What are the regulations on distributing flyers door to door?

I would like to know if its legal to distribute flyers door to door(or in the mailbox), withouth the postage? Please help me if you have any info on that. thanks.

I copied this from another non-REICLUB thread:

Regarding your question, “I am aware that it is illegal to put flyers
inside the mailbox, but what about hanging a flyer on the mailbox flag
or mailbox door handle. It is not inside the mailbox, is that still
considered illegal?”

Here is the answer from the United States Code at 18 USC §1725:

“Whoever knowingly and willfully deposits any mailable matter such as
statements of accounts, circulars, sale bills, or other like matter,
on which no postage has been paid, in any letter box established,
approved, or accepted by the Postal Service for the receipt or
delivery of mail matter on any mail route with intent to avoid payment
of lawful postage thereon, shall for each such offense be fined under
this title.” (CFR TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 83 > Sec. 1725.)

See also: http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/1725.html

I also found this this quote from the USPS’ Postal Bulletin (Issue
21861, 2-17-94, p. 37):"

"D041 Customer Mail Receptacles
Use for Mail 1.3
Except under 2.11, the receptacles described in 1.1 may be used only
for matter bearing postage. Other than as permitted by 2.10 or 2.11,
no part of a mail receptacle may be used to deliver any matter not
bearing postage, including items or matter placed upon, supported by,
attached to, hung from, or inserted into a mail receptacle. Any
mailable matter not bearing postage and found as described above is
subject to the same postage as would be paid if it were carried by

And this:

“USPS’ Postal Bulletin (Issue 21861, 2-17-94, p. 37):”

“Mailable Matter in or on Private Mail Receptacles Mailable matter not
bearing postage found in or on private mail receptacles represents a
revenue deficiency to the Postal Service and is a violation of federal
law. Title 18 United States Code, section 1725, provides for a fine of
not more than $300 per piece for these violations. All employees must
uniformly enforce the procedures detailed in the Domestic Mail Manual,
section P011.2.0. The failure to enforce these procedures uniformly
may jeopardize the criminal prosecution of repeated violators.”

See: http://www.lplists.com/mail-off.htm

Putting things in someone’s door is probably not illegal, but it also likely varies from place to place.

Well, the regulations most depend on your state’s + municipalitie’s laws and regulations. It may be impossible to answer here unless you tell us what area(s) you want to canvass.

I’m in FL, so I can only speak of my experience soliciting and canvassing for a number of organizations, including my own REI business.

Unless someone has posted a “NO TRESSPASSING” sign in plain view, you’re prbobably legally ok entering a property and posting something on a door or other location. Even if someone has a “No Soliciting” sign, you’re still ok, because that is not the same as “no tresspassing,” (although you’re not going to get anywhere bothering people who don’t want to be bothered. The illegal entering of a property is a tresspass, and the laws determining what a tresspass is should be consulted.

Now, legally ok doesn’t mean you’re welcomed. And don’t assume the homeowner is courteous or knowledgeable in the finer points of the law. If you’ve ever had a shotgun brandished in your sight, you’ll understand that some people not only think you’ve commited a tresspass by stepping over their property line, but they are ready and able to take the law into their own hands to remedy the situation. Use wisdom and caution no matter what the law says.

Of course, keep in mind the difference between legal or permitted soliciting and practical soliciting. Obviously you’ll want to steer clear of homes with signs such as “no soliciting,” “bad dog,” “Protected by Smith & Wesson,” etc. Don’t ever solict after dark and stay away from suspicious looking homes and people. You never know where the next Jeffrey Dahlmer lives. Ewww. Always send pepole out in twos with cell phones to contact you or dial 911 if necessary.

So, if you want to go the extra mile to make sure your ok, you could…

  1. Consult your local police department or sheriff – they may not give you totally accurate advice regarding the legality of soliciting door-to-door (that may require an attorney), but they will be the ones who come after you if someone reports you as tresspassing, or just as a suspicious character. So, you’ll not only learn what may or may not be legal, but you’ll also put them on notice that you plan to canvass door-to-door, giving you some plausabile explaination for your actions if you are reported to the police and apprehendid.

  2. Contact the Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts to find out what they’ve learned about soliciting door-to-door. They’re probably the two groups who do it the most (well, except for a couple of religious denominations I just throught of). They may have some valuable tips for you that are relevant in your area. A PTA or school official may also have some information, as they seem to send poor, underfunded students out into the streets to beg people to buy overpriced wrapping paper, candy, and other junk because the school systems can’t seem to manage your tax dollars properly (ok, I’ll save that one for another posting).

Good luck.