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Found a wallet? USPS says not to drop it in a mailbox

Though postal workers will aim to return the wallet to its owner, they discourage people from using the mail as a lost and found.

WASHINGTON — We call the DMV home, but we know our area attracts visitors from all over the world–and sometimes they leave important belongings behind.

You may have seen this post trending on DC Reddit recently, lamenting one of our local police departments not taking a found wallet, instead being told to return it to its owner via the Post Office.

And that’s the part that had many of the commenters most surprised.


Will USPS return a lost wallet in the mail for free?



Technically, postal workers will aim to return the wallet — but they don’t encourage this method of reuniting items with their owners.


As per USPS policy, if a wallet does wind up in a collection box, it’s considered “non-mail matter.” If recovered, it will be sent to the address listed on a visible ID card, marked for insufficient postage.

However, this isn’t not something the USPS advertises, or advocates.

“We do not encourage customers to put lost items, including wallets, in collection boxes,” a USPS spokesperson told Verify via email. “If someone finds a wallet the best option is to turn it in to the local police. The finder could also turn it in to a lost and found receptacle (if available) or look for an ID and contact the owner.”

So while lost wallets may make it back to their owner via USPS, but it’s not a Postal Service program, and you might need to try turning it in elsewhere.

Now, if you’re the person to lose your wallet? AAA recommends you contact insurance providers, banks, and credit card companies to alert them, and put a freeze on your credit card. Filing a police report could help with identity theft protection and obtaining a new license.

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