USPS Tracking Plus

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July 12, 2023

According to 2022 figures, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has shipped about 7.2 billion items.

With such numbers, ensuring that your packages and other mailpieces safely arrive at their destinations can be a monumental task. Also, having the documentation to help settle delivery-related disputes can be a hassle without the proper tracking service.

In these cases, consider using USPS Tracking Plus to address such issues.

What is Tracking Plus? How does it differ from regular tracking? What benefits does Tracking Plus provide?

This article discusses how USPS Tracking Plus works and how to purchase this service. Also, this article outlines how much USPS Tracking Plus costs and whether it is worth your money.

To start sending packages through USPS and using Tracking Plus, visit FindPostOffice.org and search for a post office in California, Illinois, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, and other states. You can also read more topics about tracking and other delivery-related services on the blog page.

What Is USPS Tracking Plus?

USPS Tracking Plus allows you to extend access to your package’s tracking history on USPS.com.

As of April 2022, access to tracking information for non-signature items has a 120-day limit. Meanwhile, tracking information for signature items is available for two years.

USPS Tracking Plus has options allowing you to extend tracking history access for a relatively small fee. Also, you can request a USPS Tracking Plus statement through email within that period.

How Does USPS Tracking Plus Work?

USPS Tracking Plus works by providing you with a shipment tracking number that you can use to track your package online. You can also refer to the tracking number to track your parcel on the USPS website or mobile app.

How Is USPS Tracking Plus Different From Regular Delivery Tracking?

One primary difference between Tracking Plus and regular USPS Tracking is that the latter has a record storage limit of 120 days.

With USPS Tracking Plus, you can extend this limit for six months to 10 years.

Why Would Anyone Want This?

Suppose you get involved in a legal proceeding involving some packages and need paperwork showing their exact delivery dates. USPS Tracking Plus can help in this situation because you can use its tracking and delivery records as evidence.

Because it can take years for some court cases to come to a decision, purchasing extended time can help you access tracking records within the period. This feature can save you plenty of headaches during litigation.

What Are the Benefits of USPS Tracking Plus?

USPS Tracking Plus lets you access your online tracking history for up to 10 years for domestic products. Aside from gaining extended access, you can also use USPS Tracking Plus statements as follows:

  • Proof of delivery to help resolve claims and disputes for small businesses, eCommerce entities, financial institutions, and pharmaceutical companies
  • An authentic data source acceptable to legal and financial entities

How Can It Be Used in Legal Proceedings?

As mentioned earlier, USPS Tracking Plus can help provide evidence in civil disputes and claim resolutions.

Suppose you order an item from eBay or Amazon, and the shipper sends your package through USPS. If you purchase Tracking Plus, you can use its tracking statements to help resolve package-related disputes in magistrate and superior courts.

Courts can accept these documents as official evidence since USPS is a government entity. Even email documents showing the delivery or attempted delivery details are allowed by legal and financial entities.

Who Benefits From Using USPS Tracking Plus?

Although you cannot expect everyone who sends mail to need the Tracking Plus service, it may be essential if you anticipate a legal situation.

For instance, individuals and organizations constantly dealing with legal, financial, or business issues may benefit from USPS Tracking Plus.

Another way this service can help is when a neighbor contests a homeowners association policy or when an estate executor needs to mail information to heirs.

These situations usually do not occur regularly for many people. However, having a premium tracking system when you know you need evidence in court can benefit you.

Is USPS Tracking Plus Free?

USPS Tracking Plus is not free. However, this service only costs $0.99 to extend your retention period by six months.

The following section discusses the various fees associated with USPS Tracking Plus.

What Is the Fee?

As of January 2023, USPS Tracking Plus has the following prices:

Retention periodScan retentionScan and signature retention
6 months$0.99N/A
1 year$1.20N/A
3 years$1.50$3.75
5 years$2.00$4.75
7 years$3.00$5.75
10 years$4.20$6.75

“When Can I Purchase USPS Tracking Plus?”

You can purchase USPS Tracking Plus as soon as your tracking history becomes available on your USPS account until the last day that tracking data is available.

This period can be anywhere from 120 days for non-signature items to two years for signature items.

How to Purchase USPS Tracking Plus

After entering your package’s tracking number into the USPS Tracking page, the “USPS Tracking Plus Available” notification will display on your status page.

Click “USPS Tracking Plus” to expand the section and view your extension options. Select how long you need to extend access to your package’s details by clicking your preferred retention option.

After confirming and purchasing your selection, you’ll see that your online tracking availability date will update to reflect the new expiry date.

After Your Purchase

Upon completing your purchase, USPS will send your USPS Tracking Plus statement to your provided email address.

You can also request additional USPS Tracking Plus statements on the USPS Tracking page during your extension period.

Is It Worth the Money?

Suppose you have a business that will likely encounter delivery disputes involving domestic or international packages frequently. In such cases, USPS Tracking Plus may be worth your money.

However, this service has a few limitations:

  • You need an account on the official USPS website to purchase USPS Tracking Plus.
  • You can only purchase the extended time once. If your retention time elapses, you cannot get more time to access tracking information.
  • Since the litigation period can be challenging to ascertain, you may need to guess how long you must extend your access.

If you still want to purchase USPS Tracking Plus, consider these limitations so that you know what you get with your payment.

“Can I Purchase USPS Tracking Plus for Multiple Packages at Once?”

