Mailbox Key Changeout Information
The POST OFFICE OWNS CERTAIN MAIL BOXES To find out call them and give them the address and they will tell you if they own it or not.
Try www.usps.com to find out locations of post offices near your address.
Note: If the Postmaster owns the box -It is illegal to have ANY locksmith open + rekey it.
If the Postmaster owns the mailbox the tenant must:
- Go to the main post office for their area and present proof they live there (usually a copy of the lease or utility bill) and ask for a key changeout. The tenant pays the money “right then” at the post office before they get the key.
- The Postmaster takes about a week, but they will send their guy out who takes off the old door and lock and replaces it with a new door and lock for about $40.
- The tenant MUST go back to the Post office where they ordered the lock changeout to get the key once it is changed. Thus, the tenant must check to make sure the “postmaster in the field locksmith guy” brings the key BACK to the Post Office before they go and pick it up (or they waste a trip).
- Thus the tenant must make two trips. First to order a lock changeout and Second to pick up the key.
- Note: the “guy” in the field who changes the lock on the postal box will NOT give the tenant the key at the property, even if they are standing right there with a copy of the lease. The tenant MUST go back to the Post office a second time to get the key once it is changed.
- Note: Anybody can order keys for someone else (like a friend or parent). But they cannot get them. Only the actual occupants (the tenants on the lease) can get them.
- If an old tenant gives us the Postmaster box key, someone (legally) can then hire a locksmith to rekey it. (A landlord is not obligated to change a Postmaster mailbox key using a locksmith). It is recommended that a tenant change their mailbox key to help keep their mail secure. This is most important if someone has roommates or the last occupant was another tenant. We have been told that most tenants do NOT change the locks on a postmaster box when they are given a key. We recommend to tenants that they do. THE FIRM is not responsible for mail problems.
RULES FOR A PRIVATELY OWNED BOX Yes, the tenant can hire a locksmith to “pick the lock to get in” and make a new set of keys and change the locks. It is less expensive if the tenant gives the existing key to the locksmith to save the “pick lock” fee. Yes, the tenant can change the locks, even if the old key was not turned in by the old occupant. A locksmith will be faster than waiting for a post master locksmith to do the work. $45 or so may be a charge at this time for a locksmith to do this work. Whether we have the key or not Magnum locksmith charges the same (because he does not charge to pick the lock if he does not have a key).