Can I pick up a package before delivery from USPS (2023 update) (2023)

Do you have a package that you urgently need and want to know if you can simply pick it up yourself?

Whether you won't be home or you just want your package as soon as possible, it can be worth going to the post office to pick it up yourself.

But does USPS allow this, and if so, what is required to collect it yourself?

In this article we cover everything you need to know!

Table of contents

Can you pick up a package from USPS before delivery?

Can I pick up a package before delivery from USPS (2023 update) (1)

Yes! USPS allows you to pick up packages that have yet to be delivered, as long as they've reached the local post office where you want to pick it up.

However, certain options may incur an additional fee and cannot always be guaranteed to work.

So let's look at each option in detail so you can determine which one is right for you!

1. Package Storage

The easiest way to ensure that you can collect your package from the post office is to specifically request that it be held there.

(Video) Can you pick up a package from USPS?

This is known as a "Package Hold" or "USPS Hold Request" and is quite easy to do.

Note that a USPS Hold Mail request is on holdatPost at your local post office where package storage will only hold that single package.

Once a package hold or hold request is made, USPS will hold it for up to 30 days. If held mail is not collected, it will be returned to the original sender.

So how do you request package storage? There are a few options.

Fill out the form online

The easiest way to request storage of a specific package at your post office,is to fill out this form on the USPS website.

When you fill out the form, USPS will ask you for some details about the package and your pickup schedule, such as: B. which post office you want to collect it from.

During this time it is helpful to have information about the package at hand, e.g. B. The tracking number and the original address it was sent to.

You can also use this form to B. Request a signature confirmation for the package.

Mark "Hold for Collection" on the shipping label

If you're the one shipping the package instead of receiving it, you can also write "Hold for pickup" on the shipping label to have USPS hold it automatically.

To save time, you can even buy pickup labels online!

Note, however, that these labels must be attachedBeforeThe package is originally delivered to the sender's post office. Once it's on its way, you'll need to use one of the other options.

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Call your local post office/USPS to request it

Finally, you can always call your local post office — or USPS itself to request that the package be held.

They can help you walk through the whole process.

This may take a little longer than simply filling out the online form, but it's a way of making sure everything is done properly.

To learn how to speak to a real person at USPS, click here!

2. Packet Interception

The next available option is called Packet Interception.

Parcel interception is available for most domestic parcels and can allow you to reroute the parcel to a completely different address - or even a different city!

This makes it a great option when, for example, you are traveling and need to send the package somewhere else after it has already been sent. However, it can also be used to pick up the parcel yourself at a nearby post office.

Note, however, that intercepting a package is quite expensive — $15.95 at the time of writing, so it should only be done if you really need the package (or it was sent to the wrong address).

Intercepted packages can be picked up at either your local post office, the new address you are requesting to be redirected to, or even a USPS distribution center. So if you absolutely need the package as soon as possible, this might be the ideal way to do it.

To begin intercepting packages, fill out the USPS form onlineby clicking here.

Note that you will need your tracking number for the existing package, which will be used to determine if the package can be intercepted or not.

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Then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process. If your package was successfully intercepted, USPS will notify you. Unfortunately, because the United States postal system is so complex (and so much of it is automated), it is not always possible to intercept a package.

To learn more about how USPS actually works, watch the video below. It's actually quite interesting!

3. Show up early at the post office

Finally, your last resort is to just show up at the post office early and hope it's still there.

This method is unreliable, but we've heard reports of it working for other people.

We recommend arriving as soon as possible after the post office opens. This is because you must pick up your package after the post office opens but before it's loaded onto one of the USPS mail trucks.

Once the package has been loaded for delivery there is usually nothing more that can be done - they will try to deliver it to your address even if you tell the postman you will not take it.

In this case, USPS will attempt to redeliver according to its policies. However, you may be able to ask for it to be picked up the next day.

Can You Pick Up Packages That Were Missed On The Same Day

We've now covered various ways you can collect a package before attempting to deliver it.

But what if USPS had already tried to deliver the package to your door and you weren't there to sign for it? (Or USPS gave you an error such asNo access to delivery location,Addressee unknown, orPackage available for pickup.)

Can you go to the post office and pick it up the same day?

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Unfortunately, unless you're exceptionally lucky, the answer is no.

You would need to arrive at the post office after the post van has already returned with your package but before your local post office closes.

Once your post office is closed, the mail is locked away and nobody can access it. The only exception is when it has been delivereda mailboxinside the post.

Note that depending on the message showing tracking, USPS often attempts to redeliver next day. Alternatively, you can collect the package yourself from the post office by following any of the methods above.


Luckily, picking up a package before delivery is fairly easy, and USPS gives you many options when it comes to package storage.

That being said, some of them cost money while others are not guaranteed to work. By fully understanding how each option works, you can give yourself the best chance of acquiring it at the lowest possible price.

I hope you found this article helpful. If you have additional questions about USPS, please submit them using the comments form below.

Wish you the best,

– James McAllister

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Can I pick up USPS before delivery? ›

Can You Pick Up a Package from USPS Before It Gets Delivered? Right out of the gate, you should know that it's not only possible to pick up a package from USPS before delivery is initiated (or completed) but that it's actually super simple and straightforward to make happen, too.

