Philosateleia
Kevin Blackston
PO Box 17544
San Antonio TX 78217-0544
United States of America

Going plateless

Last week, I had the opportunity to fill in in the mail room at work. While “playing mailman,” I got to exchange pleasantries with the various mail carriers and other shipping service drivers who deliver to the office.

One day, Joe the mail carrier was a bit behind schedule because his mail truck had broken down. He mentioned that the truck, which was built in 1987, has around 450,000 miles on its original engine (which has not surprisingly been rebuilt).

I joked that Joe could probably get license plates identifying his truck as an antique, but he caught me off guard when he replied that USPS trucks don’t need plates.

Once I thought about it, I realized he was right; I’ve never seen a license plate on one of the little white trucks that carriers to deliver mail in the city. On the personal vehicles rural carriers use, sure—but never on the USPS-owned vehicles.

This little revelation left me wanting answers, so I did a bit of research. It turns out that USPS-owned mail trucks are not required to have license plates per federal regulations instituted in 1973. Who knew?

Have any other odd tidbits about the mail? Leave the details in a comment.

Published 2012-09-18

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