How long does USPS hold packages?

The United States Postal Service is one of the oldest and fastest mail services in the United States. According to a source. USPS delivers approximately 700 million packages each day bounding with the estimated time of delivery. Let’s know How long does USPS hold packages?

How long does USPS hold packages?

However, there are times, when the parcel doesn’t reach on time due to bad weather conditions, or lack of authoritative measures such as an incomplete or incorrect address on the package, or it is declined by the recipient. Any mishap can happen, but what measures to take when your package is sent back to the post office, and how long will they keep it in their authority? If that’s what you thought? Then, here are all your answers regarding the USPS holding returned, or undelivered packages.

How long will USPS hold undelivered packages?

If by any chance you were unable to receive the delivery of your parcel on the estimated date, you might as well want to know, the aftermaths. USPS is a trusted postal service in the United States because of its service. 

Where many postal services lack authoritative measures of your returned or undelivered packages, USPS takes prudent measures and keeps your package in governance for 15 days from the last attempted delivery. On every returned parcel, USPS issue, a final notice before sending the package to the sender.

Why does USPS hold undelivered packages?

There could be various reasons why your package went back to the postal service. If the address or any information mentioned on the parcel is incorrect, it might be a task for the mailman to deliver your parcel safely to you or require the signature of the said person on the parcel. 

These reasons are enough to send your parcel back to the authority. However, USPS does not return the parcel to the sender right away. They try everything in their capacity to deliver your parcel on the second attempt and hence, keep it for at least 15 days. However, they cannot keep it forever as they receive tons of undelivered parcels every day. If you are unable to receive your package from the office within 15 days, the package will be returned to the sender.  

How do you know if USPS is holding your mail?

If your parcel does not reach you due for any reason, they leave a PS form 3849 in your mailbox, this form is a note stating that your parcel is being held at the postal service, and you need to pick up your parcel within 15 days. What are the grounds for receiving this form? 

If the parcel requires your signature and you are unavailable or there is not enough space in your mailbox to leave the parcel, the mailman will drop the envelope at your doorstep. Initially, this form is a reminder/receipt that you have a package waiting at the post office. You can collect the parcel within 15 days from the day you received the form. 

Can USPS hold mail for more than 15 days?

USPS does allow you to hold your mail for more than 15 days. If you are away for an extended period. You can request the US postal service, and they will keep your property safe until your return. This service is free of cost and your parcel will be delivered to you on the day your hold mail request ends. You can submit your request both online and in person.

For an online request, you are asked to create a USPS account, to begin with, the request procedure. If you want to make an offline request, you need to visit your local post office. There you are asked to fill out a PS form 8076 to extend your USPS hold mail service. 


USPS hold your parcel for 15 days if you are unavailable at the time of delivery. USPS notifies you twice before sending your parcel to the sender. However, if you are traveling and away from home on the day of delivery, you can request to extend your time for holding packages at USPS online or by visiting your local post office. For mail pickups, all you need is your PS form 3849 and valid identification. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Can someone else go on my behalf to collect the package?

Yes, any relative or friend can pick up your parcel from the post office with a permission note and authorized signature. 

Q2. Is USPS priority mail service better than standard mail service?

With priority mail service, you get your parcel delivered within 3 days with no surcharges on Saturday deliveries. While standard mail can take 1-4 business days to deliver. Priority mail service comes with other features that are different from regular mail. To know more about priority mail, you can visit the USPS website.

Q3. Can I request for USPS to hold mail on the phone?

Yes, you can request to extend your hold mail service on the phone as well. 

How long does USPS hold packages?

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