Postal Clerk Info
PO Box Overflow

a. Overflow.

When the mail accumulation for a customer’s Post Office box is more than the box can hold (a condition defined as overflow) on 12 of any 20 consecutive business days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and national public holidays), the customer must change to a box of sufficient capacity or use caller service (see 842.116a). Items too large to fit in a customer’s empty box are not counted as overflow. Disregard overflows if prior arrangements are made for an expected accumulation of mail or because of unusual circumstances that interrupt the normal removal of mail from the box. Such instances may occur when individual box customers are on vacation (not applicable to firm, corporate, association, or institutional box customers) or for other valid reasons. Also disregard an overflow that occurs because of a box customer using Priority Mail Express reshipment service. The postmaster determines the sufficiency of a reason and follows these procedures for evaluating overflow:

1. A check of the mail volume for a box must be conducted when any employee or supervisor assigned to the box section observes an overflow for that box. Postmasters must instruct employees in the box section to report such overflows to their supervisors.

2. Besides the checks resulting from the ongoing observations, a check must be scheduled for a 5–day period twice each year at every postal facility that offers Post Office box service to the public. All facilities need not be checked in the same 5–day period. During each of these checks, all Post Office boxes in a facility must be observed for 5 consecutive days, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and national public holidays. As far as practicable, these checks must be scheduled at different times each year so that all the weeks in each 6–month check period are eventually sampled. Do not schedule a check in the same week nor in the week succeeding that of the previous year.

3. Use PS Form 1532, Semiannual Check of Overflow Mail, as the record of all such volume checks. Complete a separate PS Form 1532 for only those boxes in which an overflow is observed. If none is observed, endorse a single blank PS Form 1532 to state that no overflows were observed for any box during the regularly scheduled check and place the form in the file. Record overflows on section 1 of PS Form 1532 and continue observations over a 5–day period. During this 5–day period, if PS Form 1532 shows any box with an overflow for 3 or more days, complete the notice on section 3 of PS Form 1532 for each overflow and deliver it to the box customer. After section 3 is issued, continue the observations and record them by completing section 1 and continuing through section 2 of PS Form 1532. Keep PS Form 1532 for 1 year.

4. Discontinue a check if the box is in overflow for fewer than 3 of the first 5 days or less than 12 of the full 20–day test period. When a check is discontinued because of an insufficient number of overflow days in the test period, complete block 1 on section 4 of PS Form 1532 and deliver the form to the box customer who had previously received section 3.

If a check shows an overflow on 12 of the 20 days in the test period, notify the customer by completing block 2 on section 4 of PS Form 1532. Give the customer 5 days to respond to the notice and to make arrangements under the options listed in section 3 of PS Form 1532. If caller service is adopted, follow the procedures in 842.116a. Any customer who is released from caller service because of a follow–up check in 842.116a(2) is subject to the checks required by 841.132b1 and 841.132b2 on resumption of box delivery.