USPS Signature Confirmation

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June 25, 2023

In 2022, the United States Postal Service (USPS) served 152.2 million residential addresses and 12.7 million business addresses.

With these numbers, determining whether your intended recipient has received your package can be challenging without the right services to confirm that delivery.

One of the solutions is the USPS Signature Confirmation service. But how does it work, and what details does it provide?

Does this service have any restrictions on how you can use it? What benefits can you get from adding Signature Confirmation to your deliveries?

This article explores USPS Signature Confirmation and how to add this service to your shipments. This article also tackles how to determine your package’s status and what your recipient can do if they didn’t receive the item.

If you’re looking for a USPS facility to send mail and add Signature Confirmation to your delivery, FindPostOffice.org can help you locate a post office in New York, Georgia, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Colorado, and other states.

What Is USPS Signature Confirmation?

When sending a package, USPS Signature Confirmation is an added service requiring your recipient or responsible party to sign for the package’s release to them.

This service ensures the recipient is physically present to receive your package. Signature Confirmation also requires them to show a valid photo identification (I.D.) to confirm their identity.

With Signature Confirmation, USPS will hand the package over once the courier obtains a signature from the recipient.

After delivering the package, USPS relays the delivery confirmation to the shipper. The information includes the date, time, and delivery location.

For unsigned packages, the courier returns them to the local delivery hub. The USPS delivery driver leaves a paper notice at the recipient’s address and sends an online notification informing you that they attempted delivery.

These notifications allow you to verify the package’s status and whether the courier has delivered the item safely.

Notes

A few notes to remember when adding the Signature Confirmation service to your packages:

  • Depending on your chosen mail class, you can purchase the service at a USPS post office or online.
  • You can use this add-on with any mail service except USPS Marketing Mail and Adult Signature services.
  • The recipient must show an acceptable primary I.D. containing a clear photo before the courier hands the package to them.

Does USPS Require a Signature?

When you or the recipient adds the Signature Confirmation add-on to your delivery, USPS will only require the recipient’s signature before handing the package to the receiver. This add-on often applies to expensive products likely to be damaged or stolen.

Why Does USPS Require a Signature?

USPS requires a signature upon delivery when you request it as part of the Signature Confirmation service.

If you’re the shipper, you may have several reasons to require a signature. One excellent reason is when you need to send a highly valuable item and want to ensure it safely gets to the correct recipient.

Without a signature indicating the recipient’s acceptance, your package risks being left outside. This situation can expose your item to theft or damage, such as when it’s raining or snowing.

How Does Signature Confirmation Work?

Signature Confirmation works as an added service to your chosen mail class. You must purchase this service at the time of mailing. If you send mail at the post office, you can buy Signature Confirmation at the counter.

When sending mail through third-party USPS partners like Stamps.com, you can add Signature Confirmation to your mailpiece before printing your postage.

“How Do I Add the Signature Confirmation Service?”

Suppose you need to add Signature Confirmation to your delivery. One way to do so is to purchase one online through the USPS website. You can also do it at a local post office.

To purchase the service online, go to the “Insurance & Extra Services” section on the USPS website when creating and paying for your shipping label.

This section presents two options: “Signature Confirmation” and “Adult Signature,” with two additional boxes for insurance and Media Mail under these selections. You can ignore these boxes unless you need them for your parcel.

After selecting one of the signature options, you automatically add the price to your cart and include the amount in the shipping upon checkout.

The “Adult Signature” option costs $9.05 to add to your chosen mail class. With such a substantial cost, consider adding this service only if needed.

The Cost of USPS Signature Confirmation

As of June 2023, the costs of including Signature Confirmation as proof of delivery are as follows:

  • $3.80 when purchased at a post office
  • $3.25 when paid online

Benefits of USPS Signature Confirmation

Using Signature Confirmation provides you with the following:

  • Peace of mind: You and your recipient will likely feel more at ease with delivery confirmation, especially when you send sensitive and high-value shipments.
  • Responsible delivery: Adult Signature Confirmation helps ensure that only adult recipients can receive sensitive shipments like alcohol or cannabidiol (CBD) products.

Restrictions of USPS Signature Required

According to USPS, “signature required” is requested by the sender who requires the addressee’s signature for the item’s delivery. One of USPS’ services requiring a signature is the USPS Signature Confirmation service.

The following limitations apply to USPS Signature Confirmation and similar services:

  • Domestic shipments only: USPS Signature Confirmation is only available for shipments within the United States.
  • Package thickness: The package must be more than three-fourths of an inch thick. If your item is thinner than that dimension, you must place it in a rigid container or box that will not collapse or lose shape in transit.
  • Limited availability: Signature Confirmation is unavailable for mail sent to military destinations like Army/Air Post Offices and Fleet Post Offices (APO/FPO) and diplomatic locations like Diplomatic Post Offices (DPO).

