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USPS Signature Confirmation Explained

Signature confirmation is a smart idea when shipping pricy or precious items.
USPS Signature Confirmation Explained
Ian Heinig

By Ian Heinig

 

May 17, 2021

Safe package delivery is more important than ever. Online shoppers expect reliability from online merchants these days. Meanwhile, package theft (aka porch piracy) is increasingly common. Signature confirmation services help you ensure packages arrive as intended.

USPS Signature Confirmation is a value-added service that requires the recipient or a responsible party to sign for the release of a package. This service grants peace of mind to both shippers and customers, especially those with high-value shipments. It's only available for domestic-US shipments.

For a small fee, USPS offers four delivery confirmation services, including:

  • USPS Signature Confirmation
  • USPS Adult Signature Confirmation
  • USPS Restricted Delivery
  • USPS Adult Signature Restricted Delivery

In this blog, we explain Signature Confirmation and these similar USPS services.

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What is USPS Signature Confirmation?

USPS Signature Confirmation is a value-added service that requires the recipient or a responsible party to sign for the release of their package.

In other words, the recipient has to be physically present to receive their package. They must also show a valid photo ID to confirm their identity. USPS won’t drop off the package until a signature is obtained.

Once the package is delivered, USPS relays the delivery confirmation to the shipper. This information includes the date, time and location of delivery.

Packages that aren’t signed for are returned to the local delivery hub. The delivery driver leaves a paper notice and an online notification to inform you that a delivery attempt was made, and will be re-attempted.

These notifications allow the shipper to verify the status of a package, and whether it's been delivered safely. Meanwhile, the recipient can rest assured that their order will only reach their hands.

USPS offers four delivery confirmation services, including:

  • USPS Signature Confirmation: The recipient or any other responsible adult in the residence can sign for the package.
  • USPS Adult Signature Confirmation: Someone 21 years or older must sign for the package.
  • USPS Restricted Delivery: Only a specified person can sign for and receive the package. You must pair this service with another extra service, including: Signature Required, Certified Mail, Collect on Delivery (COD), Insured Mail (over $500), Registered Mail.
  • USPS Adult Signature Restricted Delivery: Only a specified adult can sign for and receive the package. This service is only available with Certified Mail, Insured Mail (over $500), COD, or Registered Mail.

Recipients can sign electronically for their packages via USPS Electronic Signature.

Benefits of USPS Signature Confirmation

  • Peace of mind: You and the recipient might feel more at ease with delivery confirmation. This is especially true with high-value and sensitive shipments.
  • Responsible delivery: USPS Adult Signature Confirmation helps ensure that sensitive shipments like alcohol or CBD products are received by adults.

The Cost of USPS Signature Confirmation

Signature confirmation services are purchased with your shipping label for a small fee. USPS Signature Confirmation and the like can be purchased for the following shipping services:

  • Priority Mail
  • Parcel Select
  • First Class
  • Media Mail
  • Retail Ground
  • Package Services

Bonus: Priority Mail Express shipments receive signature confirmation services automatically.

USPS Signature Confirmation and its variants all have different prices. You can purchase these services from the USPS website, from shipping solutions like Easyship, or at a Post Office.

Here are the costs for USPS delivery confirmation services:

USPS Signature Required:

  • Post Office: $3.20
  • USPS.com or Easyship: $2.70

USPS Adult Signature Required:

  • $6.90

USPS Restricted Delivery:

  • Signature Confirmation: $8.10 online, $8.60 at Post Office
  • Certified Mail: $9.15
  • COD$5.40
  • Insured Mail: $5.40
  • Registered Mail: $5.34

USPS Adult Signature Restricted Delivery:

  • $7.15

Restrictions of USPS Signature Required

Certain restrictions apply to USPS Signature Confirmation and similar services, including:

  • Domestic shipments only: USPS Signature Confirmation is only available for domestic US shipments. The service is available for international shipments.
  • Package thickness: Package must be greater than 3/4 inch thick. Thinner items must be placed in a rigid box or container that will not lose shape or collapse in transit.
  • Limited availability: USPS Signature Confirmation is unavailable for mail sent to APO/FPO/DPO destinations, or packages addressed to ZIP codes in certain Freely Associated States and Territories as shown below:

How to Use USPS Signature Confirmation

Signature confirmation services work just like normal USPS tracking services. To view the delivery status of a shipment, just visit the tracking page for your shipment. You can also call the USPS customer service line.

If the recipient isn't home, the USPS driver leaves a note. This note tells the recipient the next scheduled delivery time or the local Post Office location where they can claim their package.

USPS will make 1-2 delivery attempts beyond the first. Packages undelivered after a few attempts are held at the nearest Post Office for 15 days before the package is returned to the shipper.

USPS Signature Options With Easyship

Does USPS require a signature? Not unless you purchase Signature Confirmation or the similar services. For a few bucks, you can ensure your package makes it to its end-destination. If you’re shipping precious or pricey items, any of these USPS signature required services could be for you.

Easyship helps shippers to save up to 70% off all USPS retail rates. For example, here’s a sample of the savings you’d get when sending a 5-pound package from New York to Denver.

At 66% savings on USPS Priority Express, the $29.99 monthly fee for Easyship pays for itself in short order. Or, if you ship 100 or fewer packages per month – Easyship is 100% free.

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USPS Shipping Confirmation FAQ

Can I waive signature confirmation with USPS?

Yes, you can waive the USPS signature confirmation requirement to allow the carrier to deliver mail without obtaining the recipient's signature.

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

You'll receive notifications from USPS, or see the requirement on your USPS tracking page using the information sent to you by the shipper. A shipping label requiring you to append your signature will also be attached to the package.

Can I add signature confirmation after shipping?

No. This service must be purchased either online on usps.com or at the Post Office during the time of shipping.

What is the difference between certified mail and signature confirmation?

Certified mail provides a mailing receipt to the sender as proof that a package was sent on a certain date, as well as electronic verification of delivery upon request. Signature confirmation provides the sender with the recipient's signature, name, delivery date, and delivery address.

Does Priority Mail require a signature?

Priority Mail shipments are eligible for USPS signature confirmation. It's up to the shipper to add signature requirements to their packages at a fee.

What happens if you aren't home to sign for a package?

USPS delivery staff will leave a note at your residence on the next scheduled delivery attempt or options on how to get the package at the nearest Post Office.