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letter is intended must be written on the envelope.
(3) Letters which the sender is entitled to send through the mails without a charge for postage may be sent in a similar manner outside the mails without the payment of postage. This would apply in the case of certain official Government mail and mail of certain diplonatic and consular officers of other nations. If the free mailing privilege does not extend to airmail then such letters must bear the appropriate air mail postage, if sent by air express.
(4) It is permissible to establish a service for collecting for the addressees letters received at the post office, provided the letters remain unopened. Letters received through the mail at one office of a firm may be forwarded by surface means outside the mail without payment of additional postage so long as they remain unopened. This applies likewise to letters addressed to one firm in care of another to which they are to be forwarded. Moreover, if the letters are opened before they are forwarded, the forwarding of the open letters would be considered a new shipment of the matter. Such forwarding will then be regarded as the transmission of letters upon which additional postage will be due, if they are intended to convey to the ultimate addressee live, current information upon which he may act, rely, or refrain from acting. [26 F.R. 11573, Dec. 6, 1961, as amended at 33 F.R. 18237, Dec. 7, 1968. Redesignated at 31 F.R. 15350, Dec. 8, 1966)
at times to connect with mail dispatches. Mail is also collected in business sections at frequent intervals to keep boxes from becoming overloaded and to provide an even flow of mail to the post office. Patrons are urged to deposit mail as early in the day as possible. Early mailings advance delivery time. § 153.2 Ordinary deposit of mail.
(a) Post ofice lobbies. Letter drops are provided in lobbies of all post offices for the deposit of mail. Where warranted, post offices provide special slots or receptacles for the deposit of mail which has been separated by patrons according to local, out-of-town, air-mail, special delivery, or other appropriate designations.
(b) Collection boxes. Collection boxes for the deposit of mail are placed at convenient points in areas served by city carriers. At non-city-delivery offices, collection boxes are located in front of the post office quarters. Schedules are posted on these boxes showing collection times. Nonpersonnel rural stations and branches also provide a collection box for the deposit of mail which is collected by the rural carrier serving the unit.
(c) Rural boxes. Mail on which postage has been paid may be deposited for collection in mail boxes on rural routes. [26 F.R. 11575, Dec. 6, 1961, as amended at 31 F.R. 8235, June 11, 1966. Redesignated at 31 F.R. 15350, Dec. 8, 1966] $ 153.3 Deposit of mail with postal
clerks. (a) Acceptable mail. The following types of mail may be handed for dispatch to postal clerks on duty in mail cars or transfer offices, and at airport mail facilities:
(1) First-class mail. On which postage has been paid.
(2) Medicines and serums. Third- or fourth-class mail, presented by representatives of manufacturers or distributors of medicines or serums, when endorsed: "Emergency-This package ha's been weighed and bears necessary postage. Any additional postage found to be due is guaranteed by sender."
(b) Restrictions. Third-, and fourthclass mail, other than that described in paragraph (a) of this section, and mail to be sent registered, insured, or COD, is not mailable with postal clerks at mail cars, transfer offices, or airport mail facilities.
PART 153—MAIL DEPOSIT AND
COLLECTION Sec. 153.1 Collection times. 153.2 Ordinary deposit of mail. 153.3 Deposit of mail with postal clerks. 153.4 Separation of mail by sender. 153.5 Recall of mail. 153.6 Mail chutes and receiving boxes. 153.7 Private mail receptacles. 153.8 Local ordinances and State laws.
AUTHORITY: The provisions of this Part 153 issued under R.S. 161, as amended; 5 U.S.C. 301, 39 U.S.C. 501, 6001-6003, unless otherwise noted.
SOURCE: The provisions of this Part 153 appear at 26 F.R. 11575, Dec. 6, 1961, unless otherwise noted. Redesignated at 31 FR. 15350, Dec. 8, 1966. § 153.1 Collection times.
Mail is collected in residential and business sections served by city carriers
§ 153.4 Separation of mail by sender. (b) Approval of installation. (1) RePatrons having large mailings should
quests for the installation of mailing separate them into packages marked
chutes and receiving boxes must be ap"Local" and "Out of Town". Labels
proved by the postmaster and he must with these designations may be obtained
be furnished the contract and specififrom the post office. Mail thus sepa
cations for any proposed chute and rated is usually dispatched earlier.
box. The postmaster has authority to
approve, upon formal application, the $ 153.5 Recall of mail.
installation of mailing chutes and re(a) Who may recall mail. Mail de ceiving boxes conforming to these reguposited in a post office may be recalled
lations. Collection will not be made by the sender, by the parent or guardian
from any chute box until approved by of a minor child, or by the guardian of a
the postmaster, and no unapproved chute person of unsound mind.
