The United States Postal Service (USPS) is an independent agency of the federal government of the United States, delivering millions of packages and pieces of mail every day.

While most deliveries are successful, there are certain occasions when USPS may not be able to deliver your mail or package. In this scenario, USPS offers a redelivery service. Scheduling a redelivery with USPS is a convenient way to request a second delivery attempt when the initial delivery has failed.

Requesting a redelivery is essential for ensuring that recipients receive their mail and packages without having to visit the post office. Redeliveries can be easily scheduled by visiting the USPS website and filling out an electronic redelivery form. 

Reasons Why Initial Deliveries from USPS May Fail

There are several reasons why an initial delivery by USPS may be unsuccessful. These include the recipient not being available to sign for the delivery, an incorrect or incomplete shipping address, or an inaccessible delivery location.

In such circumstances, USPS will typically leave a notification confirming the unsuccessful delivery attempt and notifying the receiver to reschedule the delivery or pick up the package from the post office.

In the following section, we will go through the various reasons why USPS deliveries may be unsuccessful.

Inaccurate or Incomplete Delivery Details

Incorrect or insufficient delivery information is a common reason why mail or packages may not be delivered. The delivery address may be incorrect for various reasons, such as the shipper entering the information incorrectly or the recipient providing an incorrect address.

This includes misspelled street names, incorrect postal codes, or even obsolete addresses. Consequently, the package may not be delivered to the correct address, or may not even be delivered altogether.

Recipient Related Issues

Another cluster of reasons for unsuccessful USPS deliveries involves the recipient. There are several circumstances that can result in a failed delivery, including the following:

  • The recipient is unavailable during the time of delivery, which may occur if they are on vacation, at work, or otherwise away from the delivery address.
  • Some deliveries require a signature or identification upon drop-off; if the recipient is not present to provide the required information, the delivery may not be completed successfully. In this case, the USPS driver will take the package back to the post office or distribution center.
  • The recipient may also have rejected the delivery. This can occur if the parcel was sent unbeknown to a recipient. This typically happens when sending gifts to recipients without their knowledge.
  • A full mailbox may also be the cause of a failed delivery attempt. This means that the USPS delivery driver has no other choice but to take the piece of mail back to the post office, as mail is generally not left on doorsteps or porches.

Restricted Access Locations

In certain situations, the delivery location may be restricted or have limited access., making it difficult for USPS to complete the delivery. These situations can include the following: 

  • Gated communities or buildings where USPS may not be able to enter unaccompanied or without an access card.
  • Locations near construction sites where entry is blocked for safety reasons, where no other route is possible.
  • Military sites or government complexes where access is controlled and delivery staff may require additional clearance.
  • Business locations where the reception or mailbox is inaccessible after office hours. Take note that USPS typically delivers between 9am and 5pm. However, during peak seasons, they may deliver during the early evenings.

How to Schedule a Redelivery with USPS

You can schedule a redelivery with USPS for both residential and business locations. To do so, simply fill out the electronic redelivery form found on the USPS website. This form will assist you in determining whether redelivery is available for your specific address and will also collect information on your requested redelivery date.

schedule redelivery USPS
The Official USPS Redelivery Form

It is important to note that redelivery is only accessible if USPS determines that it is available for your address. After you’ve confirmed the availability, you can begin the redelivery scheduling process.

A detailed step-by-step guide has been provided below.

