What Does “USPS No Access to Delivery Location” Mean?
Right out of the gate, being told from the post office that there was no access to your delivery location is a bit of a generalized ever issue that can mean a couple of things. Sometimes it means that there were unavoidable issues preventing the USPS workers from getting to your address and physically delivering the package as requested.
Maybe inclement weather dropped trees or obstructed the road in some way, making it difficult (if not flat-out impossible) for the USPS workers to get to your doorstep and drop your package off safely. Sometimes it means that other issues – renovations, road construction, car accidents, etc. – have prevented them from getting to your address, too.
Other times, though, it simply means that the USPS has no record of the mailing address that is being used to deliver you your packages in the first place. Believe it or not, that happens a whole lot more often than you might expect – though it also happens to be one of the easier issues to remedy, too.
At the end of the day, when you get this notification it just means that the USPS mail carrier wasn’t able to bring your package to you and that you’re going to have to come up with another solution to get your packages from them.
USPS Failed Delivery / Return to Sender – Timeframe
How long will the Postal Service (USPS) hold a package, after a failed delivery, before returning to sender?
The Postal Service (USPS) will make 1 or 2 attempts to deliver, based on the carrier’s knowledge. After the attempts, the package will be held for 15 days from the initial delivery attempt and then returned to the sender.
Ordinary Mailpiece (item with no extra services):
- When someone is normally available to receive parcels, but an ordinary parcel (i.e., a parcel without any extra services) can’t be delivered on the carrier’s first attempt, a second delivery attempt is made the next working day. No PS Form 3849 is left on the initial attempt. If the parcel cannot be delivered on the second attempt, PS Form 3849 is left at the address showing that the parcel is being held.
- If no one is available to receive the parcel and the carrier knows that someone at the address is not usually available to receive parcels, PS Form 3849 is completed and left after the first attempt. When it isn’t known if someone is usually available to receive parcels, PS Form 3849 is left after the first attempt. Additional attempts are made only at the customer’s request.
Why Won’t the USPS Deliver to My Address?
To put it simply, there are a variety of different reasons that the USPS may not be able to deliver to your specific address. For starters, there may be an issue with your street address that makes delivery to impossible. As of right now (late 2020) the United States Postal Service has a database of more than 127 million addresses throughout the country – and they continue to add more and more addresses to the database every day.
A lot of us think of the country as a somewhat static entity, with addresses that are pretty much fixed in place with no new addresses popping up left and right. However, the odds are also pretty good that in your local community there are developments with new streets, new homes, and new buildings being put up all year round. Each and every one of them get new addresses, and each of them have to be added to the USPS Address Management System to be eligible for mail delivery.
Sometimes (unfortunately) addresses fall through the cracks. If you are unlucky enough to have that happen to you then it’s likely you’re going to get at least a few No Access to Delivery Location error notifications in the future. Luckily, this situation can be remedied really easily (and it’s something we go over being just a moment) but there are some other issues that might be preventing USPS mail carriers from getting to your delivery location, too.
These can include, but definitely are not limited to:
- Road issues, including road construction
- Natural disasters, including downed trees, power lines, broken pipes, etc.
- Construction issues, including renovations that limit access to your front door or mailbox
And a whole host of other problems that can be difficult to foresee, all of which limit the ability of your USPS mail carrier to bring your package home and drop it off for you.
What to do if USPS has no access?
USPS Help on Twitter: “The tracking status “No Access” to delivery location usually means that the mailbox may have been full — and they couldn’t put new mail inside.
If there has been no follow-up scan the day after arriving at your local Post Office™ facility AND no delivery has occurred, to save time a service request may be sent by email to your local Post Office™ facility for follow-up. You will receive a confirmation number and a contact within 2-3 business days.
The national USPS Postal Service Customer Service hotline can be reached at (800) 275-8777. You can call them any day of the week during normal business hours, though you also have the opportunity to call and leave a message to be phoned back if you call outside of business hours, too.
There are definitely some things you can do to better troubleshoot USPS delivery issues as well, things you can do before you have to reach out directly to USPS customer service (nationwide customer service) and hope for a remedy that way.
1. Invest in a Porch Camera
The first thing you’ll want to do is consider investing in a porch or front door camera. These kinds of cameras have exploded in popularity over the last few years.
Originally they were thought of as another security solution, and a lot of people continue to use them in that capacity.
Recently, though, more and more people have been using them to keep an eye out for deliveries and to make sure that “package pirates” – people in the community that steal unattended packages off of people’s front steps – aren’t striking as well.
Another cool little feature of this camera is that will actually be able to see if your USPS mail carrier has attempted to deliver your package in the first place or if they are crying foul and not delivering your mail for a couple of different reasons unrelated to the delivery location.
This definitely doesn’t happen all the time (or even the majority of the time) people get no access notifications, but it happens often enough that it’s well worth looking into if you have the budget for this kind of technology.
