If you work late or like to do your errands at night, perhaps you’re wondering if USPS offers a 24-hour drop-off service.
Well, in this article, we’ll share the regulations about mail drop-off and share some little-known places offering extended drop-off hours. So if you’re ready to make your life a whole lot easier, be sure to read on!
Does USPS Have 24 Hour Drop off In 2023?
Letters and other small mail pieces weighing 10 ounces or less can be dropped off at USPS Collection Boxes 24 hours a day in 2023. Larger envelopes and packages cannot be dropped off in these boxes, but rather at a Post Office or other approved location. USPS does not offer 24-hour drop-off, but authorized providers like Walgreens and CVS do.
To find out more about dropping off your mail after dark, check out the rest of this article for useful facts and tips!
Can I Drop off Mail at USPS Anytime?
Depending on the type of mail you have, you may be able to drop it off in a USPS Collection Box at any time.
To be eligible for 24-hour drop-off, a mailpiece must meet the following conditions:
- Weigh 10 ounces or less
- Have a thickness of ½” or less
- Include correct postage, fees, and labels
These requirements apply to all domestic mail classes, including First-Class, Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, Business Reply Mail, and APO/FPO/DPO Mail.
When it comes to international mail, the same conditions apply. However, there is the added requirement of including an electronically-generated customs form.
Can I Drop off a Package at USPS Anytime?
While dropping off small envelopes and letters can be done at pretty much any hour of the day, the same can’t be said about dropping off packages.
Due to USPS’ Aviation Security rules, dropping off packages is a more regulated process than sending smaller mail items.
Indeed, Postal Service customers are prohibited from dropping off packages in blue Collection Boxes if the package’s weight is more than 10 ounces and its width is more than ½” thick.
That being said, USPS is expanding its after-hours drop-off services little by little.
For example, there are now Package Drop Units. These are designated locations where businesses can drop off prepaid packages that are too large to fit into regular collection boxes.
Can You Enter USPS After Hours?
While Post Office counters are usually open between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM, many locations have a lobby area with extended hours.
These areas typically offer PO Box access and self-service kiosks.
Here you can pick up your mail if you have a PO Box and purchase postage for letters and packages.
Therefore, it is possible to enter USPS after hours, but you’ll be limited in the number of tasks you can do.
To find an after-hours location near you, check out this link.
Are There Other Places to Drop off USPS Packages After Hours?
As USPS modernizes, the company realized that its limited hours may not work for all postal customers. In response, the Postal Service created the Approved Postal Provider Program.
Through partnering with third-party businesses, this program adds more drop-off locations to USPS’ network, making it easier for customers to mail items on their schedule.
Below we cover some of the businesses participating in the Approved Postal Provider Program.
1. Contract Postal Units (CPUs)
CPUs operate as independent partners of USPS. As such, they are authorized to sell shipping supplies and services.
One of the services they offer is package shipping, making them a solid option for a Post Office-free package drop-off service.
All you need to do to ship a package from a CPU is head to the checkout and pay for your package.
Shipping services will likely follow store hours, so some may be open until the evening, while others may offer 24-hour service.
To find a location near you, simply search for “Contract Postal Unit” in your preferred browser.
Of all of the businesses on this list, Walmart is probably the largest and most readily-accessible USPS-approved shipping service.
Participating locations will offer all of the postal services you’re accustomed to, including purchasing stamps and mail drop-off.
While most locations offer this service, not every Walmart does.
To find a location near you, use USPS’ location-finder tool and select “National Retailer” from the scroll-down menu.
From there, you will see which Walmarts near you offer USPS services.
As with Contract Postal Units, Walmart’s store hours will determine when you can drop off mail. Many locations close at 11:00 PM, but some may be open 24 hours a day.
Walgreens isn’t just for hand cream and vitamins anymore. Indeed, most locations offer 24-hour USPS shipping.
To drop off a USPS package at Walgreens, look for a USPS-labeled box or head to the customer service counter and ask for assistance.
Another trusty place to drop off your USPS packages around the clock is CVS. Like its competitor Walgreens, CVS offers both USPS drop boxes and counter service.
Here you may also find a USPS kiosk where you can buy stamps and shipping labels.
Again, most locations are open around the clock, so this is a good option if you keep unconventional hours.
If you’re mailing a letter or other small item, then you can drop it off in a USPS Collection Box pretty much any time you see fit.
Otherwise, you’ll need to track down a USPS-approved shipping location with extended hours. Based on our research, pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS seem to be the most reliable when it comes to offering 24-hour USPS shipping.