Is it illegal to put Flyers in Mailboxes?

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Is it illegal to put Flyers in Mailboxes

Distributing flyers is a common method used by businesses, individuals, and organizations to advertise events, services, or products. One question that frequently arises is whether it’s legal to place these flyers directly into mailboxes. This article examines the legality of this practice in the United States, based on federal laws and regulations.

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The United States Postal Service (USPS) operates under a set of federal laws and regulations that govern the use of mailboxes. According to the USPS, it is illegal for anyone other than postal service employees or the residents of the mailbox to place items in a mailbox. This rule is outlined in Title 18, Section 1725 of the United States Code, which specifies that only mail that has been paid for postage is allowed in these federal property boxes.

Title 18, Section 1725

Title 18, Section 1725 of the United States Code states that any flyer, advertisement, or any other item placed in a mailbox without paid postage is subject to a fine. This law is enforced to ensure that the mailbox remains a secure and reliable means for the delivery of mail, and to prevent it from becoming cluttered with unsolicited materials.


Violations of this law can lead to substantial penalties. The USPS is authorized to impose fines for each piece of unsolicited material placed in mailboxes. These fines are intended to discourage the unauthorized use of mailboxes and to maintain the integrity of the postal system.

Alternatives to Mailbox Distribution

Considering the legal restrictions on placing flyers directly into mailboxes, businesses, and organizations must look for alternative methods of distribution. Some legal ways to distribute flyers include:

  • Door-to-door distribution: Placing flyers on doorknobs, under mats, or in other locations near the entrance of a residence or business, without using the mailbox.
  • Direct mail: Paying for postage to send flyers through the postal system ensures that the materials are legally delivered directly to mailboxes.
  • Public bulletin boards: Many communities offer bulletin boards in public spaces where flyers can be posted legally.


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