2. Contact Your Local Post Office
No matter what you want to contact your local post office and asked them for clarification about the no access error that you are receiving.
Sometimes you’ll find information about the lack of access available in your PO Box or in your mailbox, but most of the time you’ll simply be alerted to the problem and then referred to your local post office.
Finding their number should be pretty simple and straightforward.
Typical them up, explain to them that you have received a notification about a lack of access at the delivery location, and asked them to explain the issue to you. You’ll should be able to take their advice and remedy the situation pretty quickly.
3. Reach Out to USPS Customer Service
If you are unable to get help from your local post office, though, it’s not a bad idea to reach out to the nationwide customer service department through the USPS to see what they can do to help you out.
The national USPS Postal Service Customer Service hotline can be reached at (800) 275-8777.
You can call them any day of the week during normal business hours, though you also have the opportunity to call and leave a message to be phoned back if you call outside of business hours, too.
Sometimes your local post office isn’t quite as helpful as you’d hoped they’d be until you get the national office involved. Things usually start to move pretty quickly when you take this step, though.
In March 2021, the United States Postal Service (USPS) unveiled the Deliver for America plan, their 10-year strategy for sustainability. This strategic plan outlines changes in USPS service offerings to reorganize the postal service for today’s postal and shipping challenges.
In the age of booming e-commerce businesses, one of the biggest challenges for all carriers is meeting delivery standards and managing customer expectations. As a result, the Deliver to America plan includes changes to the USPS delivery standards for certain services.
What is changing?
The United States Postal Service has announced expanding delivery standards for its first-class mail and first-class parcel services. It will help USPS meet service performance targets with more achievable delivery standards, which will result in more accurate delivery estimates.
Additionally, this comes when USPS is also experimenting with a project called USPS Connect, offering same-day delivery for small businesses to targeted areas in the United States.
First-class courier services (letters, cards, dishes and periodicals)
- USPS adds 1-2 business days to transit times for a minority of shipments
- It means a new delivery standard of 1-5 days
- Overall, estimated transit times for around 70% of shipments will remain within the current average of 1-3 days.
First-class mailing services (thick envelopes, parcels)
- USPS Introduces New 2-5 Day Delivery Standard for First Class Shipping Service
- Overall, the majority of shipments (68%) will maintain a current delivery standard of 2-3 days
- About 17% will change to 4-day delivery and 15% to 5-day delivery
- A small percentage of shipments will also change from a 3 to 2-day delivery
These extended delivery estimates result from a shift to surface shipping only for a large percentage of USPS shipments, and it means that fewer shipments sent with USPS First Class services will travel by air.
It is a little known fact, but USPS does not own any transport planes and thus hopes to provide more consistent service without bringing in third parties for air travel. It also allows USPS to make better use of its existing land-based fleet network in which its trucks are currently operating at approximately 40% capacity on average.
The impact on your business
Switching to these new delivery standards will mean:
- More reliable transit estimates for your customers
- Longer shipping estimates for your USPS and US Tracked Chit Chats shipments.
- Shipments travelling farther are more likely to feel the impact.
- If longer transit time isn’t an issue for your business, check out our US Economy Chit Chats with Tracking option for reduced postage.
However, if you have any shipments that require a faster delivery time, don’t worry. Delivery standards for USPS Priority Mail will remain within 1-3 days (excluding Alaska and Hawaii).
While USPS reports that October 1, 2021, is when these new delivery standards will take effect, we expect a slow transition period. In the meantime, we will closely monitor our USPS service offerings and notify you of any transit time updates.
The USPS Tracking® service provides end-to-end item tracking. It is available for most sizeable domestic mail products destined for domestic locations, including Army Post Offices (APOs), offices Fleet Post Office (FPO), Post Office Destinations (DPO) and Postal Codes in United States Territories and Possessions or Freely the Associated States.
Entering the tracking number associated with a mail shipment on the USPS Tracking page gives you the current status of an item and other tracking information.
This information includes, where applicable, delivery and attempted delivery information, including the date and time of delivery and the place of delivery of the item (letterbox, receipt, neighbour, etc.).
USPS Tracking does not expedite or guarantee delivery. There is no additional cost for the tracking mechanism on products that automatically include USPS tracking.
You pay the postage for this product, and tracking is included unless you send USPS Marketing Mail® packages. Adding USPS Tracking to this commercial direct mail service requires payment of a fee.
How USPS Tracking works
Your trackable item’s label is scanned multiple times in the mail stream, regardless of whether we have one or both of our shipping partners.
Tracking can begin as soon as the item’s sender or our shipping partner notifies us electronically that we should expect a package.
USPS continues to accept the package for transit and ends when the item is delivered or picked up by the recipient or agent.
Throughout this process, you can access this tracking information in several ways through the USPS tracking number associated with the item.
What does this tracking information mean? What can I do?
To better understand what a specific status is and what it means to you, check out the Analysis Event Status page.
When is tracking information available?
Scan information is updated throughout the day as scans become available.