shall bear any sign indicating that it is (b) Application. Submit Form 1509,
under the protection of the United States Sender's Application for Recall of Mail,
Postal Service. which is obtainable at any post office, to
(2) The specifications must provide the postmaster at the office of mailing.
for a complete installation ready for col(c) Expenses. The mailer must pay
lection service, with a tentative plan of all expenses of recalling mail, including
the building showing the contemplated the cost of any necessary telegrams, and
location of the whole of such chute and the regular rate of return postage (ex
of the receiving box. cept for first-class mail, which is re
(3) If the postmaster approves the turned with additional postage), when contract and specification, he will enthe mail is returned.
dorse his approval upon the contract and (d) Notification. If the mail has return it to the applicant. In questionbeen delivered before receipt of the re able cases he will refer the file with full call application or message, the mailer details to the Regional Director for will be notified. The addressee will not review. be informed that recall was requested. (c) Specifications for construction of (e) Original postage. If mail re
chutes-(1) Size. The chute must be called before dispatch is again presented approximately 2 by 8 inches in size and for mailing, the original stamps will be
must extend in a continuously vertical accepted for postage at face value. line from the point of beginning to the This does not apply to stamps in pay
receiving box. ment of registry, insurance, or COD fees. (2) Material. (i) Every mailing chute (26 F.R. 11575, Dec. 6, 1961, as amended at must be made entirely of metal and glass. 27 F.R. 6978, July 24, 1962. Redesignated at The metal parts of the chute must be of 31 F.R. 15350, Dec. 8, 1966)
such form, weight, and character as to § 153.6 Mail chutes and receiving boxes.
insure rigidity, safety, and durability.
Panel moldings must be of metal of suit(a) Use. (1) Mailing chutes and re
able strength and resilience to insure & ceiving boxes may be placed at the
constant grip on the glass. At least expense of the owner in public buildings, three-fourths of the front of the chute railroad stations, hotels, and business or
in each story must be of tempered glass office buildings of not less than 4 stories, not less than three-sixteenths of an inch and apartment houses of not less than
in thickness or heavy sheet or plate glass 40 residential apartments. Buildings in not less than one-fourth inch in thickwhich receiving boxes are located must
ness. All joints in the chute must be be open to the general public, without tight so that mail matter cannot catch or restrictions, during the hours prescribed
lodge therein. Slip-joint construction for mail collections. If the owner of a shall be utilized whereby the upper secbuilding does not desire to install a mail
tion will fit into the end of the lower secchute and receiving box, a receiving box
tion providing an overlap of not less than only may be installed, provided the postmaster has determined it is necessary
2 inches. and has approved its installation.
(ii) Chutes must be securely mounted (2) Mailing chutes and receiving boxes
on steel angles, or other material apare intended for the reception or deposit proved by the Regional Director. The of mail matter of the first class and must mounting must be plumb and flush the not be used for the deposit of mail of entire length of the chute. The chute any other class.
must be so constructed that floor sec
tions can be easily removed from floor tions of its interior must be easily thimbles.
reached. If panels are not set entirely (3) Mail slots. (i) The chute must inside channels, adequate intermediate be provided with openings (mail slots) fastenings controlled by oficial key must on each floor for deposit of mail. Each be provided. opening must be 434 by 1/2 inches, with (d) Specifications for construction of a second inside opening of the same size receiving boxes-(1) Dimensions. The 292 inches below the first with serrate cubic contents of receiving boxes will be edges or other suitable device designed determined by the postmaster. The botto prevent clogging. The legend “U.S. tom of the door of the box must not be Mail" must be plainly inscribed upon less than 30 inches from the floor level chutes at every mail opening.
