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.
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