It’s happened to nearly every one of us – we’ve arrived home from work to find something taped to our mailbox. Perhaps a flyer for a new pizza place or a political brochure, but is taping something to a mailbox legal in New York?

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The question of whether or not it’s legal to leave something taped or hanging from a person’s mailbox came up earlier this week when a local woman posed the question to social media after discovering a card for someone running for her local school board and a flyer for an internet company touting their latest offering affixed to her mailbox.

In one word, the answer is "no." No, it is not legal to tape or hang something from someone else's mailbox in the state of New York. As a matter of fact, it isn’t just illegal in the state of New York, it’s illegal in every state and this isn't a law that the states have come up with, this is federal law.

The United States Postal Service is very clear when it states that, “"No part of a mail receptacle may be used to deliver any matter not bearing postage, including items or matter placed upon, supported by, attached to, hung from, or inserted into a mail receptacle.”

In other words, is illegal for a non-postal employee to put something in someone's mailbox. This also includes taping or hanging something on another person’s mailbox. According to Valtim, if a person is caught "hanging, taping, or slipping something into another person’s mailbox, the fine could be as high as $5,000 per occurrence for individuals and $10,000 per occurrence for organizations."

Keep in mind though, the United States Postal Service has no control over what is placed into a mail slot on a door and if you have one and someone slides something inside, they are within their rights. The United States Post Office also has no control over something being taped to a door or window.

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