USPS Lost Mailbox Key: The Ultimate Guide To Solving This Issue

usps lost mailbox key

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Table of Contents

Did you lose your USPS mailbox key? Don’t panic! I can help you.

I wrote this guide to discuss the USPS lost mailbox key issue in detail. I’ll also explain the following:

  • What happens if you lose your mailbox key

  • How to get a replacement mailbox key

  • How much is a replacement mailbox key if USPS doesn’t run your mailbox?

Let’s begin.

USPS: Lost MailBox Key

usps lost mailbox key

Losing your USPS mailbox key can be frustrating, but there are still ways to open it.

The steps to unlock your mailbox depends on your key type.

Determine if the USPS handles the mailboxes at your residence, especially if it’s a condo or apartment complex.

If USPS does manage the mailboxes, ask for a new post office box key from your local mail service or post office.

If the USPS doesn’t handle the mailboxes, contact the person who owns or manages them.

If the lost key is for a single-family home mailbox, a locksmith or the original mailbox maker can help you get a new one.

How To Get Another Mailbox Key

How To Get Another Mailbox Key

You must visit your local post office to get new USPS keys. They’ll provide you with a form to fill out, requiring your personal information.

You’ll also have to pay a fee for replacing the key, which varies depending on local regulations.

How To Get a New Mailbox Key: Lost, Missing, or Stolen

You should first verify if the mailboxes in your residential building (such as an apartment or condominium) are managed by the United States Postal Service (USPS).

If USPS maintains your mailbox:

For all other mailboxes:

  • Consult your residential building’s owner or manager because they are responsible for buying, installing, and maintaining the mailboxes.

  • Your residential building complex is also responsible for the individual locks on the mailboxes and might possess a duplicate key for these locks.

Please note that USPS cannot assist you in accessing mailboxes that are privately owned and maintained by residential building complexes.

To report damages to a private mailbox, contacting your local police is best.

Lost Community Mailbox Keys: How To Get a New Mailbox Key for an Apartment

How To Get a New Mailbox Key for an Apartment

Residents of apartments or other communities use community mailboxes to pick up and drop off their mail.

If you’re a tenant and lose your key, you must inform the building management immediately.

Note: Procedures may vary depending on the property.

USPS Cluster MailBox Key Replacement: How To Get a Mailbox Key From the Post Office

To understand Cluster Box Keys, I will define a Cluster Box Unit.

A Cluster Box Unit (CBU) is a centralized mailbox system that saves fuel and reduces emissions by enabling carriers to serve multiple customers in one stop.

There are two types of Cluster Box Units.

  • Privately Owned Cluster Box

    If you have a privately owned Cluster Box Unit, you must get the keys from the owner, manager, or previous resident when moving in.

    The property manager is responsible for lock and key services. Carriers cannot accept keys for private mail receptacles unless authorized by local management.

  • USPS-Owned Cluster Box

    For USPS-owned Cluster Box Units, the Postal Service provides you with a compartment lock and three keys. You can make duplicate keys at your own expense; USPS doesn’t require key deposits.

    Losing your USPS Cluster Box keys make you responsible for the cost of a new lock and set of keys. Return all compartment keys to the Post Office because they will replace the lock for the next resident.

Where and How To Get a Duplicate Mailbox Key

Where and How To Get a Duplicate Mailbox Key

Can I make a copy of my mailbox key if the USPS doesn’t handle my mailbox? Yes.

You can pay to get a copy of your key from a locksmith.

If USPS does look after your mailbox, you can get spare keys for a fee.

The USPS mailbox key replacement cost is approximately $10.

When moving out, remember to return the mailbox key(s) to the owner, manager, or next resident, and leave any duplicate keys behind.

New Mailbox Keys: How To Request New Keys From the USPS

New Mailbox Keys: How To Request New Keys From the USPS

If you misplace both USPS post office box keys, you can request new post office keys by filling out the USPS mailbox key replacement form.

Getting additional keys is free if your existing keys are worn out or damaged.

A lost PO Box key fee varies by state or region and box type. However, the fee for new keys often costs around $10.