of the building. The exterior of the (ii) At each slot opening, there must bottom of the box must not be less than be attached a suitable dustproof glass 20 inches from the floor level, and this covered frame, 434 by 9 inches, in which space shall be entirely open and unwill be placed POD Sign 23, U.S. Mail, obstructed and so arranged that the mail giving current information as to the use collector may place a satchel or other of mail chutes, stating that the hours receptacle in convenient position under of collection are posted on the receiving the bottom of the door when making box, and calling attention to the penal collections. ties for tampering with mail equipment. (2) Material. Receiving boxes must
(4) Locking devices. The chute must be constructed of metal of sufficient be provided with a suitable locking device weight and such character as to insure and keys so it may be conveniently security and rigidity. Boxes must be opened and closed by postal authorities provided with cushions, yielding botbut not by other persons. The lock toms, or deflecting devices which will must be so constructed that the key can effectively prevent damage to mail matter not be removed until the chute is prop descending through the chute. If cusherly locked. Postmasters must retain ions are used, they shall be made of wool possession of all mail chute keys. When felt and covered with asbestos cloth. new equipment is installed, prompt ac The bottom of the box must be provided tion must be taken to obtain such keys with a suitable means of attaching and before the equipment is placed in use. holding the carrier's satchel or other
(5) Location and arrangement. (i) receptacle in position. The chute must be so placed as to be (3) Door and floor. Receiving boxes conveniently accessible throughout the must be provided with doors opening to entire length. When more than 5 the right upon exposed side hinges selineal feet of the mail chute will be con cured with rivets. The door openings cealed, removable panels must be pro must be not less than 12 by 20 inches vided in the concealing features to nor more than 18 by 30 inches. The permit easy access to the chute for re floor of the interior of the box, or cushion moval of blockades. The concealed if one is used, must be level with the equipment should be so manufactured threshold of the door. Four screw holes and installed that it can be removed must be placed in the door, to fit letter readily if necessary. In no case shall the box arrow locks furnished by the postchutes be placed behind elevator screens master. or partitions or run through any part of (4) Mail slots, markings, and display a building to which the public is denied frames. Boxes must be provided with access without prior approval of the mail openings 114 inches wide by 11 Regional Director.
inches long, protected by inside hood. (ii) Mail chutes installed in pairs must Openings shall be not more than 5 feet be constructed with a divider and dual 10 inches above the floor level and proreceiving boxes to permit the segrega tected by inside hinge flaps, and legibly tion of "Local" and "Out-of-Town" mail. inscribed "Letters”. Boxes must be disIn addition they must be so erected that tinctly marked “U. S. Mail Letter Box” service could be discontinued on any and must be provided with suitable and part of either chute leaving the other convenient frames to display collection available for service.
schedule cards 334 by 51/2 inches in size. (iii) The chute must be so constructed (5) Location. To promote an efficient that it can be easily opened and closed collection operation, receiving boxes without the use of tools and without in must be placed near the main entrance jury to structure or finish, and all por of the building, or the loading-unload
ing area if used by the post office for mall (1) The box must be at least 60 inches collection purposes. Receiving boxes high, 23 inches wide, and 17 inches deep, must not be located more than 100 feet and shall have a pull-down inlet door from the entrance used by collectors, with an opening 7 by 11%2 inches inbased upon the shortest line of travel. scribed "Letters and Letter Mail Tied in The location will be approved by the Bundles." The bottom edge of the door postmasters only after a careful exami opening should be not more than 5 feet nation of the tentative building plans, above the floor level. The mail opening and after a determination that it will shall be fully protected by inside bafile be impracticable to place receiving boxes plates so as to prevent pilfering of mail. closer to collector entrance because of (ii) At a height of 3 feet 4 inches from structural conditions. Receiving boxes the bottom of the box there must be must be placed on the floor level used placed a 34-inch pipe hanger (removby collectors to enter the building.
able) along each side of the box from (6) Auxiliary box. If the receiving the front to the back, each equipped with box to be attached to the chute will not two sliding hooks so that a No. 1 mail be of sufficient size to accommodate the sack may be hung thereon. deposits of first-class mail, an auxiliary (iii) The bottom of the door of the box or boxes of sufficient capacity should box should be flush or below the level be installed in close to the mail chute of the bottom of the box and this door boxes. The cubic contents of the auxil should be of such size and so constructed iary receiving box or boxes will be deter as to permit the convenient hanging and mined by the postmaster, and their withdrawing of the sacks. There must construction must conform to the general be four screw holes in this door to fit the specifications for the receiving boxes letter box arrow lock to be furnished by except deflecting devices are not required. the postmaster The mail openings should be of suficient (iv) Boxes shall be distinctly marked size to permit the deposit of first-class “U.S. Mail.” mail tied in bundles and the mail open (e) Maintenance of chutes and reing or “pull-down” shall be inscribed ceiving boxes. (1) The mailing chute on "Letters" and "Letter Mail Tied in each floor as well as the receiving box Bundles."
must be inspected by a representative (7) Metal compartments. If, due to of the postmaster at least once every 5 structural conditions, it is not practi years. Route examiners and carriers cable to install auxiliary boxes, a metal should report damaged or otherwise uncompartment comparable in size to a satisfactory chutes and receiving boxes small P. O. sack rack should be provided. as necessary. Cleaning and repairing as Although no specifications are stipulated may be directed by the postmaster must for the construction of the metal com then be done under his supervision by partment, it should be of suficient and at the expense of the proprietor or height and length to permit the sus lessee of the building in which the chute pension of the required number of sacks and receiving box are situated. Form from hooks, the number of mail open 1506, Mail Chute Inspection, should be ings to correspond to the number of completed when chute is inspected. sacks. The compartment must be let Form is retained in office of the posttered or stenciled “U. S. Mail” in large master. letters and have on each section or at (2) If the postmaster finds that any the mail opening the inscription "Letter part of the chute or receiving box does Mail Tied in Bundles.” The compart not conform to the regulations in this ment must be constructed so as to per part, or has become defective, he must mit the convenient hanging and with close the mail openings and discontinue drawing of the sacks.
