How To Get A Mailbox Key From The Post Office

How To Get A Mailbox Key From The Post Office

Accessing your USPS mailbox is crucial, especially when you are expecting important mail. Losing your mailbox key can be a hassle, but there are steps you can take to get a replacement key. The process varies depending on whether you have a community, local post office, or residential key. If you have lost multiple keys in the past, it might be wise to consider getting a new lock to ensure the security of your mailbox. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to obtain a replacement mailbox key or lock for commercial mailboxes or residential ones.

Lost Your Community Mailbox Keys

If you reside in an apartment complex or a community with a shared mailbox, and you have misplaced your key, it is essential to notify the building management promptly. Different properties have varying rules, but generally, reporting the loss to your landlord or property owner in writing and in person is advisable.

If your community mailbox is tied to the post office, and you do not have a spare key, follow these steps:

  • Find the website for the USPS post office that oversees your mailbox.
  • Fill out the new keys replacement form and pay the required fee, typically around $20 or more.
  • Once your new key is ready for pick-up, the postal service will send you a notice card via email. You will need to bring a government-issued ID for collection.
  • Confirm the compartment number and the location of your mailbox on the notice card.

If the new key does not open your mailbox lock, you should be able to obtain another one free of charge. If the lock needs to be replaced, you will need to request the change from the United States Postal Service (USPS) or your property manager. Upon changing the lock, you will receive a Delivery Notice Card with the address for key collection. A deposit fee and photo identification may be required.

Lost Your Post Office Keys

USPS post office boxes come with two keys, so if you lose the main one, you have a spare. However, if you lose both keys, you need to fill out USPS Form 1093 to request another copy. If your post office box keys are worn or damaged, you should be able to get replacements at no charge.

The cost of a USPS PO box key replacement varies by state or region and the type of box you own, typically around $10. If you have a mailbox that your local post office does not own, the replacement cost may depend on factors such as labor, mailbox replacement, and time needed to complete the job.

Lost Single-Family Residence Mailbox Keys

When you lose the key to your mailbox at home, you have two options:

  • Get a Professional Locksmith: Locksmiths can assist in creating new keys for home boxes, but the fees vary based on location and homeowner association (HOA) regulations.
  • Use the Manufacturer: Contact the key manufacturer, provide your mailbox item number, and request a new mail key. This process may take a few days, but it is a cost-effective option if you are not in a rush.

If you are a mailbox owner, consider changing boxes altogether to eliminate the risk of someone finding your lost key and accessing your mail. You can also ask your USPS mailman office to hold your mail until you get a new key to avoid receiving mail that you cannot access.


Can Mailbox Keys Be Copied?

The ability to duplicate mailbox keys depends on the type of mailbox. For mailboxes not located in a United States Postal Service facility, key duplication is possible at various locations such as Home Depot, Walmart, and hardware stores. However, for USPS PO boxes, key duplication is not possible, and you will need to order another key from a post office clerk.

Where Can I Duplicate My Mailbox Key?

Mailbox keys can be duplicated at Home Depot, Walmart, and hardware stores. It is important to ensure that the duplication is done using a manual duplicating machine to avoid any issues with the key fitting the lock properly.

Replacing a mailbox lock can be done by following these steps:

  • Wait for the letter carrier to open your box.
  • Find the clip inside that holds the lock together and remove it with a wrench.
  • Detach the extended lip from the lock using pliers.
  • Use a screwdriver to remove the locking cam and attach it to the new lock.
  • Secure the new lock in place and test it with spray grease.

It is advisable to seek professional assistance if you have no experience or if you have further questions.


Obtaining a replacement mailbox key from the post office involves following specific procedures based on the type of mailbox and the circumstances of the key loss. Whether it is a community mailbox, post office box, or a single-family residence mailbox, there are steps to be taken to ensure access to your mail. It is important to consider the costs involved and the most efficient options available for obtaining a replacement key or lock.

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