If you have ever come across USPS Signature Confirmation, you might be wondering what this is and how it works. This is a service that you can buy, and it will ensure that you know your package has been delivered. It will also give you some information about when the package was delivered and who accepted the package.
The Signature Confirmation service ensures that someone has to sign for the package being sent. You can purchase this as an additional service for many kinds of mail, and it helps to ensure that your package gets to the right place, reducing the risks of it getting lost or stolen.
What Is The USPS Signature Confirmation Service?
The Signature Confirmation service is an additional postage option that you can purchase, and it is designed to ensure that a package gets a signature when it arrives at its intended destination. This helps to prevent theft, and lets you know that a package has arrived at the end of its route.
Without this service, you have no way of proving who accepted a package or that it has arrived, so this service is useful for items that are important and that you want to reduce the risks of losing. If you are sending low cost, low value items, it is probably not worth paying for the Signature Confirmation service.
How Does This Service Work?
This service works in the same way that regular mail works, but someone at the property must be present to sign when the package or letter arrives. The mailman cannot put the letter in a mailbox and leave it. They must get a signature from someone at the property.
This is intended to reduce theft by ensuring deliveries are confirmed with written information. Many people use it when mailing important documents or other valuable items.
Does The Person Signing Have To Be The Recipient?
No, the person signing does not have to be the intended recipient, but they must be at the residence shown on the mailing label.
They must also be a responsible person, which usually means that they must be eighteen or older. They will need to show some form of identification, with a clear photograph on the ID. The mailman should not hand over the package without confirming who they are handing it to.
Make sure that you inform your recipient of this in advance to reduce the risk of them being unable to produce ID when the item is delivered. This will allow them to prepare and ensure that the delivery goes smoothly.
How Much Does The Signature Confirmation Service Cost?
This is an additional service that you purchase alongside a standard mailing service (such as Priority Mail, First Class Mail, etc. It costs $3.45 if you purchase it at a physical location like a post office, or $2.90 if you pay for it online.
How Do I Know Who Signed For The Package?
If you wish to find out who signed for your package, USPS keeps a record of the delivery on their system. This can be faxed, emailed, or mailed to you so that you can view the signature on the record.
It is best to do this promptly if you wish to get a copy of this record, because USPS will not keep records indefinitely. You should have a full year to request a copy of the records if you want one, but it is still best to ask not long after the delivery date, just in case issues arise.
The delivery record should show you a copy of the signature given for the delivery, plus the time and date that the delivery was made, along with the location. If there have been any issues, this copy may be useful to you.
What Happens If Nobody Is Available To Sign For The Package?
If nobody is available to sign for the package or the recipient cannot find/does not have a suitable, valid ID, the mailman will take the package away and attempt redelivery at some other time. A note will be left to let the recipient know that delivery was attempted, and that USPS will redeliver at a later date.
The sender will also get an online notification that the delivery failed and a redelivery will be attempted. This ensures that everyone understands the situation and helps to keep the status of the package up to date.
If this happens consistently, the package may be held at the local post office for collection, and eventually returned to the sender, so make sure that someone will be available to sign for it before opting for a Signature Confirmation delivery. If your intended recipient is very rarely at home, this may not be a good mailing service to use.
What Kinds Of Mail Are Suitable For Signature Confirmation Deliveries?
You cannot add the Signature Confirmation service to all mailing services, although there are quite a few that can have it added. These include:
- Parcel Select Lightweight (when you also buy bulk insurance over $500)
- USPS Retail Ground
- First Class Mail packages (if you purchase insurance over $500, Certified Mail, Registered Mail, or COD [Collect on Delivery])
- First Class Package Service-Commercial Parcels
- Library Mail parcels
- Parcel Select
- Media Mail parcels
- Priority Mail (if you purchase insurance over $500, Certified Mail, Registered Mail, or COD)
- Bound Printed Matter parcels
However, be aware that you cannot purchase a Signature Confirmation service if you are using any of the following mailing options:
- First-class Mail flat size and letter size
- Packages paid with precanceled stamps
- Priority Mail Express
- USPS Marketing Mail
- Package Services flat size and letter size
- International Mail
- Mail intended for DPO or APO/FPO destinations
- Mail intended for certain US territories or Freely Associated States, including Majuro Island, Yap Island, and Kosrae Island. Make sure you check eligibility if you are sending your mail to any of the Freely Associated States.