If you have a mailbox that the United States Postal Service doesn’t own, these factors can influence the replacement cost.

  • The labor expenses for the maintenance personnel

  • The cost of replacing the actual mailbox

  • The time required to complete the job

What if the Replacement Key and Duplicate Key Don’t Work

Consider requesting a lock replacement if the replacement and duplicate keys don’t work. To request a new lock from your local post office, you must pay the USPS lock replacement fee of approximately $20.

Here’s how to get a new lock for your mailbox.

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  1. Contact the United States Postal Service (USPS) and tell them your situation.

  2. Once the post office changes the existing lock, they will leave a Delivery Notice Card at your doorstep.

  3. Bring the notice card when collecting the new replacement keys. You may need to pay a deposit fee and give photo identification.

Make sure to track your order, and check this guide in case you get a notice saying “Delivered to agent for final delivery

What Are the Consequences if I Lost My Mailbox Key?

Legally speaking, there aren’t any serious consequences.

However, if you lose your USPS mailbox key, it can mess up your mail routine.

You’ll have to pay for a new key from the Postal Service.

Should I Be Alarmed About Losing My Keys?

Have you lost your mailbox key? Don’t worry.

Losing your mailbox key isn’t a crime, so you’re not in trouble. However, you can’t open your mail until you get a new key.

How Long Does It Take To Get a New USPS Mailbox Key?

You can get your duplicate keys in three to five days. It’s not quick, but it could save money if you’re not in a hurry.

If you own your mailbox, consider getting a new one. Doing so prevents someone from finding your old key and snooping through your mail.

Tips To Keep Your USPS Mailbox Key Safe

Tips To Keep Your USPS Mailbox Key Safe

Here’s how to safeguard your USPS Mailbox key.

Always Keep It in the Same Place.

Always keep your mailbox key in the same spot. For example, hook it by the door or a pocket in your bag to always know where to find it.

Get a Key Ring or Keychain.

Attaching your mailbox key to a larger key ring makes it harder to lose and easier to find if you misplace it.

Get a Spare Set of Mailbox Keys

If USPS doesn’t maintain your mailbox, consider getting a spare key. It can be a lifesaver if your main key goes missing.

What To Do if the USPS Doesn’t Run Your Mailbox

What To Do if the USPS Doesn't Run Your Mailbox

Here are steps you can take if the USPS doesn’t own your mailbox.

Get in Touch With Your Property Manager or HOA

If USPS doesn’t maintain your mailbox, contact your property owner, landlord, or homeowner’s association (HOA).

Visit a Locksmith.
You can get a new key from a professional locksmith if the USPS doesn’t own your mailbox.

Consider Mailbox Upgrades.

You can upgrade to a more modern mailbox system with advanced features like keyless entry, reducing the risk of lost keys.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does the Post Office Replace Mailbox Keys?

Yes. Your local post office can provide a replacement key for a fee.

How Secure Are Mailbox Locks?

Mailbox locks are fairly secure but aren’t risk-free. Like all locks, they can still be compromised.

Can You Pick a Mailbox Lock if the Lock Is Broken?

I don’t recommend picking a broken mailbox lock. Getting professional help from a locksmith is best.

How Do I Pick a USPS Mailbox Lock?

I don’t advise picking a USPS mailbox lock.

I Lost My Mailbox Key. How Can I Open It?

You can’t open a USPS mailbox without a key. You need to get a replacement from the post office or seek professional assistance from a locksmith.

What Does a Locksmith Charge to Open a Mailbox?

Locksmith costs vary, but mailbox opening typically ranges from $50 to $100 per hour for labor only.

Can You Rekey Mailbox Locks?

Some mailbox locks are re-keyable, but USPS mailboxes are generally not.

Can I Get My PO Box Mail Without My Key?

Without your key, you’ll need help from the post office to access your PO Box mail.

The Bottom Line

I hope my guide makes replacing your USPS mailbox key easier.

Use the steps I outlined to get new keys for your mailbox in only a few days.

If you’re sending mail through the USPS and are unsure which option is best, my USPS First Class vs. Priority Mail guide can help you.

Written by: Omar Deryan

Founder of OJ Digital Solutions

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