If you think your package or mail is lost or delayed, follow these steps to help the USPS find your mail
Whether you are sending it or receiving it, your mail is important to you and to the U.S. Postal Service®. When mail is missing or delayed, we want to find it. If you think your package or mail is lost or delayed, follow these steps to help us find your mail.
Missing Mail is mail that has not been delivered by the expected delivery date. This applies to packages that are undelivered, lost, or late. If it has been lost, late or missing for 7 days or more, you can:
- Go to Find Missing Mail for additional information.
- Submit a Missing Mail search request at MissingMail.USPS.com.
- File a claim (for insured items meeting the appropriate timeframe)..
- Visit your local Post Office™ location for assistance in filling out a Missing Mail request.
- Call 1-800-275-8777 (1-800-ASK-USPS) to ask for the phone number for your local Consumer Affairs office regarding a Missing Mail request.
|If your mail item has not been delivered, please check USPS Tracking® before taking the action described below:|
|Item mailed using||Features||Action|
|Priority Mail® Service||Priority Mail service includes tracking in the cost of mailing.|
Using the tracking numbers, you can check the delivery status online at USPS Tracking®.
|If seven (7) or more days have passed since the date of mailing and the recipient has confirmed the item has not arrived, you may either submit a search request for your lost mailpiece on or email us.|
|First-Class Mail® Service||If sent with First-Class Mail service and also has a trackable service (i.e., USPS Tracking® service, Signature Confirmation™, or Certified Mail® service), you can check the delivery status online at USPS Tracking®.|
Signature Confirmation™, or Certified Mail® Services
|Using the tracking numbers, you can check the delivery status online USPS Tracking®.|
|Domestic Registered Mail® Service||Using the Registered Mail tracking numbers, you can check the delivery status online at USPS Tracking®.||Please allow fourteen (14) or more days from the date of mailing for your item to arrive.|
If the proper amount of time has passed and the item has not arrived, you may submit a search request for your lost mailpiece on the Missing Mail application and/or file a claim.
|Insurance||Using the Insurance tracking numbers on the receipt, you can check the delivery status either online at USPS Tracking®.|
|USPS Retail Ground®,|
Parcel Select®, and
Parcel Select Lightweight® Services
|USPS Retail Ground® service includes tracking of the mailpiece in the cost of mailing, but does not include insurance. Using the tracking numbers, you can check the delivery status online at USPS Tracking®.||Please allow eight (8) days from the date of mailing for your item to arrive. If fourteen (14) or more days have passed since the date of mailing and the recipient has confirmed that the item has not arrived, you may submit a search request for your mailpiece on the Missing Mail application.|
What type of mail is eligible for search?
The Postal Service™ will attempt to find and return your lost item(s), but submitting a search does not guarantee a successful outcome. We will return any mail piece from which we can locate a good address or match with an official search request. For the safety of our customers and employees, we cannot search for or return the following:
- Hazardous Material
- Live Ammunition
- Opened Hair/Beauty Products
- Over the Counter Drugs
- Prescription Drugs
- Perishables / Food
- Handguns – e.g. pistols, revolvers, and other firearms capable of being concealed on the Person, will only be returned to a licensed dealer on your behalf.
For more information regarding USPS safety restrictions and mailing guidelines, please visit USPS Shipping Restrictions.
Submit a missing mail search request
To request a search for your missing mailpiece, go to MissingMail.USPS.com and sign in or register. Complete your search request form by providing all the required information and select submit. You will receive confirmation that your search request has been submitted. You can also go to the Missing Mail Search History to check the status of your request at any time. If you are not ready to submit your search request, you may submit as a draft. Drafts expire after 7 days.
While it is highly recommended that you submit your search request online, you have other options available.
What do I need to file a Missing Mail search request?
You will need the following to complete a Missing Mail search request for a lost mailpiece:
- Mailer and Recipient addresses.
- Date of mailing.
- Tracking number(s) (highly recommended, if available).
- Important information pertaining to the mailpiece (type of container, size and color of container or packaging). For example, 12 x 10 brown box cover in stickers.
- Detailed description of contents (title, color, size, brand, make, model, etc.) of each item. Attach photos, if available, to help identify contents.
When can I file a Missing Mail search request?
- The earliest the Missing Mail application will allow you to submit a search request is seven days after the original date of mailing.
- The latest the Missing Mail application will allow you to submit a search request is 365 days after the original date of mailing of the mailpiece. We strongly suggest that you submit your search request as soon as possible within the 7 to 365 day window.
How do I check the status of my Missing Mail search request?
You can access the Missing Mail Search History page in the Missing Mail application to view the status of all your submitted search requests. You will also receive email notifications with status updates of your submitted searches. The emails will be sent to the email address that was provided in the “Whom can we contact about this search?” section on the search request form. In addition to email notifications for status updates, you will also receive a final resolution email for the return of the mailpiece or the expiration of the search request.
A Missing Mail search request will display one of the following statuses:
|Accepted (received)||This status indicates you have completed your search request form. It has been successfully submitted and received by the Postal Service™ and is undergoing the inventory search process.|
|Mailpiece Found||This status indicates that the lost mailpiece has been identified and retrieved in the Postal Service’s inventory and is in the process of being rewrapped and mailed back to the customer.|
|Expired||This status indicates that the search form has reached its retention period and is now expired within the Postal Service’s search system and will no longer be run for matches in the system.|
|Saved as Draft||This status indicates the customer has initiated a Search Form request but has saved their progress for continuation and completion at a later time.|
|Rejected||This status indicates that the search form has been rejected by a clerk because it was duplicate, or for some other specific reason.|
|Canceled||This status indicates the customer has decided to cancel their Search Form request.|
What happens if my lost mailpiece is recovered?
If your Missing Mail search request is successfully matched and your lost mailpiece is recovered, the Postal Service™ will rewrap your mail and send it to the address that was provided on the completed search request form. You will also receive an email notification indicating that your mailpiece has been found and the missing mail search request status will indicate, ”Mail piece Found”.
What happens if my lost mailpiece is not found?
A search will continue to run for matches in the Missing Mail system until it expires. If a search request is unable to connect to any matches and eventually expires, then you will receive an email notification indicating that your item was unable to be found. Unsuccessful searches status will change to “Expired”.
Can I include multiple items in my Missing Mail search request?
If your mailpiece contains multiple items inside, you can include all of those items in single missing mail search request. Please be sure to include descriptions for each item. After completing the description for your first item, select the option to add another item under the ‘Contents of Your Mailpiece’. You cannot, however, include multiple mail pieces in a single search request. You must submit a separate missing mail search request for each missing mail piece.
Can I edit a submitted search request?
You can edit the contents of your mailpiece by selecting your search request from the Missing Mail Search History page and then selecting the edit option. You are able to add or remove items or adjust the details of an item. However, you will not be allowed to edit any other information provided on your submitted search request. If other information is incorrect on the submitted search request, you do have the option to cancel the search request and submit a new request with the accurate information.
How do I cancel a search request?
You have the ability to cancel a submitted search request by navigating to your Missing Mail Search History page. From this page, you must locate the submitted request and select the “X” to the right of your request or select the request and choose the ‘Cancel’ option. The status of your search request will change to “Cancelled”. No further matches will be attempted and no further email notifications will be sent.