Which Other Mailing Services Can I Use At The Same Time As Signature Confirmation?
It’s also important to be aware of which other services are compatible with the Signature Confirmation service. These include:
- Collect on Delivery
- Insurance of $500 or less
- Hold for Pickup
- Special Handling – Fragile
- Registered Mail service
- Return Receipt, if the customer purchases insurance of more than $500, a Registered Mail Service, or COD
However, if you are using Priority Mail Express, USPS Tracking service, or Certified Mail, you cannot purchase the Signature Confirmation service. This is because these three services already contain signature options and provide the necessary tracking information, so a Signature Confirmation would be superfluous.
Does The Signature Confirmation Service Include Tracking?
No, unfortunately, the Signature Confirmation service does not also offer a tracking service. You will not be given a tracking number, and you will not be able to view the package’s progress or where it has got to. You will only be able to see the time and date of delivery after it has been delivered.
If you require a tracking service, you must purchase this separately. It is important to be aware that many tracking services include a signature, but you should check that this is the case if you want the security of a signed-for delivery. The two are different services and serve different functions, so they do not necessarily come bundled together.
If you aren’t sure what service you need, ask the staff at your local post office for assistance in mailing your parcel. They should be able to advise you about the cheapest shipping options available for what you want to achieve.
How Do I Add The Signature Confirmation Service?
When you want to add this service to your delivery, it is cheapest to do it yourself online, although you can do it in a local post office.
If you are doing it online, you should see a section labeled “Extra services” when you are creating and paying for your shipping label. Within this section, you will see two options: Signature Confirmation” and “Adult Signature.”
There will be two further boxes below this, for insurance and Media Mail. You can ignore these unless they are relevant to your parcel.
Select one of the two options, and it will automatically add the price to your cart and include it in the shipping when you check out. Be aware that adding an “Adult Signature” is considerably more expensive, and will cost $6.90 to do online, so only add this if you need to.
However, if you are shipping with UPS instead of USPS, the Adult Signature option only costs $6.70, and the Signature Confirmation costs $5.55. The Signature Confirmation is still a significantly cheaper option, but the cost difference is much smaller.
If you are not purchasing your label online, simply tell the USPS worker at the checkout that you want to add Signature Confirmation, and they should include this in your mailing label, and add the price to your total. It will cost more, but it may prove more straightforward if you struggle to use a computer.
What Is The Adult Signature Service?
This ensures that nobody under the age of 21 can sign for the package. The recipient must have a valid US driver’s license or other photo ID that proves they are over the age of 21. The mailman will not hand the parcel over to someone who cannot produce this ID, so a younger recipient will not be allowed to sign for these packages.
This is often used by companies delivering restricted goods to ensure that these products do not fall into the hands of minors. For example, alcohol, medication, and weaponry may all require the Adult Signature service to be added to the package.
Can The Recipient Leave A Note?
If your recipient is not going to be at home during the delivery, you may be wondering whether they can leave a signed note asking the mailman to leave the package anyway.
Some people have had success with this, but many have not, as Signature Confirmation does require that the package be handed to a responsible adult with a valid ID. A note is not proof that the package has been placed in the person’s hands (it actually proves the opposite) and therefore most mail carriers will not accept this.
If you have no other option, leaving a note is worth a try, but you should be aware that it is very unlikely to work. If you do choose to leave a note, make sure you write clear instructions about where you would like the parcel to be placed, and sign and date the note very clearly. The mailman may take the note as proof of your instructions.
What If I Fail To Sign For A Package?
If you have missed a Signature Confirmation delivery, you don’t need to worry. Your mailman should leave you with a slip or card with instructions on what to do next, but usually, it is best to wait for them to attempt redelivery. This should be done the next working day.
If you cannot manage to coordinate your schedule so that the item can be delivered to you, you may be able to pick it up from the delivery hub instead. Contact your local hub to confirm that they have the parcel and to arrange to collect it.
Not being able to get your mail is an extremely frustrating situation to be in, and if you are struggling with Signature Confirmation deliveries because you are never at home to sign for them, you might want to consider a Virtual Mailbox.
These are secure places that will accept all of your mail and hold it for you until it is convenient to pick it up. You do not need to worry about trying to be at home for long enough to meet the delivery man, because all your mail can be delivered safely and securely to your Virtual Mailbox, and held there until you are ready to pick it up.
This makes mail deliveries so much easier.