The Emmet County Road Commission will replace mailbox installations only if physically struck by Emmet County Road Commission equipment, we do not replace boxes or posts impacted by plowed snow or other debris.

The foreman will investigate the damage and determine whether Road Commission equipment impacted the mailbox installation. In the event the foreman is not available to investigate the incident, the property owner shall deliver the damaged items to the Road Commission for proof of Road Commission equipment damage.

standard mailboxes

Standard mailboxes are allowed in the road right of way without a written permit. Below are some regulations to keep in mind when checking your mailbox this fall:

  • Each box having its own post, with the exception of a plastic newspaper box

  • Post not exceeding 4"x 4" for wood, or 3 lbs./ft. for steel

  • Bury your post no more than 24″ deep

  • Supports should yield or collapse if struck. They should bend or fall away from a vehicle so as not to pose a deadly threat to drivers

  • Supports cannot be fitted with an anchor plate (metal post), embedded over 24 inches into the ground, nor set in concrete

  • Mailboxes must be constructed of sheet metal, plastic or similar weight materials, with weight not to exceed 11 pounds.

  • A mailbox and its support will be considered hazardous to motorists when the support exceeds the described structural limitations. This could create a liability concern for the homeowner.

  • Any mailbox and its support considered to be a hazard should be removed from the road right-of-way and replaced.


While most might think it’s a destructive snow plow that knocks down mailboxes in the winter — it’s not. The force of the snow thrown from the roadway is the culprit in most cases where there are loose mailboxes.


To prepare for the winter, the Emmet County Road Commission and the County Road Association of Michigan are asking county residents to give their mailbox a good hefty shake. Taking time to tighten screws and secure mail receptacles now can prevent serious headaches later.


Give your mailbox a good shaking. If it moves when shaken, the mailbox or post may not withstand standard snow removal operations.