List of Allowable Objects You Can Send Through the US Postal Service

suprise package! Children in the box image by Allen Penton from

Businesses, online retailers and consumers ship letters and packages through the United States Postal Services every day. Many people simply box the items up and send them on their way without giving much thought to the dangers. However, the postal service does have a list of restricted and prohibited items that you can only mail with special provisions, or that you cannot mail entirely. Fortunately, most things people send on a daily basis do not fall on either list.

Letters, Documents and Money

You can mail any letter, document or paper item. This includes personal letters, financial records, post cards, contracts and other documentation. You can mail money. However, Freight Pal reports that you cannot insure cash, stocks or bonds with the United States Postal Service. If you need to mail money, send a personal check, money order or cashier’s check. If lost or stolen, you can report these items to your bank and receive your money back.


You can mail most personal items. For example, you can ship clothing, home décor items, pictures, media such as DVDs and CDs, jewelry, souvenirs, toys and books. The United States Postal Service does not require that you purchase insurance on any package. However, if you purchase insurance on expensive items, the postal service will pay the value of the insurance if it loses your package or damages the goods inside it.


Some items have a limit on the size or quantity you can mail. The United States Postal Services reports that as of 2011, aerosol cans, firearms, tobacco products, liquids, poisons, flammable goods and lottery tickets have mailing restrictions. Mail these items through a U.S. postal service office to ensure you do not exceed the restrictions. You can mail food items, however, you cannot use dry ice to preserve the food for mailing.

Prohibited Items

The United States Postal Service reports that as of 2011, you cannot mail packages weighing over 70 pounds, regardless of the item. You cannot mail drug paraphernalia, alcohol, weapon ammunition or small explosive devices such as fireworks. You cannot mail any hazardous items. Hazardous items include anything that could rupture in transit and damage property or harm people. For example, you cannot ship corrosives such as lye or acids, toxic substances such as herbicides or flammable liquid such as acetone.


About the Author

Amelia Jenkins has more than eight years of professional writing experience, covering financial, environmental and travel topics. Her work has appeared on MSN and various other websites and her articles have topped the best-of list for sites like Bankrate and Kipplinger. Jenkins studied English at Tarrant County College.

Photo Credits

  • suprise package! Children in the box image by Allen Penton from