Postal Boxes

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Last updated: 2017-01-16


What Are Postal Boxes?

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Postal Boxes, often known as Post Office Boxes or PO Boxes, are locked compartments within a Post Office.

There are three types of Postal Box services available from Canada Post:

  • Convenience Postal Box
  • Prime Mode Postal Box
  • General Delivery
Canada Post reserves the right to terminate or re-assign Postal Boxes at any time.


Convenience Postal Box

Convenience Postal Boxes are available for a fee and are a convenient, secure means for customers to receive mail at an affordable rental rate. Customers can choose the appropriate size for the volume/amount of mail they typically receive.


Rental periods

Canada Post offers convenient rental periods of 3, 6 and 12 months for Convenience Postal Boxes.


Rental prices and payment

Payment for Convenience Postal Boxes must be paid in advance for the selected rental period. For information on current Convenience Postal Box rental prices, ask your post office representative or see Canada Post Prices.


Size of Postal Boxes

The appropriate size of Postal Box should be selected to accommodate the typical volume of mail received. If the current Postal Box cannot accommodate the typical volume of mail received, the post office may request that the customers transition to an appropriate Postal Box size (e.g., change from A - Small to B - Medium) to meet the volume requirements. An increase in the Convenience Postal Box rental price may apply. In certain situations, Canada Post may provide Mail Forwarding service free of charge when customers transition to the next Postal Box size.

Bag or Container Service is a form of Postal Box service used to accommodate customers with large volumes of mail. Bags or Container Service is offered to customers under the same terms and conditions as Convenience Postal Boxes, except different fees apply.


Prime mode Postal Box

Prime mode Postal Boxes are provided at no charge, when the mode of mail delivery for the applicable civic or physical address has been designated by Canada Post as a Prime mode Postal Box. Customers may rent a Convenience Postal Box in place of, or in addition to, their Prime mode of delivery, for a fee.


General Delivery

General Delivery is a service offered when customers cannot receive mail through any other available free mode of delivery. General Delivery is also offered to the travelling public for a period of up to four months. Unless the General Delivery is considered the prime mode of delivery for the customer (for example, if Canada Post does not otherwise have a free mode of delivery available in the area) the General Delivery service will be subject to the same terms and conditions, including prices, applicable to the Convenience Postal Box service.

In Canada, the term “GENERAL DELIVERY” is used in English and “POSTE RESTANTE” in French. The international term, however, is always “POSTE RESTANTE”.


Use of Postal Box

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The Postal Box is to be used only to receive mail items sent to you through Canada Post approved services. It may not be used as a storage or security compartment. The use of the Postal Box is not transferable.

In the case of Convenience Postal Box rentals, only four individuals, four families or two businesses (or a combination of two family names and two businesses) can use the Postal Box.



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All customers wishing to receive Postal Box service must sign and agree to the Postal Box Terms and Conditions. Where applicable, the customer must pay the rental price and key deposit(s) (for replacement of keys) in advance for the rental period selected (see Section 4 Postal Box Keys).

Current, valid, original customer identification must be provided at the time of rental/activation and also at the time of renewal. When picking up mail or otherwise acting on behalf of another person, including a corporation or other organization, the individual must prove his/her authority to act on behalf of the person. See Section 4.3 Third-party authorization - Proof of authority to act of Policies.

The use of customer information gathered by Canada Post is governed by the Privacy Act.


Postal Box Keys

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At the time of rental/activation, Postal Box customers are provided two keys to access their Postal Box and, if applicable, a security key.

The keys are not to be copied. All keys remain the property of Canada Post and must be returned on request.

When renting a Convenience Postal Box, a key deposit is required and is refunded upon termination of the Convenience Postal Box and return of all keys.

A fee equal to the key deposit fee applies to replace lost or damaged keys.

Prime mode Postal Box customers who lose their initial set of keys must pay the current key deposit fee to obtain a new set.
Customers who request that their Postal Box lock be changed must return both keys at which time they will be refunded at the original key deposit price. Customers will be charged the current key deposit price for the new set of keys. Customers who return only one key will not receive a refund.
Prime mode and Convenience Postal Box customers must use the postal box keys provided to access their mail. In cases where an item requires a signature, a Delivery Notice card will be placed in the postal box directing the customer to the post office.

For information on current Postal Box key deposit fees, ask your post office representative or see Canada Post Prices.


Mail Forwarding of Mail from Postal Boxes

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In order for mail to be forwarded from a Postal Box, a Mail Forwarding request must be in effect. Mail items addressed to a shared Postal Box (e.g., where several businesses have a common postal address) may not be redirected unless all of the mail addressed to the Postal Box is forwarded to another single address.

For information on Mail Forwarding service, see Mail Forwarding Service.


Payment Options

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The following methods of payment are acceptable for Postal Boxes service:

  • business cheque
  • cash
  • credit card (where available)
  • debit card (where available)
  • money order
  • traveller’s cheque.
Customers may pay for the rental of Postal Boxes with a personal cheque.
Restrictions or conditions may apply.
Contract customers may pay by Account to renew their Postal Box rentals. Contact your Canada Post representative or the Commercial Service Network at 1-800-277-4799 or visit for more information.


Renewal and Termination of Postal Box Service

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When customers have rented a Postal Box, written renewal reminders are typically provided prior to the end of the rental period. If your Postal Box service is not renewed on or before the expiry of the rental period, the service may be terminated on the day after the rental period ends.

Customers may request the cancellation of the Convenience Postal Box service at any time and a refund may apply. See Canada Post Prices at for more information.

If a Postal Box is terminated because the Postal Box was used inappropriately, including, without limitation, for an unlawful purpose or in a manner contrary to the Canada Post Corporation Act and Regulations, you will not receive a refund of the rental price and key deposits.

Whenever the Postal Box service is terminated or cancelled, the addressee must have a valid Mail Forwarding request in effect with Canada Post, in order to have the mail redirected to another address. For more information see Mail Forwarding Service.



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General enquiries concerning Postal Boxes should be directed to your local post office representative or Customer Service by email at: or by calling 1-800-267-1177.


Customer Service Glossary General Terms and Conditions Canada Post Corporation Act and Regulations