Whether you’re a business owner, an online seller, or need to send a valuable or important package, understanding USPS signature requirements can help ensure that your package arrives safely and on time.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) offers several options for obtaining signatures when shipping packages, but it can be confusing to understand what is required and when.
This article will answer seven common questions about USPS and signatures:
Here Is Why USPS Requires a Signature for Some Packages:
Some packages require a signature with Signature Confirmation, an add-on service that requires USPS mail carriers to get a signature from the recipient upon delivery. When packages are shipped First Class and Priority Mail services, they will be dropped off at the porch or mailbox.
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Can You Require a Signature for a USPS Delivery?
A signature is not always required upon delivery when sending a package through the US Postal Service through most shipping services.
This is because most USPS packages have tracking so that you can see when the package has been delivered.
You can require a signature for a USPS delivery if you want a better way of confirming if the package has been delivered.
Signature Confirmation is an add-on service you can purchase when sending a package through USPS. When this service is added to a shipment, USPS mail carriers must get a signature from the recipient once that package is delivered.
Does It Cost Money to Have a Signature Confirmation?
Signature Confirmation is a service that can be availed for packages shipped through USPS. By default, packages don’t require a signature upon delivery, so this service can be added if the sender wants to.
It does cost money to have a Signature Confirmation for your shipments, and the fee for this service starts at $3.10.
The cost to have a Signature Confirmation for your USPS package shipment depends on the type of shipping service that you avail. It also depends on where you availed of the service.
Here are the rates:
Signature Confirmation Service
- For First-Class Package Service (Retail) – $3.65 at the post office, $3.10 at the website
- For First-Class Package Service (Commercial) – $3.10 at the website
- For Library Mail, Media Mail, and Bound Printed Matter – $3.65 at the post office, $3.10 at the website
- Parcel Select – $3.10 at the website
- Parcel Select Lightweight – $3.10 at the website
- Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express – $3.65 at the post office, $3.10 at the website
- USPS Retail Ground – $3.65 at the post office, $3.10 at the website
Additional Signature Confirmation Services
- Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery – $9.90 at the post office, $9.35 at the website
- Adult Signature Required – $8.50
- Adult Signature Restricted Delivery – $8.75
- Certified Mail with Signature Confirmation – $4.00
- Certified Mail Restricted Delivery – $10.35
- Certified Mail Adult Signature Required – $10.35
- Certified Mail Adult Signature Restricted Delivery – $10.35
What Happens if You’re Not Home to Sign for a USPS Delivery?
Some shippers or senders add Signature Confirmation when sending packages.
However, there are instances wherein the recipient is unavailable, and there is also no one to sign for the delivery on their behalf. So what happens then?
If you’re not home to sign for a USPS delivery, the mail carrier would consider it a failed delivery attempt, and the package will be returned to the local post office.
The mail carrier would also attach a note to the mailbox to inform you that they failed to deliver a package because no one was present to sign.
You would then be given the option to either schedule a redelivery or pick up the package at your local post office.
If you choose the latter, you must bring a valid photo ID so the postal worker at the claiming counter can verify your identity before releasing the package to you.
On the other hand, if you opt to schedule a redelivery, there are a few ways to do it. You can do it through the USPS website.
You can also call your local post office. Or you can simply fill out the form attached to the note and leave it inside your mailbox for the mail carrier to see.
When scheduling redelivery, you can select when you are available to receive the package and sign for it.
You only have a certain number of days to retrieve your package. After this period, the package will then be returned to the sender if there is a return address. Otherwise, it will either be destroyed or sent to the Mail Recovery Center, depending on its value.
Can You Leave a Note for USPS with Your Signature?
Sometimes, we’re not at home when anticipating a package to be delivered by USPS. So can you leave a note for USPS if the package requires a signature upon delivery?
The answer is no. You cannot simply leave a note for USPS if a package requires signature confirmation upon delivery.
If Signature Confirmation was added to the shipment, then the USPS mail carrier must collect the recipient’s signature upon delivery. A note will not suffice.
Can Anyone Sign for USPS Packages?
When you send a package through the United States Postal Service (USPS), you may wonder who can sign for it when it arrives.
The answer depends on the type of service you choose and the recipient’s preferences.
In most cases, anyone at the delivery address willing and able to accept the package can sign for it. This could be the intended recipient, neighbor, doorman, babysitter, or housekeeper.
However, there are some situations where a specific signature may be required, such as when the package contains valuable or hazardous items or when the sender has requested a signature confirmation service.
USPS Signature Confirmation
This is the most basic type of add-on service that you can get for USPS packages.
If you avail of the Signature Confirmation service, the intended recipient or anyone who lives in residence can sign for the package.
If you are not present to sign for the package, any resident at the address at the time of delivery can sign for the package. It can be your parents, siblings, or even a roommate.
USPS Adult Signature Confirmation
With this service, the intended recipient or anyone 21 years or older who lives in residence can sign upon delivery of the package.
Only someone of legal age can receive the package if this service is added to a shipment. A valid photo ID must be presented by whoever receives the package so that the USPS mail carrier can verify their age.
USPS Restricted Delivery
This is an add-on service at USPS that also requires a signature of the recipient upon delivery of the package, but not anyone can sign,
If this service is selected, only the intended recipient or a specified authorized person can sign for the package.
Through this service, the sender must specify a name of an authorized representative who can sign for the package if the intended recipient is not home at the time of delivery.
How Can I Get Proof of Mail Delivery Without a Signature?
By default, packages shipped through USPS do not require a signature.
If you want the USPS mail carrier to collect a signature upon delivery as proof that the items were delivered, you have to avail of Signature Confirmation as an add-on service that you have to pay for. There are other ways to get proof of mail delivery if you don’t want to pay for Signature Confirmation.
The most convenient way to get proof of delivery without paying for any add-on service is through USPS Tracking.
Most packages shipped through the US Postal Service automatically get a tracking number assigned to them once they are processed for shipping.
Through USPS tracking, you can check the current status of the package. You can check its current location in the USPS network and see if it has passed through any USPS facility while in transit. You can also see if there are any failed delivery attempts.
Once the package has been delivered, USPS Tracking will also update the status to show it has reached its destination. It will show you when and what time it was delivered.
USPS Tracking is the best thing you can get if you want proof of mail delivery, and it is free for most shipping services.
Here are the USPS services that already include tracking:
- Priority Mail
- Priority Mail Express
- First-Class Package Service
- USPS Retail Ground for packages
- Media Mail for packages
How Do You Waive or Cancel a Signature Confirmation?
Since Signature Confirmation is an add-on service, you may wonder if it can be canceled or waived, especially if the recipient is not always at home.
The answer is yes. Signature Confirmation can be waived or canceled.
When waiving or canceling a Signature Confirmation, a “Waiver of Signature” must be initiated. It can only be done by the sender and not by the receiver.
Through this waiver, the sender can authorize mail delivery without collecting the recipient’s signature or any authorized person. Depending on the outside conditions, the mail carriers can even be authorized to drop off the package on the front porch.
However, this request can only be submitted at the time of mailing. Once the package is in transit, signature confirmation can no longer be waived or canceled.