Roadside mailboxes are as common in Maine as pine trees. I grew up on a street where our home and all the others on our street had mailboxes at our doors, and as a young kid, I just thought that was how it was done.

Since then, every house I've lived in has had a roadside mailbox, making it easy for postal workers to pull up and drop off the mail without having to get out of the truck.

When I had to replace my mailbox not too long ago, I learned that there are a lot of things you need to do to make it compliant with the United States Postal Service. They have guidelines on the height, distance from the road, and how deep to bury the post in the ground.


But beyond that, the State of Maine has one requirement for the post of your mailbox that is part of Maine State Law, and I've surprisingly seen lots of mailboxes in violation of this law.

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According to the Maine DOT, your mailbox post could be considered a deadly fixed object based on the material it is made out of. Wood posts are best, because if a car hits it, it will break away. I've seen plenty of concrete or masonry posts for mailboxes along Route 302. I've even seen one wedged into a step ladder. Neither are acceptable, according to the Maine DOT:

"Unacceptable Mailbox Supports Include:
• anything filled with concrete
• masonry and stone structures
• heavy steel structures
• most objects that were intended for other
uses (e.g., antique plows, I-beams, etc.)

This is covered under Maine Law 23 MRSA §1401-A, but if you have one of these types of posts, you won't get fined. If the Maine DOT notices it, they'll request you remove it and mount your mailbox on a post that complies with Maine law. If you don't remove it, they'll do it themselves, and could charge you for the cost of removal.

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