How to Bid on a US Postal Contract

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An individual or entity can bid on a U.S. postal contract. Contract holders, known as “contract carriers,” deliver mail along specified routes. They work for themselves and not for the US Postal Service. Winning a bid for a contract begins when you request an application from the Postal Service. The length of time it takes to win a contract bid depends upon the date a contract becomes available in your chosen area.

Delivery routes are assigned by county.
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Qualify yourself prior to submitting a bid for a US postal contract. You must have attained 21 years of age, have a valid driver’s license and posses a dependable motor vehicle for use in delivering mail. You must reside in the county you have selected for mail delivery or in an adjacent county.

Find application forms at a post office.
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Request a form "PS Form 5436, Mailing List Application--Mail Transportation Services" from your local post office. You can also obtain the form on line.

Provide a description of your vehicle.
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Take your time when completing the form. Use care. Sections I and II of the form pertain to personal data such as your name and address and so forth. Section III concerns the type of vehicle you will use to transport mail. Section IV asks you to specify the location and type of mail delivery route you desire. Section V requests the name of the state in which you intend to operate.

Mail your application to the contracting officer.
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Address a #10 envelope to the “Manager, Transportation Contracts” using the mailing address for the contracting officer in charge of your chosen work area. The PS Form 5436 contains area mailing addresses and telephone numbers for contract officers covering the zip codes served. Enclose your application, write your return address on the envelope, seal it, stamp it and mail it.

The Postal Service sends contract notification by mail.
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Check your mail. The Postal Service will send you a letter of notification when it accepts your bid for a U.S. postal contract.


  • Attach a photocopy of your driver's license and a photo of your motor vehicle to the application. While not required, they bolster the sincerity of your bid.


  • It is illegal to provide false information. A penalty may be imposed for submitting fraudulent data.


About the Author

Truell Bliss retired from the restaurant and hospitality industry after almost a lifetime of service. An officer in the American Culinary Federation, he earned his dietary manager certification and progressed into positions as chef instructor, chef manager, dining services operations manager and finally, director of food service.

Photo Credits

  • mail delivery image by Franc PodgorÅ¡ek from