How Long Does USPS Keep My Undelivered Package? 

 June 28, 2020

By  Vada Shelby

USPS is an excellent postal service company. Basically, USPS stands for United States Postal Service, it delivers packages and letters throughout the United States. It is an independent agency that belongs to the United States Federal Government’s executive branch. It is in charge of delivering postal services all over the United States.

The US Postal Service was first introduced in the United States in the year 1775, the venue being the second continental congress. Benjamin Franklin was the first postmaster general at the United States Postal Service. In 1792, Benjamin made a Post office department, and in the year 1970, The United States Postal Service got reorganized as an independent agency.

It is widely used by people all over the United States to deliver and receive packages. It is very fast and safe. Along with this, the United States Postal Service provides numerous other features like the package tracking facility, hold for pickup facility, business account, and cheap rates. Also, it provides the first-class mail facility to send light packages in a cheaper and efficient way.

What if my package is undelivered?

 There might be several reasons behind a package not getting delivered to the right address. This happens a lot of times that the mail carrier is not able to deliver the package properly.

This might happen due to incomplete or incorrect address details. The other reason might be a lot of mails. Sometimes, when the post box is full of mails, it might be difficult for the carrier to deliver all the packages.

Also, sometimes the mail carriers do not find anyone at the given address, to pick up the package. So, the delivery person leaves a delivery notice stating that the package couldn’t be delivered due to the unavailability of the receiver. Therefore, they come back the next working day to deliver the package again.

In all these cases, the undelivered package is kept by the USPS. It remains safe with the United States Postal Service Agency.

Is my package safe?

 Sometimes this question may arise that when my package is not delivered and is kept by the United States Postal Agency, is it safe or not. In that case, the USPS assures complete safety of the package to its customers. Each parcel or package is kept with the utmost care and security at the United States Postal Service office.

Mostly, the packages are delivered safely. But it happens very very rare that the package might get lost. So, to avoid this condition, the United States Postal Service advises you to write your phone number on the top of the parcel to ensure its safety. Also, if possible, try providing residential addresses instead of official addresses.

How long will USPS keep my undelivered package?

 In case your package is undelivered, the package carrier has two choices. Either he/ she can deliver the package the very next day again or he/ she can just leave an undelivered package message at the customer’s place. In both cases, the carrier brings back the undelivered package to the post office.

The two cases that the carrier has when the package is not picked up properly, are as mentioned below:

  1. If the carrier knows that there might be someone at the delivery address, then he/ she will come back again the very next day to deliver the package again and would not leave any kind of delivery message. But even if the next day, he/ she does not find the customer at the place, he/ she will leave an undelivered package notice at the place.
  2. In the second case, if the carrier didn’t find anyone at the place and he knows that no one will be able to pick up the package on the next delivery date, then he/ she will drop an undelivered package message at the place.

Also, if the customer wants to have any additional delivery date, then they can personally request the post office to do the same.

The undelivered package message that is left by the carrier at the pickup address, contains a PS form 3849. So, the receiver can fill up that form and submit it at the post office if he/ she was not able to pick up the package. If no one fills the form and submits it within 15 days, then the USPS will return back the package to the sender.

The post office keeps the packages for fifteen days before returning them to the sender. If you want it before fifteen days, then you can personally visit the post office and collect the parcel from there. If no one visits for fifteen continuous days, then the post office returns back the package to the sender.


 There are many instances when the package is left undelivered. This might happen due to incomplete or incorrect address information on the package. This might also happen due to the unavailability of the pick-up by the customer. In this case, the parcel is kept safe at the US Postal Service until 15 days. The receiver can anytime visit the post office between these 15 days to pick up the package. In case, no one comes to the post office for 15 days, the USPS will return back the package to the sender. Within the interval of these 15 days, the package is kept absolutely safe and secure at the United States Postal Service office.

Vada Shelby


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