full Mailbox
If your mail carrier opens your mailbox and finds that it is jam-packed with packages and letters, they may stop delivering. This is because you are clearly not using your mailbox or dealing with your mail, and there is nowhere safe for them to put the items that they have brought.
If this happens, the USPS worker should leave a “we redeliver for you” form for the property owner, and the mail will be taken back to the depot. This can happen with both letters and packages; if it won’t fit into the mailbox, the mail carrier will not (generally) leave it.
Mail is intended to be secure, which means that you should take mail in from your mailbox every day. It won’t hurt if you miss a day or two, but if you allow your mailbox to clog up with mail day after day, you will probably find that you receive a form from USPS.
You will then have to go to rearrange delivery or go to the USPS depot to collect your item, as the driver will take it back there. It won’t be available on the same day that the card is left; you will usually have to wait until the following day, or until the pickup date shown on the card.
When you go to collect your package, make sure you have some photo ID with you, or you will not be allowed to collect it.
If you arrange for redelivery, make sure that the mailbox is free this time, or that you are home so the item can be handed to you directly.
How Can I Tell Why USPS Isn’t Delivering Mail?
If you were expecting a delivery from USPS and it hasn’t come, you will need to first check the weather and road conditions. If the weather is bad or roads are slippery with ice/rough weather, it is likely just due to this.
If this isn’t the case, you’ll need to check whether your mailbox is hard to reach or overly full, or if you have an animal that could be frightening the mail carrier. In these scenarios, you will need to take action. You should empty the mailbox completely and sort through the mail.
You should also make sure that all gates are unlocked, no vehicles are parked in front of your mailbox, and you don’t have any litter or clutter piled up that could make the box hard to reach.
Finally, check for animals. You should be aware that mail carriers may object to an animal even if it is friendly. It is hard for them to verify this in advance, and if the carrier is somewhat nervous, they aren’t going to want an enthusiastic pet charging at them.
You will need to put dogs in a kennel or put up a secondary fence to keep them away from the mailbox. Alternatively, bring your dog indoors when you know the mail carrier is coming, and don’t let it out until the driver has gone.
This applies to other animals too. If you keep any animal that roams in your yard and could potentially be a threat, you will need to ensure it is fenced in or otherwise restrained when the mail carrier is expected.
If you really can’t determine what is preventing USPS from delivering your mail, it may be worth contacting your local post office to ask. They may be able to tell you what the issue is.
What Can I Do To Get USPS To Deliver My Mail Again?
The first thing you will need to do is solve the problem. Some problems may go away on their own (e.g., bad weather, a parked vehicle), while you will have to take action to resolve others (e.g., an overly full mailbox).
Once you have solved the issue, talk to your local post office. They should be able to resume deliveries promptly, and your mail will all arrive. You may also be able to pick mail up yourself if you cannot solve the problem immediately.
What If I Can’t Resolve The Problem?
If there’s nothing you can do to change the problem, discuss it with your local mail carrier and work on creative solutions together. You may be able to meet the mail carrier by the mailbox, get a neighbor to take your mail, or set up a temporary box.
The temporary box could be near the original, but in a spot that resolves the problem. You might be able to do this at the end of a rural road if it has become undrivable, although you will then have to personally collect your mail from that box instead.
Talk to your local post office and get creative on how to deal with the issue so you can get your mail.
Mail delivery can be a frustrating aspect of life, and if you are struggling to get mail delivered to your home, you might want to consider getting a Virtual Mailbox from US Global Mail. This will give USPS a convenient, secure location that they can deliver letters and packages to.
For many people who live off the beaten track, have unsecured pets, or encounter other mailing issues, this is an easy solution to the problem. Your mail will be stored at that location until it suits you to collect it, and you can preview items online so you know whether anything that needs urgent attention has arrived or not.