How to replace mailbox key at house
April 30, 2021 9:54 AM   Subscribe

We're located in the US and own the house. The key is unlikely to be found, but the lock does have a three digit code on it. Googling around reveals that there are replacement keys for that series, has anyone had success ordering such a replacement key? Any other suggestions besides call a locksmith?
posted by Brandon Blatcher to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
I replaced the lock on my USPS cluster mailbox with this lock pretty easily, and I'm not handy.

If you post a pic of the lock, you can probably get more specific advice; I bet it's a quick DIY process. :)
posted by homodachi at 10:01 AM on April 30

If it is a USPS approved lock, the three digit code should provide the key maker (locksmith) with the proper cuts to make in the blank. The mail carrier has a master key. I do not have experience ordering a mailbox key online based on the code, but I have ordered other keys based on the code on the lock and it worked although it was not the greatest key in that it often took some playing with the key to get it to work.
posted by AugustWest at 10:13 AM on April 30

You own the actual house, but if the mailbox is one of those multibox units (and possibly other types of units) that is located on the street you might not own the physical mailbox itself.

I would start by checking with your local post office to see if they can provide an extra key. My friend did this when she needed a new key to her mailbox, there was a small fee but far less than calling a locksmith. If it is the sort of thing where the post office is able to provide you with the key, definitely go with that option unless you are very certain that you wouldn't be breaking the law to solve this issue some other way -- there are many federal laws that apply to USPS stuff.

If the post office says it's your mailbox and your responsibility, then you can go with the lowest cost option which is likely to be having a key cut.
posted by yohko at 11:24 AM on April 30

Is this the kind of neighborhood where houses were all built in the same timeframe? It wouldn't surprise me at all if a builder left all the locks keyed the same.
Personally, I'd snoop a little first, and peek at my neighbors' houses to see if they have a similar locking mailbox, and if so, knock on their door, befriend them and ask them to try their key in your mailbox.
posted by enfa at 11:57 AM on April 30

2nding ask the post office.

I lost a mail key for awhile in NYC, said something to the mailman, and he had an extra lock IN HIS MAIL BAG and he gave me a new lock+key on the spot for $15.
posted by wowenthusiast at 2:18 PM on April 30 [2 favorites]

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