POM Revision: Delivery Services

Effective October 15, 2015, the Postal Service is revising Postal Operations Manual (POM) parts 623, 631, and 632 to update policies regarding Delivery Services.

Postal Operations Manual (POM)

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6 Delivery Services

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62 Delivery Schedules and Trip Frequencies

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623 Withdrawal of Delivery Service

623.1 Suitable Receptacles

[Add second paragraph to 623.1 to read as follows:]

***The Postal Service may withdraw service to a delivery point if a customer does not provide a suitable mail receptacle in the postal-approved location for the delivery of mail after being so notified by local officials by PS Form 1507, Request to Provide Mail Receptacle (city delivery routes); by PS Form 4056, Your Mailbox Needs Attention (rural and highway contract routes); or by written communication.

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623.22 Delivery to Mailbox Inside of a Screen or Storm Door

[Revise the text of 623.22(b) to read as follows:]

b. When porches are screened in or enclosed by other material, and are used as living or sleeping quarters, the screen or storm door is considered the entrance door to the house. In these cases, notify the customers that they must place their mail receptacle outside the door or provide a slot in the door.

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[Add new 623.5 to read as follows:]

623.5 Vacant Delivery Points

The Postal Service may withdraw delivery service to vacant delivery points. A vacant delivery point is a delivery point where responsible personnel are aware the delivery point has been unoccupied for a period longer than ninety (90) consecutive days.

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631 Modes of Delivery

631.1 General

[Revise the first sentence of 631.1 to read as follows:]

The Postal Service-approved modes of delivery available for all existing delivery points, newly established and extensions of delivery points, are described in 631.24.***

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[Add new 631.2 through 631.244 to read as follows:]

631.2 Door Delivery

Door delivery may be provided to boxes located at or near the door of a business or residential delivery point, or through a door slot, with prior approval from the local Postmaster, only if the box or mail slot can be efficiently, safely, and conveniently served by the carrier.

Door delivery will generally not be available for new delivery points.

631.21 Sidewalk Delivery

Sidewalk delivery may be provided to boxes located near the public sidewalk. Options and requirements for sidewalk delivery, as directed by the Postal Service, are as follows:

a. If the sidewalk abuts the curb or if other unusual conditions exist (e.g., excessive street parking) that make it difficult or impractical to install or serve boxes at the curbline, customers with these situations may be permitted to install all their boxes at the edge of the public sidewalk nearest the residence, where they can all be served by a carrier from the sidewalk.

b. If the average lot frontage is 50 feet or less, the boxes must be located so that the carrier can serve them from the sidewalk. The boxes are not required to be grouped together.

c. If the average lot frontage is over 50 feet and does not exceed 75 feet, the boxes must be installed in groups of at least two.

d. If the average lot frontage exceeds 75 feet, CBUs must be installed.

631.22 Curbside Delivery

Delivery may only be provided to boxes at the curb with prior approval from the Postal Service, and so long as they can be efficiently, safely, and conveniently served by the carrier from the carrier’s vehicle, and so that customers have reasonable and safe access. Mail receptacles may be grouped two to a property line, where possible.

631.23 Centralized Delivery

Centralized delivery service may be provided to call windows, horizontal locked mail receptacles, cluster box units (CBUs), wall-mounted receptacles, or mechanical conveyors (mechanical conveyors are only for high-rise and multiple tenant buildings, and only if certain conditions are met; consult your Postmaster for details).

a. Delivery requirements: CBUs and USPS STD 4C equipment may be approved for use at one or more centralized delivery points in a residential housing community or business location. The local postal manager must approve the mailbox sites and type of equipment. Boxes must be safely located so that customers are not required to travel an unreasonable distance to obtain their mail and to provide sufficient access to mailbox locations. Normally, it is appropriate for the receptacle to be within one block of the residence.

b. Centralized delivery addresses: Centralized delivery mail receptacles (including USPS STD 4C equipment and CBUs, delivery centers, and postal centers) must be identified by the same addresses as the dwellings for which they serve as mail receptacles. The respective, conforming addresses should be displayed inside the boxes and visible only to the carrier and customer when accessing that receptacle. USPS does not assign addresses; however, the sequential ordering of any centralized delivery equipment is subject to USPS approval for operational efficiency and to accommodate special circumstances or requests for hardship delivery. For security or privacy, mailer associations or customer groups may use another alphanumeric identification system on the outside of receptacles that is not part of, or used in, the mailing address.

631.24 Newly Established or Extended Delivery Points

631.241 General

Newly established or extended business or residential customers must request and receive approval of the delivery location and mode of delivery from the local Postmaster or District designees. These deliveries will not receive mail delivery service until the mail receptacles are installed and the units and locations are approved by local postal management. Options and requirements for modes of delivery are directed by the Postal Service.

