What's this sticker in my mailbox?

About a week ago, a new sticker appeared on the inside of my mailbox door. It has the USPS logo on it, and it says “Managed Service Point” along with my address and a bar code.

My WAG is that this is either
a) something for the letter carrier to scan for delivery confirmation on something that doesn’t need a signature


b) something that the post office is using to make sure the carrier is making stops at all the houses on his route.

Has anyone else seen these stickers, or know what they are for?

It’s closer to b). Yes, they require the carrier to scan every day and they’re used as a check point to time the carrier on the rounds. I have one. There’s never a day when I don’t get mail, so skipping my box isn’t likely. But if I ever did get skipped it would show up immediately and obviously.

Here you go: Item #2


So it sounds like this is a descendant of the things I used to see in the old movies, where the night watchman would have to “check in” at various points around the building by opening up a lock box and inserting a device to record the time/location.

My parents have one. They have the last mailbox on their street, so it is common to see the mailman sitting in his truck in front of their house for some time while he sorts mail before turning the corner. (This is annoying when he also blocks the driveway).

These were still in use in the 80’s if they aren’t still. (seems like a good use for bluetooth or similar short range wireless tech). There were a number of keys chained to the wall at various places. The watchman carried a recording clock, that would mark a tape with the time and the key # when that key was inserted and turned.

I just noticed something very interesting.

Normally my mail is delivered around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Just now (about noon) I happened to look out my window. I saw the mail truck zip around the corner. The driver opened my mailbox and scanned the sticker, then drove off again.

I expect he’ll be back in 3 or 4 hours with my mail.

Should I report this to the postmaster?

Only if you want your mailbox to mysteriously being left open, and your mail going to the wrong address. YMMV and all that.


As long as you’re getting your mail, I wouldn’t report it. My father is a former USPS carrier and my impression is that they don’t really respect the postmaster very much. Politics and policies rule. Remember, it’s a government agency!

The large office building I used to work in in downtown Seattle had these to make sure the security people were doing their rounds. One time I was in the bathroom and the security guy came in and casually walked into one of the stalls. There was a beep and then he left. I checked and there was a barcode sticker on the wall behind the door. Made me wonder about the official procedure for when it’s occupied: wait it out, skip it, or nonchalantly reach over the wall and scan the barcode anyway. :smiley:

I’ve got one under my mail slot, and I’ve seen my mail person scan it. I suspect it is to measure progress on the route, to avoid any unscheduled stops.

And before you laugh at unscheduled stops, when I delivered mail one summer the old guy who trained me used to stop in for breakfast after leaving the office and stopped in at a bar after finishing his route. I suspect he didn’t want to get a bigger route from being too efficient.

Is there a statute pertaining to the removal of these stickers that are posted without authorization on private property? The old mailbag article makes no mention of this.

I’m not sure that your mail slot counts exactly as “private property” in this instance; they might have a case for marking it as being necessary in carrying out their job, just like your house needs to have the number marked in some way. I asked my USPS letter carrier husband about the one on our mail slot; I’m pretty sure it’s there because he has our house (which is within blocks of his route) as a designated lunch spot, though I suspect our carrier scans it as a waypoint too.