  1. Access the official USPS Redelivery Form.
  2. Fill out the form, including your first name, last name, and complete address details. 
  3. Select “Check Availability”. This will allow you to see if redelivery is available for your address. 
  4. If the redelivery is available, you will need to enter the tracking or barcode number on your PS Form 3849 (Redelivery Notice) in the “Select Packages for Redelivery” section below. 
  5. Click on the drop-down below “Details”. You will now be able to see the details of your package. 
  6. Select the drop-down arrow for “Redelivery Type” for this package and select “USPS Carrier Redelivery”.
  7. Now, select your preferred date on the right-hand side. Once you’ve selected the date, it will appear in blue color. Then, press “Select”.
  8. The next drop-down arrow you’ll need to select is “Delivery Location”. You are able to select between the front door, back door, on the porch, garage, or other locations
  9. Then, provide any “Additional Instructions” in the section below. This could be any special delivery instructions that you may have.
  10. After clicking on “Review”, you’ll be able to reconfirm the redelivery details.
  11. Read and accept the Terms and Conditions. 
  12. Finally, click the “Submit” button to lodge the redelivery request.  

What Happens After You’ve Scheduled a Redelivery With USPS?

After you submit a redelivery request to USPS, they will schedule another delivery attempt for the requested date and time. You should expect two additional shipment updates following your request before your package is delivered to you.

  • Prepared for Redelivery – This notification confirms that USPS received your request and has scheduled a fresh delivery attempt for the stated day and time.
  • Out for Redelivery – This status indicates that your package has been loaded into a USPS truck and is now en route to your delivery address.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about scheduling redeliveries with USPS, as well as provide you with useful insights and advice on this topic. If you have any questions that we haven’t addressed, please feel free to write to us.

What is a Reminder to Schedule a Redelivery?

A Reminder to Schedule a Redelivery is a notice sent by USPS to notify you that a package or mail item has had an unsuccessful delivery attempt and needs to be re-delivered.

This reminder usually includes a tracking number and instructions for scheduling the redelivery. It is essential to follow the instructions as soon as possible to avoid any delays in receiving your package or mail.

How Do I Track USPS Redeliveries?

The tracking feature on the USPS website allows you to simply track your redelivery status. To track your redelivery, go to USPS’ tracking page and enter your tracking number.

This gives you real-time updates on the status of your redelivery, such as when it was scheduled and when the redelivery will be completed. You can also sign up for text or email notifications to automatically receive updates.

How Long Does It Take to Schedule a Redelivery?

Depending on the availability of redelivery options for your specific address, USPS redelivery arrangements typically take only a few minutes to complete. Redelivery can be scheduled online or over the phone, and you can usually specify a preferred delivery day and time.

Take note that redeliveries can be booked 24 hours a day, seven days a week; however, for same-day redelivery, your request must be made by 2am Central Standard Time (CST), Monday through Saturday, or your redelivery will be scheduled for the following day. 

USPS allows you to select a specific date for redelivery, but this choice is subject to availability for your delivery address and their overall delivery schedule.

Can I Pick the Parcel Up Myself Instead?

If you prefer to pick up your parcel instead of having it re-delivered, you can visit the Post Office pickup location listed on the reverse of your Redelivery Notice. The parcel is available for collection on or after the date and time specified on the PS Form 3849 delivery notice.

If you have already scheduled redelivery, you may still pick up the parcel at your local post office up until the day before the scheduled redelivery. Remember to bring your redelivery notice (PS Form 3849) and valid identification to retrieve your parcel or mail from the post office.

Please note that this will terminate your redelivery. If you are unable to pick up the package yourself, you can authorize someone else to do so, by signing the form and supplying their name.

How Can I Find Out Why the First Delivery Attempt Failed?

To determine why the initial delivery attempt failed, you can visit the USPS tracking page for your shipment. 

Typically, the cause for the failed delivery attempt will be listed here as “Delivery Attempted”, followed by a reason such as “mailbox full”, “recipient unavailable”, or “rejected by recipient”. 

This information can help you determine the best course of action, be it scheduling redelivery, picking up the parcel from your local post office, or contacting the sender or recipient directly.

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Gerrit Poel

Co-Founder & Writer
at freightcourse

About the Author

Gerrit is a certified international supply chain management professional with 16 years of industry experience, having worked for one of the largest global freight forwarders.

As the co-founder of freightcourse, he’s committed to his passion for serving as a source of education and information on various supply chain topics.