Does FedEx Require a Signature? (Expensive Items, Smartpost, Home Delivery + More)

When you’re shipping something valuable, like jewelry, or age-restricted, like alcohol, you want to make sure the delivery gets into the right hands. Luckily, FedEx proposes a range of signature options.

Some require the signature of an individual in the vicinity, like a neighbor, while others require an adult at the delivery address to sign. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about these services!

Does FedEx Require a Signature In 2022?

FedEx requires a signature for the delivery of high-value goods, dangerous goods, pharmaceuticals, and age-restricted items like alcohol and firearms in 2022. FedEx offers four types of signature options: no signature required, indirect signature required, direct signature required, and adult signature required. Direct and indirect signature services cost $5.90, while adult signature required services cost $7.15.

You’ve probably still got a lot of questions about FedEx’s signature requirements, so be sure to keep reading for more useful facts and tips!

Does FedEx Really Need a Signature?

FedEx does not always require a signature for delivery.

However, there are several reasons why a signature is necessary. These include…

  • The shipper opted for a signature requirement when creating the shipping label
  • The shipment contains high-value goods, dangerous goods, or pharmaceuticals
  • The shipment contains age-restricted items like alcohol or firearms

Note that FedEx’s signature options are available on Express and Home Delivery services, but they are not available with SmartPost.

When Do You Have to Sign for a Package With FedEx?

You only have to sign for a package if required by the sender or by FedEx policy.

To find out whether your shipment requires a signature, look at the tracking information you received via email.

If your shipment requires an indirect signature, you can sign for it electronically through the FedEx Delivery Manager tool.

If, however, the shipment requires a direct or adult signature, then someone must be present to sign. If no one is home, the courier will leave a door tag and/or reattempt delivery.

What Are the Different FedEx Signature Required Options?

What Are the Different FedEx Signature Required Options?

FedEx offers four different signature required options. Below, we provide more details on each kind. They are listed in order from least restrictive to most:

No signature required

Many FedEx shipments don’t require a signature from the recipient. Even so, FedEx will still try to get a signature from someone at the designated delivery address.

If no one is available to sign, the delivery driver will likely leave the package in a safe location without obtaining a signature.

Indirect signature required

One step up from no signature required packages are indirect signature required packages.

If this service is selected, FedEx will obtain a signature from someone at the delivery address or from someone nearby, such as a neighbor or building manager.

With indirect signature required packages, the recipient has the option to authorize the shipment to be released without anyone present.

This change can be requested for FedEx Express packages through the online FedEx Delivery Manager or by signing the FedEx door tag.

Direct signature required

With this option, someone at the recipient’s address must sign for the delivery. In other words, these deliveries are made to the address on the mailing label, not to an individual recipient.

If no one is home to sign, FedEx may reattempt delivery another day.

Adult signature required

This service requires FedEx to obtain a signature from someone at the delivery address who is at least the age of majority in the destination country.

In the United States, the recipient must be 21 years of age or older.

Government-issued photo identification is required. If there is no eligible recipient at the address, FedEx may reattempt delivery.

What If You Can’t Sign for a FedEx Delivery?

Sometimes it’s just not possible to wait at home all day for a FedEx delivery requiring a signature. Luckily, there are some ways to get around this requirement.

For example, if you know a signature-required package is coming, you can leave a note to the delivery driver granting permission to leave the package.

This note must reference the tracking number, delivery address, and the name and signature of the person signing. It’s also not a bad idea to include your cell phone number.

You can sign for indirect signature packages online using the FedEx Delivery Manager tool.

If FedEx has already attempted delivery and has left a door tag, you can sign the tag and leave it for the FedEx driver to find when they reattempt delivery.

This works for all signature delivery options except for the adult signature required.

What Happens If You Miss a FedEx Signature Required Delivery?

If your shipment requires a signature and no one is available to sign for the package, the driver will not deliver the package. Rather, they will leave a door tag on the recipient’s door or mail slot.

If you sign this tag and leave it out, the driver will deliver the item the next day.

Sometimes FedEx won’t reattempt delivery, but rather will take the package to a nearby FedEx location to be held for pick up.

In this case, the driver will leave a door tag with the pickup location address, the business hours, and the time the package will be available.

Both the door tag and a government-issued photo ID are needed for pickup.

If you want to avoid missed deliveries in the future, sign up for FedEx Delivery Manager.

Using this tool, you can request that your package be held at a FedEx location until you’re able to pick it up. You can also use it to electronically sign for indirect signature packages.

How Much Does FedEx Charge for Signature Services?

Including a signature, the requirement is an add-on service that comes with an additional fee. Below is a table of these fees.

FedEx Delivery Signature Options Cost
Adult Signature Required $7.15
Direct Signature Required $5.90
Indirect Signature $5.90
No Signature Required No Cost

At What Price Does FedEx Require a Signature?

FedEx Direct Signature Required automatically applies to packages with a declared value equal to or greater than $500.

Note that the signature fee is waived for high-value items.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on whether or not FedEx reuses tracking numbers, does FedEx delivers to door, and if FedEx delivers to Canada.

Conclusion

It may be a bit of a hassle making yourself available to sign for a signature required package, but this service ensures that valuable, restricted, and dangerous goods don’t get into the wrong hands.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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