This service is also unavailable for parcels addressed to ZIP codes in certain U.S. territories and Freely Associated States.

How to Use USPS Signature Confirmation

Signature Confirmation works like a regular USPS Tracking service. Visit USPS.com’s tracking page to view your shipment’s delivery status.

Alternatively, you can call USPS customer service to inquire about your parcel’s details.

Suppose the recipient is away from the delivery address and cannot receive your package. The USPS driver can leave a note informing the recipient of the next scheduled delivery time or local post office location where they can claim the package.

If the recipient cannot receive the item during the first attempt, USPS will make one or two more delivery attempts. Should the package remain undelivered after those attempts, USPS will hold it at the nearest post office for 15 days before returning the item to you.

Does the Signature Confirmation Service Include Tracking?

No, Signature Confirmation doesn’t give a tracking number or provide tracking. Unless your chosen mail service includes USPS Tracking or you purchased the tracking service separately, you cannot view the package’s progress or location.

With Signature Confirmation, you can only see the time and date of delivery after USPS has delivered your package.

“How Do I Know My Mailpiece With Signature Confirmation Was Delivered?”

If you add Signature Confirmation to your package, you should learn whether your recipient received the item in good condition. The following section discusses ways to determine your package’s delivery status:

Signature Confirmation Service Delivery Status

Delivery status information is available for one year after the delivery date. If you have a tracking number, you can access this information through the following methods:

  • On the USPS Tracking page on USPS.com
  • By phone at 1-800-222-1811 during these hours:
    • Mondays through Fridays: 8:00 AM to 8:30 PM Eastern Time (E.T.)
    • Saturdays: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM E.T.
    • Sundays and Holidays: Closed

 You can also request USPS to email you a copy of the signature for no additional charge.

Signature Confirmation Receipt Form

When you add Signature Confirmation to your mail service, USPS will provide you a signature confirmation receipt form (P.S. Form 153). To use this form, do the following:

  • Fill out the form.
  • Attach the form’s barcoded label portion to your package.
  • Indicate whether you want to receive a copy of the delivery note by mail or fax. The record includes an image of the recipient’s signature.
  • Pay the applicable extra service fee.

Description

The Signature Confirmation receipt measures 3 inches (in) wide and 6.25in long. The form consists of two parts:

  • A 4in-long section where you fill out the delivery details using a pen
  • A 2.25in-long section containing the barcode

“What Will I Receive With Signature Confirmation Service?”

When USPS delivers a package with Signature Confirmation, you get the following information:

  • The recipient’s name and signature
  • The delivery date, time, and location

Other things to note when using Signature Confirmation include the following:

  • This service does not have USPS Tracking.
  • It does not guarantee delivery time or expedited mailing.
  • You must purchase the service at the time of mailing.
  • The post office does not maintain records of the Signature Confirmation service item.

Items Eligible for Signature Confirmation Service

You can pay extra for Signature Confirmation for the following items:

  • Retail and commercial First-Class Package Service
  • Priority Mail items
  • USPS Retail Ground packages
  • Package services
  • Parcel Select

Retail vs. Electronic Price for Signature Confirmation Service

You can pay a $3.80 retail fee at your local post office when purchasing Signature Confirmation.

You can also print shipping labels online for Priority Mail and qualify for the low-cost electronic option. If you’re a high-volume shipper, you can print your labels or purchase preprinted ones from USPS.

Meanwhile, the electronic fee is for mailers who buy postage online or send and receive electronic files of their shipments. The cost to purchase Signature Confirmation online is $3.25.

Regardless of your choice, you can still access the same Signature Confirmation benefits and features.

Compare Add-On Services

You can add Signature Confirmation to the following mail services:

  • Priority Mail
  • First-Class Mail (for packages only)
  • First-Class Package Service
  • Media Mail (for packages only)
  • USPS Retail Ground (for retail only)
  • Parcel Select Ground
  • Library Mail (for packages only)
  • Bound Printed Matter (for packages only and not for retail)

Meanwhile, Adult Signature and Adult Signature Restricted Delivery can apply to the following shipping services:

  • Priority Mail
  • Priority Mail Express
  • First-Class Mail
  • First-Class Package Service
  • Media Mail
  • USPS Retail Ground
  • Parcel Select Ground, formerly Parcel Select Nonpresort (not for retail)
  • Parcel Select Lightweight
  • Library Mail
  • Bound Printed Matter

FindPostOffice.org provides detailed information about many of these services and anything related to mail and shipping on the website’s blog page.

FAQs

  1. Will USPS leave a package without a signature?

Suppose you purchase Signature Confirmation upon sending a package. With this service, the USPS mail carrier will not leave a parcel without a signature at the recipient’s address.

