Not all curbside mailboxes are the same. While they are used to facilitate the delivery of mail, the United States Postal Service (USPS) classifies them in different ways. There are traditional and contemporary curbside mailboxes, for instance. A traditional curbside mailbox is any type of mailbox that features a traditional dome-rectangular-shape, whereas a contemporary curbside mailbox is any type of mailbox that features an alternative shape. Along with traditional and contemporary, though, there are limited service mailboxes. What is a limited service mailbox exactly?
Overview of Limited Service Mailboxes
A limited service mailbox is any type of mailbox that doesn't have a carrier signal flag. As you may know, a carrier signal flag is a small flag-like component that's mounted on the side of a curbside mailbox. It's used to notify mail couriers of the presence of outgoing mail. If a resident needs to mail letter, he or she can place the letter -- with the appropriate postage -- in their mailbox. Raising the carrier signal flag lets the mail courier know that the mailbox contains outgoing mail.
Without a carrier signal flag, limited service mailboxes offer "limited" mail services for residents. Residents can receive mail, but they can't send mail. If a resident has a limited service mailbox and needs to mail a letter, he or she must take the letter to a local USPS office or drop-off box. Mail couriers won't collect outgoing mail from limited service mailboxes.
How Limited Service Mailboxes Differ From Full Service Mailboxes
While limited service mailboxes lack a carrier signal flag, this doesn't apply to their full service counterparts. Full service mailboxes live up to their namesake by offering "full" mail services to residents. Residents can both receive and send mail from a full service mailbox.
Because they contain a carrier signal flag, full service mailboxes are far more common than limited service mailboxes. In neighborhoods and residential areas that use curbside mailboxes, full service is the preferred choice. This common mailbox format makes it easy for residents to mail letters. Rather than driving to a local USPS office, they can place outgoing letters in their full service mailbox.
Both limited service and full service mailboxes are available in traditional and contemporary designs. Traditional designs are characterized by a dome-rectangular shape, whereas contemporary designs have an alternative shape. The only difference between limited service and full service mailboxes is that the former doesn't have a carrier signal flag.
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