Mailbox Policy

As of June 1, 2014 the Road Department will no longer reimburse for damaged mailboxes.

For more information, please view our Mailbox Policy (PDF).

Accommodation of Mailboxes & Newspaper Delivery Boxes on County Road Right of Way

(Adopted October 22, 2003)

It is the policy of the Board of County Road Department of Berrien County to require mailboxes and newspaper delivery boxes (hereinafter referred to as mailbox) located in the Berrien County Road Department (BCRD) rights-of-way to be constructed in a manner which does not interfere with the safety of the traveling public or the maintenance and operation of the road system. A mailbox installation that does not conform to the provisions of this policy will be considered as unauthorized encroachment on the rights-of-way and removal shall be administered in accordance with State of Michigan Act 368, Public Acts of 1925, as amended. This policy is consistent with the rules and regulations of the U.S Postal Service.


Mailboxes shall be located on the right-hand side of the roadway in the direction of the delivery route.    The bottom of the box shall be set at an elevation, established by the U.S. Postal Service, usually between 36 inches and 45 inches above the roadway surface.  Typically, the roadside face of the mailbox is offset 8 inches to 12 inches from the outside edge of the road shoulder.

Exceptions to the lateral placement criteria may occur on residential streets and certain designated rural roads where it is in the public interest to alter the location.  On curbed streets, the roadside face of the mailbox shall be set back from the face of the curb a distance between 6 inches and 12 inches.  On residential streets without curbs, or on all-weather shoulders which carry low-traffic volumes and which operate at low speeds, the roadside face of a mailbox shall be offset between 8 inches and 12 inches behind the edge of the pavement.

Where a mailbox is located at an intersecting road, it shall be located no closer than a minimum of 100 feet from the intersection.  The distance may need to be increased if safety needs so require.

Upon request, Berrien County Road Department will advise as to proper placement.


Mailboxes shall be of light steel, metal or plastic construction conforming to requirements of the U.S. Postal Service.  Newspaper delivery boxes shall be of light steel, metal or plastic construction of minimum dimensions suitable for holding a newspaper.

No more than two mailboxes may be mounted on a support structure unless the support structure and mailbox arrangement meet American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Standards.  However, lightweight newspaper boxes may be mounted below the mailbox on the side of the mailbox support.
Mailbox supports shall not be set in concrete unless the support has been shown to be safe by crash tests when so installed.

A single 4-inch x 4-inch or 4-1/2-inch diameter wooden post or a metal post with a strength no greater than a 2-inch diameter standard strength steel pipe and embedded no more than 24 inches into the ground will be acceptable as a mailbox support.  A metal post shall not be fitted with an anchor plate but it may have an anti-twist device that extends no more than 10 inches below the ground surface.

The post-to-box attachment details should be of sufficient strength to prevent the box from separating from the top post if the installation is struck by a vehicle.  AASHTO publication “A Guide for Erecting Mailboxes on Highways” (1994) documents acceptable attachment details and acceptable mailbox support assemblies.

The minimum spacing between the centers of support posts shall be three-fourths the height of the posts above the ground.


Any mailbox that is found to violate the intent of this policy shall be removed by the owner upon notification.  At the discretion of the Berrien County Road Department and based on an assessment of hazard to the public, the owner will be granted not less than 24 hours nor more than 30 days to remove an unacceptable installation.  If not removed within the specified time, the installation will be removed by Berrien County Road Department at the owner’s expense as provided by Act 368, Public Acts of 1925, as amended.

Non-conforming brick and/or reinforced decorative mailboxes will be allowed on residential roads with a speed limit of 25 miles per hour unless the Road Department determines, by majority vote, that the specific mailbox poses a safety risk or impediment to road maintenance activities.