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TNMCorps Structure: Post Office

Post Office: An official facility of the U.S. Postal Service used for processing and distributing mail and other postal material.

Post Office  

The Guidelines define Post Office as follows:

An official facility of the U.S. Postal Service used for processing and distributing mail and other postal material.

  • INDICATORS: Official logo of U.S. Post Office.

INCLUDES: USPS official post offices, post office stations, branch post offices, community post offices (CPOs), village post offices (VPOs), Post Office Express (POE) locations, postal annexes with a public post office, remotely managed post offices (RMPOs), and part time post offices (PTPOs)).

DOES NOT INCLUDE: Mail drop off locations (blue US Mailbox), carrier annexes with no public hours, automated postal centers (APCs), or contract postal units (CPUs, which are often in commercial establishments) that do not have their own zip code.


What is a Post Office? 

The United States Postal Service (USPS) is a branch of the federal government that sells postage and delivers mail to the general public. Only official USPS facilities that are staffed with postal service employees and have window service hours for the public should be collected.


Where can I find authoritative lists of Post Offices?’s Find Locations tool is the primary authoritative source for post offices. To limit this list to approved USPS facilities,

  1. Go to’s Find Locations tool,
  2. Select “Post Offices and Approved Postal Providers” from the Location Types list,
  3. Click on the "Refine Search" link, and
  4. Make sure that only “Post Offices” and “Village Post Offices” are checked.

This restricted definition ensures that the locations that only sell stamps, only have automated postal centers, or only participate in the PO Box Online program (e.g., markets, banks, and office and mailing supply stores) are omitted since they do not qualify as post offices for the National Structures dataset.

Another helpful source is USPS’s Postmaster Finder. If a point is not listed in, it may be listed as an RMPO or PTPO on the Postmaster Finder website. This tool is also helpful when searching for discontinued post offices. Be aware that this information is not regularly updated and not all post offices are listed.


Naming Post Offices:  

The preferred way to name a post office is: <Name> + “Post Office” where <Name> is the title listed on the USPS website (e.g., “Pueblo Post Office”). Occasionally, you will see a post office on the USPS website that has a name like “Westminster (Harris Park)”; in this case, name the post office as: "Westminster Post Office Harris Park Station”.

We have some Q&A entries that provide more information on how to properly name each.


Editing/Reviewing Post Offices for a city or county: 

If you're interested in reviewing all of the post offices for a city or county, 

  1. Go to the USPS Find Locations web page
  2. Restrict the search to “Post Offices” and “Village Post Offices,” 
  3. Type in the city of interest, and 
  4. Select a reasonable search radius. 
  5. Then go through all of the locations and make sure they are represented in The National Map Corps’ editor. 

If you are working on a county, then successively type in the names of various cities in that county with a reasonable search radius for each so that when each of your search results are combined you get complete results for the whole county. 

NOTE: there is a USPS web page for searching for post offices within a county, but this search uses an out-of-date database, so it is recommended not to rely on this county search.


Where do I place a Post Office Structure Point?

Post offices typically occupy one small building. Larger annexes or distribution centers with public post offices may be in larger buildings. The general rule is to locate the post office structure point at the center of the building.

For more information on how to identify a post office, check out the newsletter article titled Aerial Photo Interpretation Part 2: Post Offices below.