USPS Fingerprinting Process (What to Expect + Other FAQs)

The USPS hiring process can be a long one, as new hires are joining an agency that occupies the same branch of government as the presidency.

However, after the interviews, you may be invited to come in for fingerprinting, which then gives the hiring personnel access to your records for the background check. What can you expect from the USPS fingerprinting process? I’ve got the answer you seek below!

What Can You Expect From the USPS Fingerprinting Process in 2023?

The USPS fingerprinting process involves three steps: your invitation to get fingerprinted; the actual fingerprinting itself; and the post-fingerprinting stage when you wait while USPS hiring personnel runs your prints and completes the background checks. The whole process can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks in 2023.

To learn more about how long the fingerprinting process is with USPS, if you need an appointment, what the next step is after getting fingerprinted, and what kind of background checks the USPS is running, keep reading!

How Long Is the Fingerprinting Process at USPS?

The amount of time it takes to complete the fingerprinting process depends on how backed up the United States Postal Service is.

However, from the moment you receive the email stating that you are invited to come to get fingerprinted, you generally have a few days to come in.

The USPS gives you a time and, usually, a few dates to choose from, for when you can come in to get your fingerprinting done.

My understanding from my research suggests that you might not always be asked to come to your closest Post Office for fingerprinting.

For example, one applicant expressed dismay that she had to visit another (nearby) state to get her fingerprints done and that they weren’t doing it closer to her location.

So, depending on which day you can make it, the overall process of getting fingerprinted can take a few days.

The actual act of getting fingerprinted takes minutes, but while you’re there, the USPS asks you to bring further documentation for its records.

After you have been fingerprinted, there is nothing to do but wait, which is probably going to be the longest part of the fingerprinting process.

The USPS will run its background checks, but there is no saying how long it could take.

If your local USPS location is not super busy and backed up, it could be a few days at the most.

However, if it is backed up with applicants, it could be weeks – in some cases, many weeks.

Overall, the speed depends on your Post Office (or the Post Office you were directed to).

Do You Need an Appointment for USPS Fingerprinting?

You do need an appointment for USPS fingerprinting, and from my research, it appears that when you’re alerted to come to get fingerprinted, the staff gives you some options.

You’ll receive an email saying that you have been invited to the next step, fingerprinting, and then you’ll be given a few days and times that you can choose from.

Unfortunately, if you can’t make any of those days and times, you will have to contact someone and see if you can make special arrangements.

However, it is always for the best if you can try and make any of the appointments given.

What Is the Next Step After Fingerprinting for USPS?

What Is the Next Step After Fingerprinting for USPS?

If you’re in the midst of the hiring process for the USPS, you might be wondering what happens after you have your fingerprints done.

Well, at first, what you will do is wait. You will wait while the Postal Service HR team runs the background checks and further evaluates your application materials.

But guess what? If you pass the background check, there stands a very good chance that you will receive an offer.

This is because the background checks take place near the middle-end of the hiring process for USPS.

Your next email from the Postal Service could be an offer, and it could come with W-2 forms to fill out, and then you’ll have orientation.

Conversely, I have heard of people getting fingerprinted at orientation; I have heard of people getting fingerprinted and then getting offered the job on the spot.

Overall, it ultimately comes down to the need your Post Office or distribution center has and how much of a hurry they’re in to get someone hired.

What Kind of Background Check Does USPS Do?

When the USPS is looking at potential hires, they have them come in for fingerprinting.

From that fingerprinting, USPS can then begin the State and Federal background checks.

Depending on where you live, your state likely has a database that the USPS can use to search for convictions or pending charges.

Federal background checks take place by searching the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database.

The NCIC allows the USPS to search for any criminal convictions or pending charges in any state across the country (it’s maintained by the FBI).

All USPS employees must have passed their background check, which goes back about five years.

If you have been convicted of a crime, it’s best to just be honest about it on your application, rather than the Postal Service finding out about it during the background check.

How Long Does It Take to Hear Back From USPS?

The USPS works on its own timeframe, so there is no real guide to when you can expect to hear back during any stage of the hiring process.

Sometimes you will hear back within days- sometimes it can take weeks, if not months.

It all depends on how backed up or how in need the Post Office or distribution center where you’re getting hired is.

To know more, you can also read our posts on whether or not USPS hires part-time employees, does USPS hire felons, and USPS attendance policy.


USPS fingerprinting is an exciting part of the hiring process because it can mean you’re almost there – almost to the point where you may be offered a position.

When the Postal Service invites you to come in for fingerprinting, you will do so on the days and at the times recommended, and you may be asked to go to a location that is unfamiliar.

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Mackenzie Jerks

Mackenzie is a freelance writer and editor, published author, and music enthusiast who holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. When she’s not writing, Mackenzie is either wrapped up in a book, discovering new music, or introducing herself to a new fitness regimen.

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