How to Start Mail Delivery to a New Construction
Once you've installed cluster mailboxes at your property, you'll need to let the U.S. Post Office know that this is a location that accepts mail. Here are the steps to register and verify your address with the USPS so that your mail carrier, as well as private services such as Federal Express (FedEx) and the United Parcel Service (UPS), can put those new cluster mailboxes to use.
How Do I Register My New Construction Address?
The USPS doesn't create mailing addresses. The local government office with jurisdiction over your area creates the street name and street address for a house or other property types. To register an address with the postal service, you'll need to prove that your location is valid.
Gather All the Necessary Information
Compile any documents relevant to your new construction, such as your land deed and title. Be sure to include everything, such as pages with the longitude and latitude information for your property. Some deeds might have Global Positioning System (GPS) data for your site as well.
You'll also need a primary form of identification with your name and a clear photo of yourself. The postal service requires a U.S. government I.D. such as:
A state-issued driver's license or nondriver's identification card
A U.S. certificate of citizenship or naturalization
A U.S. permanent resident or similar I.D. card from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
A U.S. Armed Forces card
A Uniformed Service ID card
Other acceptable forms of photo I.D. include:
U.S. university identification
Visit Your Local Post Office
At your local post office, ask a clerk about speaking with the Postmaster to register a mailing address for your new construction. The Postmaster will review your deed and identification, then provide you with paperwork to fill out on site. The Postmaster will photocopy everything to file with the paperwork.
In many cases, the postal service will begin mail delivery almost immediately after processing your paperwork. However, some areas may have a delay of a week or so. Ask the Postmaster how long before you can expect mail service at your property.
Install a Federally Approved Mailbox
The postal service has several regulations for installing curbside and cluster boxes. Whether your property contains homes or businesses, you'll want residents, neighbors, and clients to be able to receive their mail. Here are a few mailbox guidelines:
Any mailbox must have a slot large enough to accommodate the recipient's daily mail volume.
The bottom of an installed mailbox must be level and 41 to 45 inches above the road surface.
The box must be 6 to 8 inches away from a raised curb (for houses) or accessible in a central area for the mail carrier, not tucked in the corner of a yard.
A box number, house number, family name, company name, or address must be written or printed on the box in a contrasting color using neat letters and numerals at least 1 inch high.
There must be no advertising on the mailbox or its supporting posts aside from the manufacturer's brand.
Nothing must obstruct or impede the mail carrier's job. For instance, if the carrier must walk through a winding path of buildings to reach a cluster of mailboxes, the postal service might not consider this a safe route,
Communal mailboxes such as a cluster box unit, which services several homes or more than one company, have a proprietary Arrow lock that the postal service installs and maintains. This enables the mail carrier to open the entire front panel of the unit, allowing delivery to each mailbox. Some cluster boxes also contain a larger section where the carrier can place a large item or general mail for a company.
Anyone who has a lease, manages a company, or has a home within your property should receive a key to their mailbox so that they can retrieve their mail.
What Is Standardization?
The USPS converts any mailing address, including one for a P.O. Box, into a standard format that its automated Address Management System (AMS) can recognize. You might notice this standardization when placing an online order or purchase. Some merchants will convert an address to this standardized format, using abbreviations from the postal service or adding a four-digit extension to a ZIP Code to match the address in the rest of the USPS database.
In addition to using abbreviations to shorten and clarify an address for various delivery points, the postal service also corrects the spelling of a standardized address. This communication improves the quality of the address and reduces the chance of an error in the sorting or delivery process, preventing the marking of your mail as undeliverable.
What Is Post Address Verification?
Once you've registered an address for each of your property's cluster mailboxes, you can check with the postal service to determine whether these are standardized and deliverable. Postal address verification is a customer service that the USPS often provides for commercial marketing and first-class mail.
The postal service's national ZIP+4 file matches any deliverable address in its AMS using Coding Accuracy Support System (CASS) certified software. Service bureaus, mailers, and software developers also have CASS certification.
However, for a fee, you can ask the post office to verify your mailing list. You won't visit the Post Master again for this, though. Instead, you'll need to contact your local AMS office by entering your city and state abbreviation in the menu search here. You also can phone (800) 238-3150 for more information.
We understand that establishing a new address can cause some concern and a question or two for people unfamiliar with this process. Here are a few other common questions below.
How do I know if my change of address went through?
Whether you're moving across town or changing to a newly established address, you'll fill out a form on the postal service's official Change-of-Address website. However, let's say you've already registered or changed your address, but you've noticed signs that some of your mail is winding up where you previously lived - or who knows where?
If the volume of mail you typically receive has dropped off after a few weeks have passed, one way to determine what's happened is to use the same Change-of-Address website.
Visit the website where you registered your change of address.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and click on the panel that reads: "Want to View, Edit, Cancel or Dispute a Change-of-Address?"
Key in your ZIP Code and the 13-digit key that you received.
The postal service provides an Official USPS Change-of-Address Validation Letter to people who register a new address. This communication includes a unique code number.
Once you've entered this information, the postal service will open a dispute and find where your mail has gone.
How long does it take for a new address to be recognized?
In general, a change of address takes seven to 10 business days from the date that you initially registered the change for your home or company. However, depending on the local post offices involved, it might take about two weeks before the post office recognizes this new address.
If you've noticed after two weeks that your mail delivery is spotty or lacking, there's likely another explanation for the delay. Perhaps the address wasn't standardized correctly, or there was an error entering it into the postal service's AMS.
Try checking first whether the change of address went through using the steps above.
If you have additional comments or concerns about the mail delivery process at your new construction site, please contact your U.S. Post Office or call our team at Budget Mailboxes at (866) 707-0008.