collections, and shall not resume collec(8) Combination letter and bundle tions until the mailing chute and receivbox. If the receiving box to be attached ing box fully meet the requirements of to a chute will not be of sufficient size the regulations in this part. All repairs, to accommodate the deposits of first changes, and alterations to mailing class mail, and it is not desired to install chutes and receiving boxes must be made a separate auxiliary box, a combination by and at the expense of the owner or letter and bundle letter box may be at lessee of the building in which they are tached to the chute in lieu of the regular situated, under the supervision and subreceiving box, constructed as follows: ject to the approval of the postmaster.
(3) Any obstruction in a mailing chute chute and receiving box. This bond must be reported at once to the post must be in the amount of $10,000, though master, who will promptly make an in a larger sum may be required if conspection. If the obstruction resulted sidered advisable by the Post Office Defrom misuse or abuse of the chute, he partment. will notify the proprietor or lessee of the (4) With every mail chute contract building in which it is located and may, submitted for approval there must be in his discretion, close the mail openings furnished evidence that a surety bond and discontinue collections until satisfied in the sum of $3,000 has been given to that proper care will be taken in the fu the purchaser guaranteeing the conture. If collections are discontinued, the struction and installation of the mail postmaster will attach to the chute, at chute equipment in accordance with the the several mail openings, notices of rules, regulations, and specifications of discontinuance.
the Post Office Department, and that any (4) The postmaster must take imme defect arising within 3 years will be diate corrective action with the building remedied by the manufacturer without management in accordance with § 153.6 expense to the purchaser. (e) (2) when it is determined mail chute (5) When mail chutes and receiving repairs are necessary to correct obstruc boxes are installed under lease, the posttion or malfunctions.
master is authorized to sign an agree(5) Broken glass panels shall be re ment, endorsed on the back of the conplaced either with tempered glass not less tract, between the owner or lessee of the than three-sixteenths of an inch in building and the person or company inthickness or heavy sheet or plate glass stalling the chutes and boxes, providing not less than one-fourth inch in thick that if the lessors shall request return of ness.
the equipment, the postmaster will, after (f) Custody and control of chutes and due notice to the owner or lessee, disreceiving boxes. (1) Mailing chutes and continue collections, remove the lock receiving boxes are considered the prop from the receiving box, and permit the erty of the United States as long as col removal of the equipment by the lessors. lections of mail are made from them and This arrangement is limited to situations shall remain under the exclusive custody in which the building owner or lessee and control of the postmaster until col has (i) personally entered into the lease, lections are discontinued by his direc or (ii) explicitly agreed to be bound by tion.
the terms of the lease, where he is not (2) Every mail chute contract must the original owner or lessee. It is not contain an explicit waiver by the owner applicable whenever there is a transfer or owners of patents issued or to be of ownership or lease of property inissued on the chute and receiving box volving leased mail chute equipment, and covered by the contract, and on any de the new owner or lessee does not exvice or devices connected therewith, of pressly agree in writing to be bound by all claims against the United States and the lease. Unless a subsequent owner its officers and agents for the use of such or lessee explicity agrees to be bound by chute and box and such device or the lease terms applicable to mail chutes devices.
and receiving boxes, the lease will be (3) The contract must contain a full considered as having been terminated warranty by the company or person pro upon transfer of ownership or lease of posing to erect the chute and receiving the building. Postmasters will not enbox against claims on account of in dorse contracts and sign agreements befringements of the patents of others. tween building owners or lessees and Before commencing collections of mail, firms installing mail chute equipment exthe postmaster must assure himself that cept under either one of the two cona blanket bond in such form and with ditions. such penalty as may be prescribed by the (g) Regulations to be part of contract. Postmaster General has been filed at the The contents of this section must be Department conditioned that the obligor printed on the back and become a part and his or its sureties shall and will pro of every contract for the erection and tect and indemnify the United States use of mailing chutes and receiving from any and all such claims, accom boxes entered into between the manupanied with a written notice from such facturers or owners of chutes and boxes person or company that they have no and the proprietor or lessee of the buildclaim of any kind against such mailing ing in which they are located. Post