With billions of items whizzing around the country through the United States Postal Service, it can feel a little dicey sending things through the United States Postal Service.
Still, this organization runs like a well-oiled machine. But if you have ever received one of their bright pink slips, you know – you missed a delivery, and you’ll have to go retrieve it.
So, does USPS require a signature for package deliveries? Here’s your answer below.
Does USPS Require a Signature?
USPS only requires a signature when the sender or receiver has added the USPS service Signature Confirmation add-on. In most cases, this add-on is only applied to more expensive products that are susceptible to theft or damage to the rain. If a signature is needed, any person within the household will be able to sign for the receiver.
To learn more about why USPS requires a signature at times, how you can know in advance if your package needs a signature, how to add Signature Confirmation, and more, keep reading!
Why Does USPS Require Signature?
USPS only requires a signature when the shipper has requested it as part of the add-on service Signature Confirmation.
There are dozens of reasons why a shipper might want to require a signature for delivery.
For the most part, shippers who are sending something valuable want to make sure that the package is in someone’s hands and brought indoors.
Otherwise, they run the risk of an item being left outside, and therefore susceptible to theft or damage (like if it’s raining or snowing, or if it’s windy enough to pick the box up).
For packages that contain alcohol or CBD, EasyShip.com points out that it’s better to know the item has reached responsible hands.
How Do You Know If Your USPS Package Requires A Signature?
If you’re the recipient, unless the shipper warns you in advance that a signature will be required, you might not realize someone has to be present to receive the package.
To check for whether or not a signature is required for your USPS package, track the package as usual.
The tracking results page will inform you if your package requires a signature.
USPS also notifies you ahead of time, but your best bet is to scan your tracking results for the information.
How Can You Add USPS Signature Confirmation To A Package?
Let’s take a look at the nuts and bolts of USPS Signature Confirmation, including how to add them.
How It Works
USPS Signature Confirmation is an inexpensive add-on service that can be applied to First-Class Package (both Retail and Commercial) and Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express.
It can be added to other package services, Retail Ground and Parcel Select, as well. Signature Confirmation can be added in-store as well as online.
It doesn’t track the package; rather, it provides confirmation, through the signature of a responsible person in residence (so, not a child), that the package reached human hands.
USPS has posted an example of the signature receipt here.
The shipper receives the signature and name of the signer, as well as the date/time/location of delivery.
In addition to the basic Signature Confirmation service, you can upgrade to:
- Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery – The package can only be received by the recipient on the address label
- Adult Signature Required – The package can only be received by a person 21 years of age or up
- Adult Signature Restricted Delivery – The package can only be received by the recipient, who must be 21 years of age or older
For all of the above services, identification and/or proof of age must be shown to the postal carrier.
How Much It Costs
Here are the current prices for the Signature Confirmation services:
- Signature Confirmation (basic service) – $3.45 at the post office; $2.90 online for all shipping services
- Signature Confirmation Restricted Delivery – $9.30 at the post office; $8.75 online
- Adult Signature Required – $6.90
- Adult Signature Restricted Delivery – $7.15
How To Find Out Package Was Delivered
If you’re the shipper, you will be awaiting confirmation that your item was delivered and signed for.
The best way to obtain that is to enter the tracking number for the package into USPS Tracking.
The tracking results page will inform you if the package was delivered. If it says delivered, you can assume the method of Signature Confirmation you requested was obtained.
If you’d like more information, like a copy of the recipient’s signature, you can request that (for free) from the tracking results page. An email request is your fastest option.
Will USPS Leave Package Without Signature?
Your USPS mail carrier will not leave a package without a signature if Signature Confirmation was purchased by the sender.
However, some services like Priority Mail Express COD automatically require Signature Confirmation. If this is the case, the sender may select Waiver of Signature.
This allows the postal carrier to use their best judgment at the time of delivery. If the drop-off area looks secure, the carrier can sign for the package themselves.
If it does not, however, they may choose to bring the package back to the post office with them, leaving a missed delivery slip for the recipient.
Does USPS Require An Adult Signature?
USPS only requires an adult signature if the sender has specifically requested the service.
You can choose from Adult Signature Required and Adult Signature Restricted services.
If neither of these options has been added on, but a signature is still required, the signee must be a responsible person at the residence.
This could be an older tween or teenager, but would likely not include a small child under the age of 12 or 11 (who shouldn’t be opening the door to strangers anyway, USPS or not).
What USPS Packages Require A Signature?
Certain packages via USPS require a signature as part of the service. These include:
- Priority Mail Express COD
- Priority Mail Express COD Restricted Delivery
- Priority Mail Express with additional insurance
Packages, where a Signature Confirmation service can be added on, include:
- First-Class Package Service – Retail
- First-Class Package Service – Commercial
- Priority Mail service items
- Package Services
- USPS Retail Ground
- Parcel Select
If you are sending via any of these latter services, know that you can add a Signature Confirmation.
Additionally, if you are receiving via any of these, look for the Signature Confirmation requirement on the item’s tracking results page.
What Do You Do If You Miss USPS Delivery With Signature Confirmation?
If you miss a delivery where a signature was required, it’s not the end of the world.
The mail carrier will leave you a pink slip, which you should bring with you to your delivering post office.
Give the slip to the postal worker, and they will retrieve the package for you (which you’ll still have to sign for).
If you have transportation issues, it’s best to ensure that you will be home at the time of delivery, which you can gain a rough estimate of via your package’s tracking results page.
Can You See The Signature Online For USPS Package Delivery?
USPS does not make an image of the signature acquired for Signature Confirmation packages available online.
However, you can request a copy of it for free.
Visit your package’s tracking results page. There should be an option for you to request a Proof of Delivery (POD) letter.
USPS processes these requests every single day, so this will be the fastest way to obtain a copy of the recipient’s signature.