631.242 Newly Established or Extended Door Delivery Points

Door delivery will generally not be available for new delivery points. Approval for newly established or extended business or residential door delivery points must come from the Area Vice President or designee. The Area Vice President must report the number of granted requests for newly established or extended business or residential door delivery points to the Chief Operating Officer or designee quarterly.

631.243 Newly Established or Extended Sidewalk or Curbside Delivery Points

Sidewalk or curbside delivery is permitted for new or extended business or residential delivery points. The mail receptacle and location of the delivery points are approved by local postal officials in advance of the occupancy of the residence, business, or other site associated with the delivery points.

631.244 Newly Established or Extended Centralized Delivery Points

Centralized delivery is permitted for new or extended business or residential delivery points. The mail receptacle and location of the delivery point(s) are approved by local postal officials in advance of the occupancy of the residence, business, or other site associated with the delivery point.

[Renumber existing 631.2 through 631.8 as new 631.3 through 631.9.]

631.3 Business Areas

[Revise the second and third sentences of 631.3 to read as follows:]

***The options are door, centralized, curbside, or sidewalk delivery, as directed by the Postal Service. Door delivery will generally not be available for new delivery points.

631.4 Residential Housing (Except Apartment Houses and Transient Mobile or Trailer Homes)

[Replace current 631.31 through 631.33 with new text for 631.4 to read as follows:]

The available options for residential areas, aside from apartment houses, transient mobile or trailer homes, colleges and universities, and other sites are covered under part 615. Delivery mode options are constrained by USPS policies and procedures, in light of the characteristics of the area to be served and the methods needed to provide adequate service. Delivery options are curbside, door, sidewalk, or central delivery. Door delivery is generally not available for new delivery points.

631.5 Exceptions

631.51 Extension of Service Within an Existing Block

[Revise the first sentence of 631.51 to read as follows:]

New deliveries built or established within a block of existing deliveries can only receive the same type of service as the older deliveries, subject to Postmaster approval and after consideration of Postal Service operational efficiencies.***

631.52 Hardship Cases

[Add new 631.52(e) to read as follows:]

e. Hardship requests must be renewed annually by the customer and approved by the Postmaster.

631.53 Local Ordinances

[Revise the text of 631.53(a) to read as follows:]

a. Central Delivery Service. See 631.23.

[Delete current 631.44 in its entirety.]

631.54 Apartment Houses

631.541 General

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631.542 Exceptions

[Revise the intro paragraph of 631.542 to read as follows:]

Delivery of mail to individual boxes in multiple residential buildings containing apartments or units occupied by different addressees are contingent upon USPS concluding the following requirements are met: Exceptions to section 631.941 requirements, which also require prior approval by USPS, are as follows:***

631.55 Mobile or Trailer Homes

631.551 Options

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631.552 Permanent Developments

[Revise the last sentence of 631.552 to read as follows:]

***For permanent developments, the delivery options are centralized, curbside, or sidewalk delivery, as directed by the Postal Service, see 631).

631.553 Transient Developments

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631.6 Colleges and Universities

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631.61 Administration Buildings

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631.62 Dormitories or Residence Halls

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631.63 Married Student Housing

[Revise the second sentence of 631.63 to read as follows:]

***Whether located on or off campus, and regardless of ownership, the apartment mail receptacle requirements in 631.54 apply.

631.64 Fraternity and Sorority Buildings

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631.65 Parcel Post

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631.66 Forwarding of Mail

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631.67 Noncity Delivery Offices

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631.7 Conversion of Mode of Delivery

[Revise the second and third paragraphs of 631.7 to read as follows:]

***Postmasters may establish a mixed delivery area where in-growth or extensions of service within a block compel a change in modes of delivery for newly constructed or renovated delivery points. This policy applies to both residential and business delivery locations. When a residence is sold, the mode of delivery cannot be changed arbitrarily prior to the new resident moving in. The existing mode of delivery must be retained absent an agreement otherwise. If an owners’ association or property management company represents the property or the community, it may request a change in the mode of delivery on behalf of the community or property. In rental areas, such as apartment complexes and mobile home parks, the owner or manager may request a conversion on behalf of the apartment complex, mobile home park, or other rental property. Approval is at the sole discretion of the Postal Service. Delivery will begin only after the approval of a mail receptacle and its location by the local Postmaster.

Where there is no homeowners’ association or other property management company with authority to request a conversion on behalf of the owners, residents, or the community, customer signatures must be obtained prior to any conversion. In single-family housing areas (including manufactured housing and mobile homes) where the residences and lots are owned, each owner must agree to the conversion in writing. Owners who do not agree must be allowed to retain their current mode of delivery.

