When we get mail or packages delivered to us through the US Postal Service, there are instances when we have to sign upon receiving them. There are also instances where no signature is required.
This may make you wonder when packages would need a signature or not.
In this article, we will discuss the different scenarios where a USPS package must be signed upon delivery:
Here’s When USPS Packages Require a Signature:
Most USPS packages don’t require a signature at delivery. A signature is required for USPS packages when the shipper has used an add-on service called Signature Confirmation. A signature is also required for Certified Mail and Restricted Delivery.
Table of Contents
Does USPS Need a Signature for Packages?
Generally, USPS does not need a signature for package deliveries. Most packages can be delivered to the recipient without the mail carrier collecting a signature.
Some packages can even be dropped off at the porch or by the front door if it was indicated in the delivery instructions.
If someone sends you an item through the First Class Package shipping service, the USPS mail carrier does not need to collect a signature upon delivery.
A signature will only be required if the shipper avails of Signature Confirmation, a paid add-on service that prompts mail carriers to get the recipient’s signature when the package is delivered. Signature Confirmation assures the sender that the package has indeed been delivered.
So unless the sender has added Signature Confirmation, a signature is not needed for packages.
Does USPS Need a Signature for First Class Shipping?
USPS does not need a signature for First Class Mail and First Class Packages.
When an item is sent through First Class Shipping, it can simply be delivered and dropped off inside the mailbox. So even if the recipient is not present at the address at the time of delivery, any items sent through First Class Shipping can be delivered successfully.
However, USPS would need a signature if the sender opts to add Signature Confirmation to a First Class Mail or First Class Package.
It means that the mail pieces cannot be simply dropped inside the mailbox. They must be received and signed for by the addressee or someone who lives at the same address.
Does USPS Need a Signature for Priority Mail?
Priority Mail is a popular service offered by USPS, which allows shippers to send items weighing up to 70 lbs. This is affordable if your package exceeds the weight limit for First Class Package service, which is only 13 oz.
It also guarantees faster delivery as it takes 1 to 3 business days to complete the shipping with this service.
USPS does not need a signature for Priority Mail.
Packages sent through Priority Mail can simply be handed over to the recipient or someone who lives at the same address, and the USPS mail carrier does not need to collect a signature.
The only time a signature would be needed for Priority Mail is if the shipper pays for Signature Confirmation.
Does USPS Need a Signature for Express Mail?
Similar to Priority Mail, USPS does not need a signature for Express Mail.
Express Mail, also known as Priority Mail Express, is another popular USPS shipping service. It is a step above Priority Mail, wherein it guarantees faster delivery. It is also more expensive.
With Express Mail, your package can be delivered the next day whenever possible. Otherwise, it would be delivered within a maximum of 2 business days.
Express Mail packages are delivered normally, wherein the USPS mail carrier does not need to collect a signature upon delivery.
Can USPS Accept Electronic or Digital Signatures?
USPS does accept electronic or digital signatures.
Customers can electronically sign for their packages through the USPS Electronic Signature Online or ESOL. This authorizes USPS mail carriers to deliver the items without collecting a physical signature.
To use this service, you must sign up for Informed Delivery, a free service that notifies you if you have incoming mail. It also gives you preview images of any incoming mail.
Once you’ve signed up for Informed Delivery, you can sign up for the USPS eSOL service. You can provide your digital signature using a mouse or trackpad on your computer or mobile device.
Your digital signature will be stored for a year. Once it expires, you have to go through the verification process again once your signature expires so you can continue using opting in for this service.
It’s important to note that you can only use eSOL if the shipper has enabled it for your shipment. If the shipper requires a physical signature, you’d have no choice but to be present so you can sign for the package upon delivery.
In What Other Cases Does USPS Ask for a Signature?
Here are other scenarios where the US Postal Service asks for a signature:
Adult Signature Required
This is an option under Signature Confirmation, wherein only the addressee or their representatives aged 21 and up can sign for the package.
When this option is selected, the person receiving the package must present a valid photo ID so that the mail carrier can confirm that they’re of legal age.
This USPS service also requires a signature upon delivery. However, only the addressee or an elected authorized representative can sign for the package.
In this scenario, a valid photo ID must also be presented so the mail carrier can confirm the identity of whoever’s receiving the package.
Certified mail requires secure handling as they’re often used to send time-sensitive forms of correspondence.
People and businesses commonly use this to send invoices, bank documents, tax returns, and other important mail.
Certified Mail also requires a signature. They simply cannot be dropped off as they normally contain personal or confidential information.