What Time Does the Post Office Open Up?

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March 22, 2024

Imagine it’s a busy Monday morning. You have a stack of time-sensitive documents to mail and packages to send.

So, you rush through heavy traffic attempting to reach the local post office early and avoid waiting in long lines. 

As you hurry there, you suddenly realize you don’t know when the post office will open. 

Suppose it’s your first time going to a USPS (United States Postal Service) location. In that case, you might even ask whether offices open on Mondays.

You only hoped you searched for the post office’s schedule before you hopped into your car and drove off.  

FindPostOffice.org is a free, all-in-one online resource for topics related to post offices in the U.S. 

Our search tool provides essential information like a particular post office’s complete address, operating hours, and offered services.

This article details post offices’ opening and closing schedules, including weekends and holidays. 

Learn more about the U.S. Postal Service’s operations and services, including stamp costs, changing your shipping address, and how to forward or hold your mail.

What Time Does the Post Office Open and Close?

The answer to this question varies depending on the service hours you want to know. Here are two primary types of service hours:

  • Lobby hours: These hours refer to the times when your P.O. Box can be accessed. Many post offices are open 24/7 (24 hours a day, seven days a week).

Still, when choosing a P.O. Box (post office box) online, it is best to verify the lobby hours.

Note: P.O. Boxes are usually placed in a post office’s lobby area.

  • Business hours: These hours refer to the times when post office employees can answer queries and facilitate transactions, such as mailing, stamp purchases, shipping, and P.O. Boxes. 

The opening and closing times of post offices in the U.S. also vary depending on their location and store policy. 

For example, some post offices have extended business hours.

Are Post Office Doors Always Open?

As shown above, USPS post office lobbies are typically open 24/7, suggesting that post office doors are usually open. 

Still, lobby hours may vary depending on the post office’s service schedule. It will help to search a particular facility’s lobby and business hours before you visit it.

What Days Are U.S. Post Offices Open?

USPS post offices may be open Monday through Friday or Monday through Saturday. If unsure whether the facility you plan to visit is up and running, you can use FindPostOffice.org’s online search tool.

What Is the Least Busy Time of Day for a Post Office?

USPS recommends customers drop off their mail early in the day, week, or month. This tip suggests that the least busy time of day is morning. 

Remember to check the facility’s opening and mail accepting time. While you want to arrive at the post office early to beat the long lines at the counter, you likely don’t want to wait too long for the facility to open. 

What Safety Measures Are in Place at Post Offices?

USPS employees must observe the following general rules to ensure their and customers’ safety:

  • Obey local, state, and postal service regulations, like wearing a seatbelt when driving a vehicle operated, leased, or contracted by USPS.
  • Comply with health and safety regulations, practices, and procedures, including wearing approved PPEs (personal protective equipment).
  • Do not toss or throw parcels or bundles unless necessary to the operation.

In February 2022, as part of its COVID-19 mitigation program, USPS released a statement regarding efforts to reduce health risks for its employees and customers. 

This program involves the following elements:

  • Adopt recommended social distancing measures at mail processing and retail facilities, including floor tape, signage, and “cough/sneeze” barriers.
  • Ensure that cleaning procedures are consistent with pandemic-specific USPS policies.
  • Require employees and contractors who interact with the public to wear face coverings when there’s a local, state, or tribal policy mandating the practice.

Suppose the employee or contractor does not interact with the public but cannot maintain social distancing in the workplace.

In that case, USPS will require them to wear face coverings.

  • Provide cleaning response kits to USPS sites with confirmed COVID-19 cases. Each kit includes EPA-approved cleaning and disinfecting supplies, tools, and PPEs.
  • Implement a liberal leave policy for COVID-19-related absences, allowing employees to stay home if they are sick.

Are Post Offices Open on Federal Holidays?

No. USPS follows a federal holiday schedule during which shipping services are unavailable and post offices are closed.

USPS observes 11 official holidays yearly, including Labor Day. The shipping carrier will not deliver regular mail or parcels during those dates.

