USPS Restricted Delivery (Meaning, What To Do + More)

Getting your mail delivered by USPS is usually something we don’t think much about- it shows up, and we have what we want!

But sometimes there are extra steps involved, like with USPS Restricted Delivery- so what is Restricted Delivery, and what do you need to do for it?

What Is USPS Restricted Delivery?

USPS Restricted Delivery is a delivery method that only allows a courier to deliver packages to the intended recipient and is most commonly used for confidential documents or items of high value. The person who accepts the mail must be the addressee and is required to sign for the delivery and show a valid ID.

If you want to learn more about how USPS Restricted Delivery works and how to use it, be sure to keep reading the rest of this article for more facts!

USPS Restricted Delivery is a feature that USPS offers to help make the delivery of important or valuable items more secure.

With Restricted Delivery, your mail can only be delivered if it’s placed in the hands of the person it’s addressed to, which means they must show a valid ID to the courier and sign for the delivery.

There are some exceptions to this rule, however, such as mailing packages to a minor, a major company/celebrity/government official, or addressing an item to multiple people.

If a Restricted Delivery package is addressed to more than one person, such as a married couple, then either party can sign for the package.

Also, if a package that is intended for a major celebrity, government official, or company is delivered using Restricted Delivery, the mail is typically delivered to an agent who is authorized to sign on behalf of the addressee.

Finally, in the case of using Restricted Delivery to mail something to a minor, an adult with guardianship is allowed to sign in place of the minor.

Other less common exceptions to USPS Restricted Delivery include shipping to inmates, military members or organizations, or those who are either under guardianship or are the caregiver of a recipient.

USPS Restricted Delivery is intended to be one of the most secure shipping services available and offered by USPS, but because of this, it comes with some shortcomings.

For example, because USPS Restricted Delivery is intended to be secure, there are no guaranteed delivery times, tracking features, expedited delivery, or signature receipts that are included in this service.

While you can add on some of the aforementioned services at an additional cost, there is never a promise made for delivery times because the delivery of Restricted Mail depends almost solely on the availability of the addressee.

Does USPS Restricted Delivery Require A Signature?

Does USPS Restricted Delivery Require A Signature?

Because of the security promises USPS Restricted Delivery makes, it does require a signature in order for the chain of custody to be completed.

Restricted Delivery promises that the package being shipped is only placed in the hands of the person to whom it is addressed.

Therefore, USPS requires the signature of the addressee as well as verification of their identity with an approved form of ID before they can release a package.

While Restricted Delivery does allow for an agent to sign on behalf of an addressee in certain circumstances, this is rare in most cases.

Therefore, if you’re worried about providing an acceptable form of ID when signing for a Restricted Delivery, you can read more about the types of ID USPS accepts by visiting this page on their website.

How Do You Request Restricted Delivery For a Package?

USPS Restricted Delivery is technically a feature offered by USPS, not a shipping service, so you can add on Restricted Delivery with plenty of other USPS services.

In order to use Restricted Delivery on your package, you must purchase it in conjunction with USPS Insurance Over $200, Certified Mail, or Registered Mail.

Any of the above options can be purchased or are already applied when using USPS services such as Priority Mail, Priority Mail Express, First Class Mail, and Parcel Select Ground.

Once you’ve verified that your package is indeed eligible for Restricted Delivery, you need to take your package to the post office.

After you’ve made your way to the local post office, you’ll need to either let the postal worker know that you’d like your package to be delivered using Restricted Delivery, or you can clearly mark “Restricted Delivery “ on the outside of your package.

If you choose to mark your package “Restricted Delivery”, be sure the notification is placed above the delivery address and to the right of the return address.

Afterward, the postal worker will tack on the extra charge for the Restricted Delivery service, and things will proceed as normal.

How Much Does Restricted Delivery Cost?

Because Restricted Delivery is a feature offered by USPS and not an independent shipping service, the price varies depending on what it’s applied to.

The cost of using Restricted Delivery with services such as Registered Mail or Insured Mail is $5.85, which will be added to the base price of your shipment.

Therefore, to add Restricted Delivery to Certified Mail, you can expect to be charged $9.75, and for Signature Confirmation mail Restricted Delivery is $8.75.

If you are looking to learn more, you can also see our posts on whether or not USPS delivers to the door, how long USPS priority mail express takes, and what happens when a USPS package is stolen.

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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

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