Yes, you can buy USPS Tracking Plus for multiple packages simultaneously. To do so, click the “Save and Continue” button to add more selections to your cart until you are ready to complete your USPS Tracking Plus purchase.

“Can I Get a Refund for USPS Tracking Plus?”

Unfortunately, all Tracking Plus orders are final and do not qualify for a refund.

However, if the mailing service you use to ship your package has insurance, you can file a claim if the item gets damaged or lost.

“Can I Receive a Report of My Tracking History?”

Yes, you can receive the USPS Tracking Plus statement through email for every purchase. Then, you can request additional reports on the USPS Tracking web page throughout your extension period.

“Can I Purchase USPS Tracking Plus at My Local Post Office Retail Counter?”

USPS Tracking Plus is only available online through the USPS website. To purchase this service on the tracking page, you must have a USPS account.

Is USPS Tracking Plus Available for International Mail Pieces?

USPS Tracking Plus is available for international outbound packages, including Priority Mail services. However, you can only extend tracking information access for international shipments to seven years.

Can USPS Tracking Plus Be Extended After the Retention Period?

You can no longer extend the Tracking Plus service after the retention period. However, the archive feature allows you to access tracking history, even after the retention expiry.

What Products Are Eligible for USPS Tracking Plus?

Domestic USPS products available for Tracking Plus are as follows:

  • Priority Mail
  • Priority Mail Express
  • First-Class Mail (flats and letters)
  • First-Class Package
  • Parcel Select
  • Parcel Select Lightweight
  • Media Mail
  • Marketing Mail (parcels)
  • Marketing Mail (nonprofit items)
  • Adult signature
  • Library mail
  • Bound printed matter

Tracking Plus is also available for the following international services:

  • Priority Mail Express International
  • Priority Mail International
  • First-Class Package International (Electronic USPS Delivery Confirmation International is also available)

“Do I Need a USPS.com Account to Purchase This Service?”

Yes, you must have a USPS.com account to complete your purchase. If you have no USPS account, create one on the USPS website to process your order.

U.S. Mail Service Tracking

Whenever you send a package, USPS assigns a tracking number to that order. This number usually consists of 22 digits. However, the number of digits can vary based on your mailing service.

Whether you drop a package off or have it picked up, you can use this number to follow your shipment’s status.

How to Track USPS Packages

To track your USPS package, check the package tracking number on your USPS shipping label and enter this number on the USPS website’s tracking page. Next, click “Track” to view your item’s delivery information and scan history.

U.S. Mail Service Tracking Statuses

Your package’s tracking status changes as the item goes from one point to the next and makes its way to your recipient. Some of the statuses you’ll encounter when viewing your package’s tracking information are as follows:

  • Pre-shipment
  • In transit
  • Out for delivery
  • Delivered
  • Delivery attempt
  • Accepted
  • Available for pickup
  • Alert
  • Return to sender

“Can I Track Exactly Where My USPS Package Is?”

Some third-party service providers offering USPS tracking services feature an online map so you can locate your package’s exact location. This information is only as updated as your item’s last tracking status.

What Are the Reasons Behind Tracking Not Updating?

Despite the Postal Service’s best efforts, there can be times when your item’s tracking information does not update. Here are some reasons your U.S. mail service’s tracking status is not updating:

  • Package not scanned: Your item’s tracking information updates when the postal staff scans your item’s barcode. So if the USPS worker does not scan the barcode, you may not receive the updated tracking status.
  • Weather conditions: Adverse weather conditions can delay your package’s arrival at the next destination, where the item will get scanned. This incident can cause the tracking information not to update.
  • Packages are not scanned at intermediary stops: During intermediary or temporary stops, there is a chance your parcel was not scanned due to unavoidable circumstances.
  • Broken or unscannable barcode: An unreadable barcode can cause the scanning process to fail, leading to the tracking status not updating.
  • Delay on the part of the carrier: Aside from weather conditions, other reasons for delay on the carrier’s part can cause your tracking not to update.

Where Is the Tracking Number on U.S. Mail Service Receipts?

You can find your tracking number in the following places:

  • The bottom peel-off part of your USPS Tracking label
  • Your email confirmation after shipping via USPS.com
  • Your post office shipping receipt
  • The sales receipt after purchasing insurance from the post office
  • The shipping confirmation email that an online retailer sent

Is USPS Tracking Extra?

USPS Tracking is free if you purchase shipping services that automatically include this option. However, this feature is not available for USPS Marketing Mail. You must pay a fee to add USPS Tracking to this commercial mailing service.

Why USPS Launched a Premium Tracking Option

The U.S. Postal Service launched USPS Premium Tracking, also called Tracking Plus, to allow you to extend the time you can access your domestic package’s tracking history for a fee.

You can use this extra service to produce evidence of delivery to help resolve disputes in legal and court proceedings. When such cases take a long time to fix, the extended period can give you enough time to access shipment records.

Associated Trademarks

USPS owns the following trademarks associated with USPS Tracking:

Registered NameSerial Number
USPS Tracking+88712906
USPS Tracking Plus88708552
USPS Informed Tracking88726210
USPS Intelligent Tracking88721269
USPS Tracking4589424 85798459
USPS Text Tracking5296667 86229531
USPS SMS Tracking86150827

References

  1. A DECADE OF FACTS & FIGURES
    https://facts.usps.com/table-facts/
  2. USPS Tracking Plus® – The Basics
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/USPS-Tracking-Plus-The-Basics
  3. Price List
    https://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/Notice123.htm