Here are the holidays USPS celebrates (or commemorates) and their observance dates for 2023:

  • Already observed holidays:
    • New Year’s Day: January 2 (Monday)
    • Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day: January 16 (Monday)
    • Presidents’ Day: February 20 (Monday)
    • Memorial Day: May 29 (Monday)
    • Juneteenth National Independence Day: June 19 (Monday)
    • Independence Day: July 4 (Tuesday)
    • Labor Day: September 4 (Monday)
  • Remaining holidays:
    • Columbus Day: October 9 (Monday)
    • Veterans Day: November 11 (Saturday)
    • Thanksgiving: November 23 (Thursday)
    • Christmas: December 25 (Monday)

Post Offices With Late Hours

Post offices have full-time postal workers who work eight hours a day, five days in a service week, an average work week for U.S. employees. 

However, as mentioned above, some post offices have extended business hours. You can use our free search tool if you are unsure whether the ones near you have late closing hours. 

Many post offices have open, after-hour lobbies with self-service kiosks and P.O. Box access. 

Forward or Hold Your Mail

Do you plan to relocate permanently or temporarily? USPS can hold your mail (pause mail delivery) at a local post office or forward it to you while you are away from home for a brief period.

Forward Your Mail

It is essential to plan when changing locations, especially if you expect a time-sensitive package.

Mail forwarding usually begins within three business days of your filed request. Still, USPS recommends submitting the forward mail request at most two weeks before your estimated delivery date.

Your mail will be forwarded to your new address piece by piece.

Below are additional details regarding mail forwarding with USPS:

  • Periodicals (newsletters and magazines) and First-Class mail are forwarded for free.
  • You can also have Media Mail items forwarded. However, you must pay extra for shipping them from your local post office to your temporary address.
  • Priority Mail Express, USPS Ground Advantage, and Priority Mail items are forwarded for free.
  • You cannot have USPS Marketing Mail forwarded.

Suppose you’re moving to a new place for a long time. In that case, you can request a permanent change of address so that your USPS mail is appropriately redirected.

On the other hand, if you’re only relocating for 15 days up to 1 year, request a temporary change of address.

Hold Your Mail

USPS Hold Mail service can secure your mail at your local Post Office facility if you’re away from home for up to 30 days. 

If you want to extend your mail hold or reroute your mail, you must register for USPS forwarding service.

You can request up to 30 days in advance or as soon as the next delivery day. Request your Hold Mail service start date by 3:00 A.M. Eastern Time (ET) on your requested day, Monday to Saturday.

Change Your Address

If you are moving, learn how to update your address with USPS and other government agencies to continue receiving mail. The sections below discuss ways to change your mailing address.

How to Change Your Mailing Address With the Postal Service

You can change your address with USPS in two ways: online and at the post office.

Here are seven steps to change your address online:

  1. Go to USPS’ “Change of Address” webpage.
  2. Select an option for a “Business,” “Family,” or “Individual” move and complete the form.
  3. Verify your identity via the following ways:
  • Register online to receive a verification link or code on your mobile phone. 
  • Go to a local post office with a valid photo ID (identification) to finalize the identity verification process in person.
  1. Pay the $1.10 identity verification cost.
  2. The USPS system will email you a confirmation code. Use this code to update or cancel your request.
  3. A welcome kit containing coupons from USPS affiliates will arrive at your new address.
  4. USPS will reroute your mail to your new location piece by piece.

Here are three steps to change your address at the post office:

  1. Visit your local post office location with a valid photo ID.
  2. Request a free Mover’s Guide kit.
  3. Complete the PS (Postal Service) Form 3575, Official Mail Forwarding Change of Address Order, inside the packet and hand it to the retail associate. A staff will take your photo ID to authenticate your identity and proceed with your change of address request.

How to Change Your Address With Other Government Agencies

You can change your address with the following federal and state services:

  • Voter registration
  • Social Security
  • Federal taxes
  • Driver’s license and vehicle registration
  • Veterans benefits
  • Immigration

Just follow the step-by-step instructions via the link provided by USA.gov to change your address.

Filing a Complaint With the U.S. Postal Service

Do you want to know how to file a complaint with USPS about lost or stolen mail or mail fraud? The following sections discuss your options, including where to complain regarding a postal employee or facility.

