Have you ever gone back to look at a package’s tracking information on USPS.com, only to find that your tracking number was assigned to someone else? USPS reuses tracking numbers, sometimes within months (depending on the volume of parcels), but there is a way to ensure that your tracking records remain for years.
It’s called USPS Tracking Plus. What is USPS Tracking Plus, and what does it do? I have the answer you need just below!
What Is USPS Tracking Plus In 2023?
USPS Tracking Plus is a fee-based service provided by the Postal Service that allows customers to extend their access to specific tracking histories for up to ten years on domestic shipping (and seven for international) as of 2023. Tracking Plus also gives customers access to tracking statements if their Plus access runs out.
There’s a lot to cover, including how USPS Tracking Plus works, whether it’s available for free, and why the service is necessary for some individuals or even businesses. Read on for all you need to know!
How Does USPS Tracking Plus Work?
Let’s look at how USPS Tracking Plus works, including an overview of the service, how to purchase it, and what to do after making your purchase.
USPS Tracking Plus allows Postal Service customers to extend the tracking record for many different shipping services for up to ten years.
With that, shipping classes that are eligible for USPS Tracking Plus include:
- Priority Mail Express
- Priority Mail
- First-Class Package
- Parcel Select
- Parcel Select Lightweight
- Adult Signature
- Library Mail
- Bound Printed Matter
- Media Mail
- First-Class Mail® (Letters and Flats)
- USPS Marketing Mail® parcels
- USPS Marketing Mail® Nonprofit parcels
In terms of international classes, the following options qualify for USPS Tracking Plus:
- Priority Mail Express International
- Priority Mail International
- First-Class Package International (where Electronic USPS Delivery Confirmation International Service is available)
However, not all shipping services cover tracking up to ten years; for some, it’s as little as six months or a year, and for others, three, five, and seven years.
Also, once you purchase Tracking Plus, you cannot receive a refund, as all sales are final.
Additionally, Tracking Plus is priced based on the length of time desired to keep the tracking record and ranges from just $0.99 to $6.75.
Moreover, you can request other services as a Plus customer, including a Statement of Tracking from the archives and a Signature Letter; both come with a modest fee.
That said, the Statement of Tracking and Signature Letter can be used as a permanent, official record of tracking once the Plus extension has run out.
How To Purchase USPS Tracking Plus
When purchasing USPS Tracking Plus, the first thing to do is to create a USPS.com account or sign in.
Then, you’ll want to ensure that the parcel on its way to you (or find the parcel which has already reached you) is eligible.
To do this, visit the USPS Tracking page for your package. Near the top, if eligible, it will read “USPS Tracking Plus Available.”
From there, you can scroll down below “Tracking History,” where there should be a drop-down menu for USPS Tracking Plus.
Next, press on the chevron to the right, and the menu will open.
With that, there is a descriptive paragraph at the top that lets you know when the tracking information will expire if you don’t purchase Plus.
Below that, you’ll see different lengths of time, with the pricing attached.
Therefore, you can make your selection, check that you have read, understand, and agree to the Term and Conditions, and press “Confirm Selection.”
After that, this will make a different set of information appear; your name and email should already be filled in because you are signed in to your account.
Also, make sure you read everything to ensure accuracy, and then you can add to the cart or press “Save & Continue” if you want to add more to your order.
You’ll head to your shopping cart, which will give you your total, and you can checkout there using the card you already have on file (or opt to add one).
After the transaction has gone through, you’ll receive a copy of the bill to your email address.
After Your Purchase
You can always return to the tracking page to order additional documents/reports, like the USPS Tracking Plus Statement, which shows the full tracking record.
These are printable documents, so you can always have a paper copy for your records and the digital versions.
Is USPS Tracking Plus Free?
USPS Tracking Plus is not free, but it is very affordable, starting at just $0.99 to extend a normally three-month tracking record to six.
On top fo that, here are the rest of the fees:
- One-year extension: $1.20
- Three-year extension: $1.50; $3.75 with Signature Retention
- Five-year extension: $2.00; $4.75 with Signature Retention
- Seven-year extension: $3.00; $5.75 with Signature Retention
- Ten-year extension: $4.20; $6.75 with Signature Retention
Additionally, you can purchase an Archive Statement of Tracking for $8.75 and an Archive Signature Letter for $15.75.
Why Would You Need USPS Tracking Plus?
Most of us can just forget the tracking information once our package arrives. But in some cases, USPS Tracking Plus can be a good investment for years to come.
For example, if you are in the midst of a legal dispute, where tracking and delivery records serve as evidence, then Tracking Plus makes that easier to hold onto.
Or, you might hold onto the records as a small business owner if a claim is brought against you.
Even financial institutes or, say, online pharmaceutical services can benefit from having the tracking record longer, as they often deal in highly sensitive matters.
To know more, you can also read our posts on what is USPS Regional Rate, what is USPS Retail Ground, and what is USPS Flat Rate.
USPS Tracking Plus is an affordable way to ensure that the record of your parcel (or parcels) journey and arrival at their destination remains for longer than the standard.
Further, Tracking Plus timeframes start at just $0.99 for up to six months, and customers can also purchase a Statement of Tracking or Signature Letter.