631.8 Correction of Improper Mode of Delivery

[Add new 631.81 and move the text from 631.8 to 631.81 to read as follows:]

631.81 General

In the event an improper mode of delivery is established or extended by a postal carrier or manager, the service will be withdrawn with a thirty (30) day advance notice to the affected customer(s), provided that the error is detected and the customer is notified within one (1) year. If the error is not detected and the customer is not notified within one (1) year of the date delivery is established or extended, the improper service remains in place unless the customer consents to the delivery mode change or a delivery point with improper modes of delivery in a vacant delivery is first identified during the vacant period per section 623.5. When the new customer(s) in these vacant deliveries are identified by Postal Service management and informed (within the first 30 days of occupancy) that the current mode of delivery was established incorrectly and will need to be corrected.

[Add new 631.82 to read as follows:]

631.82 Refusal by Customer

If a customer refuses to accommodate the Postal Service’s delivery mode determination by refusing to provide an approved mail receptacle or permit the Postal Service to install its own, General Delivery service may be provided at the nearest postal facility where the carrier delivery emanates or where may be otherwise available to the customer.

631.9 Military Installations

631.91 Family Housing

[Revise the text of 631.91 to read as follows:]

Delivery to family housing on military installations is effected in accordance with 611, 64, 65, or 66, whichever is appropriate.

631.92 Other Services — Agreement With the Military

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631.93 Reference

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632 Mail Receptacles

632.1 Customer Obligation

632.11 Responsibilities

[Revise the text of 632.11 to read as follows:]

Appropriate mail receptacles must be provided for the receipt of mail. The type of mail receptacle depends on the mode of delivery in place. Purchase, installation, and maintenance of mail receptacles are the responsibility of the customer. Appropriate locations for installation should be verified with local Postmasters. Customer obligations are as follows:

a. In locations where door delivery has been authorized, customers must provide either house-mounted boxes that provide adequate protection and security for the mail and that are approved by the local Postmaster, or they must provide door slots (see 632.3).

b. If curbline delivery is authorized, customers must erect curb-mounted receptacles that comply with USPS-STD-7b (see 632.5).

c. If sidewalk delivery is authorized, customers must erect sidewalk-mounted receptacles that comply with USPS-STD-7b (see 632.5).

d. If centralized delivery is authorized, customers must install mail receptacles that comply with USPS STD 4C Wallmounted Mail Receptacles or USPSB1118, Postal Service specification, Cluster Box Units (see 632.6).

Note: There is no local authority for the use of or approval of unauthorized centralized delivery equipment or centralized delivery systems. Contact Engineering or Delivery Post Office Operations at Headquarters for any necessary assistance.

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632.13 Receptacles Not Required

[Revise the text of 632.13 to read as follows:]

Business complexes are not required to provide mail receptacles where door delivery was approved and authorized by the Postal Service and businesses are open to receive mail. If the offices are not open when the carrier arrives on normal service days, centralized mail receptacles must be provided.

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632.2 Keys to Customer’s Private Mail Receptacle

[Add new 632.21 and move the text from 632.2 to 632.21 to read as follows:]

632.21 General

Carriers are prohibited from accepting keys for locks on private mail receptacles, buildings, or offices, except where an electromechanical door lock system or a key keeper box located within convenient reach of the door is used. Both devices must incorporate an Arrow lock to access the key or device needed to gain entry to the building. If customers place locks on their receptacles, the receptacles must have slots large enough to accommodate their normal daily mail volume so that delivery may be made by the carrier without using a key.

[Add new 632.22 to read as follows:]

632.22 Locks and Keys

The Postal Service is responsible for providing every customer a compartment lock and three keys to his or her postal-owned Cluster Box Unit (CBU). No key deposits are required; advise customers that they may duplicate their keys at no expense to the Postal Service. Postal managers must take the following actions in issuing and controlling locks and keys for postal-owned CBUs:

a. Give all compartment keys to customers with a notice stating that the Postal Service keeps no duplicate keys and if they lose all the keys, the Postal Service will have to install a new lock at the customer's expense.

b. If customers lose their keys, arrange for the repairs and charge the customer accordingly.

c. Request that customers return all compartment keys to the Post Office when they move from their residence. When a customer moves, the Post Office should change the lock before reissuing the compartment. The new customer is not charged for the first lock and keys even though the Postal Service replaced it.

d. When new centralized delivery equipment is installed, the keys may either be taped to the inside of the receptacle until the compartment is issued, or stored at the Post Office. A suggested method of storage is to use P-570 envelopes labeled with address, compartment number CBU location, and CBU identifying number.

Note: The builder or property owner is responsible for providing lock and key service for privately owned CBUs.

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We will incorporate this revision into the next online update of the Postal Operations Manual, which is available on the Postal Service PolicyNet website:

n Go to http://blue.usps.gov.

n In the left-hand column under “Essential Links”, click PolicyNet.

n Click Manuals.

The direct URL for the Postal Service PolicyNet website is http://blue.usps.gov/cpim.