Complaint About Mail Service

You can submit a complaint with your mail service online, over the phone, or in person at a USPS branch:

  • Call TTY: 1-800-877-8339 or 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777). 
  • Visit a local post office to discuss your concerns with its station manager.
  • Use USPS’ Email Us form or track a package to file an online complaint. Specify the reason for your complaint, including shipment issues and complaints regarding USPS employees or offices.

If your complaint remains unresolved, you can do the following:

  • Contact (via phone or mail) your USPS district consumer affairs office to discuss your concern.
  • Email or write and send your complaint to USPS’ Consumer Advocate office at the following address:

United States Postal Service
Office of the Consumer Advocate
475 L’ Enfant Plaza SW
Washington, D.C. 20260-0004

Theft, Waste, or Fraud by USPS or a USPS Employee

Report theft, waste, or fraud at a USPS facility or by a USPS agent to the USPS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) via the following methods:

  • File a complaint online at USPS OIG’s official website.
  • Call 1-888-USPS-OIG (1-888-877-7644).

USPS OIG is an independent watchdog agency, separate from USPS, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC).

Mail Fraud or Theft by a Person or Company

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service, or USPIS, is the federal agency responsible for safeguarding the mail system. 

You can file a complaint regarding mail-related criminal activities, like mail fraud and theft (committed by USPS outsiders), through USPIS online.

Comment or Complain About a Policy Change

You can contact the PRC to complain or comment regarding a policy change, such as postage pricing. You can do so by completing the board’s online contact form.

Find Zip Codes and Post Offices

You can take several easy steps when looking for ZIP codes and nearby post offices. 

You can consult USPS’ official website, which features a user-friendly ZIP code lookup tool. The tool lets you search for a ZIP code by entering information such as street address, city, and state.

On the other hand, you can use FindPostOffice.org’s search tool to locate nearby post offices.

Zip Code

ZIP codes are integral to ensuring the quick and efficient handling of mailpieces. A lack of a ZIP code on your mail may cause unnecessary delays, as it will result in manual processing.

Post Office

A post office is a place where people can buy or access stamps and postal services. 

Post offices, branches, community, stations, and contract post offices offer U.S. citizens various postal services. 

USPS operates the following retail postal facilities:

  • Main post office (MPO):  A central postal facility in a city governing subordinate post office stations, branches, and other facilities 
  • Post office branch: A unit reporting to a main post office outside the corporate limits of the town or city of an MPO
  • Post office station: A unit of an MPO within the corporate limits of the town or city of a main post office

Note: MPOs provide complete services to a specific area, usually where the postmaster resides. 

FAQs

  1. Does USPS deliver on Sunday?

Yes. USPS delivers packages on Sundays, depending on your area and the mail class you buy.

However, the shipping carrier does not conduct letter mail delivery on Sundays. 

Note that most post offices are closed on Sundays. USPS distribution and bulk mail processing centers may be open to help route packages and mail to their intended destination. However, these facilities are not accessible to the public on Sundays.

USPS began testing package delivery for Amazon.com on Sundays in 2013. The program began in New York and Los Angeles City but quickly expanded to other metro areas across the U.S. 

As e‑commerce grew, USPS increased the program’s coverage to include all packages.

  1. What did people search for similar to post offices that open late?

People who search for post offices that open late may also be looking for other establishments that still operate during the same hours. 

They might also search for alternative shipping service providers like UPS (United Parcel Service, Inc.) and FedEx (Federal Express).

  1. What are people saying about the USPS post office?

One Gallup survey showed that 72% of U.S. citizens say USPS is doing an excellent or good job.

However, customers may have different opinions regarding USPS post offices’ service. 

Customers who open a service request (SR) through the following avenues will receive a survey after the SR closes:

  • A Customer Care Center representative at 1-800-ASK-USPS
  • The customer’s local post office
  • USPS.com

The survey aims to measure customer satisfaction with USPS’ quality of service.

  1. How much does a stamp cost?

The answer to this question depends on the stamp type and where you buy stamps. 