How to add a follow-up to your article?
- At a Post Office: After you pay the cost of sending your qualifying shipping product to the Post Office postal outlet, USPS Tracking® will automatically activate.
Use the tracking number on your mailing receipt to access delivery information. See “How do I access tracking information?
- Courses in: Create a com® online account to print USPS Tracking® labels, purchase courier/shipping services, purchase stamps, and more.
The tracking label prints both the label affixed to the product AND a receipt with the tracking number. Access your USPS.com account anytime to retrieve tracking information or the status of your item.
Keep in mind that when you link a USPS Tracking® product with a compatible supplemental service, you may receive proof of delivery, such as a signature. See Domestic Extra Services and International Extra Services for more details.
Whichever option you choose – at the post office counter or online at USPS.com; access the same USPS Tracking® information.
Don’t forget to keep your retail invoice! The postal service cannot track or locate an item without a tracking number.
How to access tracking information?
The type of tracking and delivery information available depends on the courier class or additional services you purchased at the time of dispatch. Whether you are the sender or the recipient, you can track your item:
- Quotes From: Use USPS Tracking on the United States Postal Service website.
- By Text: Text 28777 (2USPS) with your tracking number as message content. Standard message and data charges may apply.
- By smartphone: Download the USPS Mobile app for iPhone and Android.
- By phone :
- For tracking information on an international package, customers can call 1-800-222-1811.
- For a Deaf / TTY telecommunication device (TDD / TTY), dial 1-800-877-8339.
- Hear automated news 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
USPS Tracking provides Automatic Notifications
When you have the item’s tracking number, enter it on the USPS Tracking® website. If applicable, click “Text and Electronic Updates” to expand this section and follow the instructions.
In addition, the USPS Text Tracking FAQ contains step-by-step instructions for requesting notifications by sending only a text message to 28777 (2USPS).
Email and text update requests are active for two weeks following the request. After this period, the request will be closed. Once the item is delivered, you will no longer receive notifications.
I am not receiving any notification email or SMS!
You may not receive any updates, emails, or status text if no new send updates have been updated or if the email address you entered was incorrect.
To be sure you encounter a problem, visit the USPS Tracking page and enter the tracking number. If no new event information is available, USPS will have no messages to send.
And, If there is new information about the event and you haven’t received it, try submitting another notification request.
If you have requested email notifications and are having trouble, also try checking your junk/junk mail folder. If enabled, spam should check to ensure Postal Service emails are allowed.
How can I use USPS Tracking?
Once you enter the tracking number for one or more items on the USPS Tracking® website, you can view the latest status of that item.
Depending on the state, origin and destination, and the class and services of the item, you may be able to perform several different actions.
You can search the item’s tracking history and see what kind of services and features are associated with it. You can request emails and SMS on your item or a proof of delivery email.
Friends, you can also leave the courier with instructions on where to drop off your mail if no one is available to accept it.
How long are the records kept?
Classes and messaging service records, including access to package history and proof of delivery, where applicable, are stored in the system for the life of the package data:
|Courier and services class||Record storage|
|USPS Tracking® Service||120 days|
|Priority Mail Express® Service||2 years|
|Certified Mail Service ™||2 years|
|Registered Mail ™ Service||2 years|
|Numbered international courier services||2 years|
|Adult signature required / Adult signature Restricted delivery courier services||2 years|
What happens if my item was received but was not scanned as delivered?
Failure to scan the delivery on a postal shipment does not necessarily indicate that the item was not delivered. It is possible that it delivered the part, but it didn’t capture the scan. If you believe this has happened, you can contact the sender or receiver to confirm the item’s delivery.
If there is no delivery scan in our system and you know the package has been delivered, the shipper may request a refund for USPS Tracking® charges (but not shipping charges). It only applies to USPS Marketing Mail® packages.
Conclusion: No Access to Delivery Location
That means the mailbox was blocked for whatever reason – could have been a dog, the box blocked by construction equipment, etc. For whatever reason, the mail carrier could not get to the mailbox. They will attempt delivery the next day.
The most likely reason, I’m sorry to say, is lazy carrier. It’s not just one, I have seen this in all the areas I have lived in. Another one they use is “no one home to deliver”. This usually happens on a Saturday when they want to close out the weekend fast. They just keep the packages in the truck and do letters only.
This just happened to me 55 minutes ago. I was home. No one ever came by, my home does not have a gate, and my mail box is on my porch. Lazy USPS driver. I wish there was a way to complain. I stayed home all day since 10:44 because the tracking said “out for delivery.” Now it says “No Access” at 7:10pm.
My mail is delivered to my front door and I have received the “no access” message in USPS text updates on days when I was home all day with nothing obstructing my street, yard nor front door and do believe when a mail carrier gets behind in his deliveries for whatever reason, uses this message to cover his **bleep** or to buy him/her more time because the package ends up being delivered the next day.
USPS No Access to Delivery Location