If you are a typical Washington resident and you don't have special permits or certifications, here are items that you are absolutely not allowed to put in the mail through the United States Postal Service.
Keep in mind that this is not a complete list of all the prohibited and restricted items, so if you've got a question, you want to find out more. Click. HERE for more information. 


Bottles and glasses of assorted alcoholic beverages

OK, so you got a friend and you want to ship them your favorite craft beer from Washington State. Don't even bother trying to send it through the mail. It is against United States Post Office policy, in fact. If you have an empty box that you want to use that's got an alcohol company logo on it, you can't use that to ship anything either. 

 Cats and Kittens

Martin Poole

I Know, really. You would be amazed at what some people want to try and ship through the US mail. Now there are certain live animals that can be mailed like baby alligators or frogs or goldfish, worms, non-poisonous insects. But no, you can't male cats. 


Four handguns, two pistols and two revolvers, a 9mm, 40 caliber, 357 magnum and a 38 special

No, you are not allowed to send handguns through the US Mail. The only exception is if you're a licensed manufacturer or dealer, or if it's a collector's item that has been certified with a museum.

Dogs and Puppies 

Three Golden Retriever puppies sitting on a chair

Everybody loves a box full of puppies. Who doesn't? But you cannot send puppies through the US Mail. (I want the fat one)

 Strike Anywhere Matches 

amazon tdtransportat-0
amazon tdtransportat-0

This is kind of an interesting one. And by the way, you can't ship these on an airplane either if you're flying somewhere. Basically, they can ignite anytime there is friction between the match head and a surface, not a good thing. 

 Guinea Pigs 

Colombians Celebrate Traditional Blacks and Whites' Carnival
Diego Cuevas

I know Guinea pigs are cute. But you can't put them in the mail either. Don't do it.
add a Guinea pig when I was in grade school, his name was squeaky. 

 Air Bags  

Car Production At Volkswagen Wolfsburg Plant
Getty Images

OK, we all know how an airbag works. Just keep in mind that the airbag requires chemicals inside it that create an explosion, the gases fill the airbag. that's why the US postal service will not let you them. 


Pet Rabbits See Popularity Surge As China Celebrates Year Of The Rabbit
Getty Images

Everybody likes a cute little Bunny, but the US Postal Service. Not so much. It's just not safe for the animal to ship them through the Postal Service. 


National Shooting Sports Foundation Hosts Annual Trade Show In Las Vegas
Getty Images

There are very tight controls on moving ammunition. Any ammunition that can be fired from a pistol, revolver, rifle, or a shotgun is not permitted. 

 Squirrels and Flying Squirrels 

Grey squirrel yawning

OK, why would you want to put a squirrel in the US mail? I don't know. But squirrels are air breathing mammals, and you are not allowed to ship them through the US Postal Service. 


Videographer is Shooting Bridal Event in the Fireworks
Valery Kudryavtsev

Here's a good one. It's actually legal to ship consumer fireworks, but you can't do it through the United States Postal Service. There's all kinds of permits and certifications you have to get in order to ship these. If you do have these permissions, you're probably a wholesaler or a manufacturer or a dealer. That's using a private carrier like FedEx or UPS. 


Common Garter Snake

Yes, Air breathing. No, not a mammal. There are some small, harmless cold-blooded animals that can be sent through the US Postal Service. Some are restricted. Snakes are one of them even if they're not venomous. 


War And Peace Military Vehicle Spectacular Takes Place In Kent
Getty Images

This is not a good idea. Any kind of accidental explosion can be devastating for mail carriers or anybody else that encounters that kind of package. The United States Postal Service won't ship them and if you try to sneak it by them, you might get a visit from the ATF. 


Taronga Zoo Wildlife Hospital
Getty Images

This is interesting. Apparently, frogs can travel through the US Postal Service, but turtles can't. And why? Well, because frogs are very relaxed, they just like to hang loose and enjoy the ride. Turtles, on the other hand, are very, very nervous travelers. They're also more susceptible to catching something and it might make them sick. Nobody wants a sick turtle. 


The three different gas prices at the gas station

This should need no explanation. Just leave it to the fact that the US Postal Service doesn't want to take the risk of it igniting or exploding.  



I know you can legally go by marijuana here in the state of Washington. While it might be legal in Washington and Oregon and other states in the US, it's still considered illegal by federal law to ship through the US Postal Service. You can't do that. The USPS is a federal agency; therefore, you cannot mail it. 

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