I recently labeled my mailbox with my name and asked my mail carrier not to deliver mail addressed to other people at my address (I live alone). I would also like to request my mail carrier not deliver mail addressed to "current resident," "occupant," etc. Is it illegal for my mail carrier to dispose of mail addressed to "current resident" if I request it?

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    I'd have to ask, why you think it would be your mail carriers job to sort your mail and decide what is important and what isn't?
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 1:29
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    Do not remove your question after it has answers. Now someone coming along will make no sense of the answers. The wisdom the SE is not just for the questioner but for future people with the same question. Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 1:38
  • Sorry! I put it back. @Ron, I guess I was just bummed that companies can use public mail carriers to spam people. I was trying to think of a workaround, and was curious whether this one was legal. Thank you for calling out my selfishness in failing to consider the burden on the mail carrier.
    – user36938
    Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 1:40
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    Take a little solace in the fact that they have to pay for the postage, and it's a lot more expensive than e-spam.
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 3:43
  • Oddly enough 3 things keep mail carriers employed: government mail, people ordering stuff and advertising mail. Yes they get bulk rates, but still pay at least 16 or 19 cents a letter (there are 2 classes with different schedules).
    – Trish
    Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 6:44

1 Answer 1


Yes, it would be illegal: The mail carrier has to deliver mail to the address. But he should generally not put mail that doesn't match the name on the door in any mailboxes there. If someone doesn't live there and you accidentally get Jane Doe's mail, you have to make sure it is put back to the mail system so it can be returned or delivered correctly.

"Current Resident" however is addressed to you. As it is your home, you are the intended recipient, and you can not return that as not-the-addressee.

  • Trish is correct. I'll note that this does sometimes happen ( abcnewsradioonline.com/national-news/… ). However, this is very rare. It takes a bunch of extra effort by the mail carrier and the end result is likely to be a lost job. There's also a risk of jail time. Finally, some people want junk mail.
    – Brian
    Commented Mar 4, 2021 at 18:11

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