Who has a key to get into my home letterbox in France?

All postmen and women have a special key that allows them to open most French letterboxes

20 January 2021
By Liv Rowland

Reader question: Do delivery workers have special keys and passes to get into flats and residents’ letterboxes? 

Providing they are standard letterboxes, as the vast majority are in France, all postmen and women have a special key that allows them to open most French letterboxes. The key is called a Pass PTT and it also opens the door to the hallways in some apartment buildings where all the letterboxes are found.

Officially, only La Poste and a number of other postal delivery services authorised by the French regulator are allowed to possess such a key. In reality, it is surprisingly easy to get hold of these keys online (type in “Pass PTT” and you’ll find one for less than €10). Fraudulent use of this key – for example, to open another person’s letterbox – is, understandably, illegal.

Typically, other users may include the syndic which manages the property, and emergency services requiring quick access, such as the police or firefighters, the Samu, and electricity or gas companies.

To get into your apartment building, you might use an electronic fob instead. It is often referred to as the badge Vigik.

This is the brand name of the most common type of key fob used in France, developed and patented by La Poste.

It is used by La Poste and the other authorised operators. Residents can enter their building with it at all times, of course, but other users have restricted access.

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