Can I change a package to pick up for USPS? ›

Modify or Cancel Pickups

You can modify a scheduled pickup at any time by changing the pickup date, location, number of packages, and total weight, or you can cancel the pickup. Click on a pickup in your list of orders to view details and make changes.

Can you go pick up a package at UPS before delivery? ›

If you cannot wait for a UPS package to reach your location, there may be an option for you to pick it up straight from the UPS.

How do I get USPS to hold my package for pickup? ›

Here's how to submit your next USPS Hold Mail request:
  1. Create or sign in to your account.
  2. Go to USPS Hold Mail and follow the steps to verify your identity.
  3. Once your identity has been verified successfully, you won't have to complete this step again for your current address.

Can I request USPS to hold my package? ›

USPS Hold Mail® requests must be for a minimum of 3 days and a maximum of 30 days. If you need mail held longer than 30 days, please sign up for a USPS Forward Mail service. USPS Hold Mail requests are not necessary for Post Office Box™ customers, as mail delivered to a PO Box™ is allowed to accumulate up to 30 days.

Can I pick up my package from USPS distribution center? ›

Can I pick up a package at a USPS facility? You may be able to pick up a package from your local post office. You would need to contact them first to ensure it is available if you have not received a notice of attempted delivery. You cannot pick up a package from a processing & distribution facility.

Can I just go to UPS and get my package? ›

You could always take your package to The UPS Store, but it's easy to make a label online, too.

Can you intercept a UPS package? ›

Customize Your Delivery Options. With UPS Delivery InterceptSM, you can maintain control of your packages as they move through the UPS network. This fee-based service for shippers allows you to request the intercept of packages prior to delivery, providing greater flexibility in managing your shipping needs.

Can I just pick up my package at UPS? ›

You'll need one of the following forms of identification when you collect your package at a UPS Access Point location: Option 1: Present a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, passport, or ID card with picture. The full name on the ID must match that of the package's Ship to label.

Is USPS hold for pickup free? ›

The USPS hold mail service is free. An address can have only one USPS Hold Mail service in effect at a time. Keep your confirmation number in case you need to make any changes. If you want the hold to start the next day, you need to complete your hold request before the end of the business day.

Can you hold a package for pickup? ›

When shipping packages, you can choose the Hold for Pickup option, and the recipients can collect their packages at their local Post Office. If you are expecting a package, you can redirect it to your local Post Office by selecting Hold for Pickup using Intercept a Package under Track & Manage on

Can you ask UPS to hold a package? ›

When you sign into, you can use UPS My Choice to request a hold on your deliveries in a few different ways: We can hold onto your package and deliver it once you're back in town. You can request we leave your package with a neighbor. We can reroute your package to another address, in certain cases.

Can I keep a package that was delivered to me by mistake? ›

Legally, you're allowed to keep a mistaken delivery. Surprising, right? The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has rules that allow you to keep merchandise that's wrongly delivered — even if you didn't pay for it. The logic is that sellers can't just send you goods and demand money for them.

How long does USPS hold packages for pickup? ›

All items are available for pickup at the local Post Office™ until close of business on the applicable return date. The item is returned to the sender at close of business. Accountable Mail is returned to the sender after 15 days (30 days for Customs).

What happens if a package needs a signature and no one is home? ›

If the shipment requires a direct or adult signature, then someone must be available to sign in person. If someone is not home to sign for a direct or adult signature, the courier will leave a door tag or reattempt delivery.

How much does UPS delivery intercept cost? ›

They can also view the intercept status when they track the package on any UPS visibility system. UPS Delivery Intercept is available for all small package deliveries, excluding packages using UPS SonicAir service. UPS Delivery Intercept costs $10 per interception and is charged only on completion of the intercept.

Can I go up to a UPS truck and ask for my package? ›

If you happen to be call in after the driver left the facility and do not want to wait until the driver completes his route that day so you can pick up the package in the evening, in some rare cases, you can request an on-road pickup of your package.

How does USPS package intercept work? ›

USPS Package Intercept service allows customers to request to have a mailpiece that they have sent through the Postal Service intercepted prior to delivery. Customers place their request, and the information is sent to the destination delivery unit for the address on the mailpiece.

Can you cancel a UPS shipment before it arrives? ›

Anything with a tracking number for the most part can be cancelled as long as you get in contact with the carrier before they deliver it, which I literally had to do once. And actually they can still retrieve it after delivery but they can't guarantee anything between drop off and pick back up.

Can I pick up a package from UPS warehouse? ›

Not only can customers pick up and drop off pre-packaged, pre-labeled shipments, but our location also allows customers to pick up shipments that have been shipped directly or redirected to a UPS Access Point®.

How do I cancel a UPS package? ›

How To Void a Shipment
  1. Log In to and View Your Shipping History.
  2. Select the vertical ellipsis icon to open the Actions menu.
  3. Select "Void."
  4. Once you've successfully voided the package, a red dot will appear next to the package in the Voided column.

Can you cancel a UPS shipment and get a refund? ›

If you no longer need to send your parcel, you can cancel your order and request a refund. Please note that to be eligible for a refund you must: Be the contract holder with UPS Today. Have booked the delivery within the last 28 days.


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