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Public-images-osm logo.svg post_box:type
Post box types.jpg
The physical style (size/shape) of the post box, and how it is mounted. Show/edit corresponding data item.
Group: properties
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations (except multipolygon relations)
Status: de facto

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


This is a properties tag and should be used in combination with post box:

For other tags that can be used in combination with post box see Extended Usage.

Values by country or operator


Value Description Example picture
pillar A freestanding box, square in shape.
community Community mailboxes contain individual mailboxes, plus an outbound mailslot. See Canadian tagging guidelines#Community mailboxes.

United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland

Value Description Example picture
pillar A freestanding box, taking the form of a column. Usually cylindrical in shape in the UK, but rectangular forms can also be seen.

 pillar box

Victorian postbox in Windsor Avenue Radyr.JPG
lamp A self-contained box, smaller than a pillar box, and designed to be mounted above ground level. Usually attached to a pole, slim pedestal, lamp post, or telegraph pole in the UK, but can be mounted on (or very rarely within) a wall.

 lamp box

Post Box Back Lane - - 97825.jpg
wall A box designed to be set into a wall. Can be found mounted in walls, walls of buildings, and also in free-standing brick pillars.

 wall box

Windsor letterbox 02.JPG
meter A special type of post box that was originally designed to only accept pre-paid business mail (known as "meter mail" or "franked mail" in the UK). The special adaptations may include a larger aperture and/or mechanisms to prevent unauthorised persons from using the box.

While this value is about the physical appearance/design of the box rather than the mail types accepted, it was normally used on boxes that only accepted this special type of mail.

In the UK these "meter" boxes are normally larger square pillar boxes with a larger mechanical aperture that is locked outside specified opening hours.

Since 2019 Royal Mail has changed the role of these meter boxes to also accept parcels, they added a "P" to the end of the reference, extended the opening hours of the box and stuck decorations on the to advertise that they now accepted parcels.

Since this classification is distinct from, and in some sense orthogonal to, the other post_box:type=* values, it has been suggested that a different key should be used for this attribute, leaving post_box:type=* to tag the box with the best fit from pillar, lamp, and wall.

Inverness Longman postboxes meter.JPG

United States

The United States Postal Service operates multiple types of collection boxes. [1][2] As of November 2022, post_box:type=pillar is the most common value in the United States, most likely denoting any freestanding collection box.


Some boxes in Japan can be classified as either pillar or lamp.

However, most boxes are on the halfway between pillar and lamp.

Other countries

Pillar Boxes:

Type France Poland
French Pillar Style Postbox.jpg
Polish Pillar style postbox.jpg

See also