Print Posted By Lost in France on 1 Apr 2008 in Living in France - Living in France

French Letter Boxes

post boxesOne small but often asked question about houses in France is whether it's possible to have an English style letter box where the post is delivered to the doormat rather than in a box outside and for some of us quite a distance from the front door.

The simple answer is no unless you live in an apartment block or if your property fronts onto the street. Under regulations stipulated by AFNOR (Association Francaise de Normalisation) the letter box (boite au lettres) must be of the type approved by La Poste and must be easily reachable by le Facteur (the postman) without him or her having to leave their vehicle. This means that it should be situated in an easily accessible place on the perimeter or entrance to your property and AFNOR advises that it should be positioned at a height of between 80cm and 150cm.

The dimension of the letter box should be 26 cm in height, 26 cm in length and 34 cm deep and it must be clearly marked with your name. If you don't already have one then these approved letter boxes are easily obtainable from most supermarkets and bricolage stores at around 17 euros. The postman also carries a master key so that he can easily leave small parcels and packets should you not be at home to receive them.

Although it sounds like a lot of rules, regulations and fuss it's actually a very sensible practice especially when you consider how rural most of France is. If the postmen and women had to traverse each long drive in order to deliver mail to the front door then they'd probably need to triple the amount of postal workers and of course the price of postage!

What do you think?

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