Some services like Priority Mail Express COD (collect on delivery) automatically have Signature Confirmation, which you can waive.

Suppose you’re the sender, and you waive this signature requirement. Doing so allows the postal carrier to decide, using their judgment, whether to leave the package or bring it back to the post office if the recipient isn’t present at the time of delivery.

  1. How do I know if my USPS package requires a signature?

If you’re the receiver, you will receive a notification from USPS if your package requires a signature. The sender can also notify you of the item’s tracking information, accessible on the USPS website’s tracking page, to see whether the package has a signature requirement.

You’ll also know if you need to sign for the package if the shipping label attached to it requires you to append your signature.

  1. Does the person signing have to be the recipient?

No, the person signing for the delivery doesn’t have to be your intended recipient. However, the receiver must be at the residence specified on the mailing label.

The receiver must also be an adult, meaning they have to be 18 years or older. They must show a valid form of I.D. to the mail carrier as proof of identification.

  1. Can I see the signature online for USPS package delivery?

USPS doesn’t provide an image of the signature online for packages with Signature Confirmation.

However, you can get a free copy of the proof of delivery by requesting one on the item’s tracking results page on the USPS website.

  1. How do I know who signed for the package?

To determine who signed for your package, you can request USPS to fax, email, or mail a delivery record to you to view the signature on the record.

USPS does not keep delivery records indefinitely, so consider requesting the delivery information early.

  1. What happens if nobody is available to sign for the package?

Should the recipient be unavailable to sign for the package or have no valid I.D., the mail carrier will take the item away and attempt redelivery at another time.

The carrier will leave a note informing the recipient of the delivery attempt and that USPS will return on another date to redeliver the item.

  1. Which other mailing services can I use at the same time as Signature Confirmation?

Depending on the mail class you choose for sending your package, you can use the Signature Confirmation service with the following add-ons:

  • Collect on Delivery (COD)
  • Hold for Pickup
  • Registered Mail service
  • Insurance of $500 or less
  • Special handling service for fragile items
  • Return Receipt for Registered Mail Service, COD, or services with insurance of more than $500
  1. What is the Adult Signature service?

The Adult Signature service ensures that your package’s recipient is at least 21. They must show a photo I.D. to the USPS delivery employee for age confirmation to confirm your mailpiece doesn’t get handed to an underage person.

  1. Does USPS require an adult signature?

USPS will only require an adult signature if you add that service to your package.

If your chosen mail class doesn’t need an adult signature but still needs a signature, the person signing from the delivery address must at least be a responsible person.

  1. Can the recipient leave a note?

Most mail carriers do not accept a recipient’s note as it does not prove the recipient received the package personally.

If you’re the recipient, you can still consider leaving a note even if doing so is unlikely to work. If you do, write the instructions clearly regarding where the carrier placed the package.

  1. What if I fail to sign for a package?

If you cannot sign for a package due to not being home during the delivery or having no valid I.D., you can wait for USPS to reattempt delivery for another day.

  1. Can I add Signature Confirmation after I buy my label?

Unfortunately, you cannot add this service after purchasing the shipping label. You can only include Signature Confirmation during shipping at the post office or online.

  1. What do I do if I miss USPS delivery with Signature Confirmation?

If you miss a delivery with Signature Confirmation, the mail carrier will usually leave a slip or card with instructions on what you should do next.

You can also wait for the carrier to reattempt the delivery.

  1. Can I waive the USPS Signature Confirmation?

If you’re the sender, you can waive the USPS Signature Confirmation requirement to let the carrier deliver your package without obtaining the recipient’s signature.

  1. What is the difference between Certified Mail and Signature Confirmation?

Certified Mail is an add-on service that provides the sender with a mailing receipt as proof that USPS sent a package on a specific date. This service also sends an electronic delivery verification upon request.

On the other hand, Signature Confirmation requires the recipient’s name, signature, address, and delivery date and gives these details to the sender.

  1. Does Priority Mail require a signature?

If you add Signature Confirmation to your Priority Mail shipment, this mailing service will require the recipient’s signature.

References

  1. SIZE AND SCOPE
    https://facts.usps.com/size-and-scope/
  2. Insurance & Extra Services
    https://www.usps.com/ship/insurance-extra-services.htm
  3. How do I know my mailpiece with Signature Confirmation® was delivered?
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/How-do-I-know-my-mailpiece-with-Signature-Confirmation-was-delivered
  4. Signature Confirmation
    https://about.usps.com/publications/pub370/pub370_v10_revision_012016_tech_008.htm
  5. US Postal Service Signature Confirmation Receipt
    https://about.usps.com/forms/ps153.pdf
  6. What is Signature Confirmation™?
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/What-is-Signature-Confirmation
  7. What is Adult Signature Required?
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/What-is-Adult-Signature-Required