For example, a one-ounce (1 oz.) First-Class Mail stamp will cost you $0.63 if you buy it at a local post office. The stamp will only cost $0.60 if you purchase and print stamps online via Stamps.com.

Most First-Class Mail letters include general correspondence, like credit card statements, billing invoices, and birthday cards. These items often weigh one ounce or less. 

  1. What services does the post office offer?

USPS generally offers these services:

  • Providing USPS mailing details
  • Classifying and weighing postage of parcels and envelopes
  • Providing purchase receipts
  • Change of Address (COA) service
  • Assisting with “dispense forms,” such as Priority Mail Express and Certified Mail
  • Post Office Box rentals
  • Money order sales
  • Selling postage in any denomination
  • Confirmation services
  • Selling shipping supplies (where available)
  • Accepting credit/debit card payment (where available)
  1. What forms of payment are accepted?

USPS accepts the following credit cards when purchasing postal service products and services:

  • Visa
  • China Union Pay
  • Discover
  • MasterCard
  • American Express
  • JCB (formerly Japan Credit Bureau)
  • Carte Blanche
  • Diners Club

USPS accepts these credit cards if the customer has added them to a digital wallet such as Google Pay or Apple Pay on a personal device.

However, USPS does not accept credit cards as payment for the following:

  • Money orders (principal amount)
  • Commercial mailings
  • Sure Money (principal amount)
  • Precanceled stamps
  • Gift cards
  • Deposits to trust accounts
  • Collect on delivery (COD) by the recipient
  • Passport application charges payable to the U.S. Department of State
  1. How is the U.S. Post Office rated?

The answer to this question depends on which rating platform you use. For example, as of September 2023, USPS’ overall rating on Consumer Affairs is 2.3 out of 5.  You can check other review sites for a more fair representation of USPS’ service quality.

References

  1. PO Box™ – The Basics
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/PO-Box-The-Basics
  2. Getting to the Post Office
    https://pe.usps.com/BusinessMail101/Index?ViewName=ToThePostOffice
  3. Postal Employee’s Guide to Safety
    https://www.nalc.org/workplace-issues/resources/manuals/other/EL-814-November-2013-Postal-Employees-Guide-to-Safety.pdf
  4. Media Statement – COVID-19
    https://about.usps.com/newsroom/statements/usps-statement-on-coronavirus.htm
  5. USPS Holidays: Keep Post Office Holidays in Mind As You Prepare Your USPS Mailings & Shipments.
    https://www.stamps.com/usps/usps-holidays/
  6. U.S. Postal Service Holidays in 2023: Is the Post Office Open?
    https://www.aarp.org/politics-society/government-elections/info-2023/usps-holidays.html
  7. Employee Overtime: Hours, Pay and Who is Covered
    https://www.oshaeducationcenter.com/articles/employee-overtime/
  8. Find USPS Locations: Glossary
    https://www.usps.com/locator/glossary.htm
  9. Standard Forward Mail & Change of Address
    https://www.usps.com/manage/forward.htm
  10. USPS Hold Mail Service
    https://www.usps.com/manage/hold-mail.htm
  11. How to change your address
    https://www.usa.gov/change-address
  12. File a U.S. Postal Service complaint
    https://www.usa.gov/postal-service-complaints
  13. ZIP Code™ – The Basics
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/ZIP-Code-The-Basics
  14. Glossary of Postal Terms Transmittal Letter
    https://about.usps.com/publications/pub32.pdf
  15. USPS Sunday Delivery
    https://www.stamps.com/usps/usps-sunday-delivery
  16. Americans Actually Love the Post Office
    https://time.com/3599665/usps-post-office-gallup-poll-positive/
  17. USPS® Customer Experience Surveys
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/USPS-Customer-Experience-Surveys
  18. How Much is a Stamp?
    https://www.stamps.com/usps/how-much-is-a-stamp/
  19. What Retail Services does the United States Postal Service® provide?
    https://faq.usps.com/s/article/What-Retail-Services-does-the-United-States-Postal-Service-provide
  20. Payment Acceptance Policies
    https://about.usps.com/signs/sign145/sign145_001.htm