Proposed features/Extend post box

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extended post box tags
Status: Abandoned (inactive)
Proposed by: Vclaw
Tagging: amenity=post_box
Applies to:
Definition: extra details for post box types and mail types
Rendered as:
Draft start: 2010-07-07
RFC start: 2010-08-05
Vote start:
Vote end:


This is a proposal for tagging extra details of post boxes. See amenity=post_box for tags currently used.

Postboxes can be useful landmarks for navigation, so it can be helpful to know what sort of postbox it is. Also, it is useful to know what mail types are accepted if you want to find the nearest postbox to post something.

This is currently a proposal, suggestions for changes or additional tags and values is welcome. There has previously been some discussion of additional tags on the Talk:Tag:amenity=post_box page, and on the forum. Please use the discussion page for comments.

A custom preset file for JOSM including all of these tags is available at:


Tags currently in use

Proposed tags

Post box type

The physical style (size/shape) of the post box, and how it is mounted.

Value Description Example picture
pillar A freestanding box, usually cylindrical in shape.

wikipedia:pillar box

Victorian postbox in Windsor Avenue Radyr.JPG
lamp Attached to a pole or lamp post, smaller than a pillar box

wikipedia:lamp box

Post Box Back Lane - - 97825.jpg
wall A box set into a wall

wikipedia:wall box

Windsor letterbox 02.JPG
meter A box for meter mail only. Usually larger than a standard pillar box, and square. The aperture may be lockable, and only open at certain times (see opening hours section).
Inverness Longman postboxes meter.JPG


The number of apertures / slots on the post box. These may separate slots for different types of mail. The value should be a number. This is assumed to be 1 if not otherwise specified.

tag example picture
Double pillar box modern.jpg

Mail type and class

The type and class of mail accepted in the post box. If not specified, this is assumed to be any type and class of mail, stamped and metered.

Tag Values Description
mail:stamped=* yes/no stamped mail accepted
mail:meter=* yes/no meter mail / franked mail accepted
mail:1st_class=* yes/no 1st class mail accepted
mail:2nd_class=* yes/no 2nd class mail accepted

Royal cypher

The monarch's initials or symbol. Usually found in the UK and other Commonwealth realms. This tag could also be used for other objects that have a royal cypher displayed, eg post office buildings.

Value Description Example picture
VR Victoria (1837 to 1901)
Postbox-Royal Cypher-VR.jpg
EVIIR Edward VII (1901 to 1910)
Postbox-Royal Cypher-EVIIR.jpg
GR George V (1910 to 1936)
Postbox-Royal Cypher-GR.jpg
EVIIIR Edward VIII (1936)
Very few EVIIIR postboxes exist.
Postbox-Royal Cypher-EVIIIR.jpg
GVIR George VI (1936 to 1952)
Postbox-Royal Cypher-GVIR.jpg
EIIR Elizabeth II (1952 to present).
Note: usually not used on postboxes in Scotland, instead they have an image of the crown of Scotland.
Postbox Royal Cypher-EIIR.jpg
no (default) no royal cypher visible on the box

Opening hours

If the postbox is only open or only accessible at certain times, it can be tagged with the opening hours. See that page for details of the syntax. This includes most Royal Mail meter mail postboxes.

Indoor postboxes

If the postbox is inside a building, it can be tagged with indoor=yes. If possible, the building outline can be mapped as an area, and tagged with building=yes, plus other tags as appropriate. This implies the post box is only accessible during the times the building is open.